Go Back   FlyerTalk Forums > Miles&Points > Credit, Debit and Prepaid Card Programs > American Express | Membership Rewards
Sign in using an external account

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Apr 13, 08, 9:26 pm   #16
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 3,532
Quote:
Originally Posted by pgary View Post
I am having the same problem, repetatively with a local Wendy's. They claim their reader can't read my card. I have no problem anywhere else. I think I will insist they enter the number manually, or write up a paper ticket, next time.
Exactly. I had a restaurant recently stating that my Amex got declined. I asked for a printout stating it and they had none. I knew that they probably did not even run it. They insisted I use another card and I insisted they try again or call amex. After few minutes, a miracle happened and my card was no longer declined I agree with MIA that some merchants do it intentionally.
TAHKUCT is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 13, 08, 10:37 pm   #17
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: bay area, ca
Programs: UA 1k, spg plat, hyatt diamond, aa gold
Posts: 1,918
Another amex trick - really bad of amex

I had a charge declined for $40 at a restaurant. The restaurant handled it well - but I was upset given that I had a xxK limit on the card and a CREDIT balance of 1k at the time. No one could give me a satisfactory answer at amex during 20 minutes on the phone so I called when I got home.

It turns out that a new credit card I had just received (of course only b/c of a mileage promo) had the wrong bank number so a $20 charge I paid online was reversed -AMEX THEN BLOCKED EVERY AMEX CARD I HAD!!!! The absurdity of this (good customer over 20 yrs, a credit balance of 1k in the other account and they block all my accounts over $20) took 3 calls and about an hour on the phone until I reached a sane person.

I was out of the country so had arranged online payment and even tho amex had accepted the bank info and showed it was paid (I checked online) -when there was a problem they didn't email me (altho they did email confirmation of payment), but sent me snail mail which or course got to me waaay after the problem was already solved.
estnet is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 14, 08, 12:30 am   #18
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Programs: Amex Platinum, Starwood Gold, VX elevate
Posts: 303
While I (thankfully, and I am sympathetic to those of you have had the "declined" issue) have not had the issue of my Plat card being rejected, I am getting frustrated more and more with merchants that used to take Amex, and now don't. For one thing, I wish it was consistent where an establishment posts a list of what they take at the front, because I only have an Amex card, and no other companies. I went to the H&M store in Los Angeles a few weeks back (I've shopped there numerous times and spent bundles there in the past on my Amex), only to wait in line and find out that the store no longer takes Amex. Embarrassed for having waited in line and did not have anywhere near enough cash to cover the transaction, I walked out and haven't gone back since. I understand, from a merchant's standpoint, that higher fees result in a loss of profit, but in this example, H&M lost a $40 sale as opposed to losing a few dollars in the transaction.

From a business standpoint, when will merchants realize that there ARE people out there who won't shop/eat at places that don't take Amex, and they are losing more money from potential customers avoiding their establishments than they would with just the higher transaction fee that Amex charges. That's my rant, sorry for being a bit OT, but I'm always plenty happy with the service and security Amex gives me, and becoming more and more frustrated with merchants that are no longer (or never did) taking Amex.
ZbadhabitZ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 14, 08, 3:39 am   #19
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: HKG 99.9%
Programs: QF Silver (OW Ruby)
Posts: 1,259
Just food for thoughts

I have a relative who deals with antique watches and he used to accept AE as margins permits. As now the business is not like the old days, AE fees are almost double of Visa.
One day, the AE sales rep gone to his shop to sell AE again. He said something pretty stupit while he has customers in his shop as it along the line like this. "You should have very good margins selling watches, our service charges is nothing compare to the profit you made..." I only known this when his staffers told me. The next thing, the boss kicked the guy out of his shop.
Well, this is slightly bit OT but... this is how AE position itself.
Personally, I do assume... that if the business takes AE, they do have pretty good margins.
Wongo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 14, 08, 3:23 pm   #20
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 2,840
Quote:
Originally Posted by dgwright99 View Post
... in each case I left a tip of $1 (I find this sends a stronger message than not tipping at all).
I leave 2 cents - I've found this leaves a stronger message than $1.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZbadhabitZ View Post
From a business standpoint, when will merchants realize that there ARE people out there who won't shop/eat at places that don't take Amex, and they are losing more money from potential customers avoiding their establishments than they would with just the higher transaction fee that Amex charges.
Well, THAT is loyalty, for sure. While I agree it is disheartening not knowing ahead of time if a merchant accepts Amex, and then completing your transaction only to find out they don't (and I put almost all of my daily spending on Amex to the tune of 100k/year), I can't imagine relying on Amex as my only CC. I always have a backup, usually Citi, just in case of any Amex rejections out there (no matter how unjustified). I really can't imagine planning my life around an Amex only world - although I certainly give you credit for trying!

