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Very angry with both AMEX and Air Canada

Very angry with both AMEX and Air Canada

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Old Mar 7, 19, 12:28 pm
  #46  
 
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Originally Posted by mikespimpin View Post
This is why I'm angry with both: AC (which is now showing J6 on the flight, but 17 spaces not occupied in the seat map), why can't they just re-process the upgrade? and AMEX: I make these types of purchases on a semi-regular basis.
Most likely because all the spots that AC were willing to provide to Plusgrade were assigned to other passengers. Do not depend on the seatmap to determine availability. While most frequent or educated passengers will select a seat, there are a large segment which won't choose for one reason or another until check-in. As for why they can't re-process the upgrade, are you asking them to make an exception for you? On what basis? (Sorry, not trying to sound harsh or mean, just trying to get to an answer) For them, they did nothing wrong. Your beef should be with Amex (or more specifically, with their fraud detection algorithms) as they're the ones who declined the charge.

Originally Posted by mikespimpin View Post
Maybe blame goes to Plusgrade here. "Hey we tried running your upgrade and the card didn't go through, you have 2 hours to provide another card" would be nice. Oh well. Still super bummed out that I'm not even in a chosen seat or good group for a Y long haul flight, hopefully the upgrade gods will throw me a bone for the LMU.
Did you not choose a seat when you purchased the ticket? I don't get bid offers as the routes I fly are usually full (and lately not with AC a whole lot), but I would assume if you picked a seat first, then it would have been preserved. Bidding does not guarantee an upgrade. (heck a bidding opportunity is not always offered) As the addage goes, "Hope for the best, plan for the worst".

Good luck on the LMU (regardless)

Originally Posted by mikespimpin View Post
And this post was mostly for a rant: make sure all you other FT'ers make a call to your credit card companies and let them know you MAY get a charge soon ! One thing I could have done, that was mentioned here, is that I guess I could have used the "check spending power" for $1370, as that is supposed to flag in AMEX's system that the charge may be coming through. Live and learn I guess...
I'm curious though. Can they do a pre-authorization without Plusgrade requesting it? I can understand a pre-auth requested by the seller, but I've never heard about a buyer doing it. It may also annoy the credit card provider if they did that many pre-auths that didn't go through....
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Old Mar 7, 19, 1:06 pm
  #47  
 
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call Amex and have your card flagged for "Travel" 24/7/365 and also turn fraud prevention to the lowest setting. The way it works for me is they approve the charge and then call me and have me verify I made the charge.

I also have the app on an iPhone and see every time the card gets swiped or a charge made.
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Old Mar 7, 19, 1:12 pm
  #48  
 
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Issue is definitely AMEX, but I’m not convinced the did anything “wrong.” “Large” online purchase from previously unused vendor has high pathetically to get flagged.

IMHO Amex should take steps to whitelist plusgrade. The product (upgrade) isn’t something that can be anonymously sold, etc. The person who receives the upgrade will be known. If there is fraud, etc they can figure out who to deal with.
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Old Mar 7, 19, 1:29 pm
  #49  
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Originally Posted by Redwood839 View Post
I agree with what others have said about calling before hand and letting them know about a large charge coming in.

My last car in the UK I bought new I bought it with an AMEX purchasing card just so I could get the points for the transaction. I called them before hand and told them a large amount was about to be charged and they said they had marked it, even offered to stay on the phone.

It's annoying yes, but worth the hassle.

I actually prefer the way other airlines like COPA do it, where they pre-authorize the charge but only go through if the upgrade is successful.
Some airline tickets for a few thousand bucks or whatever it was is not a large charge.

If I had to phone in every time I bought tickets or paid a hotel bill I'd lose my mind. I can understand OPs frustration.
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Old Mar 7, 19, 2:07 pm
  #50  
 
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Come on now. This is surely a bad joke.

Are people actually saying OP should have called in over such a small potential charge as $685 x2??

I have never called Amex about a potential charge. Never...ever...nor Visa.

I would immediately terminate a credit card relationship were they ever to reverse a charge as small as that (assuming of course one has the room on their card).
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Old Mar 7, 19, 3:02 pm
  #51  
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Originally Posted by mapleg View Post
Come on now. This is surely a bad joke.

Are people actually saying OP should have called in over such a small potential charge as $685 x2??

I have never called Amex about a potential charge. Never...ever...nor Visa.

I would immediately terminate a credit card relationship were they ever to reverse a charge as small as that (assuming of course one has the room on their card).
It is not the "charge amount" (unless you are putting your new BMW on the card) but the "place" Chase and Amex even do it for their best (ie centurian) customers.
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Old Mar 7, 19, 4:20 pm
  #52  
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Originally Posted by mapleg View Post
Come on now. This is surely a bad joke.

Are people actually saying OP should have called in over such a small potential charge as $685 x2??

I have never called Amex about a potential charge. Never...ever...nor Visa.

I would immediately terminate a credit card relationship were they ever to reverse a charge as small as that (assuming of course one has the room on their card).
Once again the machine learning algorithms don't care about the amounts but the pattern. They are fallible.

As I said (and as the OP understood), if it is a charge card (no pre-auth type of stuff here) just put the amount you will be passing through the card using the check spending power link on the website and you should have no issue. Or have them flag it for travel as stated above. Nothing unusual about it being rejected.
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Old Mar 7, 19, 4:24 pm
  #53  
 
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Never had this issue with AE specifically but have had it with other cards I possess. In fact my experience is the opposite, AE lets transactions go through to me and when a fraudulent transaction hits, the next business day I receive a new card in the mail with a letter explaining the situation. OTOH I suspect my spending habits are different than most on this forum - I probably use cash a couple of times per year and everywhere else I'll use AE exclusively or when they don't accept AE put it on one of my Visa or MCs.

