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 this before you believe anything a credit card company employee tells you”
Lisa Selle has $600 sucked out of her debit card in Las Vegas. Why won’t American Express cover her loss? “Lost $600 at an ATM in Las Vegas — can you help me get it back?”
Dennis Tucker’s gift card balance keeps shrinking. A closer look reveals the source of the leak. But can it be stopped? “If my gift card funds don’t expire, why are they expiring?”
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.
“A surprise $600 bill for my Mexico car rental”
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).
“The Travel Troubleshooter: Help, my Amtrak tickets were accidentally canceled”