When American Express customer service fails

Here's How to Make the American Express Corporate Office Listen

A legal option that can get American Express to listen — and get you compensated.

It is easy to feel like you are David fighting against Goliath when American Express fails to keep their word.You can get the corporate office to listen to your complaint by filing for arbitration.

This is especially true when the mistake was made by American Express, and yet you are the one who has to pay for it. You might use American Express as your main credit card provider and if you don’t pay for the mistake, even if it was incorrect and not your fault, you risk additional fines, accounts being suspended, and more.

Phone calls with employees who don’t have the power to fix the problem or just a waste of your time and leave you even more frustrated than you were. Email complaints seem to go nowhere with someone simply telling you more often than not that they acknowledge the complaint, but nothing happens beyond that. Any requests to talk with someone who has authority at the American Express corporate office are often ignored or they just take too long. In the worst of cases you get told that something will be fixed but they never follow through.

So what can you do other than feel like you were made to be a fool?

Use Arbitration to Settle Your Complaint with American Express

Doing business with credit card companies like American Express can often make you feel very powerless which is quite frustrating. When something goes wrong when you’re trying to reach out to a real person who can make a real decision, you’re just one in a little million customers they have around the world. What’s more, most companies like this include forced arbitration clauses in their contracts and those prevent you from taking them to court. With limited choices in terms of credit card providers, many of us are forced to do business with companies that we know have low customer service standards or unresponsive staff at their multiple headquarters.

Arbitration, however, is a way for you to get a satisfactory solution for your complaint against American Express without having to sue them. When you request arbitration, American Express has to do a lot of work, and what’s more, they lose the ability to control the outcome. With arbitration an independent arbitrator is appointed to your case, someone who is impartial and familiar with the situation involved. They look at the facts presented by both you and American Express, and then they make a binding decision.

Arbitration is Fair, Just, Reasonable, and Transparent

All arbitrations handled by the American Arbitration Association® are options which comply with the Statement of Principles of the Consumer Due Process Protocol, which means:

  • The process has to be fundamentally fair for everyone involved, including yourself, and that extends to a fair appointment of an impartial, competent, and qualified arbitrator who conducts fair hearings.
  • A reasonable standard is applied to the process which means you all get access to relevant information, a good time for the hearing, a good location, and affordable cost.
  • The transparency standard requires clear arbitration agreements which include all the necessary information and provide you and the other party with the ability to hire representation.
  • An alternative to arbitration, which takes the form of small claims court and, in some cases, mediation, has to be available.
  • The process should be just and allow the arbitrator to award you the same outcome you could get in the courtroom, an award which is a legally binding decision.

Arbitration Gives You Leverage

As soon as you notify American Express that you’re going to pursue arbitration, they recognize that they’re probably going to have to spend a lot more money out of pocket than they initially thought. Not only will they potentially have to settle for the amount that you’re asking but they might have to incur the additional cost of a like the arbitration process. This makes the company significantly more willing to meet your demands especially if those demands are reasonable.

But if they are still a bit inflexible, you can get a reasonable, transparent, and just hearing without having to spend any money by using our FairShake process to help you file for arbitration. It won’t cost you anything unless you win.

Leverage Leads to Faster Settlements

Notifying American Express that you’re pursuing arbitration gives you leverage and it takes away the advantage that the company previously had. They aren’t the large, faceless organization with all the power anymore. You are both on equal footing using a neutral arbitrator.

The first step to capitalizing upon this leverage is to officially notify American Express by raising your complaint formally. At FairShake we help you do this. We send a demand letter to the American Express corporate office to start the process of resolving your case before you file arbitration.  We usually give them about 30 days to offer a resolution but this is dependent upon the arbitration clause you have in your contract with them. In about half of the cases, the company headquarters gives you an acceptable settlement offer and the issue gets resolved during this time. But in the other half of cases, the next step is simply file the appropriate paperwork with the American Arbitration Association. FairShake will put together all the official arbitration paperwork for you and guide you through the next steps.

Do I need an attorney?

If your case goes to arbitration you might consider hiring an attorney. In legal terms, if you don’t have an attorney with you that means you are bringing your claim “pro se”. If you decide that you want to go forward without an attorney, check out some information from The American Arbitration Association’s Pro Se Case Administration Team.

There are a lot of common complaints that you can handle on your own without an attorney because they fall under very specific laws which make it pretty cut-and-dry when it comes to getting high compensation. But things get a little bit more convoluted when your complaint involves something like improper debt collection of robocalls in which case having an attorney to assist you might help you maximize the value of your claim.

What can I do next?

At FairShake, we take away the stress of having to deal with American Express over and over. All you have to do is tell us your complaint and we can guide you through the legal process. What’s more, we offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee so if you are not completely satisfied with our service, you don’t owe us anything.





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