"Your money is always safe with travelers cheques" -- YEAH RIGHT!!!!
When my cheques were stolen in Thailand, I thought everything would be okay...they have this great policy, they're American Express, and everything should be fine....
I called them to report that my cheques were stolen and that’s where the real nightmare began, the representative told me immediately within 24 hours I probably will not get my money! I was stuck with 100 bucks in Thailand…
During the next few months (while I was in Thailand and after I was home), I found myself having countless discussions with customer representatives, sending emails with dozens of photocopied documents, bank accounts, my lease agreement (apparently two forms of ID with the same address STILL doesn't prove to them where you live), answering dozens of questions including my height and my weight (no joke)... If it wasn't for the fact that they owe me $1,350 I'd have given up long ago, and I'm sure many people who only get ripped off for 50 or 100 bucks give up...
A few days ago, after several months the process was taking a letter I received from them refuse to give me back my money even though the checks were canceled and cannot be used without risking arrest and despite all the documents I sent them.
Their response to the specified reason is: "There is insufficient substantiation that any cheques were lost / stolen from you". Apparently a POLICE REPORT isn’t good enough for them.
A single word describes their customer service: Indifference.
I want to note: I am 33 years old, I have two degrees, one in mathematics and the other in Electronic Engineering Electrical and Computer Engineering (finish a project with honors), I have no financial problems and I of course no criminal record. Obviously I’m not someone arouses suspicion as a crook or involved with some kind of scam (by the way, since the cheques are cancelled what scam could there even be????).
The scam here is with AmEx.
DON’T MAKE THE MISTAKE I MADE!!!
SAY NO TO AMERICAN EXPRESS TRAVELERS CHEQUES!!!!
Back in the seventies I had someone buy something with my details and I had never used the card before. When I refused to pay, American Express kept the £20-odd I had paid to get the card in the first place. They are swindlers.
In 1980 in Manhattan, a friend had trouble finding places that would cash AE travellers cheques.
In 1984 I was in Columbo, Sri Lanka and a man had lost his AE travellers cheques. The American Express TV ad said they would be replaced immediately anywhere in the world. He was told he would have to wait SIX WEEKS (by which time he was home again).
I prefer cash. Never any problems.
Travellers Cheques are by and large an anachronism and frankly I'm surprised that you can still purchase them.
In today's day and age they're only useful in a VERY few specific cases, like for Americans to bring money into Cuba (thus skirting the 10% surcharge on American cash.)
They're a dumb, useless choice for 99.9% of modern travellers.
I wouldn't take travelers checks myself - but I'm surprised you had a problem with American Express, they certainly have taken care of me when I've had problems in Asia and both times credited me back my money within 48 hours.
In the 80's, I was in San Francisco on holidays. Laying around the hotel pool when a swat team swarmed us. Shot guns, assault rifles, and I always remember looking at a Dirty Harry revolver pointing at my forehead.
All because of American Express and some bank robbery in Montreal. I got my checks in BC but the serial numbers were within a million of the hot ones. News crew was all set up to film the big take down and we ended up face down in cuffs. The cops finally figured out they had the wrong guys and let us go.
Problem was I could not exchange the checks. No bank wanted them but the A. E rep told me that the state bank would take them. Wrong again but I finally convinced an angry bank manager in Santa Barbara that the checks were good and that A.E had instructed me to go to them. Cost me to change them over to Thomas Jeffersons and never even got an apology or a refund for the bs. So for the last thirty years whenever American Express is mentioned, I give them the bad press they deserve. Still waiting for my apology, Am Ex.