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Old May 7, 10, 11:50 am   #1
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Nashville, TN - BNA
Programs: Amex PLAT, Hilton DIA, SPG Gold, Marriott Silver, WN RR, TSA Disparager Silver
Posts: 1,771
Amex is double charging me for transactions and disputing it - check your statements!

Had posted a thread a while ago about this:

Transactions, bookkeeping FUBAR'd - changing PLAT>PR Gold?

but the title isn't quite accurate, since I now know this isn't a problem restricted to the PR Gold product. Just wanted to offer an update, just in case anyone else is going crazy wondering why their statement reconciliation is fouled up. In a nutshell, here's what I just sent to the online CS folks (identifying details changed):

Quote:
Hi, there's nowhere to select "your billing is in error" from the options offered so I'll use the Dispute Transaction process and see how this works out.

Your system has double charged me for a few purchases. I keep *very* good records - I live in a state with a very high sales tax so I track every penny to be sure I receive the Federal tax credit to which I am entitled. Unfortunately the overbilling seems to exist on two accounts.

I noticed the problem when I went to reconcile my Premier Rewards Gold account on March 4, 2010. My billing was off by a total of $14.20 and I found your system had randomly changed the dates on four of my charges from January and had moved them into December of 2009. The charges I list below appear on my paper statement with the dates I'm listing first, but appear online (in my "recent activity" screen) with the dates I list second.

1-6-10 refund from foo.com ($79.58) changed to 12-31-09
1-2-10 charge for $49.99 from lifeisbeautiful.com changed to 12-31-09
1-6-10 charge from Acme for phone bill ($43.79) changed to 12-30-09
1-6-10 charge of $3.94 (Starbucks) completely disappeared

These four charges combined total out to $14.20. I did not notice a credit to my January statement offsetting these charges, so it appears they were added to my account two times by your system.

These problems seem to be isolated near the end of December 2009. Unfortunately, this month your billing for my Hilton Surpass card is not accurate - my records match yours when it comes to the individual charges, but the amount due is mysteriously too high by $21.85. I notice there's a charge on my Surpass card from December 18, 2009 for that exact amount (the vendor is Sanford and Son of Cary, NC).

I called your 800 number and was essentially told it's not possible my accounting is accurate, or that at any rate you had no way to correct these overcharges - since I'm not disputing individual charges, but the double billing of them. I can provide paper statements and reports from my accounting program proving my numbers are correct.

I've been very satisfied with the service I've received from your company and you'll doubtless see I've been with you for over 20 years. I don't want to have to escalate this issue and the amount in question isn't huge - only $36.05 by my reckoning - but I feel very strongly I shouldn't have to pay twice for duplicate services or merchandise I have not received.

Sincerely,

divemistressofthedark
Nashville, TN
Check those statements, folks. It's enough that we have to ride herd on Hilton points earned - I shudder to think what goes on with the MR program, since we don't get a monthly accounting of what points we've earned from BonusPointsMall.com vs. extra points for gas/grocery etc. But it's really not too cool to have them just calmly double bill you and then not offer a way to easily sort it all out (the 800-number CS agent very nearly told me I must be some kind of mutant to even question Amex' accounting - believe me, I can prove all this.)

On reflection, I'm lucky the dollar amount isn't more and that I keep such good records - I'll undoubtedly notice if they do it again. Although, I guess I would theoretically get more MR and HH points from overbilling...

UPDATE: Online CS writes back, wants more info on the single charge with which I have had difficulty. Clearly they can't process "your computers occasionally make mistakes" on the front line. Sigh. OK, dialing Executive Office now....Hoping this doesn't have to go to Better Business Bureau or lead to me cancelling cards, since I'm generally happy with Amex.

Last edited by divemistressofthedark; May 7, 10 at 12:44 pm.
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Old May 7, 10, 2:24 pm   #2
mia
FlyerTalk Evangelist, Moderator: American Express, Diners Club
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Miami & London
Programs: AA 2MM Perpetual Platinum; HH & SPG Gold
Posts: 20,520
It sounds as if you are trying to reconcile usng the Online Statement feature rather than looking at the Billing Statements. If a transaction occurred in December but was delayed in processing it may display online with its original transaction date -or- with the posting date. If the same transaction has not appeared on more than one Billing Statement (which you can see by looking at the PDF version) you have not been overcharged.

If a charge is listed by the posting date rather than the original transaction date there should be an asterisk next to the date in the Online Statement.

I'm not saying this isn't a problem, but it's not an overcharge.
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Old May 7, 10, 2:45 pm   #3
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Nashville, TN - BNA
Programs: Amex PLAT, Hilton DIA, SPG Gold, Marriott Silver, WN RR, TSA Disparager Silver
Posts: 1,771
I hear and understand, mia, really I do. I deal with this all the time - like I said, I keep super good records, both because of the tax issue and because I'm something of a compulsive spender, so gotta keep a tight grip on how much money's available.

I very often will have phantom charges left over at the end of the month, like if some charge hasn't yet posted but is already in the outstanding amount due. Since I have a local record on IPhone of my spending I can usually resolve those.

I really think what I'm describing is a different problem entirely, but here's how things stand: Called up Executive Liaison (my contact there is a terrific guy who couldn't stop telling me he's praying for my flooded neighbors here in Nashville)....I really think he'd have taken the time to wade through all this for a resolution, but the amount in dispute is only $40. If it were $400 it'd be another matter entirely. Amex has recently settled a couple of other disputes in my favor, refunded part of my PLAT fee that they technically didn't have to, AND I'm going to get MR/HH for the overage. So I'm just gonna let it drop.

If it keeps happening I'll call back but I think for now I'm just going to write it off.
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Old May 10, 10, 1:59 pm   #4
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Reston, Virginia, USA
Posts: 606
Amex periodically FUBAR's the reward calculation for my Costco AMEX. The algorithim is complex enough that I have to do it in a spreadsheet. I set up the spreadsheet as soon as I realized that the reward on this month's statement was calculated from Last Month's spend. Anything that unnecessarly complex could hide a mess o' chiseling.

Sure 'nuff, they started under-reporting the rewards right off the bat.

AMEX restores the reward as soon as I call. I have asked them to set the b@stard flag on my account. B@stard means I balance my accounts to the penny, and I am on the horn if there is the tiniest discrepancy. I believe this minimizes the number of "errors" on my statement. I put errors in quotes, because none have been in my favor. This is statistically unlikely. So under-calculation of rewards has dropped in frequency from every other statement to once a year. (Just to see if I still track?)
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Old May 10, 10, 5:10 pm   #5
AMA
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 534
Quote:
Originally Posted by scubadiver View Post
Amex periodically FUBAR's the reward calculation for my Costco AMEX. The algorithim is complex enough that I have to do it in a spreadsheet. I set up the spreadsheet as soon as I realized that the reward on this month's statement was calculated from Last Month's spend. Anything that unnecessarly complex could hide a mess o' chiseling.

Sure 'nuff, they started under-reporting the rewards right off the bat.

AMEX restores the reward as soon as I call. I have asked them to set the b@stard flag on my account. B@stard means I balance my accounts to the penny, and I am on the horn if there is the tiniest discrepancy. I believe this minimizes the number of "errors" on my statement. I put errors in quotes, because none have been in my favor. This is statistically unlikely. So under-calculation of rewards has dropped in frequency from every other statement to once a year. (Just to see if I still track?)
Find a good class action lawyer and go to town on this one. Probably LOTS of points at the end of this rainbow.
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