Monday, August 17, 2009

An Open Letter to AmEx

Dear American Express:
Until recently, I never counted myself as one of you card holders. When F and I joined Costco*, part of the deal was getting one of your cards. Since AmEx is the ONLY credit card Costco* will accept. Not too long ago you sent F (the account is in his name) a letter stating that due to the current economic climate, you were reducing our credit limit. In your letter you stated that if we wrote and asked you the reasoning behind why you did this, you would tell us. So I hopped on my computer and fired off a short letter requesting this information. In my rush, I transposed our house number. You sent a letter, to the “new” address, which happened to be our neighbor, confirming the “address change” on the Costco AmEx, but wanted to know if we would also like to “change the address” on the “Blue” AmEx. With absolutely NO mention of the actual reason of my letter, the credit line reduction.
Since the 30day window to obtain this information had passed, I filled out the “change of address” box on the next bill and sent it back. I am still waiting to receive a letter confirming the “address change” back to what it was originally.
During this waiting period we receive two identical letters concerning each AmEx card telling us, that once again, due to the “economic climate” you are INCREASING the APR.
I can’t help but see a pattern here concerning your reasoning skills. First, you seem to lack attention to detail. I write you a letter requesting information, and you change my address. You are quick enough (not really) to notice that we have 2 cards with you and want to know if the address for the second card needs to be changed. But you are NOT quick enough to send us ONE copy of a letter increasing our APR. I can see now where that increase is being put to use, mailing and printing costs.
Second, your reasoning behind increasing the APR seems to be decidedly short sighted. It is quite clear across the nation that people are losing jobs, homes, and are barely scraping by, but you decide now, NOW would be an EXCELLENT time to charge these same people more money. I feel it is my duty to point out the obvious, that these people do not have extra money to cover your increased APR.
I can see that I should have stuck with my past avoidance of you. My knowledge of you then was that you charged people a yearly fee for the privilege of paying off their card each month which, contrary to your marketing hype, is not accepted everywhere, and it IS best to leave home without it.
Consider this my first notice that once these cards are paid off, we will in fact be cancelling them. Because I’m sure you’ll take this to mean we want ANOTHER card with you and hence I’ll end up having to cancel 3 cards instead of just 2.

*Costco??? Get your head out of your ass and come to the realization that AmEx has got you (and your customers) over a barrel and they are all out of Vaseline.

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