One of the reasons that Chase has had a lot of recent success with attracting new customers, especially with the Sapphire Preferred credit card, is the improved customer service. I can’t tell you how nice it is to nine out of ten times speak to a representative within 4 seconds of dialing the customer service number. No robo directives, no buttons to press – just a human being that is empowered to solve problems. Additionally, since it’s a Visa Signature card there are unique benefits that come free of charge with the card.
This customer service tactic directly bites American Express, a company with a longtime reputation for having extremely effective concierge services, especially for corporate clients and Platinum/Centurion card holders. AmEx offers dining, travel and general question concierge services through the number on the back of the Platinum card. However, it’s a huge hassle to access their teams. The first voice that directs you is a robot. AmEx doesn’t link your phone number to your credit card, so each time you speak with someone in a different department you have to tell them your credit card number. Hold times can range from non-existent to ten minutes, which is inexcusable when the annual fee for the card is $450. Sometimes it can take fifteen minutes to iron everything out, which is way too long, especially for something like brunch recommendations.
Therefore, when AmEx sent me the following email, I was pleased.