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-   -   What to do about a business that takes AMEX, but employees can't accept it? (https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/american-express-membership-rewards/1992258-what-do-about-business-takes-amex-but-employees-cant-accept.html)

codfather Oct 21, 19 2:57 pm

What to do about a business that takes AMEX, but employees can't accept it?
 
I was at a fast-food restaurant recently that I know takes AMEX because I have used my card there in the past. Today, the cashier told me that he will get in trouble with his boss if he accepts it as a method of payment.

My uncle had a similar experience at a local restaurant when he tried to pay with his corporate card, they told him we don't take AMEX. The waitress said that they get in trouble if they accept it, but he ended up being able to use it because she called her boss and he approved it.

Any idea why a business will "accept" it, but punish employees for allowing it to be used? This makes zero sense to me, and I am tempted to call AMEX and report these businesses to them.

mia Oct 21, 19 3:01 pm


Originally Posted by codfather (Post 31652209)
Any idea why a business will "accept" it, but punish employees for allowing it to be used? .

Yes, the merchant fees are higher (or they think they are higher).

I have paid with American Express using contactless when the cashier insisted that they did not accept it.

codfather Oct 21, 19 3:04 pm


Originally Posted by mia (Post 31652219)
Yes, the merchant fees are higher (or they think they are higher).

I have paid with American Express using contactless when the cashier insisted that they did not accept it.

I know the merchant fees are considerably higher for AMEX over say Visa/MC.

With this in mind, why would they even accept it if they aren't willing to say that they accept it (or allow people to use it)?

If you won't allow your employees to let people use it, perhaps you just shouldn't be accepting it at all.

mia Oct 21, 19 3:10 pm


Originally Posted by codfather (Post 31652221)
.... why would they even accept it if they aren't willing to say that they accept it .

It could be that they have some repeat customers who need to pay with a company card, and they want to accommodate those people but not the general public. The expense account customers may place larger orders for meetings etc.

codfather Oct 21, 19 3:22 pm


Originally Posted by mia (Post 31652237)
It could be that they have some repeat customers who need to pay with a company card, and they want to accommodate those people but not the general public. The expense account customers may place larger orders for meetings etc.

I believe that would be the case with this restaurant, but I don't think the fast-food place has anything like this going on. It is in the food court of my local university, so I can't imagine they have many customers wanting to pay with AMEX anyways.

Next time I am going to try paying with it by inserting it instead of my Visa, as the terminal doesn't require the card type to be specified (I don't think).

Is it worth reporting the business to AMEX? Or will they likely do nothing?

Steve M Oct 21, 19 4:02 pm

I ran into this at a locally-owned independent convenience store. Amex sign on the window, but cashier says that the boss gets mad when they accept it. I explained that I was making a business purchase and needed to use my business Amex in order to get reimbursed, and they relented.

MSPeconomist Oct 21, 19 4:08 pm

If the establishment advertises that they accept AmEx, I insist on paying this way.

Reporting the situation to AmEx can sometimes be effective, or at least you can feel good about having reported the manager's attempts to cheat on the contract they signed with AmEx. IME AmEx is always very grateful that you reported the incident.

davie355 Oct 21, 19 4:12 pm

At one payment counter, I took out my Amex, but noticed the logo stickers by the cash register only showed Visa and MC. I said, "Oh, let me get a different card, I didn't realize you don't take Amex."

The cashier said, "It's ok, we do take Amex. We just prefer not to..."

Visconti Oct 21, 19 4:19 pm

Likewise, have run into this same thing.

Here's what I do. If a restaurant, even if I could see the Amex accepted here sign, I'll ask before being seated if they accept it. If no, then I walk out. Usually, they'll call me back and say they'll accept it. For some larger purchases, especially electronics, I'll just say charge it on my Amex or I'll buy it elsewhere.

Points Scrounger Oct 21, 19 4:26 pm

I seem to recall a restaurant pay at counter situation where the owner was afraid I was tapping my Amex by phone, as though he'd get stuck with its fees if it went through.

I ask at restaurants if not sure. If I saw evidence of Amex acceptance such as a sticker or check-holder, but they refused, I'd report them.

Visconti Oct 21, 19 4:45 pm


Originally Posted by Points Scrounger (Post 31652483)
I ask at restaurants if not sure. If I saw evidence of Amex acceptance such as a sticker or check-holder, but they refused, I'd report them.

I've been to some shops with the Amex accepted signage, only to have them offer me a discount if I were to pay by cash or V/MC.

While I understand and empathize with trying to reduce costs, I don't think these Merchants appreciate how badly this makes them look to their clients/customers. Personally, I wouldn't feel comfortable doing business or dealing with folks who employ these sort of tactics. As to restaurants, it makes me wonder what else they're cutting corners on, if eliminating the small BPS of translation costs is that important to their operation.

codfather Oct 21, 19 4:50 pm


Originally Posted by Visconti (Post 31652533)
I've been to some shops with the Amex accepted signage, only to have them offer me a discount if I were to pay by cash or V/MC.

While I understand and empathize with trying to reduce costs, I don't think these Merchants appreciate how badly this makes them look to their clients/customers. Personally, I wouldn't feel comfortable doing business or dealing with folks who employ these sort of tactics. As to restaurants, it makes me wonder what else they're cutting corners on, if eliminating the small BPS of translation costs is that important to their operation.

Where I am from in Newfoundland and Labrador, we see that often at gas stations in rural locations.

One place out by my cabin has a sign that shows the gas price per litre if you pay with credit, and the cheaper price if you pay with cash/debit. Now I have noticed it missing as of late so I assume somebody reported this to the credit card companies.

mtofell Oct 21, 19 5:10 pm

Terrible implementation of a policy by a business if the employees are telling customers they, "don't want to get in trouble" for taking the card. The business either takes it or it doesn't. I don't accept it for my business and am not even sure what would happen if I tried to process one. Maybe it would go through? I just don't want to pay the merchant fees. Our average amount is around $500 and the Visa/MC % is bad enough. People always seem to find a Visa when they learn we don't take Amex.

codfather Oct 21, 19 5:13 pm


Originally Posted by mtofell (Post 31652612)
Terrible implementation of a policy by a business if the employees are telling customers they, "don't want to get in trouble" for taking the card. The business either takes it or it doesn't. I don't accept it for my business and am not even sure what would happen if I tried to process one. Maybe it would go through? I just don't want to pay the merchant fees. Our average amount is around $500 and the Visa/MC % is bad enough. People always seem to find a Visa when they learn we don't take Amex.

Exactly! I prefer to pay with my Amex because I get a lot more points when I do, but I will just use my Visa without issue if it isn't accepted.

The behaviour demonstrated here though is simply unacceptable...

STVA Oct 21, 19 5:21 pm

I respect a business if they choose to not accept AmEx at all. I have no issue with paying with a Visa card.

However, having an account with AmEx and having the sticker up and not wanting to accept payment via AmEx makes you look pretty pathetic.


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