• Report: #218191

Complaint Review: American Express

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  • Submitted: Sun, October 29, 2006
  • Updated: Tue, January 20, 2009

  • Reported By:Sautee Nacoochee Georgia
American Express
777 American Express Way Ft. Lauderdale, Florida U.S.A.

American Express $79 charge for "AEPC Member Services" placed on bill if you don't respond to sweepstakes letter Ft. Lauderdale Florida

*Consumer Comment: I guess we have a new "expert" [Sexylovinalex] here on ROR!

*Consumer Comment: Carl is correct - Not reading the disclosures is a major problem with most people

*Consumer Suggestion: Not Fraud....

*Author of original report: Nope, not what happened

*Consumer Suggestion: This is not fraud,, here's what happened ...

*Consumer Suggestion: This is typical AMEX fraud! I have been through this sort of thing many times.

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I noticed a charge for $79 dollars on my American Express credit card for "AEPC Member Services, T and L Golf TLGC Membership". When I called AmEx Customer Service, I was told that there was an automatic charge placed on my card for a Sweepstakes.

I would have had to respond to the Sweepstakes letter to not have the charge. It is my practice to simply throw away, before reading, any mail marked "Sweepstakes, etc." The fact that you have to respond to a communication to stop a charge like this in unconsionable...I could have easily overlooked it. I suspect a vast majority of AmEx credit card customers do just that.
I was told that the charge would be removed by the next billing cycle.

Richard
Sautee Nacoochee, Georgia
U.S.A.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 10/29/2006 09:22 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/American-Express/Ft-Lauderdale-Florida-33337/American-Express-79-charge-for-AEPC-Member-Services-placed-on-bill-if-you-dont-respond-218191. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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REBUTTALS & REPLIES:
0Author 6Consumer 0Employee/Owner
Updates & Rebuttals

#1 Consumer Comment

I guess we have a new "expert" [Sexylovinalex] here on ROR!

AUTHOR: Steve - (U.S.A.)

"Sexylovinalex",

Well, it appears you are the new self proclaimed expert here on ROR.

It appears that you are seeking out most banking and credit card posts, and I notice that you even gave legal advice in one! Are you a lawyer?

As far as me being "irresponsible" you couldn't be further from the truth.
I just woke up one day and said screw these banks! I saw reality.

That reality is these banks think they can do whatever they want and be accountable to no one. It is a genuine "take it or leave it" attitude.

Given those 2 choices, I left it!
My CHOICE had nothing to do with being irresponsible.
It was a conscious choice that was well thought out.

The arrogance and irresponsible lending is what caused the recent banking collapse and subsequent bailout. And, none of that had anything to do with me.

You don't think the banks were "irresponsible"????

You need to get a grip on reality.

>>>>
Submitted: 1/20/2009 1:43:35 AM
Modified: 1/20/2009 6:18:47 AM Sexylovinalex
Taylorsville, Utah
U.S.A.

Not Fraud....
American Express never adds on a charge that is not somehow authorized. Steve, the fact that you didn't pay them really shows how irresponsible you are. If that charge is found on your credit card statement, call customer service and file a dispute. Its as easy as that. AEPC member services are not illegal, everything is laid out right in front of you, and if you do not watch your statements, it can accidently happen.

Once again, just watch your statements. Many inaccuracies are found during the year on average.
>>>>
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#2 Consumer Comment

Carl is correct - Not reading the disclosures is a major problem with most people

AUTHOR: Laurie - (U.S.A.)

Everyone who complains about charges for these membership programs on their credit cards or deducting from bank accounts are due to not reading the info provided.

I do not have AMEX, but receive similar checks from another credit card. Those clearly state on the back that by cashing the check you are signing up for whatever membership program they are pushing. I make a copy of the check and shred the original. I always write the date the check was shredded on the copy in case the charges show up anyway.

When internet shopping there is also the Survey or $$ off your current order. Either option clearly state that by taking the survey or the money off offer, you are signing up for a trial period and give authorization to use your credit or debit card to charge the monthly fee to if you do not cancel.

The Today show did a piece on the internet shoppingm based on viewer complaints they went to every single website reported and found FULL DISCLOSURE on all of them. No one bothered to read them!
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#3 Consumer Suggestion

Not Fraud....

AUTHOR: Sexylovinalex - (U.S.A.)

American Express never adds on a charge that is not somehow authorized. Steve, the fact that you didn't pay them really shows how irresponsible you are. If that charge is found on your credit card statement, call customer service and file a dispute. Its as easy as that. AEPC member services are not illegal, everything is laid out right in front of you, and if you do not watch your statements, it can accidently happen.

Once again, just watch your statements. Many inaccuracies are found during the year on average.
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#4 Author of original report

Nope, not what happened

AUTHOR: Richard - (U.S.A.)

Sorry Carl, but I have been paying AmEx electronically for years. I never sent anything back to them.

We have actually had a similar experience again with an AmEx charge on my wifes card. She ordered something by phone through a mail order catalog and we got a significant charge for a vacation company membership. She remembers the clerk offering her the "travel club" and she declined as we decline all such offers. The charge appeared nontheless. Im sure that the unscrupulous clerk, who probable gets a commission for selling the memberships, entered her anyway.

The moral is to always check your credit card charges. Even major name companies are not above sneaky, if not downright illegal tactics.
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#5 Consumer Suggestion

This is not fraud,, here's what happened ...

AUTHOR: Carl - (U.S.A.)

As a long time Card holder myself, I had to respond to this.

To begin with , this is NOT fraud. American Express does not charge your account if you FAIL to respond to a sweepstakes.

Here's what happens. Once or twice a year, AMEX sends out a "coupon", that looks much like a check, to cardholders in good standing. I get them all the time.

It's often enclosed with the statement. The "check" states that, if you mail it back with the statement, you will receive a credit. However, if you don't read the fine print, what the "credit" actually is is a "credit" for 30, 60, or 90 day free trials to a magazine subscription thru Amex publishing. If you don't call and cancel within the trial period, a regular charge will apply, like $36.00, $79,00 etc.. depending on the promotion.

Cardmembers, not paying attention, think they got a rebate check, and sent it back.

During the promotion period, you probably received one or more copies of a magazine, like Skymiles, or similar. Most consumers tend to not notice these things either, in their constant innundation of junk mail.

You , seeing the coupon, sent it back with your payment. You may have forgotten that you did, but trust me, you DID. The trial period past, so you were billed. The good thing is, all you have to do is call and cancel and you see a credit in a month or two.

I understand your anger. I do. I wish that AMEX was a bit more "upfront" with the fine print, and true purpose of the slip of paper you get with you statement. It sux. That being said, you HAVE to read the fine print. As tacky as the marketing strategy is, it's NOT fraud... but it IS sneaky!! :)
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#6 Consumer Suggestion

This is typical AMEX fraud! I have been through this sort of thing many times.

AUTHOR: Steve - (U.S.A.)

Richard,

I would persue this with the authorities and the corporate office. This is outright fraud, and is actually illegal. They are placing a charge on your account that you never authorized.

You should also go to (((link redacted))) and file your report. You may be suprised how many other complaints have been filed on this type of activity.

I closed all of my AMEX cards 2.5 years ago due to their poor business policies. They pissed me off so bad, I never paid them either. I really hate take it or leave it attitudes.

Good luck dealing with them.

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