Read this before you believe anything a credit card company employee tells you

Alexandra Negru should have read this story before she believed the American Express representative. But then, this story is about her, and unless she has a time machine, she couldn’t have. Read more “Read this before you believe anything a credit card company employee tells you”

Lost $600 at an ATM in Las Vegas — can you help me get it back?

Lisa Selle has $600 sucked out of her debit card in Las Vegas. Why won’t American Express cover her loss? Read more “Lost $600 at an ATM in Las Vegas — can you help me get it back?”

If my gift card funds don’t expire, why are they expiring?

Dennis Tucker’s gift card balance keeps shrinking. A closer look reveals the source of the leak. But can it be stopped? Read more “If my gift card funds don’t expire, why are they expiring?”

A surprise $600 bill for my Mexico car rental

LDProd/Shutterstock
LDProd/Shutterstock
Arjun Aiyer receives a surprise bill for an extra $600 after renting a car in Mexico. The company alleges the vehicle was damaged while Aiyer was driving it. But where’s the proof?

Question: We recently rented a car from Thrifty for a week at Cancun airport. We were quoted a rate of $136. The estimate at pick-up time, with mandatory accident insurance and one additional driver, was $371 for the week, which I accepted and signed.

One or two days later, while driving on the highway, the car overheated and stalled. Obviously, they had given us a car with very low radiator coolant. We called Thrifty road service and asked for a replacement car, which they delivered about three hours later, ruining our afternoon excursion.
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The Travel Troubleshooter: Help, my Amtrak tickets were accidentally canceled

Question: I’ve been trying to resolve a problem with Amtrak, and have spent hours on “hold.” I need your help.

I recently purchased Amtrak tickets to Reno, Nev., on my American Express card. I paid $156 for the roundtrip ticket and in return, I received 11,000 rewards points, which allowed me to buy another roundtrip ticket.

There was a misunderstanding when I booked the second ticket, and my first ticket was somehow canceled.

I didn’t find out about the cancellation until I went to the train station in Emeryville to get my tickets. An Amtrak agent said I would have to spend another $236 for a ticket.

Since then, I’ve spent countless hours on the phone, including a three-way call between Amex, Amtrak and myself, to try to get this sorted out. They’ve asked me to mail proof of payment and proof that I’ve taken the trip, which I have done.

I just received a message from Amtrak that they will not refund the ticket. I have disputed the charge with American Express. Now what? — Mel Jung, San Rafael, Calif.

Answer: When the erroneous cancellation was discovered, Amtrak should have found a way to reinstate them at the same price. That would have fixed the problem and prevented you from having to spend half an eternity on the phone to chase down a refund (your time is more valuable than that).
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