That being said, you can't really blame AE here, they're just doing their job protecting you from fraud. Had they let the purchase go thru and you call them up later they may have limited recourse to get the money back (depending on the merchant). The fraud detection systems themselves use a bunch of heuristics, including the category of purchase (i.e. a purchase at a tobacco shop with my card will most certainly be declined), when it was purchased, where it was purchased, the vendor itself (i.e. high amount of fraud), etc.

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Old Mar 7, 19, 6:08 pm
  #54  
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There are some flyertalker members being too hyperbole by using the term "victim" too liberally and degrading the meaning. As far as I can see it, OP bid for upgrade, credit card transaction rejected so there was no transaction. No transaction means no victim. What felt like abstract idea of opportunity cost of not flying in business also means the OP saved the money used for upgrade. So I wouldn't use the term "victim" in this case.

Algorithms are as good as the IT guys who wrote them. It's not someone intentionally deny the OP's transaction, but more like a computer program provided a false alarm. I don't believe the original programmers intentionally designed to reject transactions from plusgrade just so the OP can't bid for upgrade. So if a program written in best efforts and yet have holes and some flaws - we just call that being human. OP should just let these human error slide and save the serious outrage to more serious human induced errors. If I take every human error so seriously like some of the posters here, I probably would driven mad of this imperfect world.

Another good suggestion to reduce the chances of these rejections is indeed call ahead. End results and outcomes are much more important than whose fault or who's responsible if things don't go my way. I know that business seat upgrade is really really really important, I do my utmost best to ensure my transaction could go through - even if I have to carry the heavier load. It may not be "fair", but I rather work slightly harder if I really want to sit up front.

Fraudulent charges hurts the merchants in the immediate transaction but it is incorrect to think the card member and the consumer have zero negative effect. It costs (in this case AMEX) effort and time to investigate. It costs the card member to do paper work. It costs the merchant to show proof and if they fail take a financial hit. If you step back and look a the whole system through time, you know increasing amount of fraud chews up AMEX customer service staff time, your time, merchant time, money and all of that "loss" is added to the price of the final product.

The fraud algorithm is designed to be safe than sorry. It's double edged sword of sort. I can imagine, in the opposite situation, if AMEX is fast and loose with Plusgrade and I am overseas and someone uses my AMEX for a quick Plusgrade charge (some countries still use old fashion swipe and not PIN). I am positive that my frustration and stress level would have been much higher than the OP. It would be the same of calling AMEX and waiting on hold with the addition it would be long distance AND time difference. Yes may get a card replacement but who knows if the country you're in have AMEX office that can send you a temp card by FEDEX or will Canada's AMEX office send a card to, say, Thailand! Then you have days ahead thinking of the documents to sign swearing the amount is fraudulent and prepare to show more proof if the merchant fights it. You can see.... All of this is multiple times more stressful and more expensive to the whole system than the "safer" route of accidentally denying a legit charge.
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Old Mar 7, 19, 6:17 pm
  #55  
 
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Originally Posted by Gadot View Post
It is not the "charge amount" (unless you are putting your new BMW on the card) but the "place" Chase and Amex even do it for their best (ie centurian) customers.
I will say that in the US there seems to be much more "concern" among credit card issuers about flagging frauds or so called frauds. It is a rarer even in Canada (and that includes Amex Canada). Take it from someone who has worked in the industry.
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Old Mar 7, 19, 8:27 pm
  #56  
 
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To the OPs point, suppose they lost the bid upgrade auction - I'm sure most of us have had that experience at one time or another. Would they be upset at AC or AE? Absolutely not, the whole point of the upgrade system is that you're not guaranteed to get it. If you were guaranteed to get it then nobody would purchase J fares (which AC overprices IMHO) and would instead wait for the $500 upgrades that AC sometimes offers for TATL flights. What's upsetting was that OP in theory had a chance to secure a seat but was unable to do so because his card declined it. I bet that would suck but from the outset OP was expecting to fly in their original cabin, anything above and beyond that is a cherry on top.

Some final food for thought here - AC J TATL is by no means perfect. I would like to draw your attention to their deflated seats issue which some have described as being as bad as sitting on a metallic park bench whilst travelling. In addition, I believe PlusGrade won't give you the additional milage for flying AC J - you'll receive the original ticketed milage.

Originally Posted by mapleg View Post
I will say that in the US there seems to be much more "concern" among credit card issuers about flagging frauds or so called frauds. It is a rarer even in Canada (and that includes Amex Canada). Take it from someone who has worked in the industry.
Perhaps your experience is different than mine but in the last year 3 of my credit cards have been compromised. One of them, AE sent out a card one day with a note saying hey your card was compromised here's your new card. Second time round, I notice silly charges on a Visa card I have, call bank and have them cancel the charges and send out new card. Finally, after travelling in Asia in December I notice a $3000 charge get posted to another credit card. Call up the bank to report as fraudulent and a new card gets sent out. That being said I will agree with the mapleg that flagging seems to be not so aggressive in Canada than elsewhere - my experience should demonstrate just that.

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Old Mar 8, 19, 8:39 am
  #57  
 
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This definitely sucks, tough to blame, AC or AMEX at the end of the day, their system "failed". But if this was actually fraudulent then it was good but the fact that it's not then it sucks. What makes it worst is that you missed out and can't get it back.
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