AMEX trumps VISA!!

19-Feb-2013 12:08, Canon Canon EOS DIGITAL REBEL XS, 8.0, 24.0mm, 0.006 sec, ISO 200
19-Feb-2013 12:03, Canon Canon EOS DIGITAL REBEL XS, 8.0, 28.0mm, 0.006 sec, ISO 200
 
AMEX trumps VISA – I ended up in Sydney thinking all I need is my Visa MasterCard. Visa doesn’t charge international transaction fees, and that was the attraction. After lunch at the company event at the Sydney convention center, we decided to walk around the Darling harbor area and skip the shuttles to the hotel.Darling harbor is a pretty big area and the sun had picked up steam and I could feel the burn right there.  Finding the ferry terminal was the next task. When you come to Australia, you are told or you read on the internet that you can buy multi-day passes at any convenient store. Blimey! Don’t believe that. We checked five different convenient stores and none of them were selling these passes. When I asked where can I find these passes, I was pointed to the ‘next’ convenient store. After half hour of searching in the sun, we finally found the ferry terminal itself and there were the dispensing machines. But when I swiped my VISA at the terminal to buy a ticket, the machine wanted a pin. Now, if you have used a credit card in US, there is no pin or nothing you have to enter. I hadn’t set up a pin at all in the first place. So now I had to find a ATM to withdraw cash.  So I used my AMEX to get cash, but it was a long time since I had withdrawn cash and the pin had faded in my memory. I called VISA customer service thinking I still wanted to avoid the international transaction fees. The customer rep verified all the credentials and told me that she can reset the pin and it will take 7-10 business days to for the pin to arrive at my home. She had no way of letting me know the pin right there. I made the same call to AMEX and I was told I could get a link to my email account with the pin. Now when you are travelling international, you can’t willy-nilly get internet access unless you are setup with such a plan. So I had to walk into an Ibis hotel close by and the chap at the desk granted me free 15 minutes of internet time. When I told the AMEX rep that I was on borrowed internet time and would prefer if she let me know the pin, she did so right away. Now-a-days there is all buzz over Apple and Netflix and Amazon customer service, but don’t forget the standard for customer service was set by American Express. AMEX, I love you!

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