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What to do about a business that takes AMEX, but employees can't accept it?

What to do about a business that takes AMEX, but employees can't accept it?

Old Oct 24, 19, 12:16 pm
  #46  
 
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Originally Posted by Smiley90 View Post
I've done this by accident - Store had a "we don't accept AMEX" sticker on the machine but I absent-mindedly used my AMEX and realize only as it was processing. Payment went through and I was none the wiser.
I had someone once say they didn't take Amex but it was a Square reader (Square takes all merchants) so I asked them to try anyway. The cashier was surprised it worked.
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Old Oct 24, 19, 4:35 pm
  #47  
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Update:

I went back to the same fast-food restaurant today for lunch...

Instead of saying AMEX, I just said credit as I assumed it didn't matter what the card type was. Sure enough, I was right, and the transaction went through on my card without issue. No need to use the Visa this time! And now I know for future if they ever tell me otherwise, but I also hope that the employees won't be reprimanded by their boss for unknowingly letting it happen.
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Old Oct 28, 19, 7:28 pm
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Originally Posted by Gig103 View Post
I had someone once say they didn't take Amex but it was a Square reader (Square takes all merchants) so I asked them to try anyway. The cashier was surprised it worked.
And I believe Square charges the same regardless of the credit card type...so not accepting AmEx makes no sense.

AmEx's last investor call also indicated that they were getting to parity on acceptance in the US. This is primarily because there appears to be some sort of matching going on with rates via their OptBlue program. I actually think the OptBlue program allowed them to compensate the acquirer company more easily so when you turned on your merchant account you got the AmEx option pretty much ready to go.

https://www.hostmerchantservices.com...lue-rate-grid/

I don't know if AmEx charges more regularly anymore for the type of merchant that would complain about the issue.
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Old Oct 29, 19, 10:31 am
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A few years ago I went into a AAA store to buy Disney tickets for about 10 people for 3 days (a pretty good chunk of change). The Amex logo was on the front door and I can recall in the past using Amex for our membership dues, paying for tickets over the phone, etc and AAA is not exactly a mom and pop operation.

Anyway, I find out I need to walk to the back travel counter to get the tickets. I go back there and ask for all these Disney passes and give her my AAA card. She gives me the total and I give her the Amex card. She tells me they don't take Amex. I told her that they did, the sticker is on the door and I have used it in the past. She said they only accept it for membership dues, but not tickets or anything else (which would include complete travel arrangements through their travel agency...if I used it). I told them they couldn't take a card for one thing in the store and not another.The manager came over and confirmed they wouldn't take it for the ticket.

I left the tickets and walked out. I called the main AAA number from my cell on the way home and asked if they would take Amex and they said of course. I asked why they wouldn't at that store and she thought I was joking. It took a couple of minutes to get her to understand the problem because she couldn't believe what I was telling her. She said hold on and called them herself. They gave her the same crap and she got pissed with them. She felt bad she had me on hold so long (only 5 minutes) and she would like to call me back with a followup.

About 2 hours later I get a voicemail from her that they "sorted it out" and "retrained" the folks at the office, I could now go and purchase them there, and she was sorry. I also get a voicemail from the office manager saying that they were informed by corporate that although they haven't in the past, they now accept Amex for all their purchases and to come in.

I go into the AAA store again about 3 days later and the same thing happens. I tell her that I have a voicemail from her manager and she asks one of the other tellers. That woman tells her "oh yes, remember, they changed the policy last week and they now take it."

It was so clear that the manager of that office was refusing it. I wonder how many tickets, complete vacations, etc people weren't able to put on their Amex card. I will say I was VERY pleased with the AAA corporate customer service (although I am no longer a member these days)..which was good because my next call was going to be to Amex.
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Old Oct 29, 19, 10:34 am
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Originally Posted by mtofell View Post
I was just at a conference and they were discussing the issue of adding CC charges separately. The people there said it's currently a state by state issue in the US but thought some point it would be solved and be consistent nationwide.
California DMV - for online transactions - does charge a separate fee as a line item additional to your transaction. It's new and they didn't have it last year. V/MC only, 2.1% pretty lame. They charge it for using a debit card too!

