Bill Collectors

Friday, November 2, 2012
I work for a Fortune 100 company. I travel a lot. Therefore, I have a Corporate American Express card that I use for my business expenses.

Because I work in the military industrial complex, my company has very strict guidelines for the type of charges I'm permitted to incur, when I have to submit my expense reports, receipt requirements, etc., etc., ad naseum. Because I have a meticulous (okay, anal-retentive) nature, I'm pretty conscientious about it, and make sure I submit my reports promptly and completely. My company's financial department reviews them within a day or two of submission, and sends them in for payment quickly.

Please note that my company has 50,000 employees. Many of these employees travel overseas or domestically, and charge vast amounts of travel expenses to American Express.

This is why my conversations with them over the last two days have boggled my mind. I had to call for a slight credit increase to pay a registration fee for a professional conference next year. I had to speak to two associates (because the first one screwed it up), but both of the people who took my call felt compelled to badger me incessantly about when my employer would be paying the outstanding balance on my card, a balance that wasn't even due for another 10 business days. They wanted to know, Was I aware of the balance? Did I know when my company's accounts payable was planning on paying it? Did I think it would be paid by the due date? Would I please call my accounts payable department and make sure they intended to pay prior to the due date?

Because obviously I have nothing better to do than to ride herd on my $33 billion company's accounts payable department over a not-yet-due $1,000 balance on my Corporate American Express card.

This happened with both associates with whom I spoke so I have to believe that asking these questions are a matter of policy on the part of American Express. But why? Who agrees to chase this shit down for them rather than referring them to Accounts Payable? And does it actually work? "Oh, since this engineer who has nothing to do with accounting or finance called and asked me to expedite this not-yet-due bill, I guess I'll drop everything and take care of it!" Bitch, please.

Of course, I told them that I would not discuss the matter, since I wasn't responsible for paying the bill and referred them to my company's administrator. I spoke to her later in the day, and she's a very nice woman who told me that future difficulties should be referred directly to her. Now THERE's a plan I can get behind.

9 comments:

Juan Federico said...

Been there sister, it just pisses you off to no end. We can chalk this one up to Romney's sub-species of urban beasts. Deluded, self-important, cocksucking rat bastard fuck, sons of syphilitic whores, the lot of'em.

Beachy Fran said...

Guess there's nothi
ng left to add after Juan summarized it so well.

Janiece said...

Yes, Fran, I would have to agree. I suspect this issue constitutes an emotional hook for my old friend.

Warner said...

Odds are that whatever department actually cuts the check is intentionally running several days late in payment.

Also, if you actually are Amex, as opposed to Amex Optima, if there is a limit it is your employer's imposed limit. I have a business Amex card for my LLC and was asked at the time I got it, if I wished to impose a limit on my single employee that I had a card issued to. Since that is my wife, I choose not to.

Janiece said...

Warner, the limit is the company's, which is why I needed to contact the program manager. This isn't my first rodeo.

Phiala said...

It could be worse: I can't pay for meeting registrations on my travel card; they have to be paid with the purchasing card. I don't have one of those.

And anything charged to the travel card has to be paid by me that month; I'm not reimbursed until after I travel. International travel, with expensive air fares purchased far in advance, is especially exciting.

Not that I expect to be traveling much this year: I've even had to cancel my regular professional conference.

Janiece said...

Phiala, it can always, always be worse, and that's a fact.

I just don't understand the point of the AmEx people badgering me. It's not like I have any control over the situation (other than submitting my reports in a timely manner), and if they think I'm going to pay out of pocket they need to lay down the crack pipe.

Phiala said...

"Phiala, it can always, always be worse, and that's a fact."

Oh, I know. It's just always more fun to bitch about your own horrible travel experiences. :)

"and if they think I'm going to pay out of pocket they need to lay down the crack pipe."

Good thing you don't actually work for the government, or at least the USDA.

Janiece said...

Word.