American Express (USA) replaces Email (SM) with Chat

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    Old Aug 4, 13, 10:35 am
      #1  
    mia
    A FlyerTalk Posting Legend, Moderator: American Express, Citi, Diners Club, Signatures
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    Thumbs down American Express (USA) replaces Email (SM) with Chat

    To better serve you, we are replacing Email Servicing with Live Chat. Starting on August 30th, you can get immediate help by chatting live with a customer care professional.
    While chat has a role in online customer service it should supplement, not replace, email. Many issues cannot be resolved in real time, and there needs to be a way of interacting with American Express which combines the accountability of written communication with the facility to research or refer an issue to a specialist. I don't see how this will be done in a chat model.

    The website is already pushing users to chat, but when I asked how to use email I was given this link:

    www.americanexpress.com/messagecenter

    ...and even though the process starts with the same dialog I was not forced into chat.

    Last edited by mia; Aug 4, 13 at 10:41 am
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    Old Aug 4, 13, 1:57 pm
      #2  
     
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    Looks interesting. I wonder if this will happen in the UK as well.
    reclusive46 is offline  
    Old Aug 4, 13, 9:39 pm
      #3  
     
    Join Date: Jul 2011
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    I tried out the chat feature and its beyond stupid. If I want to waste 15 minutes going back and forth I would call. The beauty of SM was that I sent a message , went my merry way and it got done.

    This is besides the huge cost they will incur by requiring people available at all hours to chat instantly.

    I HOPE they will keep the option to SM for people that have a life.
    whynotnow is offline  
    Old Aug 5, 13, 8:19 am
      #4  
     
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    I would imagine that complex issues would be handled by chat in the same way that they are handled when you phone: they open a ticket to whatever department needs to handle the issue that does not speak to customers directly, and it gets handled offline.

    I can see why they'd want to move to this model. Anyone that's been on the receiving end of customer service emails knows full well how woefully inadequate many people are at writing them. Well over half of the ones I see leave out crucial information that prevents the matter from even being looked into. The interactive nature of chat vs email solves that problem.
    Steve M is offline  
    Old Aug 5, 13, 8:42 am
      #5  
    mia
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    Originally Posted by Steve M View Post
    ...open a ticket to whatever department needs to handle the issue that does not speak to customers directly, and it gets handled offline..
    How is the customer notified of the outcome? How does the customer continue the discussion from that point?
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    Old Aug 5, 13, 9:28 pm
      #6  
     
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    Originally Posted by mia View Post
    How is the customer notified of the outcome? How does the customer continue the discussion from that point?
    I tested a chat session today. Asked the guy when done how could we save it as proof of our discussion. He replied "print it". I pointed out the waste in doing that , he then suggested I cut and paste to my PC that way I could reference it later.

    Back and forth got him to ask his supervisor . Bottom line they dont have a way of saving it that we both could reference it!!!
    whynotnow is offline  
    Old Aug 5, 13, 10:12 pm
      #7  
     
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    Just tried it today also and experience is not good.

    1) There is no indicator for me or the agent typing.

    When I entered chat, I was typing my questions for about 15 seconds and the agent send, I assume a canned message, saying that they didn't hear anything from me and do I still want to continue to chat.

    I copied what I typed before sending a "Yes, I do" , but I can see someone will be frustrated if they were cut off before they finished typing their question.

    2) It took almost like 15 minutes of interaction and at the end for the agent still having to send the request to the account services team for an answer. Like what whynotnow said, I prefer to spent a message and go on my way while the request is being processed.
    Ragnarok is offline  
    Old Aug 6, 13, 8:16 am
      #8  
     
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    I agree with OP in that it should supplement the 'official' emails. However, I needed an issue resolved the other day and it directed me to chat. Was a very quick fix (under 10 min) and I was happy and on my way.
    jonnyd13 is offline  
    Old Aug 6, 13, 8:26 am
      #9  
     
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    I would much rather chat than to send an email off to the ether. Perhaps Im of the instant gratification generation.
    austin_modern is offline  
    Old Aug 6, 13, 10:26 am
      #10  
     
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    Originally Posted by austin_modern View Post
    I would much rather chat than to send an email off to the ether. Perhaps Im of the instant gratification generation.
    I'd rather have things documented. If I want to "chat", I can always pick up the phone.
    Okto is offline  
    Old Aug 6, 13, 10:56 am
      #11  
     
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    Originally Posted by Okto View Post
    I'd rather have things documented. If I want to "chat", I can always pick up the phone.
    Exactly , if its that important that I need it done now and I have the 20 minutes to wait while he asks his supervisor...I would pick up the phone!!
    whynotnow is offline  
    Old Aug 7, 13, 9:10 am
      #12  
     
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    this chat thing is awful, takes 20 min of back and forth to get something done that would take 30s with SM
    mapotofu is offline  
    Old Aug 7, 13, 9:15 am
      #13  
     
    Join Date: Dec 2012
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    well so much for that, the chat rep just told me I would need to contact SPG to add my SPG number to my AMEX SPG card
    mapotofu is offline  
    Old Aug 8, 13, 12:10 pm
      #14  
     
    Join Date: Jul 2011
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    In order to better serve you, we now offer Live Chat with a Customer Care Professional as an alternative to Email. If you send us an email between now and August 30, it may take up to 72 hours for you to receive a reply. After August 30, the option to Email Us will no longer be offered.

    They couldnt wait to do this bonehead move until Aug 31st at least
    whynotnow is offline  
    Old Aug 8, 13, 10:53 pm
      #15  
     
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    Originally Posted by whynotnow View Post
    In order to better serve you, we now offer Live Chat with a Customer Care Professional as an alternative to Email. If you send us an email between now and August 30, it may take up to 72 hours for you to receive a reply. After August 30, the option to Email Us will no longer be offered.
    I was on the website today and I didn't see that.

    Sprint Nextel did the same thing, and I absolutely hate it. You start out with someone who knows less than you do, and then you have to wait for them to ask their supervisor. It's like they are chatting with more than one member at once.

    I plan to complain (by e'mail!!). I hope the rest of you will too.
    jn in ca is offline  

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