So it’s time for a good old fashioned rant and a company that is in my crosshairs right now is American Express and is a very very interesting implication on insight that’s gonna come out of this little rant that I’m going to share with you.
So here’s the rant, okay I have a company, my company’s name is Crayon. It has been in business for three years. I’ve been an American Express customer, a card member since nineteen ninety seven. I open up a credit card, I don’t know, a year and a half ago with what they call open which is open for small business because American Express understands me. American Express understands what the ‘entre the spirit’ of the entrepreneur is all about the American dream. They are behind me, they are empowering me, they are assuring my tomorrow, blah blah blah blah.
I open up this credit card, they give me an obscene amount of credit. I don’t know why, I mean maybe I’ve been good I suppose you know have I been naughty or nice, may I’ve been nice. They give the obscene amount of credit, I don’t use that credit. I don’t even use fifty percent of it. I’ve never been late even one day in my life in terms of payment to American Express, as as as part of Crayon.
One day out of the blue about a couple months ago, they call me up. They actually call me up and they say they are conducting audits for all their prized or or or or important or valued accounts. Okay you’re conducting a review, why are you doing this audit? Well because of checks and balances and and some kind of audit and some kind of compliance and in light of the whole global economic financial meltdown, which by the way companies like yours probably caused, financial institutions, oh by the way. And I say ok fine, do what you gotta do.
And they say we need like three to five years of your tax records and they start asking me for all my personal information. And I say with respect, screw you. I am not giving you all my personal information, more so than I ever did to even open up this account in the first place. And they said fine don’t give it to us, but we reserve the right to change your credit, and I say do what you gotta do. Long story short, they halved my credit. They just halved it, how can you give to the customer then take it back? Well didn’t you learn that at school? Once you give, you can’t take back. That’s what we learned on the playground for God’s sake they cut my credit in half.
How special do I feel as a customer right now. Anyway, fast forward to this past week when I was down in Orlando for a conference. I go into the Renaissance Hotel and my credit card is declined. My credit card is declined. Why is my credit card declined? Because I’m sixteen dollars over my credit limit, sixteen dollars! Just because a big purchase, cause I’m flying out to Moscow a big purchase had gone through that had pushed me over the limit.
No courtesy call, no courtesy e-mail, no courtesy text message, no system in place, no iPhone App, no ability to just do me the courtesy to call me up and say FYI, you might want to pay your bill. Strike two for American Express. Right now as far as I’m concerned it is a strike three, I don’t know that I wanna be your custom anymore. And I think I wanna tell as many people as I can, not to be your customer anymore. Because you do not care about small business owners. And here is the implication, the marketing implication here. You create these glossy ads and thirty second spots, with all the hyperbole in the aspirational BS.
You’re basically, that’s your evidence, you’ve been tried in the popular court of my opinion and you’ve been found guilty you make a promise you broke your promise to me. Advertising is going to become the noose that hangs us if we cannot deliver against the promises, if we break those promises. So let that be a lesson to American Express and any other company out there. You say something, you better do it, you better follow through, don’t break promises and learn your lesson. The next time somebody goes over by sixteen dollars, pick up the damn phone and call them. It might just save you a customer. I’m out of here, no regular ending of the show.