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More crap Amex customer service

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  • paul-uk

    Amex Gold Card which Ive had for 3 years – expires October 16th

    Used Chat to advise of wish to cancel – hoping for decent points reward.

    Offered a paltry 20,000 — only use it for Virgin Points and can get far more with a Virgin+ Card

    Unable to offer anything more.

    Advised I wish to cancel on October 16th – not allowed to cancel in advance

    Advised need to cancel immediately (and lose benefits for 3 weeks) or phone them on October 16th

    Asked about accumulated points if I cancel now

    Cut off, and chat ended

    WELL DONE AMEX

    NorthernLass

    20k is a very decent bonus on the gold (equivalent to an extra sign up bonus, pretty much) – what were you expecting? I had this recently, but previously only had 7k bonus MR points for £3k spend!

    VerdantBacon

    Is it really their fault if you use a flexible points currency for a singular use and that a credit card that offers only that type of point is better?

    If all you ever use is Virgin points, why wouldn’t you just have a Virgin credit card anyway?

    paul-uk

    It wasn’t so much the points issue – that’s their choice and my choice follows from it.

    Its the fact that I’ve had to spend ONE HOUR in chat with them – after I was disconnected above, I stayed and a new “advisor” came along.

    In one hour I got transferred FOUR times, cut off twice and struggled to raise a complaint about the cancellation process.

    They EXPECT customer to call on the last day of the “contract” to cancel – it is impossible to advise them in advance; unless you wish to cancel there and then and lose the perks already paid for (and those accumulated).

    That is an unfair contract term – and can only be in place as they know so many will miss that deadline and they earn renewal fees etc

    I am not aware of any other industry which bans customers from notifying them they do not wish to renew a product or service.

    And on the points issue, I spent £72,000 on the card over the last 2 years, so expected more. Obviously I will get it with the Virgin+ Card but their customer service is even worse lol

    NorthernLass

    You can cancel on October 16th and they will do it then and there so you don’t incur any extra fees. Amex CSAs often get things factually wrong and the chat system can be tortuous. Your best strategy might be to have a 2 year break from Amex, use the Virgin card in the interim then get a sign up bonus again on gold or Platinum which you could then convert into more Virgin points.

    paul-uk

    That’s the point – I MUST cancel on that one day – no flexibility to advise them ahead of time that I do not plan on renewing.

    I can cancel in advance of that date, but lose the period I’ve already paid for and the points I’ve accumulated (unless I move them first).

    But it all involves ME doing the extra work that shouldn’t be needed.

    Most providers now let you choose to auto-renew or receive renewal quotes before deciding – and with either option, if you don’t pay within x days it cancels anyway – not that easy with Amex though is it as they know they’ll collect all those automatic renewal fees.

    Yes – it is the intention to leave it a year or two now – my wife has a card so we can both get rewards when she recommends me – which again is pretty stupid as they’ll pay out more that way and have lost my card business for a year or so along the way.

    NorthernLass

    I’m not sure what you mean here, there is no “renewal”. You get charged the annual fee shortly after your anniversary but you can cancel any time before or after that – if you cancel after you will get your fee refunded pro rata. I don’t know of any cards which let you choose to “auto renew” or receive quotes – this only applies to things like annual insurance policies IME!

    Lady London

    @paul-uk “I know of no other industry…”

    Yes, mobile telecom pulls the same trick. I had that rubbish with Three when they refused to accept a cancellation requiring 30 days’ notice 90 days ahead. I was about to go off travelling and wasn’t going to be in places I could guaarantee I would be able to reach them on or near the date I wanted to the contract to terminate.

    Other telecoms pull the same trick too and not just in the UK.

    So far as UK law is concerned, I am pretty sure if challenged, it would be found that refusal to accept “early notice” would mostly not be allowed. And certainly not in the case of any otherwise auto-renewing product such as payment cards and mobile phone contracts. The right to not be obliged to auto-renew (even if that was part of the original contract or required by a promotional deal on signup) has been in UK law for many years now. And not allowing providers to refuse to accept advance notice would seem to match the intentions of that earlier change in legislation.

    I would send them a signed-for letter by post advising the date you are terminating the contract/ card agreement. You could add a polite note that you’re busy washing your hair that week and so you are notifying them now as you will require the card up to then but from that date wish to terminate so are formally informing them by signed-for letter now.

    I would say their lawyer will advise them to do as you ask on the date that you ask. The worst I think they can do is give you counter-notice but I would imagine any counter-notice given by them would have to be of a period of at least 60 days according to the t’s and c’s of the card agreement. So to avoid inconvenience, send the letter no earlier than just inside the 60 days ahead of the date yoi want the card to terminate.

