(c) 2005, Mike Barkley

Warning: If you have more than one American Express account, look out. American Express Customer Service employees report that the computer linkages between accounts are malfunctioning and are producing spurious results such as cancelled accounts, bogus fees, reported delinquencies where there are none, offers of credit that are not honored when accepted, declined transfers without cause, slashed credit limits without cause, and so on. From what they are saying, the systems may be reporting invalid delinquencies to credit reporting agencies. Customer Service employees are apologetic about the problems and say they are trying everything they can to reverse the errors but are not successful. I have 25 years of experience with American Express and I've never seen anything like this from them - somebody has screwed up their systems in a big way lately. Whatever you do, do NOT fill out and submit the "FlexSelect Option" form attached to your Gold or Platinum bill - there is a "disconnect" between Gold, Platinum, and Optima, and despite what Gold & Platinum say, Optima is rejecting (some? all?) transfers and thereafter Gold & Platinum will record them as bounced checks. And no, you canNOT rely on a telephone verification with AMEX to ensure the credit is actually available.

When I told them to close all our accounts (we are, or were, high-volume users), they seemed to jump through hoops to try and reverse the errors, but ultimately failed because of some sort of FEMA-like turf battles among the various American Express departments, etc.

It appears that the only way to avoid damage to your credit from their computer errors may be to begin closing Amex accounts. email me if you want names and validation.

After reading the Amex reports on or, I'm guessing maybe we've just been lucky so far. If you're really into Amex-bashing, see, and especially the links page on that site.
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--Mike Barkley, 161 N. Sheridan Ave. #1, Manteca, CA 95336 (H) 209/823-4817
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