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>> Stupid Amex

Sat, Jul 8th 9:54pm 2006: Bad People

Went to the travel agent today to pay for the flights for OSCON, swiped the Amex through the machine, and ... DECLINED. Um, huh? I used this card to buy petrol just 2 days ago. Worked fine then. And the account is fully paid up, there's nothing owing on it at the moment. The helpful travel agent tried putting it through a couple of times with no joy. So I got on the phone to the Amex 24 hour customer help line and am put through to an Indian call center. The gentleman on the other end was very polite and could see that the card had been blocked, but not why. So he put me on hold while he looked into it. A minute later he came back on the line and said my card had been blocked "because of a history of making late payments". True enough, some of my previous statements had been paid late. But not the last couple! So I ask "Is there anything outstanding on my account right now?" "No sir, your account is fully paid up and nothing is owing." "So why has my card been blocked?" "As I said sir, a number of previous statements were paid late". WTF? By their own admission I don't owe them anything. The statements have been up to date for months. And out of the blue they decide to block my card? And to make it worse the customer "assistance" representative can't do anything about it because the accounts department is closed until Monday, so I'm left at the travel agent looking like a dipstick unable to pay for the travel I've booked. Screw you, Amex.

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