    To avoid ambiguity after Dear Sirs I would put an underlined bold heading in the letter Agreement for card [number] – Termination as of [desired date] then say what you want to happen on which date the text aa well. Put Recorded Delivery or Signed-For Delivery underlined left hand side above Amex’s name and address aa well.

    Please let us know how you get on.

    PS Our resident QC (or is that KC now?) @JDB may have a different view and I’d be very interested to know if he and/or any othee legal pax on here agree.

    paul-uk

    I’m not sure what you mean here, there is no “renewal”. You get charged the annual fee shortly after your anniversary but you can cancel any time before or after that – if you cancel after you will get your fee refunded pro rata. I don’t know of any cards which let you choose to “auto renew” or receive quotes – this only applies to things like annual insurance policies IME!

    lol sorry I clearly didnt explain the comparison/expectation versus the reality with Amex – doesnt matter

    Aston100

    I think when I last cancelled, I paid about 3 or 4 weeks worth of fees (into a new year) in order to ensure the annual bonus (10k MR for £15k spend) had come in and got transferred out to a redemption partner, along with whatever other MR were in my account at the time.
    There’s no getting away from paying a small additional amount after your year is up, if you want to ensure you don’t lose any bonus points.

    To me, it feels wrong that you have to continue paying into the start of a new card year in order to receive a bonus that was supposed to come at the end of the previous card year. I feel you should receive those 10k points regardless of whether you renew or not.

    paul-uk

    @paul-uk “I know of no other industry…”

    Yes, mobile telecom pulls the samw trick. I had that rubbish with Three when they refused to accept a cancellation requiring 30 days’ notice 9p days ahead. I waa off travelling and wasn’t going to be in places I could guaarantee I would be able to reach them.

    Other telecoms pull the same trick too and not just in the UK.

    So far as UK law is concerned, I am pretty sure if challenged, it would be found that refusal to accept “early notice” would mostly not be allowed. And certainly not in the case of any otherwise auto-renewing product such as payment cards and mobile phone contracts. The right to not be obliged to auto-renew (even if that waa part of the original contract or required by a promotional deal on signup) has been in UK law for many yeara now. And not allowing providers to refuse to accept advance notice would seem to match the intentionz of that earlier change in legislation.

    I woukd send them a signed-for letter by post advising the date you are terminating the contract/ cars agreement. You could add a polite note that you’re busy washing your haie that week and so you arw notifying them now as you will requirw the card up to then but from that date wish to terminate so are formally informing them by signed-for letter now.

    I would say their lawyer will advise them to do as you ask on the date that you ask. The worst I think they can do is give you counter-notice but I would imagine any counter-notice given by them would have to be of a period of at least 60 days according to the t’s and c’s of the card agreement.

    To avoid ambiguity after Dear Sirs I would put an underlined bold heading in the letter Agreement for card [number] – Termination on [desired date] then do the text aa well. Put Recorded Delivery or Signed-For Delivery underlined left hand side above Amex’s name and address aa well.

    Please let us know how you get on.

    Thank You for understanding the “frustration”.

    I submitted a Complaint via Chat and have submitted one via Resolver too.

    They will end-up paying a £50 “goodwill gesture” which is a shame when it would have been easy to resolve first-time, first-contact.

    But, as said previously, all those renewal fees will far outweigh the token £50 they’ll be paying me.

    We have so many rules and pieces of legislation in this Country aimed at covering such issues but nobody seems to police the industries to ensure compliance.

    JDB

    That’s the point – I MUST cancel on that one day – no flexibility to advise them ahead of time that I do not plan on renewing.

    I can cancel in advance of that date, but lose the period I’ve already paid for and the points I’ve accumulated (unless I move them first).

    But it all involves ME doing the extra work that shouldn’t be needed.

    Most providers now let you choose to auto-renew or receive renewal quotes before deciding – and with either option, if you don’t pay within x days it cancels anyway – not that easy with Amex though is it as they know they’ll collect all those automatic renewal fees.

    Yes – it is the intention to leave it a year or two now – my wife has a card so we can both get rewards when she recommends me – which again is pretty stupid as they’ll pay out more that way and have lost my card business for a year or so along the way.

    What you describe re closing the card is Amex applying the law; they are not allowed to take a cancellation instruction and apply it on a future date. When you cancel, they must do that immediately and if they cancel they need to give you two month’s notice. No card provider operates on the basis you suggest re auto renewal as it is a rolling contract, different say to an insurance renewal.

