Proof Positive that Amex Chat Is Pretty Much Useless!

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Proof Positive that Amex Chat Is Pretty Much Useless!

If you remember about a month ago I thought American Express made my morning.  They had sent me an email saying that they owed me points and that they would be on the way shortly.  I had read about this happening but this was a first for me.  I wasn’t sure if I should be excited or if it would be like a restaurant purchase on my Aspire not coding properly etc.  Before I got too excited I reached out to Amex chat to see how many points I could be expecting and what they were for.

For some reason American Express didn’t think that was pertinent information to put in the email.  I was told I would need to wait until my next statement cut to see the points and that the agent wasn’t able to see that info at this time.  It turns out that this statement and ones that followed are proof positive that Amex chat is pretty much useless!

Why Amex Chat Is Pretty Much Useless

This whole thing essentially boils down to the fact that Amex chat agents don’t know what they are talking about most of the time, at least in my experience.  Instead of saying I don’t know they just kind of make up stuff on the spot.  This wasn’t the first time I ran into incompetence with chat agents, one closed down the wrong card when I tried to do it over chat.  To make matters worse it was one that I had just opened 3 months earlier, maybe that is why I get the Amex Pop Up?  This isn’t the first time and it probably won’t be the last time I have a run in with an incompetent Amex chat agent.

First Chat Agent

In this recent go around I took the first agent’s word for it and waited a month until my statement cut.  Once it did I noticed that no points posted to my account…shocking (not).  Being the lazy person I am I fired up chat again rather than call in because it is quicker. I admit now that was a mistake.

Second Chat Agent

After going back and forth with the second agent for a while and finally getting him to understand what I was talking about he said he needed to look into it.  I waited for 5-10 minutes while he did his sleuthing.  When he came back he said the missing points were for 3 referrals that were owed to me.  I immediately got excited and asked, so I am owed 75,000 points?  He replied yes that is correct.  I then asked when they were supposed to post and he said that they sent them to Hilton on June 28th.  He also said I should reach out to them to see if that was the case.

Off to Hilton I Go

After I got off my 75K fueled cloud nine I fired up Twitter.  I reached out to the trusty Hilton Twitter team, who I know can take care of business.  They said there was nothing on their end and that they don’t show any pending activity from Amex, as I kind of expected they would.

Finally Picking Up the Phone

I was over chat at this point and finally decided to get my social skills in gear and call in. I explained the situation to the agent and she said she needed a while to look into all of this.  She said that the 28th was when the email was sent but she doesn’t see anything about points. I could instantly tell that she was extremely competent…don’t you love when you get that feeling with a phone agent?  That same feeling is what got me to sign up for a Hilton time share a few weeks back.

After a 15 minute hold she came back and laid it all out for me, completely crushing my spirit in the process. She said the letter was because they put 10,000 points on a previous statement for my retention offer but didn’t send out the points until a few days later. Uh What?!?

She apologized and said it wasn’t really worth sending a letter but they had to by law.

Final Thoughts

This was an epic fail on American Express’ part and a waste of time for me. Let’s start with: why not put all of this info in the email?  Why make it seem like some points are still on their way?  Amex had already posted the points so tell me that and tell me that they were delayed etc, a pretty easy solution.

Getting past that part this whole thing just shows how clueless the Amex chat agents are.  And it shows that they will just make things up on the fly whenever they don’t know the answer.  What a terrible idea! If you don’t know then tell me that and say that I should call in.  Why pretend like you know what is going on?  It is a customer service fail at the highest level.

This whole situation, plus some in the past, make me realize that Amex chat is pretty much useless.  I will be calling in from now on and wasting 15 minutes on the phone.  Some great customer service for a $450 card right there!

 

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25 COMMENTS

  1. Chat confirmed I have an upgrade offer to Hilton Aspire when I upgraded in May. I’m still waiting for my upgrade bonus which have not showed up after a week or so meeting minimum spend. I think I’ll reach out to twitter Hilton team.

    • Yeah usually Hilton/Delta points post pretty quickly. My recent Delta one took a little longer than usual and they said I was short of my spend when I showed I was $200 over so you may wanna ask Amex Chat to see if you have reached the required spend first. Hilton will just tell you to go back to Amex.

  2. Maybe Platinum accounts get different agents. I am yet to EVER have to call in after working with their awesome chat agents. They can do everything a phone agent can, and are not some robot or someone in a far away land. I have nothing but excellent service from them any way I have contacted them. Truly a significant step above Chase and Citi who is not even remotely close.

    • I have had Platinum accounts when running into some of these issues so I don’t think that matters. I think it depends on the complexity of the issue and then luck of the draw from there too.

      I have found Chase reps to be more helpful and honest overall.

