Today's guest post is by Peppercommer Dandy Stevenson.
I hate cilantro and American Express. I’m rather good at avoiding cilantro but as an authorized
agent for Peppercom’s accounts, I am doomed to suffer the slings and arrows of this once premier and user friendly company. Once upon a time, AmEx did have clout and lived up to its reputation of having responsive, intelligent and capable customer service representatives who understood how to deliver and assure that cardholder issues were handled properly.
That was then, this is now. No matter if I call to transfer points to an airline account, respond to a suspicious charge inquiry or attempt to find out if a local office has Rubles, as soon as I hear “Thank you for calling American Express, with whom do I have the pleasure of speaking?” my stomach locks up and my eyes bleed.
My latest romp thru the AmEx Circle of Hell involved reporting a lost card and requesting a placement. I clickety-clicked thru their maelstrom of options, answering mindless questions (Recording: “I see you are requesting to report a lost card. If you are not sure press your nose, if you have blue eyes enter your phone number…”) and finally connected with a 'Customer Service Specialist' half-way around the globe. We were then on to the perfunctory introductions to hear “And how are you today Ms. Stevenson?” (Don’t waste my time pretending to care while you finish filing your nails. I am tired of waiting. I want help. I want it now.)
But of course assistance still eluded me as I was passed from one subterranean being to the next, which, of course required my recounting the situation each time. I will spare you the gory details, but suffice it to say that after teeth grinding delays and mindless prattle I was finally told the new card would be shipped immediately, for delivery the very next day.
After downing a fifth of bourbon to prepare for yet another AmEx frustration-fest I called on the third day to report that we had not received the card. Guess what? Someone with the brains of a toaster announced to me that he had located my request but didn’t have verification of completion. Huh? Oh… Just like the Seinfeld car rental episode: “You know how to take a reservation, you just don’t know how to keep it.” I wanted to jump through the phone, look this idiot in the eye and ask if he REALLY expected me to find that acceptable.
On day four we finally received replacement card.
I canceled my personal AmEx, which I’d had since 1980. For now, at least, that will have to be retribution enough.