Customer service frustration leads to lawsuit

HOUSTON The frustration is something we all share, but when a local attorney tried to cancel a credit card, he says it was impossible, but he's not taking no for an answer.

Talk to anyone you see and they probably have a customer service nightmare to share.

Customer Debbie Mitchell said, "I tried to get a hold of them, and it is press one for this. And you wait for that and then they say press two for this."

Mitchell says she eventually got what she wanted, but that's not what happened when Wes Ball tried to cancel an American Express credit card.

He said, "I tried to cancel my credit card, and they said my card is canceled, continue to watch your balance though because you might have to pay the balance. And I said, 'I don't understand if my card is canceled and my balance is now zero, why would I have to pay anything?'"

Ball, who is an attorney who handles consumer issues, says American Express explained the account would remain open to any auto-billing and Ball would have to pay those bills even though the card is canceled.

Ball said, "If I was uncreditworthy, you would easily be able to shut my card down. His response to that was, 'I don't have a button to push to shut your card down. I can't do that.' And I said, 'Somebody has the button to push.'"

Ball says he went around and around with various representatives about closing his card, but even now, charges can be added to the account he wants closed.

"He also said you will be charged 18 percent interest on any of the charges that are incurred after this point," Ball recalled.

So Ball filed a lawsuit which states he "spoke with a mind-numbing number of employees, including at least 25 computer systems regarding the rather simple request."

When we contacted American Express about the issue, we were told American Express will not comment on pending litigation.

Ball says all he really wants the account closed.

"People kind of think lawyers are bad every now and then, but in all reality this is the only way you can take care of 99 percent of these problems," Ball said.

Again, American Express would not comment on the issue, but Ball says he hopes the lawsuit will get the company's attention and get that account closed once and for all. He's not asking for a large settlement, just court costs, if it comes to that.

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