Last edited by Ritz; Apr 15, 08 at 9:56 am.
Ritz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 14, 08, 5:27 pm   #21
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Newport Beach, California, USA
Programs: No longer an FF, no status, no joy in Mudville.
Posts: 35,472
Quote:
Originally Posted by dgwright99 View Post
It's not just the higher rate. Amex seem to take the side of the cardholder on chargebacks almost every time, and I suspect that this may play a role also.

I have had a couple of "card declined" claims over the years on my amex, where when I called Amex said that they had received no attempt to charge, and certainly had not declined. In each case I left a tip of $1 (I find this sends a stronger message than not tipping at all).
Just a note: wait staff are not responsible for restaurant policy. Punishing them by depriving them of their income doesn't send a message to anyone. By all means, tell the manager that you won't be back to their restaurant, and why, but don't make innocent wait staff suffer.
PTravel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 14, 08, 5:50 pm   #22
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: BOS/EAP
Programs: UA 1K, HH Gold, MR Gold, *W Gold, IHG Gold, Amex Plat
Posts: 17,328
Quote:
Originally Posted by PTravel View Post
Just a note: wait staff are not responsible for restaurant policy. Punishing them by depriving them of their income doesn't send a message to anyone. By all means, tell the manager that you won't be back to their restaurant, and why, but don't make innocent wait staff suffer.
don't you think wait staff will make this pretty clear to management if this happens. If they come back to the customer and tell them it was declined, but they never swiped it, they are liars and don't deserve a tip IMO.
cfischer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 14, 08, 6:17 pm   #23
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Newport Beach, California, USA
Programs: No longer an FF, no status, no joy in Mudville.
Posts: 35,472
Quote:
Originally Posted by cfischer View Post
don't you think wait staff will make this pretty clear to management if this happens. If they come back to the customer and tell them it was declined, but they never swiped it, they are liars and don't deserve a tip IMO.
Speaking as a former waiter, the wait staff is at the bottom of the totem pole when it comes to influencing management. As far as management is concerned, as long as the bill is paid, it doesn't care whether the wait staff is tipped or not. As noted in the anecdote I related in this thread, I have no qualms about punishing a business for rudeness and/or sneaky policies that discriminate against my credit card of choice. However, I would never punish a waiter or waitress unless they gave me the same attitude as the salesman in my story.
PTravel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 14, 08, 9:14 pm   #24
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 119
Angry Similar experience with declined card

I had a similar experience, although it ended being quite a bit more embarrassing than just a declined charge.

I was traveling, and used (or tried to) use my Amex corp card to pay for an extra checked bag. The ticket agent told me that the card was declined, and that her "system" had instructed her to confiscate it. I paid for the bag with cash because I didn't have time to fuss with it. While waiting at the gate to board the plane, I wondered why the airport police were hanging around. When I went to board, the gate agent said "Oh, Mr. XXX, we've been looking for you." I was detained by the police for using a stolen credit card and missed the flight. The police were baffled to find that my driver's license had the same name as my credit card. They called Amex which, of course, had no record of any attempt to make the charge. I ended up having to spend an extra night in town since it took about two hours to get everything straightened out. Incidentally, I used my Amex to pay for the hotel room and dinner in a restaurant.

I wrote letters to Amex and the airline. I got a crummy corporate apology letter from Amex ("...we're sorry that happened to you...but it's not our fault..."). The airline gave me a f/c ticket home the next day, $500 in flight credit, and 100,000 ff miles. I guess a platinum frequent flier is worth more to a bankrupt airline, than a $100K/year Amex cardmember is to American Express.
anaugle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 15, 08, 6:26 pm   #25
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: CDG, FRA
Posts: 1,600
Quote:
Originally Posted by anaugle View Post
I had a similar experience, although it ended being quite a bit more embarrassing than just a declined charge.
(...) They called Amex which, of course, had no record of any attempt to make the charge. (...)
I wrote letters to Amex and the airline. I got a crummy corporate apology letter from Amex ("...we're sorry that happened to you...but it's not our fault..."). The airline gave me a f/c ticket home the next day, $500 in flight credit, and 100,000 ff miles. I guess a platinum frequent flier is worth more to a bankrupt airline, than a $100K/year Amex cardmember is to American Express.
If it was airline staff's mistake (since Amex didn't decline the charge) ... why should Amex in your point of view do anything else than sending a letter
ahrz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 15, 08, 7:59 pm   #26
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Programs: Hilton Diamond, AA 1MM
Posts: 245
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZbadhabitZ View Post
While I (thankfully, and I am sympathetic to those of you have had the "declined" issue) have not had the issue of my Plat card being rejected, I am getting frustrated more and more with merchants that used to take Amex, and now don't. For one thing, I wish it was consistent where an establishment posts a list of what they take at the front, because I only have an Amex card, and no other companies. I went to the H&M store in Los Angeles a few weeks back (I've shopped there numerous times and spent bundles there in the past on my Amex), only to wait in line and find out that the store no longer takes Amex. Embarrassed for having waited in line and did not have anywhere near enough cash to cover the transaction, I walked out and haven't gone back since. I understand, from a merchant's standpoint, that higher fees result in a loss of profit, but in this example, H&M lost a $40 sale as opposed to losing a few dollars in the transaction.

