Sad state of credit-card disputes (part II)

(Continuing earlier post about American Express)

Since the customer support representative claimed that recurring charges could not be stopped until the merchant got their act together, the next step was escalation: “In that case, I’d like to cancel this card.”

This is where the AmEx rep uttered the incredible lines: “You can do that, Sir. But it is not going to help you, because they can still continue to charge your card and you will be responsible for the charges.”

Let’s pause and re-parse that: this person working at the out-sourced call center for American Express claims that companies can continue to bill recurring charges to your account, even after you have cancelled the credit card. There are 2 possibilities:

  • (Likely) AmEx support is making a false representation, in order to avoid customer churn.
  • (Unlikely) It is possible to bill charges to a credit card that has been cancelled. This is unexpected because past experience suggests that when a card expires, all subscriptions set to bill regularly on that payment instrument throw up errors and companies send email along the lines of “there is a problem with your payment, please update your credit card information.” It would also mean that once a credit card is lost due to theft, the legitimate owner is still in trouble even after he/she calls the company to close the account and receive a new card.


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