April 18, 2003

Kerry D. Hatch, EVP & General Manager

American Express

P.O. Box 31511

Salt Lake City, UT84131-9849

Dear Mr. Hatch:

It is understood that new decisions are necessary to be competitive.  Consequently, American Express maintains its leading edge of business credit management accounts from making good decisions.  I have been pleased to share my American Express card usage experiences with colleagues.  However, most recently a few of your new decisions have turned sour and I am no longer sharing good AMEX news.

The decision to use automated clearing house (ACH) funds transfer is not a decision that favors the customer.  I called the AMEX customer account representative today to understand how my checking account was cleared of funds electronically without my authorization last month.  The representative explained quickly that the federal government allows AMEX to transfer money from a checking account without customer approval because it helps to improve AMEX business.  That is an unethical decision.

I had to call in January 2003 to have American Express remove a forty dollar charge for one of the companies’ bonus award campaigns.  I never authorized, nor participated in the AMEX award program, but yet a year into the program I was charged an annual membership fee.  Taking part in promotional programs is prohibited with my business credit accounts.  American Express took liberties and demonstrated still another unethical business practice.

American Express boasts how long a customer has been a member on the face of its card.  It is probably good for AMEX marketing, but the length of patronage is not a customer consideration with monthly payment activity.  I was two weeks late on a monthly payment with an open credit line of $5,000 and the account was frozen awaiting a $17 payment of a $500 debt.  A twenty consistent year customer, with no delinquencies, holding A-1 credit should not be subjected to a weak business practice such as freezing an account.  Not without at least making a phone call, email or fax awareness message to the customer.  That’s ethical business!  I shouldn’t have to hear from a supplier that my credit card funds are not being released by AMEX.  I should hear it first from American Express if long-term membership has it privileges.

I could share more, but this is not a complaint letter.  This is an observation letter.  I am observing how AMEX chooses to service my business account and make efficiency decisions.  AMEX is making the use of cash and writing checks appear more efficient.



Dean L. Jones

American Express Member Since