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In customer service hell for a closed Amex Corporate card

In customer service hell for a closed Amex Corporate card

Old May 5, 22, 6:53 pm
  #1  
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In customer service hell for a closed Amex Corporate card

Truthfully, I'm hoping that an Amex lurker will pick this up, because I'm running out of idea. Believe it or not, this is the short version.

I left my previous employer in 2019 and, when I left, I closed my Amex card that had a zero balance. The only thing "outstanding" was a credit from a plane ticket that I had purchased, since the company dumped me before I had a chance to use it. Delta would not refund it to the credit card. Rather, they would only hold it as a credit in my Delta account. Fine, we'll count the $890 as additional severance (I contacted my previous employer, but the company didn't want to bother with it.).

Fast forward to February, 2022. The credit still hasn't been used and Delta has kept carrying it over because of COVID. Here's where the fun starts. We had tried to use the credit in December, 2021, but had to cancel the trip at the last minute, due to COVID. Delta agreed that the whole thing was futile and agreed to refund our money for the tickets, which was above and beyond (Technically, they only had to give us a Delta credit.). What I didn't know is that all of the "pieces" would go back to the original forms of payment. What we paid out of pocket went to my personal card. But the $890 went back to the corporate card, which has now been closed for almost three years.

The $890 sat as a credit on the (closed) corporate card for a month or two before Amex just sent a check for the balance, which went to my previous employer. The card then had a zero balance. Then, for reasons that surpass my understanding, Delta tried to pull back the credit. Maybe they had been told that it had been sent to a closed card. I'm not sure. Now, there is an $890 balance on the card. Keep in mind that I found all of this out later by piecing together future conversations. At the time, I had no idea that this was going on.

And then the calls started. In the past two weeks, I have now been called nine times by Amex asking for payment on the card. I tried to explain that I had no idea what this charge was (at the beginning, I hadn't yet figured out what was going on). In fact, I thought the whole thing was a scam until I called the number on the back of my card and indeed, they saw the balance, as well. After the first or second call, I started to piece it all together, since the $890 sounded familiar. The Amex rep said he would call my former employer and not to worry about it.

The calls continued. Every couple of days, they would call me to ask about payment. They told me that they had tried calling my previous company but that nobody was calling them back, so they called me. I told them to stop bothering me, so they stopped calling my cell number and started calling my home number. Tonight, the rep told me that he could remove my home number, but I would still be responsible for the charge if my previous employer never called them back or paid them. In that case, they'd just ding my credit rating without telling me.

Amex refuses to send me anything in writing. They also refuse to give me the account number on the credit card, which leaves them in the position of telling me that I owe them something but not giving me an account number. I tried to dispute the charge, but the dispute department wouldn't take it, since the card was cancelled so long ago and it technically isn't mine (No idea what that means, but I assume that they're saying that my previous employer needs to dispute it, which sounds odd to me.). Multiple people from disputes have given me the same story.

I've asked for a supervisor. Sometimes they call me back, sometimes they don't. On a previous call, a supervisor had told me that it had been resolved and I didn't need to worry about it. And by "resolved," it turns out that he meant I'd go 3 whole days before they called me again.

I'm turning to a CFPB complaint now, but there's not a lot I can think to do, otherwise. Any suggestions?

Mike
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Old May 5, 22, 7:12 pm
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How can delinquency on a corporate card affect your personal credit score?

Sorry, that's only one of my many thoughts after reading your story. I'm really sorry you're going through that--it sounds like you've done nothing wrong except MAYBE using that credit as "additional severance", but I could see almost anyone doing the same. It sounds like your former employer was quite the clown car of a place!
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Old May 5, 22, 11:53 pm
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Originally Posted by mikeef View Post
.... I closed my Amex card ....the corporate card,.... the (closed) corporate card ....
Was this a Corporate card or a Business card? These are distinct product types.
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Old May 6, 22, 7:13 am
  #4  
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Originally Posted by DJ_Iceman View Post
How can delinquency on a corporate card affect your personal credit score?
Read here: https://www.americanexpress.com/cont...ty-2020-10.pdf
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Old May 6, 22, 7:27 am
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This is complicated, I hope you still have friendly contacts with your former employer that you can leverage. Seems as if you will need to get the business involved.

Good luck, I know how frustrating this can be I still have some entanglements with a former employer regarding tax services and it can be complicated post employment.
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Old May 6, 22, 7:39 am
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Thanks all, for the encouragement.

