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Problems with American Express


Mike R-F
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Hi & merry Christmas to all:)

 

Appologies if this is in the wrong section but I couldn't find a thread for American Express (does this mean nobody else has a problem with them?).

 

Anyway, I need some advice over a current problem with Amex & would like members views on similar situations & outcomes, if possible.

 

I had a standard Amex card for a number of years &, although not the cheepest means of using credit, I found it convenient in that I had to pay the full outstanding balance at the end of each month. I used the card principally for my business (I'm a sole trader) for travel, hotel costs, petrol etc & usually had a balance of around 1-2k to pay off on the 1st of the month (my payment due date). This was never a problem but I was always a little concerned as my clients usually pay me at the end of the month. By the time cheques were banked & cleared it was sometimes touch & go as to whether I had sufficient cleared funds.

 

To try & resolve any potential problems, I asked Amex if I could change the payment due date to around the 10th of the month, this is when the problems started. For some strange reason, Amex had to open a new account for me rather than change the payment date on the old one. As this didn't appear, at the time, to be a problem, I agreed & a new card was issued. Amex advised me to destroy my old card (which I did), that the original account was now closed and that any outstanding payments would be transfered to my new card. Unbeknown to me, this was not the case & Amex kept my old account open! I paid for a number of items online where my original Amex card details were held by default (Paypal & the like). Rather stupidly, it never occured to me to change the card details. This came to light when I got a call from Amex chasing me for payment of my old account. I had to explain to the operator about my new account which he then looked up, noted the arrangement between the two accounts, said the problem would be sorted out & appologised for the inconvenience. This same problem continued to happen at the end of the next 3 or 4 months, each time the operator didn't know the situation regarding the original & new accounts, each time they said the problem would be sorted & each time they appologised!

 

Amex have now passed the debt (which stands at about £1200.00) to an organisation called NCO for collection. I have written to both Amex & NCO stating my position. I feel that, having told me that the original account was cancelled, Amex had a duty to assign any additional charges on my original card to my new card or to decline payment. Either of these options would have alerted me to the fact that payments were continuing to accrue to my old account & I would have been in a position to do something about it. The fact that they didn't do either along with their operators assuring me that the accounts would be sorted out has led me to a situation where I feel so outraged that I would be happy to go to court & fight this but, do I actually have grounds to do so? Naturally, I can argue that any charges & fees are unfair & should be deleted from the account but what about the spending on the account? I can't deny that the card was used for purchases (about £800.00) but I was of the understanding that payments would be re-assigned to my new card. Am I entitled to compensation from Amex for mishandling my account & the stress & inconvenience they & NCO have put me through over the past few months?

 

I feel I am in a very difficult position & one which is not of my making. I ran my Amex account perfectly (needless to say, it is now cancelled) for many years. I always paid regularly & tore up my old card when asked to do so. I relied on Amex to ensure a smooth transition between accounts &, despite their assurances that this was being done, I am left with debt I was completly unaware of. Any advice would be gratefully appreciated.

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The short answer is you need to pay what you owe as that is what you have spent. You have a responsbility to pay for purchases made with the card.

 

The charges are another matter however and you should claim those back.

iGroup (GE Money) - AoS Filed late, defence late, amended defence also late despite extra time requested and granted.

Vanquis - Claim issued, no AoS or Defence received

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In my opinion, no. You need to pay for the goods/services that you have charged to the card. By all means claim back the charges, that is another matter altogether, but what do you feel you should be compensated for?

 

If anything, you have had an even longer interest free period than normal, maybe you should compensate them?

 

You also have the same responsibility to maintain your account and you freely admit that "Rather stupidly, it never occured to me to change the card details."

 

If you want to avoid paying the bill then try, but I wonder what your case is and on what grounds you feel you should not be paying.

iGroup (GE Money) - AoS Filed late, defence late, amended defence also late despite extra time requested and granted.

Vanquis - Claim issued, no AoS or Defence received

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I'm sorry but did you not wonder where all these transaction went when you received your monthly bill, £800 on paypal is surely not something you just overlook? Amex told you they were opening a new account, they told you not to use/cut up your old card - if anyone is negligent its you really. As hagenuk said you can get the charges back but you'll have to pay for what you spent.

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