AMEX refused to issue a credit for one of their promotions. I refused to take no for an answer.
A while ago, American Express was doing a promotion on their Twitter account to influence people to make purchases at Best Buy with their AMEX credit card. The promotion value was a $25 credit. My sweet, hard-working, college student, brother was saving up his money to purchase a new laptop to replace his ancient one. Naturally, he decided to take up this promotional offer. All he had to do was tweet to the American Express twitter account and link his credit card when making the purchase at Best Buy. A few days later, he received a message from American Express telling him that they cannot honor the promotion because they have exceeded the offer limit. However, this was not mentioned in the promotion rules. I told him to make a phone call to American Express’s customer service whom I believed would graciously give him the promotion offer.
Fighting through Phone Calls to AMEX
On his first attempt, his request was rejected because they said they do not intervene with the social media marketing team so there is nothing they can do about it.
This outcome surprised me as this was American Express’s loophole and the reasoning to deny his request was deflection of responsibility, at least in my capitalism books. I persuaded my courageous brother to make a second attempt. He was rejected again.
Fighting through Regular Mail
I wrote, on behalf of my minimum wage paying little brother, a long letter to American Express expressing how unprofessional the outcome was. I didn’t even demand the promotion offer be credit to his account; I merely gave them a piece of my mind and condemned them for their poor business practice.
You can read my letter to them which I wrote on July 17.
To American Express Social Media Department:
I am writing in regards to a complaint I have on your 7/11/16-9/5/16 #AmexBestBuy promotion.
Acknowledging your promotion of $25 statement credit, I made a minimum purchase of $250 at Best Buy before 9/5/2016, connected my American Express Card, and tweeted #AmexBestBuy. However, the @AmexOffers tweeted me back saying that this offer already received its limit.
I telephoned American Express twice to try to get a one time courtesy credit for this. The response I received was deflection of responsibility. The customer representative told me that he cannot do anything since this is a social media team promotion.
I am very displeased at this type of customer service. I understand from the tweet back to me that this offer reached its limit. However, there was no mention of this in the terms and condition byline (I’ve attached a copy of this promotion). The handling of this situation is poor customer retention. The only reason I decided to use my American Express Blue credit card for my BestBuy purchase was to receive this statement credit. The end result would have been mutually benefiting since both Amex and BestBuy would receive publicity on social media. However, the result I received was counter productive of that purpose. In the future, I would be very reluctant to use American Express’s social media incentives as they have limits not mentioned in its public advertisement and the customer service representatives refuse to do damage control.
I write in hopes that the company will better market its social media initiatives rather than damage the trust that I had had with the company.
On August 12, my brother received an email from American Express stating the following:
Thank you for your recent inquiry concerning your account. We are pleased to inform you that we have credited your account for $25.00. The credit(s) will appear on your upcoming billing statement. Any interest charges and any AmericanExpress fees associated with the charge(s) have been adjusted.
Thank you for the opportunity to assist you in this matter.
You can see the full correspondence here:
How to Fight For Your Credits:
- Try resolving the amount in question by calling
- If the company does not budge, express your dissatisfaction through a physical letter with well presented facts and rationality.
Corporate America do not mess with us!
Have you had similar experiences? Share some of your own strategies on dealing with them?