Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Credit Where Credit is Past Due

I recently started a new job, and my application for a new corporate American Express card was declined because my "other American Express account was cancelled for derogatory reason(s)."

Now, I left my last job more than a year ago. And I stopped using that Amex well before I left. The company has been sold, and they closed all of the pre-existing Amex accounts early this year. So what kind of balance could possibly exist -- and who was responsible?

All of $150 was still on the card, the result of unreimbursed late fees because of the corporate transition. And even though the card was well out of my hands, when I called Amex, I learned that I was indeed responsible for clearing -- and cleaning -- it up.

Amex had already referred the account to an outside agency, so I called the number they gave me. That office referred me to another office -- and gave me a secondary reference number. That office referred me to another office. Finally, after three calls and three different toll-free number variations (866, 800, and 888, if you're curious), I was able to pay off the balance.

Now, in 12 business days, I can get back in touch with Amex to see what they can do in terms of approving my new corporate card.

But it makes me wonder: What's the point of a corporate card if the end responsibility falls to the cardholder -- and not the sponsor company? Can anyone enlighten me?

No comments: