AMEX Travel/Fine Hotels and Resorts Client Nightmare

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Apr 14, 2020
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We never received confirmation of a hotel booking at one of AMEX's FHR (Fine Hotels and Resorts) Partner Hotels and were unaware that the booking existed until we noticed a charge of $6672.13 from the resort on our AMEX statement. This booking never appeared anywhere in our confirmed "My Trips" folder in our AMEX account which (for the last 10 years) is where all of a client's confirmed past and future AMEX Travel bookings are listed and remain fully accessible to the AMEX client unless a booking is cancelled in which case, it disappears from the list.

This reservation was never listed as a confirmed booking or a past booking anywhere in our AMEX account... we had no idea that the booking existed. We've been dealing with AMEX and disputing this charge since January when we saw the charge appear on our billing statement. We have spent over 10 hours on the phone with AMEX representatives and supervisors in customer service, Platinum Travel Services, and finally AMEX Travel (because apparently, none of the branches are capable of communicating with one another)... so when a client gets transferred, the nightmare of explaining to the next AMEX representative begins all over again. We've had 2 disputes for this charge open with AMEX customer service before we learned that the dispute needed to be filed with AMEX Travel. In order to file a dispute in another department, one must close any open disputes before opening a new dispute for the same issue within another AMEX department. In an attempt to help the AMEX representatives "researching" our dispute to better understand what we believe to be the justified and legitimate reasons for our dispute of the $6672.13 hotel reservation that we are being charged but did not know about, I wrote AMEX a 4 page detailed letter. I don't think a single AMEX representative took a moment to read it. After 3 months and countless hours of time and frustration, on Sunday (after I called AMEX for the promised follow-up that we never received) AMEX informed us that they will look into the software glitch that prevented the booking from ever being reported and appearing in our "My Trips" confirmed and accessible AMEX bookings so that they can try to prevent this from happening again in the future. In the meantime, they expect us to pay nearly $7000 for a 5 night hotel booking that we didn't know about and a booking that never appeared in our confirmed and upcoming travel itineraries. In looking at the actual resort's policy, "no shows" (which we would have been--- because we didn't know about the reservation and didn't show up for it) may be charged a penalty of one night's stay and any applicable taxes and fees. Rather than AMEX advocating for us with their FHR Partner Resort or contacting the AMEX technology department to figure out how an issue such as this happened in the first place, they informed us that we are responsible for the entire cost of the booking. They don't know why we did not receive an official booking itinerary; they don't know why this booking confirmation did not follow standard protocol, but they said that they sent us an email back in August stating that the hotel was booked. Needless to say, we did not receive an email with confirmation of this hotel booking from AMEX and it was certainly never included in any of the HUNDREDS of confirmed and managed bookings in our AMEX account. This is not an issue of sloppy negligence or an obvious oversight... this is an issue in which AMEX's system failed to fully notify a client of a confirmed booking using the standard online booking procedure/protocol. Again, we have booked hundreds of hotel rooms using this system and this is the first time we've ever been faced with such an awful situation in which AMEX refuses to offer any level of understanding or assistance. We asked to speak to a supervisor of the supervisors in the AMEX Travel department and we were told that it would be a minimum of 72 hours before the head supervisor would reach out to us, but the rep with whom we were speaking to on Sunday assured us that his AMEX supervisor would not do any further research or act as our client advocate to help us do any further research behind this issue or help us reach a fair and thoughtful resolution. Needless to say, this is a horrific situation for any consumer--- particularly a longtime AMEX Business Platinum Card Holder who has booked hundreds of reservations over the years with AMEX Travel (and their hotel partners) who have never before filed a dispute or found problems in the system. This matter is made worse every time we have to call AMEX and are transferred countless times to what seem to be untrained, unprofessional, apathetic, and unhelpful AMEX representatives who can't communicate between departments and offer their clients seamless and educated assistance. After 30 years with AMEX we will be cancelling all of our personal and business accounts if this dispute is not resolved without the help of our attorney. With an annual fee of nearly $600 a year to hold this card, we expect far more in terms of customer service than the three-ring circus we've been dealing with over the last three months. We can't believe that this is the best "customer care" that AMEX Business Platinum can provide and we are hopeful that an AMEX lead administrator is able to help us reach a fair and thoughtful resolution for our dispute.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
23,486
23,437
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New York
www.promalvacations.com
Unfortunately this is a business to business issue which we don’t advocate.

We have a company contacts page - you can find phone numbers for executives at AMEX you can try appealing to.

Here is a list of things we do and don’t advocate:
 
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Reactions: Patina
Jul 13, 2016
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I feel your pain, but one thing to watch for is being too verbose. No one is going to read that 4 page letter. Their eyes may glaze over at 4 paragraphs.
Did you actually make the booking? If so, then why didn't you inquire when you did not see a confirmation email?
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
9,919
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San Francisco
I'm sorry that I was not able to finish reading your post. Even after many paragraphs, I still don't know where this reservation originated. I don't know if you know where it originated. I agree with my colleagues, nobody will read this narrative. I advise that you make a list of the facts in chronological order ... a concise list: 1) you received a bill for $6K+ for ... then go on from there. You should be able to tell your story on one page. Give it to someone who doesn't know what happened to make sure it's complete and understandable. Computers make mistakes, corporations hide those mistakes. Your job is to find out if there IS a mistake. If you wish to post the list here, we will be glad to review it.
 
Apr 14, 2020
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0
1
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I feel your pain, but one thing to watch for is being too verbose. No one is going to read that 4 page letter. Their eyes may glaze over at 4 paragraphs.
Did you actually make the booking? If so, then why didn't you inquire when you did not see a confirmation email?
I feel your pain, but one thing to watch for is being too verbose. No one is going to read that 4 page letter. Their eyes may glaze over at 4 paragraphs.
Did you actually make the booking? If so, then why didn't you inquire when you did not see a confirmation email?
Thanks for the recommendation. I was trying to be as thorough as possible in my explanation to prevent questions (the same questions which I have answered numerous times already with each AMEX rep with whom I speak.) I will take your recommendation and the recommendation of jsn55 and make a concise list of facts. I've already sent the original letter to AMEX and I think it will come in handy if we need to seek the assistance of our attorney to get this resolved.

We didn't inquire when we did not see a confirmation email for the booking because our confirmed bookings automatically (except in this case) appear in the My Trips folder within our account where they are organized by date, accessible and manageable. We've never before linked the two together. Through the years, we have learned that these confirmation emails are just duplicates of the confirmations in our My Trips folder and not as useful because they don't allow a client to access or manage the booking. When a trip is not included in the MY TRIPS folder within a client's account, it means that it has not been made (because of a client error or computer error.. maybe in the final stages of booking) or it has been cancelled.