No. of Recommendations: 11
For 29+ years, I have never left home without my American Express card. It was a friend in need, the card I could rely upon and did so with confidence. But no longer. Indeed, American Express is responsible for my new credit card phobia -- fear of using it because I might get turned down.
How did this happen? It all began one hot Spring day in northern Florida. My wife's motorcycle had blown a clutch. We had to have a friend come take her's home. We had purchaesd gas on two prior occasions that day before the mechanical breakdown. Now, heading home, I tried to buy gas yet a third time. This time my card was "REJECTED." With the station manager referring to me as some kind of "dead beat," I quickly ponied up the required cash and beat a hasty retreat.
At first, I blamed it on their machines. Then it happened again at another station in West Palm Beach. Enraged, I called AMEX only to learn the company had instituted a policy of blocking card use -- unless the holder pleaded for its release (keep in mind I have never missed paying up my bill each month for the last 29+ years).
When I investigated, I found that I had been listed in their records as a potential "fraud." In fact, a "fraud alert" had been placed on my card. When I questioned this, I was accused of giving false information, that I was hiding the fact that I had lived elsewhere in West Palm Beach (something not true. I have lived in the same location since 1977).
The person on the phone continued to question my veracity and I was finally referred to another division. After lengthy converations with this person, I was purportedly cleared of all charges - or so I thought. But then it happened again.
This time I called and was told the company now had a policy of blocking card usage if a person bought gas more than twice in a single day. The person claimed American Express had found that most frauds were committed at the gas pump. Ergo, because I often buy gas more than once in a day, I must be a fraud risk. (The logic of this statement escapes me.)
I continued to investigate and finally found someone who could erase this terrible mark (FRAUD RISK) from my account -- so the person claimed. But since that day, I have not used my AMEX card. The thought of even pulling it from my wallet sends fear through my heart. Will I be rejected again? Will I be humiliated again in public? Will I have to explain myself again? Truly AMEX has caused me to discontinue use of its product -- probably others except in an emergency.
So if you are using the AMEX card in the blind belief it will always be there to use in practically any situation, think again. If it can happen to me, why not you? You could also get startled out of your shoes by receiving the same kind of message. Sorry, your card has been blocked because you have become a "fraud risk."
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