SINGAPORE: Several American Express users in Singapore were left puzzled and concerned after receiving a text message from the financial services company informing them that their credit card had been temporarily suspended. Some attempts to call the company proved unsuccessful, adding to the confusion.
The erroneous text message claimed that the user’s credit card had been suspended due to an unsecured interest-earning balance that exceeded 12 times their monthly income. The message urged users to contact American Express, but some found the hotline inaccessible.
One user stated, “I believe many people have received (text messages), I tried to call the bank, but the hotline couldn’t get through. Amex’s system seems to have been hacked, and there is no fraud alert system to tell us not to call the number.”
After several users reported the issue, American Express took to Facebook to address the matter. The company reassured customers that the text message was sent in error and that it was not a scam or phishing incident. American Express added that it is urgently investigating the matter.
The company also apologised to customers and thanked them for their patience and understanding. It said, in a statement on Facebook today (27 Apr):
“Dear Card Members, we understand many of you have received a text message from American Express concerning temporary Card suspension today. Please disregard this text message and no action is needed from you at this time.
“This message was sent out in error. Rest assured this is not a scam nor a phishing attempt, and we are urgently looking into this issue.
“Due to this, we are currently experiencing a high call volume and appreciate your patience and understanding. We apologize for the inconvenience. Thank you.”
Customers, however, remain disgruntled. Taking issue with the way the company has handled the incident, several customers said that the financial services firm could have just sent a follow-up text message to clear any confusion.
Some added that the company should have published its press release hours ago instead of publicly addressing the issue around 2.30 pm.
Facebook user Henrietta Chong said, “I received your message at 9:42 this morning, Amex shud have sent an sms to all your customers and let us know what happened and what not to do instead of having the customers having to call you. Hope you will have a good explanation for all of us for the scare and inconveniences caused.”
Netizen Alex Khoo agreed and added, “Can’t you simply send another sms telling us to disregard the earlier message? That’s basic service recovery.”
Daniel Yip on Facebook said, “I have high expectation from AMEX, this is so disappointing. By the way the SMS looks like scam for me, I found many grammar mistakes in the message.”
Longtime customers have also expressed frustration with the company. Facebook user Chiang Samuel said, “This is unacceptable! Create lots of inconvenience since 11am. All your hotlines busy amd Amex app chat jammed up. I have been with Amex for more than 20 years. Service sucks now!”