Wednesday, 18 March 2009 on changes to AmEx cardholder terms

The New York Times “Gadgetwise” blog kicks off its new security and privacy beat today with a feature on the changes in credit and charge card terms I’ve been reporting in recent weeks. As of now, the card issuers and card labels imposing similar terms include, for at least some of their cards, AmEx, Paypal, Bank of America / FIA Card Services, GE Money Bank, and Charles Schwab Bank. (Please let me know if you find others.)

American Express Is Calling You — Anywhere It Wants
(by Riva Richmond, 18 March 2009)

Have you ever called American Express from a phone at a hotel or friend’s house — or one offered by a kind stranger after your bag was stolen? You may regret that.

Starting April 2 — presumably to avoid any confusion that it’s an April Fool’s joke — American Express reserves the right to call, play an automated voice message or send a text message to any phone, including a mobile phone, that you have used to contact the company in the past. The subject could be anything, and the owner of the phone in question will get the bill.

But what if the stranger isn’t kind, the hotel operator isn’t honest or your friend is easily irritated by telemarketers? These have been hotly discussed subjects on The Practical Nomad blog , written by the travel writer and consumer advocate Edward Hasbrouck, who closed his account over the new policy after carrying an AmEx card around the world for 20 years. (Unlike most people, he reads the fine print in his statements. This change was printed in the one mailed in February and applies to personal and small-business cards.)

Mr. Hasbrouck fears sizable international-roaming bills, damaged friendships and business relationships, and exposed personal information — and that AmEx isn’t the only card company taking this route.

Link | Posted by Edward on Wednesday, 18 March 2009, 15:34 ( 3:34 PM)

I hope the pressure continues to build for AMEX and other banks and credit cards companies to rescind these terms. I understand you need to market but to call ANY phone you've called from is ludicrous. Too, too much!

Posted by: Brian, 20 March 2009, 08:52 ( 8:52 AM)
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