    The 20,000 MR points retention bonus you say is “paltry” is absurdly generous, covering more than the annual fee and is double the rate it was before the ‘enhancements’ notification. Amex clearly sets out in the T&Cs what happens to MR or Avios when you cancel a card.

    All in all, don’t see anything to complain about, let alone the rather gratuitous thread name. It sounds as though either knowing the terms of your card or two minutes research would have saved you an hour.

    paul-uk

    That’s the point – I MUST cancel on that one day – no flexibility to advise them ahead of time that I do not plan on renewing.

    I can cancel in advance of that date, but lose the period I’ve already paid for and the points I’ve accumulated (unless I move them first).

    But it all involves ME doing the extra work that shouldn’t be needed.

    Most providers now let you choose to auto-renew or receive renewal quotes before deciding – and with either option, if you don’t pay within x days it cancels anyway – not that easy with Amex though is it as they know they’ll collect all those automatic renewal fees.

    Yes – it is the intention to leave it a year or two now – my wife has a card so we can both get rewards when she recommends me – which again is pretty stupid as they’ll pay out more that way and have lost my card business for a year or so along the way.

    What you describe re closing the card is Amex applying the law; they are not allowed to take a cancellation instruction and apply it on a future date. When you cancel, they must do that immediately and if they cancel they need to give you two month’s notice. No card provider operates on the basis you suggest re auto renewal as it is a rolling contract, different say to an insurance renewal.

    The 20,000 MR points retention bonus you say is “paltry” is absurdly generous, covering more than the annual fee and is double the rate it was before the ‘enhancements’ notification. Amex clearly sets out in the T&Cs what happens to MR or Avios when you cancel a card.

    All in all, don’t see anything to complain about, let alone the rather gratuitous thread name. It sounds as though either knowing the terms of your card or two minutes research would have saved you an hour.

    Can you kindly quote that absurd Law please?

    I go on a 9N and 7N night cruise September 30th ie 16 nights, so how do I cancel on Oct 15th?

    Luca M

    @jdb has explained best and others have pointed out that you are paying a yearly membership fee not renewing a subscription…

    Amex is actually one of the very few (if not only one) that refund pro-rata membership fee if cancelled during the year, so if you cancel in advance of the fee you paid, you get the portion of the fee refunded.. so the £50 they have offered is more then enough to
    Cover few days worth of fee you may pay if cancelling after the new yearly fee is taken.

    BTW I have cancelled rewards credit cards before and all took the cancellation on the day, no option of agreeing a future date, even when specifically asked (Lloyds Avios was one, Some old airlines MBNA cards another), so not uncommon in the financial sector

    paul-uk

    @jdb has explained best and others have pointed out that you are paying a yearly membership fee not renewing a subscription…

    Amex is actually one of the very few (if not only one) that refund pro-rata membership fee if cancelled during the year, so if you cancel in advance of the fee you paid, you get the portion of the fee refunded.. so the £50 they have offered is more then enough to
    Cover few days worth of fee you may pay if cancelling after the new yearly fee is taken.

    BTW I have cancelled rewards credit cards before and all took the cancellation on the day, no option of agreeing a future date, even when specifically asked (Lloyds Avios was one, Some old airlines MBNA cards another), so not uncommon in the financial sector

    I am paying a YEARLY Membership for a YEARS worth of benefit – yet I must cancel before the year is up OR on the annual “renewal” date – when Im on a cruise ship.

    I “believe” but may be wrong, that they only refund complete months of non-use, not days.

    They haven’t offered £50 (you read it wrong) but Im sure they will once the complaint goes thru their system.

    Froggee

    Thank you for replying @JDB. I now have closure on this topic. Okay I don’t.

    My gaster was really flabbered at this thread.

    I wonder if the agents kept changing because of the tone of the chat messages directed at them? Was the derisory 20,000 retention offer included in the complaint? What are the mysterious three weeks benefits that will be lost and if they are valued so highly, why not keep the card? But I’m totally a fan of Principles. I get all my Tuesday night outfits from there. So I can entirely understand the frustration at Amex – on one hand, offering a no-obligation 20,000 Membership Rewards points while on the other, not being so concerned about an additional £12 monthly fee that someone might inadvertently incur if they fail to cancel on the exact day that maximises their personal utility.

    I really, really hope there is no £50 goodwill gesture on this one.

    Aston100

    believe” but may be wrong, that they only refund complete months of non-use, not days

    Incorrect.

    JDB

    @paul-uk Consumer Credit Act 1974. While 16 October may be your anniversary date, how does that fit with your statement date which matters in respect of the annual fee. Also this year, 12 October is the magic date. I assume you are hanging on for the bonus, the terms of which are fairly clear:-

    “The 10,000 Membership Rewards points will be awarded to your Account after Card renewal if you have made purchases of at least £15,000 within a 12-month period ending on the anniversary of your Preferred Rewards Gold Cardmembership. Should you qualify in any given year, the 10,000 Membership Rewards points will be awarded to your Account within 60 days after your Card renewal.”

