The 1 Thing You Need to Avoid When Using Amex Chat: It Might Have Cost Me Thousands of Miles

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american express chat problem

Amex Chat Mishap May Cost Me Thousands

American Express and I generally have a positive relationship. I love their lounges, Amex Offers is my fav and their customer service is fairly good compared to their competitors. The one area they lag behind is in communication. I really love the secure message system setup by other banks. It is simple, easy and there is a permanent record that is easily accessible.

Unfortunately American Express did away with their secure messaging in lieu of a chat system. This is probably better in some ways, although I would prefer to have both. Sometimes I don’t want to go back and forth with an agent, but alas I have no choice with Amex.

Confirming A Bonus

american express chat problem
To start a chat with American Express, click “Help” on the top once logged in and then “Start Live Chat” under “Online” as shown.

As I have written and suggested several times before, I always confirm all requirements for a bonus are met once I believe I have completed them. This assures that the bank and myself are on the same page. I normally accomplish this via secure message, but with Amex I have to hop on chat.  I recently did this and was given misinformation. I’ll explain a bit below, but keep in mind I am not trying to complain about American Express, but rather post helpful information.

Amex Chat Annoyances

When I do have to chat with companies I generally try to either get an email of the transcript or I copy and paste it. Unfortunately the Amex system doesn’t allow for copy and paste and they don’t email you. This means you should record the time/date of the chat because Amex does keep records of the entire chat with the exception of one thing.

american express chat problem

When you go to initiate a chat with American Express, it asks you to “provide a short sentence to explain your reason for live chatting today.” It may seem like you want to type your question there, but guess what? Well, according to the supervisor I have been talking to, American Express doesn’t log that information. It should be part of the transcript, but it isn’t.

While I am still trying to work through my issue and thus don’t want to discuss it publicly, my chat started with the agent confirming that he had received my question. He then makes statements based on what I asked, but without the original question, there isn’t any real context and American Express is blaming me.

Enter Your Question Once the Chat Begins

A very simple solution to this is to enter nothing or a simple word into the original screen and then enter your question into the official chat. Like I said, American Express does log that and it will officially be entered into the record.  Had I known this, then my question would have been logged and the conversation would have had the context it needed. This issue might just cost me quite a bit.

Conclusion

There are a few takeaways I think everyone should get from this post. First, it is always a good idea to confirm your bonuses, but be as clear as possible in your request. Second, American Express does keep logs of your chats, so it isn’t a problem for them to pull it up if you don’t have a copy. Third, it doesn’t seem like they have any way to see what you initially ask before a chat begins, so make sure to enter/re-enter it so that it gets logged.

Happy chatting!


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20 COMMENTS

  1. This is what happens with most chat systems. I usually start by typing “here” in the text box :D, the agent replies with a “I understand your concern and will be glad to help you…” AND THEN I will ask my actual question.

    • The agent sees it in their window, but Amex doesn’t log that information. The official chat transcript starts when you are connected with them. Unless the question is reposted in that window, then it isn’t saved. (Or at least that is what I have been told and what I am passing along.)

  2. Even if you can’t copy and paste you can do a screen capture. Ctrl Printer-screen (causing a COPY)and then paste someplace. Of course it may take several screen captures. Or use Snag-it, etc.

    • I have been doing that with Amex chats. Since they can be rather long I generally write a recap statement at the end and get them to confirm and screencap that. I like the Evernote idea from one other commenter. Either way it doesn’t help much without the original question to add context to the entire conversation.

    • Great idea with Evernote. I did confirm they have the entire transcript so I am not as worried about what was said, although I did have some screenshots. Either way, the initial question never shows up which is my main concern. Even if I screenshot that, there is no way that I can prove what the other person read unless I put it in the main chat transcript. Thanks for the Evernote idea!

  3. I’m currently not happy with them myself…I mistakenly used my spg personal card instead of the spg bus card to purchase amex gifts cards online. Within minutes, I contacted them via chat that I used the wrong card and when over limit by $27 they said no problem we approved your purchase its fine. Soon after, I received a email alert that amex flagged me for over limit speeding. I dont know if I should call them to remove this flag or what?

    • What is vague about it? I don’t need to tell you exactly what my issue was because it is irrelevant to the post. People should know that they should always put the question in the actual chat window. This is also a good reminder to confirm bonuses and to be very clear with Amex. My goal was never to air my issues out here, but to help others avoid problems. Thanks as always for your input!

      • I agree it’s unclear why the chat is the issue. Isn’t it more likely that you confirm the bonuses because there’s some loophole you’ve found that’s slightly ambiguous or against the spirit of the bonus and as a result it would be more accurate to say that you probably shouldn’t have gotten the miles for some reason and you asked the question in order to have a record because you weren’t completely positive yourself given the ambiguity?

        • I always confirm the bonus because I want to make sure that the bank qualifies all spend and have written about that several times on this site. My record is consistent on the subject and believe me that I have no need to find a loophole to meet minimum spend. The exact issue with American Express is irrelevant and since it is still being investigated, I don’t feel like airing it out to the whole world. Do know that there is no loophole that I know of and be 100% certain that this post would have never been written if I was doing something shady.

          With that said, I highly value my customer relationship with American Express and feel no need to try to be shady with them. In other words, I wouldn’t read as much into it as you are, but it doesn’t really matter.

  4. Definitely valuable information, thanks. I can only imagine the frustration considering the fact that you’d think it’s being tracked. I mean why else would they ask you? Perhaps they should put a disclosure of “this is off the record” because no one in their right mind would suspect that isn’t part of the chat log record.

  5. This is helpful to know, thanks. I personally *hate* the chat feature they have, and there have been times where I’ve wanted to get help from Amex and chat wasn’t available – guess it will be a phone call then. It would seem that a secure email method is far better for record keeping purposes.

  6. Perhaps even better than recording the date and time: every chat is assigned a chat ID#, which you can request at any point in the chat for future reference.

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