@DJ_Iceman, they told me that I had joint liability with the corporation if it didn't get paid. I know that they do have my social security number on file for it. When I was summarily booted out of the office on my last day, I asked them what they wanted me to do with the credit and they told me to keep it, since it was too much of a bother to figure out a way to get it to them. On the plus side, I did grab the large jar of pistachio nuts from the snack area and walk out the door with them.*

@mia, corporate card. I worked for a very large international bank.

@catlike, sadly, no. it was three years ago and most of the people that I knew are gone.

Some good news, though. I sent an email to the CEO of Amex last night after writing this. At about 10pm, I got an email back, saying "I'll have someone look into this in the morning. -Steve". Impressive.

Mike

*After I got home that day, I showed my wife the jar of pistachio nuts and explained what happened. Her response? "Why didn't you take the cashew nuts? I like those better."
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Old May 6, 22, 8:08 am
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Originally Posted by mikeef View Post
....
@mia, corporate card. ....
Thank you, I have edited the thread title to minimize confusion.
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Old May 6, 22, 1:01 pm
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Well, I learn something new every day (in this case, that an individual's credit score can be impacted by problems with a corporate card).

And, mikeef , I agree with your wife on the cashews vs. pistachios but admire your chutzpah regardless!
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Old May 6, 22, 5:39 pm
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I've read the OP several times and I'm still confused.

So Delta eventually pulled back the credit.

So you didn't get it, your former employer didn't get it.

Have you contacted Delta to say "I'm expected to pay for a credit that you took back"?

I originally thought your former employer had it, and no matter how nasty your leaving was, and no matter how you don't "know" anyone any more, I thought that you could still contact them and have the (new, improved) accounting people ferret this out.

Of the triangulation, you seem to be concentrating on Amex, but maybe contacting Delta and your old employer might get to the bottom of this. Everyone keeps records.
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Old May 7, 22, 8:57 pm
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Originally Posted by Eujeanie View Post
I've read the OP several times and I'm still confused.

So Delta eventually pulled back the credit.

So you didn't get it, your former employer didn't get it.

Have you contacted Delta to say "I'm expected to pay for a credit that you took back"?

I originally thought your former employer had it, and no matter how nasty your leaving was, and no matter how you don't "know" anyone any more, I thought that you could still contact them and have the (new, improved) accounting people ferret this out.

Of the triangulation, you seem to be concentrating on Amex, but maybe contacting Delta and your old employer might get to the bottom of this. Everyone keeps records.
Sorry, I'm still piecing it together myself. I still have yet to talk to anyone who can give me 100% of the story. Best as I can tell:

1. Delta refunded the ticket to the card. The card now has an $890 credit.
2. Amex sends a check to my former employer for the credit. The card now has zero dollars.
3. Around the time Amex sends the check, or shortly thereafter, Delta says, oops, my bad, and pulls back the credit. The card now "owes" $890.

In theory, there is a check for $890 somewhere in the world that my former employer probably cashed. That's where Delta's money is.

The issue with calling my former employer is finding the right person. My entire group got shot at once, so the silo I worked with is all gone. Eventually, I got the name of the person who handles the corporate relationship and explained what happened. He responded to me once and then I never heard from him again (Yes, I've tried several times to get in touch with him.).

I also called Delta. They would not let me speak to the payables department, but I'm not entirely sure that it would do me much good. I suppose that maybe somebody could tell me why they pulled back the credit, but, even if I could find a way to talk to somebody in the accounting group they'll claim that they charged Amex, Amex accepted the charge and that's that.

My main beef is with Amex. Why on earth did they take a charge, or a credit, for that matter, for a closed card? Why won't they send me something in writing, with my account number, explaining that I owe them money? What, exactly, do they expect me to do about this situation (I know, either pay the bill or get my former company to do so.)? I'm thinking of formally changing my name to Josef K.

Mike
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Old May 7, 22, 11:22 pm
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Originally Posted by mikeef View Post
That's where Delta's money is.
This is where Amex's money is, not Delta's. Currently Delta seems to be "up" $890, with Amex out of pocket by $890 (but only if the check is cashed). Maybe if the check is not cashed after 6 months, then it will be cancelled and the Amex account will go back into being owed/owing $0
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Old May 8, 22, 1:24 am
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Originally Posted by Eujeanie View Post

Of the triangulation, you seem to be concentrating on Amex, but maybe contacting Delta and your old employer might get to the bottom of this. Everyone keeps records.
When I read the OP’s story, I was trying to imagine having to contact anyone at a certain former employer about an issue like this. It was a mega corp, I had a corporate Amex, and three years after leaving (on good terms) I still keep it listed online in my Amex account (as closed) because I am paranoid about needing to somehow access the records (not sure actually what I can still access).