    You appear now to be blaming the law in addition to Amex for not precisely complying with your personal view of how products should operate to suit you and this is compounded by not understanding the basics of the card you hold and have spent a lot of money on. Also, you imply that you are planning to take the 20,000 MR and cancel anyway at the earliest opportunity. And Amex is the bad guy!? And of course, you are getting rid of by far the highest points earning Amex card when used smartly.

    paul-uk

    believe” but may be wrong, that they only refund complete months of non-use, not days

    Incorrect.

    Thanks, I DID say I was unsure !!!

    paul-uk

    @paul-uk Consumer Credit Act 1974. While 16 October may be your anniversary date, how does that fit with your statement date which matters in respect of the annual fee. Also this year, 12 October is the magic date. I assume you are hanging on for the bonus, the terms of which are fairly clear:-

    “The 10,000 Membership Rewards points will be awarded to your Account after Card renewal if you have made purchases of at least £15,000 within a 12-month period ending on the anniversary of your Preferred Rewards Gold Cardmembership. Should you qualify in any given year, the 10,000 Membership Rewards points will be awarded to your Account within 60 days after your Card renewal.”

    You appear now to be blaming the law in addition to Amex for not precisely complying with your personal view of how products should operate to suit you and this is compounded by not understanding the basics of the card you hold and have spent a lot of money on. Also, you imply that you are planning to take the 20,000 MR and cancel anyway at the earliest opportunity. And Amex is the bad guy!? And of course, you are getting rid of by far the highest points earning Amex card when used smartly.

    1) Nope, I wasn’t aware of the 10,000 points so hadn’t planned to stick around for them. Sorry for your assumption.

    2) I haven’t “implied” anything either – I’m not planning to take 20,000 points and then cancel – that is something you’ve strangely and wrongly assumed too.

    3) You commented on the Law, so I politely ASKED you what Law related to Credit Cards not having the option to cancel in advance. I’m not “blaming the law” for anything – another strange assumption and comment you’ve made.

    My ONLY complaint is about not being able to notify them in advance to say I no longer wanted the card once the anniversary date arrived – I was astonished at their response and probably more so at some of the vitriol on here.

    It was a very simple request.

    Had they even quoted “unfortunately, we are not legally allowed to….” it would have helped explain their stance – instead, they cut me off twice aand none of 4 advisors were able to explain the process satisfactorily.

    I can assure you the chat conversation and tone were civil – Im tempted to post it here, but for fear of further backlash lol, I think I will wait for the “goodwill gesture” when it comes and simply move on.

    Thank You to those who’ve shared some helpful insights.

    Harrier25

    Wow Paul, you really are an angry and totally unreasonable guy. You need to lighten up!

    paul-uk

    Error: slow down; you move too fast.
    Error: duplicate reply detected; it looks as though you’ve already said that.

    haha but the post I made hasnt been published

    Wow Paul, you really are an angry and totally unreasonable guy. You need to lighten up!

    dont worry – my replies appear to have been blocked so you can sleep soundly tonight

    paul-uk
    Peter K

    Um, Paul-uk. It seems your are having a rant about something you have not fully understood the situation on. Even though several on here have tried to explain it you still refuse to listen. I’m not sure what you want to happen? 🤷🏻‍♂️

    paul-uk

    @JDB

    1) Nope, I wasn’t aware of the 10,000 points so hadn’t planned to stick around for them. Sorry for your assumption.

    2) I haven’t “implied” anything either – I’m not planning to take 20,000 points and then cancel – that is something you’ve strangely and wrongly assumed too.

    3) You commented on the Law, so I politely ASKED you what Law related to Credit Cards not having the option to cancel in advance. I’m not “blaming the law” for anything – another strange assumption and comment you’ve made.

    My ONLY complaint is about not being able to notify them in advance to say I no longer wanted the card once the anniversary date arrived – I was astonished at their response and probably more so at some of the vitriol on here.

    It was a very simple request.

    Had they even quoted “unfortunately, we are not legally allowed to….” it would have helped explain their stance – instead, they cut me off twice aand none of 4 advisors were able to explain the process satisfactorily.

    I can assure you the chat conversation and tone were civil – Im tempted to post it here, but for fear of further backlash lol, I think I will wait for the “goodwill gesture” when it comes and simply move on.

    Thank You to those who’ve shared some helpful insights.

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