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American Express employees strong-armed small businesses to boost sales, according to former customers and employees

American Express employees strong-armed small businesses to boost sales, according to former customers and employees
Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for American Express



American Express employees misled and coerced scores of small-business owners into signing up for cards, according to a Wall Street Journal report.




Former and current employees said that AmEx employees sometimes conducted credit checks and issued cards without customers' consent.




American Express cards are often recommended for small business owners looking for travel benefits or high-points returns.




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American Express employees misled and coerced scores of small-business owners into signing up for cards, according to a new report from The Wall Street Journal.
Employees reportedly checked customers' credit scores against their wishes, "misrepresented" the fees and rewards associated with the cards, and sometimes issued cards that customers didn't ask for, according to more than a dozen current and former employees across sales, customer service, and compliance who spoke to the Journal.
Brian Daughtry, who owns a disaster-cleanup company in Ohio, was one such small business owner who one day received a $250 bill in the mail for a card he didn't agree to sign up for. After he called to dispute the charge, the company canceled the bill.
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