How to win the lottery -- with no risk

Discussion in 'American Express | Membership Rewards' started by Dovster, Apr 9, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. Dovster
    Original Member

    Dovster Gold Member

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    No, I am not suggesting that you do this. At the very least, you would be ripping off some small businessmen who can't afford it. I am just reporting on an interesting experience.

    Since Jan 8, I have made about 15 separate purchases in a tiny shop in a local Arab village, always using my American-issued Amex. I switched to cash about a month ago when I noticed that I was not being billed for any of these purchases by Amex.

    The store sells, among other things, Israeli lottery tickets. When you charge something there, lottery tickets or not, the debit goes through the Israeli national lottery. It gives the money to the store owner and then bills the credit card company.

    I am friendly with the store owner so when I saw that I wasn't being billed, I told him. He checked his accounts and saw that he was getting paid. I called Amex and they told me that it was impossible -- as they never received any of the debits.

    Then, about a week ago, the national lottery took back the money they gave the store keeper, telling him that Amex never paid them. (This included, incidentally, one charge where he was told to get authorization, he called Amex in Israel, and the charge was approved.)

    Finally, today, he told me that the lottery had checked further and the debits were not sent to my account because they all had the code for gambling on them and Amex in the States automatically refuses all such debits.

    I paid him for all the past purchases (I had kept a record of them) with my Israeli Visa card, and that ended the problem. It made me realize, however, that somebody could spend a fortune in various stores in Israel (and in other countries as well?) buying all the lottery tickets they have in stock (as well as whatever else they might sell). Buy enough tickets and some have to be winners -- but you would never be asked by Amex to pay -- not even if you call Amex and tell them.
     
    Tim O'Brien and deant like this.
  2. deant
    Original Member

    deant Milepoint Guide

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    What a way to rip a small business off. At least you were honest with the store and paid them. Congratulations.
     
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  3. benchik
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    benchik Silver Member

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    This is totally Amex's fault. While its commendable that you settled your account, there are probably thousands more that get ripped off daily.

    The past few years has seen pretty steady decline of Amex's product as a whole.
     
  4. Aktchi
    Original Member

    Aktchi Silver Member

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    Presumably all such stores will stop accepting Amex in a short time?
     

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