If you go in person for a transaction they accept debit or MO only. no fees for those.

They seem to have a tremendous problem with vehicle owners bouncing checks to them
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Old Oct 29, 19, 10:37 am
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Originally Posted by rasheed View Post
And I believe Square charges the same regardless of the credit card type...so not accepting AmEx makes no sense.

AmEx's last investor call also indicated that they were getting to parity on acceptance in the US. This is primarily because there appears to be some sort of matching going on with rates via their OptBlue program. I actually think the OptBlue program allowed them to compensate the acquirer company more easily so when you turned on your merchant account you got the AmEx option pretty much ready to go.

https://www.hostmerchantservices.com...lue-rate-grid/

I don't know if AmEx charges more regularly anymore for the type of merchant that would complain about the issue.
It could also be that merchant reluctance to accept Amex may also come from the chargeback procedures rather than just outright discount rates.
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Old Oct 29, 19, 11:07 am
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Originally Posted by akr1970akr View Post
California DMV - for online transactions - does charge a separate fee as a line item additional to your transaction. It's new and they didn't have it last year. V/MC only, 2.1% pretty lame. They charge it for using a debit card too!

If you go in person for a transaction they accept debit or MO only. no fees for those.

They seem to have a tremendous problem with vehicle owners bouncing checks to them
Just renewed my driver's license here in Seattle (in person) - - when it came time to pay, the agent had me verbally agree to such a surcharge before the transaction.
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Old Oct 29, 19, 11:35 am
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Originally Posted by akr1970akr View Post
California DMV - for online transactions - does charge a separate fee as a line item additional to your transaction. It's new and they didn't have it last year. V/MC only, 2.1% pretty lame. They charge it for using a debit card too!
Not only new, but it wasn't there a few weeks ago. I believe the surcharge rate listed on debit is illegal (exceeds the cost of taking cards). I think when they starting doing the surcharge, they got into an issue with the AmEx agreement about it.

https://sacramento.cbslocal.com/2019...t-credit-card/

To see AmEx be removed from the most populous state with the most amount of cars is not a good deal. Registration in California is not cheap and went higher as voters did pass the additional taxes in the last general election.
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Old Oct 29, 19, 11:41 am
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Originally Posted by akr1970akr View Post
California DMV - for online transactions - does charge a separate fee as a line item additional to your transaction. It's new and they didn't have it last year. V/MC only, 2.1% pretty lame. They charge it for using a debit card too!
Originally Posted by rasheed View Post
Not only new, but it wasn't there a few weeks ago.
FWIW I renewed a CA vehicle registration on Oct 16 and the fees were in place I paid via EFT.
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Old Oct 29, 19, 4:29 pm
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Just want to point out that in June the Supreme Court sided with Amex that merchants cannot steer customers to other cards when they actually accept Amex. They have to either accept Amex or not, none of this "we prefer" or "we'll give you a discount" type of thing. They can do that for cash or debit, but they are not allowed to give you a discount to steer you to Visa, for example (because it violates the Amex T&C, which the Supreme Court upheld as a lawful contract the merchant is entering into).

https://www.npr.org/2018/06/25/62331...antitrust-case
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Old Oct 29, 19, 9:20 pm
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Massachusetts Dept of Fish and Game hides the fee as part of a convenience fee for being able to buy fishing/hunting/trapping licenses online to skirt the percentage rule. Otherwise, to get one in person, one would have to go to a store offering them, and unless it's a WalMart, they'd most likely be cash only as it's a zero commission service.
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Old Oct 29, 19, 9:30 pm
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Originally Posted by jeeden View Post
A few years ago I went into a AAA store to buy Disney tickets for about 10 people for 3 days (a pretty good chunk of change). The Amex logo was on the front door and I can recall in the past using Amex for our membership dues, paying for tickets over the phone, etc and AAA is not exactly a mom and pop operation.

