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American Express
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Learn about Accepting the Card Manage Your Merchant Account Profit More from Your Relationship
Reconcile Payments and Resolve Disputes
Using a Terminal to Complete Transactions
Introducing Electronic Merchant Services
Review our Policies and Procedures
How to Process Transactions
Chargeback Policies
When You Receive an Enquiry Letter
Data Security Operating Policies
Reduce Fraud and Chargebacks
Learn about Online Merchant Services
Find Answers to Common Questions
Policies and Procedures

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When Cardmembers question items billed to their accounts, American Express is required by law to respond within strict time limits. When additional information is required from you to resolve the issue, we will send you an enquiry letter.*

You will receive an enquiry only when we do not have sufficient information in-house to resolve the Cardmember's enquiry. If you do not agree the Credit is due, you must support your position.

To avoid a Chargeback, you must respond by the reply-by date specified in the enquiry letter to establish your position in the dispute.

*In certain circumstances, American Express debits disputed Charges without sending an enquiry letter. Please check your Agreement with American Express.

What's in an enquiry letter?

The enquiry letter provides you with information to help you research the dispute and give specifics about what is required to support your position. Depending upon the nature of the dispute, you may respond in one of the following ways:
  • Issue a full Credit to the Cardmember's account (or give us the date on which full Credit was issued)
  • Agree to issue a partial Credit. Explain why you are issuing only a partial Credit and fill in the amount
  • If you feel no Credit is due, provide an explanation and appropriate supporting documentation. If the documentation you provide shows the Charge is valid, the Cardmember will be sent the appropriate explanation and asked to pay the Charge.
However, if the documentation provided does not support the Cardmember's claim because:
  • The Charge was not processed per your Agreement with American Express; or
  • The Cardmember has posed a question about the quality or delivery of the goods or services; or
  • Your written reply is not received by American Express by the reply-by date,
Then American Express will have the right to give the Cardmember a permanent Credit and to debit your account.
   
How to respond to enquiries
   
Respond by post, or fax your reply to the number listed on the first page of the enquiry letter, along with the following:
  • Cover sheet indicating total number of pages (including the cover sheet)
  • Cardmember account number
  • Cardmember name
  • "Claim Reply" page
  • All relevant supporting documentation
Be sure to retain your fax confirmation sheet.

How to reduce enquiries

You may be able to resolve many customer concerns directly and reduce enquiries that could result in Chargebacks.

The easiest way to do this is to put your customer service telephone number on the invoice you send to your customer. This enables your customers to contact you directly if they questi on a transaction, or wish to check the status of goods shipped.

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