Impressed How AmEx handled an irregularity...

Discussion in 'American Express | Membership Rewards' started by kansaskeith, Sep 26, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. kansaskeith

    kansaskeith Gold Member

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    This really involves "American Express Hilton HHonors Surpass" and not "Membership Rewards," but I post it here rather than on the Hilton site because it really AmEx's, more than Hilton's, customer service I am complimenting.

    With the Surpass card, I am supposed to get 9x points for every dollar charged at a Hilton Family hotel. Got my September statement, and there were no points (other than the 3x you get for all charges) for a $766 Hilton bill. (Looking back, I think the reason this happened was I had arranged with management for a very late check out, that their system went ahead and charged me at the regular check-out time, and then when I "really" checked out late in the afternoon they somehow awkardly reversed the charge and entered the second one for the same amount manually rather than automatically. I am just guessing here. But I remember for a while, online, seeing that the charge had been authorized twice, though it only posted once -- and when it was posted, it was in lower-case letters while everything else on the Sept. statement was all caps -- really looked like it had been done manually and maybe therefore didn't carry the auto-coding for the 9x points.)

    So when I was short thousands of HH points, I called AmEx. The lady in Salt Lake City was nice and friendly throughout, but at first tended to take the standard customer-service lines maybe it will post next month, etc., etc. However, I was ready with examples from previous statements that she could call up on her system that showed the points were always on the same month's statement. I also told her my theory about the odd way it was charged, the late checkout , etc., and somehow I seemed to get her attention.

    So I was on hold a looooong time, I'd say at least 20 minutes, though she did come back twice and say she was still checking.

    I really thought they would put through a trouble report at best, and promise to call me back, particularly since I was calling after normal business hours. And worst case, I thought there was a 50/50 chance they were going to hold their line and say "really, give it another month and call us back then if it isn't there," which I doubt it would have been.

    But at the end of the 20 minutes she said they had managed to get me the points I was missing, that the matter was therefore solved, though I wouldn't see this til next month's statement.

    The fact I had to wait a month disappointed me, but she was so nice I restrained myself and didn't gripe.

    Anyway, turns out she was wrong. They didn't post to Hilton next month; the extra points posted to Hilton within just a few days, and are there now.

    Best, though simple, things for customer service to do: (1) Be nice. (2) Listen. (3) Go to bat with the back office when the customer is right. (4) Then make a promise that you can not only fulfill, but beat substantially, so that the points post much faster than the expectations you set with the customer.

    And AmEx did all four. Thanks, folks!
  2. Mapsmith
    Original Member

    Mapsmith Gold Member

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    All of my experiences with AMEX have been exceptional.

    Back in a former life, I had a card lose the information on the magnetic Stripe. When it became obvious that this was the problem. (A big gouge across the stripe) and the card would not swipe, I finally called AMEX and explained the problem. They said, "no problem" we will FEDEX a new one to you overnight. It should be at your hotel by 8 tomorrow morning. Got up the next morning and as I was leaving for the day at 7AM, the desk clerk said that they had a package for me. It was the new card. I was expecting to be charged for the FEDEX but AMEX picked up that cost.
    This was back in the day when the ONLY AMEX card was the Green one. Love my AMEX.
    flyforawg, marcwint55 and MX like this.
  3. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    I think that your theory about what might have caused this problem sounds about right because something similar had happened to me last year at Hilton Buenos Aires. Because an amount corresponding to one's folio (excluding incidentals) is always deducted from a credit card at booking I always do my booking with my no credit limit AMEX to get the booking bonus without tying up my credit on my HH AMEX that has a credit limit, and then upon check out, I use the HH AMEX to get the extra points. However, on the day of my departure, I had requested to check out late (flight was at 9 pm and they let me check out at 6 pm), but they had gone ahead and checked me out using the credit card that I had booked with. Then on my way out, I went to check out again, and told them that I wanted to use a different card (HH AMEX). The problem was that they charged the second card without canceling the first one so both charges went through. I contacted AMEX and they said they would "investigate". However, I saw no need for investigations since it was clear what had happened, so I just called up the hotel and asked that they email me evidence that they had charged me twice and that were reversing one of the charges. I submitted that evidence to AMEX and the case was closed right then.

    I was at the very same property a couple of weeks ago, but I knew better this time. They again let me check out late but I made sure that they had canceled the charge on the card that I had booked with and transferred it to my new AMEX Surpass, which I just upgraded to precisely because of the 9X HH points. It worked just fine...
    marcwint55 likes this.
  4. marcwint55

    marcwint55 Gold Member

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    kellio likes this.

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