Anyway, I find out I need to walk to the back travel counter to get the tickets. I go back there and ask for all these Disney passes and give her my AAA card. She gives me the total and I give her the Amex card. She tells me they don't take Amex. I told her that they did, the sticker is on the door and I have used it in the past. She said they only accept it for membership dues, but not tickets or anything else (which would include complete travel arrangements through their travel agency...if I used it). I told them they couldn't take a card for one thing in the store and not another.The manager came over and confirmed they wouldn't take it for the ticket.

I left the tickets and walked out. I called the main AAA number from my cell on the way home and asked if they would take Amex and they said of course. I asked why they wouldn't at that store and she thought I was joking. It took a couple of minutes to get her to understand the problem because she couldn't believe what I was telling her. She said hold on and called them herself. They gave her the same crap and she got pissed with them. She felt bad she had me on hold so long (only 5 minutes) and she would like to call me back with a followup.

About 2 hours later I get a voicemail from her that they "sorted it out" and "retrained" the folks at the office, I could now go and purchase them there, and she was sorry. I also get a voicemail from the office manager saying that they were informed by corporate that although they haven't in the past, they now accept Amex for all their purchases and to come in.

I go into the AAA store again about 3 days later and the same thing happens. I tell her that I have a voicemail from her manager and she asks one of the other tellers. That woman tells her "oh yes, remember, they changed the policy last week and they now take it."

It was so clear that the manager of that office was refusing it. I wonder how many tickets, complete vacations, etc people weren't able to put on their Amex card. I will say I was VERY pleased with the AAA corporate customer service (although I am no longer a member these days)..which was good because my next call was going to be to Amex.
IMO you should have reported the whole story to AmEx and also called AAA headquarters again about the behavior of your local office.

If a place tells me that they don't/won't accept AmEx, I walk out, even if they have already rung up a big order on the "cash register." Of course, you can't do this so easily if you've already eaten the meal, etc.
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Old Oct 30, 19, 12:02 am
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Originally Posted by rasheed View Post
And I believe Square charges the same regardless of the credit card type...so not accepting AmEx makes no sense.
I agree that it doesn't make sense; it was my assessment that their old point of sale didn't accept Amex and they (owner? cashier?) didn't understand the capabilities of Square.
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Old Oct 30, 19, 9:19 am
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I had this happen only once that I recall, at the dry cleaners. There was a little handwritten sign at the register. As I recall the cashier said the Amex processing rate went up and that they were switching to a new processing service that won't run Amex at all. But in the meantime management had told them not to take Amex even though the machine would accept it. Of course I couldn't just walk away unless I didn't want to retrieve my clothes, but in any event I had Visa and MC cards to use instead. I guess if it was truly temporary as stated, that's not as bad as the other situations in this thread where it's an ongoing issue. I only need dry cleaning maybe a few times a year at most so I don't know for sure how long it was like that.
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Old Oct 30, 19, 9:30 am
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Originally Posted by 84fiero View Post
I had this happen only once that I recall, at the dry cleaners. There was a little handwritten sign at the register. As I recall the cashier said the Amex processing rate went up and that they were switching to a new processing service that won't run Amex at all. But in the meantime management had told them not to take Amex even though the machine would accept it. Of course I couldn't just walk away unless I didn't want to retrieve my clothes, but in any event I had Visa and MC cards to use instead. I guess if it was truly temporary as stated, that's not as bad as the other situations in this thread where it's an ongoing issue. I only need dry cleaning maybe a few times a year at most so I don't know for sure how long it was like that.
The processing rate is part of the cost of doing business and unless you were advised when dropping off your clothes that AmEx would no longer be accepted, IMO you had a right to pay via AmEx. It's not OK to temporarily violate the terms of their contract, even if you're only a customer several times a year. I would have reported them to AmEx and never gone back to that establishment.
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