American Express Prepaid Ruined My Life!
I had a prepaid card with American Express for several months. I got the card because there are no monthly fees, and I even got one free ATM use per month. I thought it was a great way to save $15 a month vs. my traditional checking account with Chase. My paycheck was direct deposited onto the card and everything about the card was really great! I honestly had no complaints.
Then I woke up one morning only to notice there was a $500.00 charge from Dish Network on my card! I don't even have Dish! And there was another charge for $420.00 on my card from some car finance company (not mine)! I was scared and immediately called American Express to report the card information was being used and there were fraudulant charges on the card.
The representative immediately shut down my card and issued a new one. [continued below]....
..... The representative confirmed my address TWO times once with me telling her and once with her repeating it back to me (remember this for later). She said she would ship me the new card and I should get it by next Friday at the latest which was a very good thing because I had to pay rent and make my car payment using the card since my paycheck was direct deposited onto the card.
I was told that a dispute form would be emailed to me and I should fill it out. I was informed it will take 3 days to receive the form. I got the form 3 days later as stated and I promptly completed, signed, and faxed it back.
Come Friday around 1PM I still had not received the card so I called American Express to find out what was going on only to be told they shipped the card to MY OLD ADDRESS. They said the package was rejected and the card will be destroyed. I was furious! No phone call about this? No communication? Nothing?
I asked why it was shipped to my old address after I already updated and confirmed my new address when the old card was stolen. They told me all they could do was send me another card... it would take three days for create a new card, and it would take 7 to 10 business days to get the card and there was nothing they could do about it. Keep in mind my direct deposit was loaded onto the card NOW.
I begged for help. I felt helpless. I asked if there was ANYWHERE I could go in person to pull the money from my account and they said no. They said I had absolutely NO CHOICE but to wait for the card. I promptly called my car finance company and landlord to ask for some sympathy. I didn't get any. Come day 3 of waiting for the card, my vehicle was repoed. Come day 5 of being late on rent I got a pay or quit notice.
My life was literally falling apart around me. Come day 10 I was ordered by a sheriff to vacate the property. I was literally kicked out of my home without any transportation. I was standing there outside my apartment holding my dog watching them lock up my apartment and take my keys. I didnt even get to move anything out because of course 100% of my check was on the AMEX card so I couldnt get a truck.
Needless to say, things couldnt get any worse. Finally on the 9th BUSINESS DAY I picked up the card from the leasing office (at the same apartment complex I was kicked out of). I checked my balance only to find out I still had not been credited back for the fraud charges on my account.
Take a look at what the AMEX Prepaid terms and conditions state about fraud charges:
We will determine whether an error or unauthorized transaction occurred within 10 business days after we hear from you and will correct any error or unauthorized transaction promptly. If we need more time, however, we may take up to 45 days to investigate your complaint or question. If we decide to do this, we will credit your account within 10 business days for the amount you think is in error or relates to an unauthorized transaction, so that you will have the money during the time it takes us to complete our investigation.
It was clear to me American Express was now in a direct violation of the cardmember agreement. I called and asked for a supervisor and he explained to me I was reading it wrong. He said it can take up to "60 days" and "there are 1,000's of disputes a day and they couldnt fix it in the wink of an eye". I was beyond outraged.
Not only have I lost my car, my apartment, and now $900.00 I needed more than anything at this point, I'm being told I can't read simple English by someone who sounds like they're in India.
Long story short, I filed a complaint with the BBB and the reply from AMEX is as follows in a nutshell: "We're sorry the representative sent your card to the wrong address. We always keep two addresses on every account and they sent it to the wrong one. There is a purchaser and a user address." **They then educated me on what the difference is as if I didnt know** They ended the letter by stating "We trust this will resolve all of your concerns. Have a nice day."
Are you kidding me? ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!
I have a $4,910.42 bill from my apartment complex for an EVICTION I have a $930.00 bill from my vehicle finance company for LATE FEES and REPO FEES. I'm STILL missing $900.00 out of my account which I should have per your TOS.
And now, the final straw. I of course stopped my direct deposit sometime ago. I looked at my account to see if I was credited back the unauthorized charges yet. Nope. Now my PREPAID account is NEGATIVE $200!!!!!!!! Apparently there was a "delay" from a merchant for a THIRD unauthorized charge on the old card and even though the card was reported stolen they STILL processed it a MONTH later.
As of today I still have not been credited back anything. The charged off the $200 and my AMEX card is SUSPENDED (not my choice) with a zero balance.
In the end I will be out a total $6,740,42 after this mess gets cleaned up. I'm staying in a run down extended stay motel room, and at least I got my car back.
American Express needs to make this right. Their Customer Service reps are making mistakes that are literally destroying lives. They hardly speak English, and with a company this huge they can do as they please without any responsibility.
What if I walked up to YOU and took $6,700.00 out of YOUR WALLET? I WOULD BE IN PRISON! I will never stop talking about this until they make it right. NEVER. I beg each and every one of you, PLEASE stay away from AMEX like the plague. PLEASE.