True, everyone keeps records, but not everyone is responsive or helpful. Many years ago, I noticed that my twice-a-month direct deposits had increased by several hundred bucks. No raise that I was aware of, so I downloaded the paystubs from the HR system and found some additional credit entry with a cryptic identifier that told me nothing. Email to payroll… no reply. Email again, nothing. Email to HR rep, she said she would look into it. Weeks pass, direct deposits continue, no resolution. Another email to HR rep, no reply. Talked to my manager, he has no idea what it is or how to track it down. Remember, this is me receiving more money each pay period without explanation. In the end (after three or four months), I sent a brief email to the global VP of HR (skipping about seven levels of management in the HR/Payroll hierarchy), and that finally resulted in the payroll clerk I had reached out to initially to look into it. Turns out I was for some reason receiving short term disability payments (SDI) meant for another employee (who presumably didn’t get their payments the entire time). Then it took them another month or so to figure out how to reverse the payments (they wanted some sort of payment plan, I just wrote them a check). They were never able to reverse everything completely because some of the extra money had been flowing into my ESPP and been used to purchase stock shares.

Long story short, large corporate bureaucracies aren’t necessarily responsive to employee requests.. and I can only imagine where they would file a former employee’s request.

Not sure what advice to offer to the OP if the Amex CEO route doesn’t work. If CFPB complaint doesn’t help, I would probably be tempted to pay Amex to avoid damaging my relationship with them and then turn around ask for reimbursement in writing from my former employer. That would probably get ignored, and then I might actually enjoy suing them in small claims court.
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Old May 8, 22, 10:30 am
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Originally Posted by notquiteaff View Post
Not sure what advice to offer to the OP if the Amex CEO route doesnt work. If CFPB complaint doesnt help, I would probably be tempted to pay Amex to avoid damaging my relationship with them and then turn around ask for reimbursement in writing from my former employer. That would probably get ignored, and then I might actually enjoy suing them in small claims court.
Except the money was theirs in the first place ...

Sounds like an Amex issue. This card has been closed for 3 years ...

Easiest solution might be to ask Delta to re-initiate the refund. The promised it and now their reversal is causing the issue. At least I would imagine Delta to be more responsive than any of the other parties.
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Old May 9, 22, 3:48 pm
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Originally Posted by cfischer View Post
Except the money was theirs in the first place ...

Sounds like an Amex issue. This card has been closed for 3 years ...

Easiest solution might be to ask Delta to re-initiate the refund. The promised it and now their reversal is causing the issue. At least I would imagine Delta to be more responsive than any of the other parties.
We have some progress! Somebody from my previous employer (Yup, megacorporation) finally connected the dots and triangulated with me and Amex. Employee from previous employer found the Concur charges (of course it was Concur! ) and got the refund check number from Amex. The check had been cashed. Now, she's working on getting my former employer to pay Delta, but that's no longer my concern, since she's acknowledged that they owe Amex the money.

Whew! Hope this is the end. Thanks for the moral support!

Mike
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Old May 12, 22, 8:58 am
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Well, that was fun. Got another call last night and now I just feel bad for the people on the other end of the phone. Didn't help that they called while I was at a Celtics game -- apparently, it's hard to find a quiet spot in a stadium of 17,000 people.

Started with the standard inquiries about the bills outstanding. I kindly not-so-kindly got pretty ticked off with the poor agent, but it didn't help that he hadn't read any of the notes on my account prior to calling me, which had instructions to leave me alone. Truthfully, I have no idea if they have access to the notes on my account before calling me, but enough is enough. He read through the notes and said, oops, my bad, it does say to leave you alone.

Followed up with the email from last week to the CEO, since I had never heard anything from his office. Also sent a request to the American Express guy who was cc:ed on the email from my former employer. Assured the CEO that I figure he has better things to do than answer my emails, but he seems to be the only one who bothers to write back. A few hours later, I had an email from the executive customer service telling me that they would have an answer by Tuesday, as well as an apologetic email from my previous employer.

Best as I can tell, Amex isn't doing anything illegal, just highly, highly annoying. And really, at this point, it's all about having a good story. But I'm really starting to feel like the apocryphal soap guy.

Mike
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