I just received an email from AMEX stating that I will receive a $108.50 credit. American Express does not currently offer an official price protection guarantee, but the company is bending the rules for some early iPhone buyers.
I called on September 5th, the day after Steve Jobs announced that 8GB iPhones were dropping from $599 to $399, and was told they would create a claim for me which would be handled on a case-by-case basis. It looks like some people received a $200 refund, most likely because their claims were processed earlier than mine. I’m assuming AMEX is taking into account the $100 store credit from Apple for the rest of us. Based on various blog and forum posts, it looks like other customers are being told they won’t receive a refund.
I didn’t have to send in a receipt, or jump through any hoops. I’ve been an AMEX customer for 10 years and it’s how they handle situations like this that keeps me loyal to them. This is the email I just received:
Thank you for choosing to use your American Express Card for your purchases. Your recent claim with American Express does not fall within the normal terms and provisions of the Purchase Protection Plan. However, as we very much value and appreciate your Cardmembership with American Express, we have approved your claim as an exception to the program guidelines. Your payment of $108.50 has been processed as a credit to your American Express Account. If you have any questions, please call your Purchase Protection Plan Customer Service Department at 1-800-322-1277. A representative is available to assist you 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
In addition to the Purchase Protection Plan there are many other retail, travel and customer service benefits available to American Express Cardmembers to provide piece of mind on purchases and travel with the American Express card.
Thank you again for using your American Express Card!
Your Purchase Protection Plan Claims Examiner
I’m more than satisfied with how AMEX handled this, but what about those customers that had their claims denied? I’m guesing that AMEX really is looking at iPhone owners’ claims on a case-by-case basis as I was told when I filed my claim. I have both business and personal AMEX cards and put virtually everything I purchase on one of the two cards, making this $108.50 a drop in the bucket compared to the fees AMEX collects from merchants. I’m guessing that AMEX is probably denying claims from customers who don’t spend a whole lot on their cards.
The credit from Apple and American Express mean that it cost me just over $399 to buy my iPhone on June 29. This sure eases the pain of spending $599 on a phone without getting approval from my wife.