AMEX JOINS THE LOUSY OFFSHORE SERVICE CLUBI've been an Amex customer for over 25 years. I currently hold 3 cards (well, possibly 2 now, assuming their new customer service reps have the remotest CLUE how to close an account, and my confidence in that probability is at about 3% right now). One card had a $13.23 balance on it as of this morning. One card actually belongs to my employer (and if I could NOT use Amex there, I WOULD - believe me, I will campaign for a change). The third card is my Amex Gold card, which I used to fund my daughter's wedding, and currently has a $30K balance on it.I ran into a huge, unexpected cash flow problem with my bank when they erroneously debited my checking account --which I use to pay my Amex monthly bills-- 3X this month for my mortgage. Bear in mind, in the 25 years I've been an Amex customer I have NEVER been late, and I have honored the commitment to the card terms. When I discovered the error my bank had made (on November 30), I immediately called Amex and others to whom payment would be difficult for me to achieve until I got the extra mortgage payment amount returned to my bank.Upon Amex picking up the phone, what first struck me is that the ONE CREDIT CARD COMPANY I had ever worked with that still used Americans to answer their phones and perform customer service responsibilities, had evidently followed the pack of "cheap" customer service strategies and sent their call center off shore to be manned by people who speak English only as a second language. That was a HUGE disappointment, but I had faith because Amex had always been a top notch firm to deal with. I explained the situation, and was told by the Amex rep they understood, not to worry, and the Amex team would work with me until I could recover the monies overpaid to my mortgage lender, which I explained to them could take up to 2 weeks, according to the mortgage lender. I was concerned as we talked that all the salient points of my situation were NOT well understood by the agent with whom I spoke. I also explained to Amex that I was scheduled for surgery a week from the date of that call, so they would know that it may take me some time to be able to complete my "catching up" because of that situation. Again, the Amex agent was supposedly taking notes, and was trying to work with me so I didn't jeopardize my credit, (which is excellent).I finally got the overpaid mortgage money back into my account on December 15, and with the help of another cash flow adjustment I had made to my investment portfolio, I called American Express again (I believe on that same day) to tell them I would be making a large (nearly $10K) payment on the Gold card. I told them I was calling them just to update them on my progress of bringing my account current, to apprise them of the large payment forthcoming, and to confirm with them that the few days it could take for the transfer to be completed would still leave my credit in tact. They assured me that they were taking notes (although again I was not confident that the agent with whom I spoke understood English well enough to capture the gist of our discussion), and that all would be well.I put the payment through from my NEW bank via online banking that same day (December 15), immediately following that call. Online banking would not allow me to put through a $10K payment, so I sent $9,900.I received my bill for my other Amex card yesterday (Monday), and scheduled the payment for the due date it reflected - the one with a $13.23 balance which, according to the bill, is due 10 calendar days from today (December 28). Imagine my surprise, then, to get a rat note from Amex in my email this morning, saying that unfavorable credit decisions may be made on my $13.23 balance card.I called American Express at the number listed on the email note, and was surprised to get a native speaker of English. Unfortunately, his command of the language notwithstanding he turned out to be a very snotty "customer service manager" who said the reason for the rat note is because I am behind in my payment on my other ($30K balance) card. NOTHING in the rat note even REFERS to that other card, but this guy, who had a really disrespectful attitude toward me, told me it didn't matter - that because I am in arrears on the $30K balance card, the purpose of the email letter is to tell me that I may not be able to use the other card.Naturally, I became incensed. First of all, understand, reader, that I had no intention of using EITHER card until all is caught up. My ire arose when this sanctimonious little boy on a power trip, treating me like some filthy grifter, told me in a very rude "too bad" tone of voice that essentially my entire credit profile with American Express has been reclassified because I haven't made payments on time. I asked him if he had read my record to get ANY CLUE of what I had been trying so hard to do to keep Amex informed and to correct a situation over which I had had no control. He said "yeah I read it" like I was the author of bad fiction.Testing to see whether there even WAS a record, let alone whether he had read it, I asked him several questions, all of which presumably could have been answered if he had read the record, assuming one had actually been kept. He did not answer them. In every case he was momentarily silent, and then came back with the same party line about my credit being in a questionable state and subject to review by American Express. Further, he informed me that I owed not $13.23 on the other card, but twice that amount, because according to him, I was late on that card too, which is odd, since the bill I had opened yesterday indicated a $13.23 balance, and next payment date of December 28, 10 days from now.I hung up and called another representative, who spoke English very poorly and spoke over me repeatedly. Evidently I have been relegated as an account holder to the "bad Amex customer" service team, because this person, too, treated me exceptionally discourteously, and had no interest in listening, but was far more interested in reading his script to me.I'm not sure the last representative did so, and I'm worried that I'll have to go around the mulberry bush a few more times, but I tried to close the $13.23 account after paying it off with a direct draw from my bank (for $26+ - just to ensure it gets paid off and closed). This person also told me that there is no record of my having paid $9,900 on my other account yesterday, although my bank says I did so. But no matter what I said about my bank account showing that the debit had occurred, this person simply did not believe me and continued to treat me as a typical delinquent accountholder.I feel sad, actually. I have always worked well with American Express. I have always generously recommended them to others, specifically FOR their outstanding customer service.Now they are like every other credit card company, whose customer "service" representatives have probably never seen an American Express card themselves in their entire lives, most of them have at best a rudimentary grasp of English, and they all carry a blatant attitude that customers are guilty until proven innocent.So I am awaiting confirmation of the $9900 payment on the other card. When that is confirmed, I will send another payment of a similar amount. In another 2 weeks I will send a third, and after that a "clean up" payment to pay that card off. Finally, after more than 25 years, I will close that account and completely sever my personal financial relationship with American Express.I can no longer recommend American Express to anyone. They are like everyone else, and even under carefully explained circumstances that are completely out of character for a very long-term client, they consider YOU a delinquent criminal. Their customer service people now are trained to read a script. Listening is no longer a part of their job, no matter how hard you try to set their expectations to meet whatever is happening in your life to solve an unexpected problem that was beyond your control. Learning about their customers, keeping records of how their customers may try to do the right thing, accounting for customers with long and exceptional records of timely payments, and being honest and working with integrity, are values American Express no longer observes. What was once a great company is gone.I will never make another Amex transaction and I strongly recommend that no one else does, either, including the company I work for.