Mariah Nunn has been a loyal American Express cardmember for the last quarter century. When she heard the line, “Don’t leave home without it,” she took it to mean Amex would never leave her either, especially when she was out of the country. But she was wrong.
Nunn, who now lives in Italy, had her card stolen recently. Then she missed a payment. And then she discovered that more than 25 years of loyalty to American Express were meaningless.
I called to cancel the stolen card on April 5. They were very friendly and told me not to worry, a new card was being issued immediately. Look for it within the week.
Two weeks later I called to say it had not arrived. Apologies, apologies, sending it right out. Watch for it in the next week. Another two weeks passed. Today I called again to be passed to three different people only to find out that they have canceled my card completely. No reissue. The lady tells me it is for inactivity.
I was told, sorry, if you would like to re-apply for a card, I can transfer you, but your credit history with us is gone. American Express abandoned me in Italy. Can you help me?
I asked Amex to take a look at Nunn’s case. A representative responded to her by e-mail:
I deeply regret any inconvenience you have experienced with the Account listed above. Our records reflect where the Annual Membership was not paid within the terms of the Cardmember Agreement; therefore the Account was cancelled as Inactive.
Unfortunately, due to the amount of time that has elapsed we are unable to reinstate this Account and must ask that you apply for a new account in the country in which you reside.
Ms. Nunn, please trust that we would never take any action to intentionally damage our valued relationship. Thank you for taking the time to advise us of this matter.
It’s no secret that American Express is trying to get rid of some cardholders. But this may not be the most customer-friendly way of doing it.
Nunn is taking it in stride.
I have decided to look at my canceled card with American Express as a gift. It’s like showing up to the dock only to find out that because I am wearing red my ticket has been revoked. At first I am incredulous, but after the Titanic sails without me, I have a nice lunch in a little nearby pub.
Not only has American Express lost its mind but it is in dangerous waters with the masses.
I think Nunn will find plenty of readers who will agree with her.