ED Magedson – Founder
AMERICAN EXPRESS PASS FOR TEENS4315 2700 WEST Salt Lake City, Utah USA
AMERICAN EXPRESS PASS FOR TEENS The worst customer service...EVER! Salt Lake City Utah
If you are a parent who is interested in introducing your child or children to saving money or the principles associated with financial "freedom", I would consider any other pre-paid card besides the American Express Pass Card. I was at my wits end today and finally cancelled the card 9/5/2013. Primarily because the customer service sucks and the online account access has proven to be one huge maze. It's just not worth the headache!
I'll start by saying that I believe I signed up for this card for my daughter maybe less than a year ago. Above anything else, I personally feel debit/prepaid cards are very convenient to access funds that you are responsible for loading yourself. Sounds easy? Keep reading...
I should have cancelled this card in April 2013. My daughter received a small refund from the IRS from a part time job that she held during Christmas of 2012. I set up e-file and thought it would be a great idea to have her refund post to her PASS card for some accessible cash for her. After several weeks, the refund never posted to her PASS card. I called customer service and was told "we do not accept government checks for direct deposit so the check was sent back to the IRS." Huh? I could very well see a personal check from MICKEY MOUSE not being deposited but we are talking about Good Old Uncle Sam here! Nonetheless, weeks later I received a letter from the IRS confirming the deposit was not made and that a paper check would be sent within eight weeks. GREAT! Luckily, the check was received the following week and right on time for Senior Prom.
The fact that there is an online parent log-in and a separate teen log-in for the PASS account further complicates things because it's pretty obvous that these pieces of information will be different. On 9/5/13 when I logged in as a PARENT just to view the status of my daughter's account due to inactivity for quite sometime, the screen prompted me to verify my name, birthdate, my social security number and the child's name. Ok. No problem so far. The next screen basically linked me to a verification screen which showed my daughter's first and last name along with the last four digits of her pass card. So far so good. When I hit SUBMIT, the next screen displayed an error message: The information you entered cannot be verified. For assistance, call customer service at 1-877-405-7277.
I called this customer service number a total of THREE times. The first two times, the automated greeting indicated there was a high volume of calls and to please expect wait times of up to 2-4 minutes. Pretty typical recording these days when you call for any type of customer service. No big deal. In less than one minute, a human being answers but then the call is immediately disconnected. Call #2: Same greeting is played. No one picks up and the call is disconnected again.
Call #3 resulted in a representative answering with a real heavy foreign accent so unfortunately, I did not catch his name. The turn off for me was each and every question I asked was responded to with, "May I place you on hold?" Even after of verification throught the IVR system of the AMEX PASS #, the four digit security code on the front of the card and the date of birth (still assuming this meant my daughter's and not mine since it is her card), I am then bombarded with questions of my name, my date of birth, my social and my daughter's name. Pretty redundant but at this point, I wasn't expecting anything different.
I explained to the representative the error message on the screen which I received after attempting to log in three times before finally seeking out help by calling customer service. He implied that maybe I was doing something wrong and to attempt to log in again by clearing my history and logging in as the TEEN. Wait fool! I am the parent! He stated as the PARENT, I am able to see the transaction history, etc. When I repeated to him the only thing that I could see was the error message, suggesting that I call customer service. I felt like the call was going nowhere and along with the fake "scripted empathy" and the thick accent, the end result was my request to cancel the card. "May I place you on hold to cancel the card?" Hey, why not? At this point, I was already on the line for approximately 12 minutes anyway. What's another five minutes?? Before placing me on hold I made it clear that I need him to provide a cancellation # to confirm the transaction. When he returned to the line he simply stated the card had been cancelled. I asked about the confirmation # and this doe doe egg replied, "You may go online and check the status to see the card has been cancelled." WHAT? ARE YOU SERIOUS?
The next question must have stumped this genius: I asked if I could have the mailing address for AMERICAN EXPRESS. HIM: "May I know why?" I simply told him NO. I just need the mailing address. HIM: "Is this for feedback?" Me: NO. HIM: "I am asking so that I can provide the correct mailing address." Me: "I need the mailing address so that I can send back this card." And wouldn't you know it! I was placed on hold again so he could get the mailing address. When he returned to the line, I asked him if this was the same mailing address that I would be able to forward a complaint to his response was YES.
Prior to disconnecting the call, I felt I had to make the following feelings known to the representative that I was speaking to. Here goes: "There are way to many cards out there for me to have to put up with this ridiculous customer service each time that I call to inquire about something regarding this account." I ended the call telling him to have a nice day.
AMERICAN EXPRESS should really be concerned about the lackluster, less than stellar customer service that is provided to debit/prepaid customers. It's clear that the employment opportunities that exist in their call centers have clearly been shifted over to those individuals who don't speak English as their first language and don't mind making $5 per hour either. It's frustrating to deal with this type of service on the other end of the line as a customer. Customers are smart. I know when I am being bullsh*tted versus when someone is genuinely concerned about the issues that I am calling about. There is no way I would ever refer anyone with children to consider the AMERICAN EXPRESS PASS CARD account. And at this point, I wouldn't even consider purchasing an AMERICAN EXPRESS GIFT CARD!
To all these large billion dollar corporations (AMEX this includes you): You can have the most amazing product which may appeal to the same billion consumers. Hands down! When you couple that amazing product with poor unacceptable customer service which usually is a result of poor unacceptable customer service training word does TRAVEL. I wonder if those customers who have the highest of the high limit AMEX products have to deal with this same type of customer service? I doubt it. It's easier for them to have their foreign accountants, maids, butlers or nannies make these phone calls on their behalf so they are completely oblivious to this world.
In the end it's still no excuse. And as I stated before, there are way too many other cards out there that I can introduce my daughter too. Soon enough she'll be able to see for herself when she is the one making the calls. Soon enough she will be able to discern the difference between the companies that value her business versus hearing it repetitively from someone who could give two f*!!!
This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 09/05/2013 09:35 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/american-express-pass-for-teens/salt-lake-city-utah-84184-0440/american-express-pass-for-teens-the-worst-customer-serviceever-salt-lake-city-utah-1081886. 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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