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What You Should Know About American Express Lawsuits

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American Express is one of the largest credit card providers. With millions of customers, they offer a wide range of financial services but they also face a wide range of lawsuits. Here is what you need to know about American Express lawsuits.


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1

Are lawsuits against American Express allowed?

Firstly, are they even allowed? Unfortunately, the answer is both yes and no. As with many large financial services companies, American Express protects their own best interests, and they do this by including language in user agreements that says you cannot sue them in most courts. Consumers do still have the option of pursuing compensation when American Express has done something wrong by filing an arbitration claim or going to small claims court. 

We may be biased, but arbitration is often the better option. And we can help you with it.

2

What is a Class Action Lawsuit? Can I file a Class Action Lawsuit against American Express?

You may have heard of class action lawsuits. Class action lawsuits are situations where a group of individuals who have the same complaint come together to file one lawsuit.

Because of your user agreement with American Express you can’t necessarily jump into a class action lawsuit even if you see one is proposed. 


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3

As an American Express customer, what are my options for a lawsuit?

As an American Express customer you have several options for filing a claim against American Express such as the FCC or any other associated financial account where the issue took place. However, when it comes to lawsuits against the company you have two options.

  1. You can sue American Express in small claims court.  With this method you will have to pay for filing fees, submit documents to the court, and attend hearings.
  2. Alternatively you can do everything from the comfort of your home using consumer arbitration. Consumer arbitration is a process contained in your American Express contract. You get to argue your case before an independent arbitrator just like a judge and they can force American Express to fix the problem for you. FairShake makes this process easy and convenient. Find out how

While the lawsuits below give good information for any American Express customers, most customers have language in their user agreement which prohibits suing American Express. Instead, you will have to use binding arbitration. FairShake can help you start the arbitration process and get the compensation you deserve.


Watch: How to File an Official Claim against American Express


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4

Recent and notable American Express lawsuits:

American Express Lawsuit over Misleading Billing Policy

One customer claimed in this lawsuit, that AmEx violated the Truth in Lending Act because of misleading billing statements.

In a class action lawsuit, the customer claimed that multiple bills included inaccurate information and lacked required information like the fact that if she switched providers, she would no longer be able to fight the inaccurate charges from American Express. Federal law dictates that customers must be notified by their companies as per customer rights, which American Express allegedly did not do in this situation. 

American Express Lawsuit over Debt Collection

In 2016, Amex saw a lawsuits about debt letters. In this case, one customer noted that American Express was sending out debt collection letters even though they did not have a license to operate as a debt collector in the state of Florida. 

In a similar lawsuit American Express settled for $9.2 million over debt collection phone calls. In this case the judge noted that the company violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) through numerous unwanted phone calls about debt collection to unsuspecting customers.

American Express Lawsuit over Gift Cards

A lawsuit took on the topic of gift card issues. In this case, customers noted that American Express allegedly failed to notify them of the full terms of gift card purchases.

American Express Lawsuits over Unwanted Calls

In this lawsuit, a customer claimed that the company violated the TCPA by repeatedly calling her with pre recorded messages in spite of being added to do not call lists. These calls offered low rates with American Express even though she was not a customer with American Express.

American Express Lawsuit over Interest Rates

In 2014, a settlement was reached in a lawsuit over American Express interest rates. In California, thecompany had to pay $6 million because the company increased fixed interest rates for customers without giving them notification as per the Truth in Lending Act.

In this case, American Express increased the interest rate once cardholders held a balance due on their card. What’s more, they were not warned that their current fixed rate interest rate on the credit card could, according to the fine print, be switched to a variable interest rate at any time.  

American Express Lawsuit over Reward Points

In this lawsuit a customer claimed that they were given a deal at the time they signed up for an American Express card which included loyalty points for hotels as a promotion or sign up bonus. Customers in the lawsuit claim that they have made appropriate purchases but never received the corresponding hotel reward points. 

Many customers have joined this lawsuit over the fact that their agreement with a new American Express credit card was in exchange for hotel loyalty points, and after spending the requisite amount of money to gain those points, the points never arrived. 

American Express Lawsuit over Privacy

In this lawsuit from 2011, the Federal government noted that:

“Cardmembers have a reasonable expectation that their spending, consumption, and financial records will be safeguarded against disclosure to the United States or other governments.”

However, the government alleged that American Express had violated these rights by way of using foreign nationals at overseas call centers who could receive and transmit personal records like these without customer permission or knowledge.

Looking for more examples of American Express complaints? See more in FairShake’s AmEx complaints library





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