  3. After I opened my Aspire card (shortly after it’s launch), I had to follow up with AMEX re. the improper handling of how the card was opened/processed which ended up being a lengthy, multi-conversation outreach over time via the phone to get everything taken care of. But my initial outreach was via chat…and that proved to be useless. The reason: the agent told me they couldn’t help with anything to do with my account once it had been opened, that I would have to call and talk to someone that handles things like closures, upgrades, credits, etc. They could only answer questions related to the product itself. Since then, I have never used the feature before. Completely useless.

    • I think they made that up too since I have had chat agents cancel my accounts. Just more proof that they say whatever they want – crazy!

  4. Many here, if not most, know the ins and outs of the points and miles game, including the details and benefits of each credit card they hold in their wallet. I think chat lines are overloaded with many inexperienced staff, tasked with handling multiple chats at one time, that are only fair at answering basic questions but not always the unique details of the credit card in question. One only needs to review the details of each benefit the lawyers have written into the agreement, replete with footnotes, to know how complicated this can be to new and unseasoned staff.

  5. I have had 100% opposite effect and in fact, I glorify how excellent their chat is. You chat with actual real people who speak in real language you can understand. This is not chatting with someone in a far away land who has no concept of what you are saying. Or worse yet, some bot like on Amazon. AmEx has real people and from my experience on multiple occasions, can get everything done over chat that would otherwise involve a phone call. I am yet to ever have to make a phone call or have any further actions after working on issues with their excellent chat agents. They are far and above in a league of their own and significantly better than any other brand out there.

    Perhaps you just had a dose of bad luck with them. I think Citi’s chat is mostly useless, and Chase’s email is positively unequivocally 100% useless in every possible regard.

  6. AmEx Platinum, in my view, is the credit card version of being Bonvoyed.

    And I’ve been AmEx’d far too many times in recent months to let this continue. I’m done, and cannot wait until my conversation with a retention specialist who will get the privilege of cancelling all 7 of my cards.

    I truly think they should change their lounge WiFi password from “Member Since” to “Cancelled On”…

    • Who are you taking all of your spend too? Chase?

      I wish someone else would come up with a competitive grocery store bonus.

      • I have the US Bank Altitude Reserve and shop at a grocery store that takes Apple Pay – which means a 4.7% return if I spend points on travel.

        Here is my arsenal:

        Any vendor that takes Apple Pay = 4.7% (as described above)
        Gas = 4% with Citibank Costco, unless a rotating 5% card is better for a particular quarter
        Dining = 4.5% with Chase SR when spent on Travel
        Chase Freedom 5% categories become 7.5% for me when I transfer points to Chase SR
        Car rentals = Chase SR 4.5% (and with primary insurance!)
        Hotels, Air Travel = Chase SR or US Bank AR
        Everything else not covered above – Fidelity 2%

        I am paying annual fees for Chase SR and US Bank AR, but it’s not hard to cover those given all the benefits. Plus, with Apply Pay (and similar methods) becoming more popular, I find that I’m using that more and more (e.g., Costco) and finding fewer times where I need to resort to “only” 2% with Fidelity.

        Given the above, I have no problem finding better places for my spend then AmEx.

        • Having Apple Pay at your grocery store is a good one! The store I use most often doesn’t have it yet 🙁

  7. Sorry for your experience, but Hands Down, any Amex card is a great card to have for a multitude of reasons. They sent a card to me in Israel when the account was compromised. My experience with chat, with any credit card or any other website is like you said, USELESS. I very rarely use the chat feature unless it’s a very simple inquiry. Otherwise, in my experience, it is always best to speak to a live human and take notes, beginning with CSR’s name, the date and time. My notes, w/ specific details have come to the rescue countless times. Yes, it’s a pain to have to do that, but if you don’t stand up, no one will do it for you. Forget chat, pick up the phone, and hope that you get a competent CSR. If the CSR isn’t being helpful, request to speak to a supervisor. When I feel my blood pressure going up, that’s the time I ask for a supervisor.

  8. I found Amex chat to be quite helpful and competent in getting “airfare” reimbursement bon my Gold card. Took a few minutes and then a couple of days for the $100 credit to post.

  9. My “button smashing” has only resulted in being disconnected and increased “road rage” on my part …..:-)

  10. I used to do that a lot more but bit by bit, I find some companies (not just banks) systems will simply say they do not recognize input and hang up on me. But it’s not a bad idea to try, either.

  11. Mark, I gave up on chat with about ANY of the credit card companies, as well as other companies. I use the phone. Once I get to where it can do voice recognition (Nowadays, most of them) I just repeatedly yell (Yes, yell. some systems respond to this) something along the lines of “I WANT TO SPEAK TO A F***ING REPRESENTATIVE!”

    Amazingly, it does seem to help speed me to a human (of varying competence). I am not bothered by swearing at a robot because if using a machine to deal with me instead of a human is all a company wants to do, why should I treat their machine any better.

  12. I agree that chat is useless. I’d rather go through the torture of using an automated line to get to live agent. What I like about my Chase Sapphire card over AMEX is that I can call the automated number and just wait for agent, who usually picks up in seconds.

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