Reidun Gauger and her husband Georg have been loyal Northwest Airlines customers and American Express cardholders since 1972. So when they were offered 50,000 each from Amex during their transition to a Delta awards card, the couple jumped at the chance.
They should have read the fine print. Amex withdrew its verbal offer when the Gaugers tried to collect their points, leading to a series of heated exchanges between the company and its customers.
Reidun explains what happened. It all started with a sentiment a lot of credit card users have felt lately: confusion.
We didn’t know which card to use, now that Northwest is becoming Delta. We called American Express.
The man was very friendly, looked up my husbands name and information and said: You have been a customer in good standing since 1972 and we are offering you 50,000 miles if you sign up for this card. Also, your wife will get the 50,000 miles as well.
He took a lot of information from us. Then we anxiously checked our statement — and we had only been given 15,000 miles.
We immediately called American Express and asked them why we didn’t get the 50,000. They said sometimes it doesn’t come all at once. They did file a complaint for us and we received a letter, explaining that we only got 15,000. I sent a letter back to them and called them. They promised to get back to us within 10 days.
It is more than 10 days and we have not heard back from them. I am very disappointed in American Express. I didn’t think they would use a scam like this to induce us to get a new card.
I contacted American Express to get its side of the story. Gauger heard back from the company almost immediately. It called the couple and followed up with a letter claiming that they were “unable to confirm” that they made a 50,000-mile bonus offer.
At that point, it was the Gauger’s word against American Express. I was afraid the company wouldn’t budge.
But Gauger refused to take “no” for an answer, and phoned American Express to protest the denial.
I got someone in Tuscon, Arizona, and she confirmed that we both were offered the 50,000 bonus miles from American Express Skymiles card. Problem solved. Thank you for your part.
What a bizarre case. Why would Amex offer a 50,000-mile bonus, then withdraw it, then deny it made the offer and then reinstate it? These don’t seem like the actions of a rational company.
I guess if there’s any lesson to be learned here, it’s that “no” is never the final answer. Keep asking until you’re happy.
(Photo: jontintinjordan/Flickr Creative Commons)