From a business standpoint, when will merchants realize that there ARE people out there who won't shop/eat at places that don't take Amex, and they are losing more money from potential customers avoiding their establishments than they would with just the higher transaction fee that Amex charges. That's my rant, sorry for being a bit OT, but I'm always plenty happy with the service and security Amex gives me, and becoming more and more frustrated with merchants that are no longer (or never did) taking Amex.
There are people, such as I, who would use Visa or MC if the store doesn't accept Amex. The store you mentioned would have saved only a couple of bucks from you, but would save much more if the other customers would use other cards when told the store doesn't accept Amex. Therefore, whether not accepting amex makes a business sense or not depends on 1) the margin of sales the store makes and 2) the proportion of people who would walk away when told amex is not accepted.

You should not be frustrated that the store doesn't accept amex. It's your decision to walk away from the store, people respect your decision, but likewise, I respect the store's decision not to accept amex.

If you are blaming the store for not letting this known on the front window, then your point is well accepted.
curious_miles is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 15, 08, 11:16 pm   #27
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Programs: Amex Platinum, Starwood Gold, VX elevate
Posts: 303
Quote:
Originally Posted by curious_miles View Post
There are people, such as I, who would use Visa or MC if the store doesn't accept Amex. The store you mentioned would have saved only a couple of bucks from you, but would save much more if the other customers would use other cards when told the store doesn't accept Amex. Therefore, whether not accepting amex makes a business sense or not depends on 1) the margin of sales the store makes and 2) the proportion of people who would walk away when told amex is not accepted.

You should not be frustrated that the store doesn't accept amex. It's your decision to walk away from the store, people respect your decision, but likewise, I respect the store's decision not to accept amex.

If you are blaming the store for not letting this known on the front window, then your point is well accepted.
As a college student, I don't think it's smart for me to have more than one CC, so I stick with Amex. That may not be the most logical decision, but it's one I stick by, and Amex has time and time again provided incredible customer service, so I'm loyal to them. I do, however, blame the store for posting what type of payment they accept on an 8.5x11 sheet of paper behind the register, so the only way for a customer to know what is/is not accepted is to wait in line and then find out. Not smart business practice to me. Then again I should probably carry more cash on me, so it's a draw.
ZbadhabitZ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 16, 08, 12:43 am   #28
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Hsinchu (Taiwan), Saigon, London
Programs: EVA (diamond), A3, BMI, VN
Posts: 2,960
Quote:
Originally Posted by sbm12 View Post
it seems silly to me that you are suggesting that AmEx is unreliable when both AmEx AND the merchant both agree that it was the merchant's fault, not AmEx's.
But they didn't agree that.... The merchant merely said he was having problems with Amex and that it wasn't the OP's fault. Amex denied it was their problem.

When I've had declines (as a merchant) it has sometimes been due to a network problem at Amex or the network in between.
jimbo99 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 16, 08, 2:17 am   #29
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Programs: Hilton Diamond, AA 1MM
Posts: 245
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZbadhabitZ View Post
As a college student, I don't think it's smart for me to have more than one CC, so I stick with Amex. That may not be the most logical decision, but it's one I stick by, and Amex has time and time again provided incredible customer service, so I'm loyal to them. I do, however, blame the store for posting what type of payment they accept on an 8.5x11 sheet of paper behind the register, so the only way for a customer to know what is/is not accepted is to wait in line and then find out. Not smart business practice to me. Then again I should probably carry more cash on me, so it's a draw.
Okay..., but still you have a bank ATM card with Visa or MC logo on it, don't you? You can use them like credit cards, no?
curious_miles is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Apr 16, 08, 1:01 pm   #30
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: STL
Programs: Skymiles Gold Medallion, AAdvantage, Starwood Platinum, Hyatt Platinum, Priority Club, Hhonors
Posts: 218
Quote:
Originally Posted by PTravel View Post
Speaking as a former waiter, the wait staff is at the bottom of the totem pole when it comes to influencing management. As far as management is concerned, as long as the bill is paid, it doesn't care whether the wait staff is tipped or not. As noted in the anecdote I related in this thread, I have no qualms about punishing a business for rudeness and/or sneaky policies that discriminate against my credit card of choice. However, I would never punish a waiter or waitress unless they gave me the same attitude as the salesman in my story.

Yeah, I tipped the waiter 20%. Though in retrospect, I certainly wished he would have pushed harder on the decline or suggested calling AMEX to confirm the decline, rather than coming back to the table and embarrassing me based on what the machine said.

By the way, thanks Jimbo 99--you are right. The restuarant didn't admit fault at the time.
bigdel1 is offline   Reply With Quote
 
 
Reply

Bookmarks


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 6:09 am.