You all remember those classic TV and print ads for American Express — “Don’t Leave Home Without It.” In case you don’t, below is one I plucked from YouTube, featuring cartoon voice master Mel Blanc.
Well, kids, I lived those words this past weekend on a trip to New York City for a journalism geek unconference. Long story short, my wallet was stolen. All my credit cards, cash and – most importantly — family pictures — all gone in a flash.
I happen to carry the American Express Zync Card, which I describe as an Amex card with all be benefits with a lower yearly fee, $25 (as opposed to the $95 a year fee for the classic green card.) One of the best things I did when I enrolled was to give them my other credit card numbers for credit protect.
So once I realized my wallet was really, really gone, I whipped out my iPhone, clicked on my AMEX app, clicked on the Contact Us link and that’s when the magic began. The first soothing person got on the phone and apologized for what happened and assured me that they would take care of me.
And take care of me they did. First, they cancelled my AMEX card. Then they passed me to the lost and stolen department for an emergency replacement card (I walked to the Marriott Marquis on Times Square to get it). They asked if I needed cash (no, thanks). I was then transferred to credit protect, where they got my information and called ALL my other credit card companies to get those cards cancelled, including my company credit card.
They called me while I was filing paperwork to report the crime at the Midtown South NYPD station to let me know that all my cards had been cancelled and new ones would be mailed. They checked to see if I was OK and if I needed anything else (no, I was fine). They even called the Westin to let them know I was still coming.
And I have to give a shout out to the great staff at the Westin New York Times Square (a review of that hotel will come later this week) for being so nice after the whole ordeal. They were kind enough to upgrade me to a corner room with KILLER views of New York City.
So what could have been a real disaster of a trip was saved, thanks to the fine folks at American Express. So if I sound like I’m shilling for American Express, I am. Their customer service can’t be beat, and that $25 yearly fee has already been covered. So kids, don’t leave home without American Express!!