RIVERSIDE, N.J. - This is a case full of surprises. It involves a cell phone number belonging to a South Jersey dad, a mistake by a major credit card company and the consequence for its customers.
The Matzer family reached out to Action News consumer reporter Nydia Han on Facebook after the husband and father's cell phone number was involved in a mix-up by a credit card company. And this very strange situation had implications for credit card customers nationwide.
"I've been getting non-stop phone calls," Matt Matzer said. "I get calls all night long. It's aggravating and frustrating."
Matzer said he has been getting 70 to 80 calls a day for more than a week.
And the callers aren't looking for Matzer; they think they are calling American Express.
Matzer's phone rings at such a furious, relentless pace, it was hard to interview him, so Action News spoke with some of the callers.
Nydia talked to people from different cities with the same story.
"I was directed to use this number to call American Express credit card customer service," said Jae Hwan of St. Paul, Minnesota.
It turns out that live chat representatives on the AmEx website were providing Matzer's number.
"Their number is actually one number off from mine," Matzer said.
The customer service number begins with 855, Matzer's area code is 856.
"I'm fed up with it," said Matzer. "I can't take it anymore."
American Express customers seemed just as bothered and bewildered.
This is just one of dozens of voicemails left for Matzer: "Please close my account. I keep getting sent to voicemail. This is supposed to be an international company? It's a joke."
Matzer's voicemail box was full of messages containing personal information like account numbers, social security numbers and in one instance even an online username and password.
Matzer and his wife Lauren alerted American Express to the problem and said they received the following response:
"Ma'am, I just suggest you change your phone number," said Lauren.
So the Troubleshooters took over and called American Express.
"We have identified the source of the erroneous listing and corrected it. We apologize to the owner of the telephone number. We have updated our procedures to prevent a recurrence of the error that led to this incident."
"Oh my God!" exclaimed Lauren. "You guys are life savers."
Matzer's phone is now silent, which is music to the Matzers' ears.
"It's a relief to have my phone back," he said. "We are so thankful."
American Express also said:
"We also apologize to the customers who were provided with the inaccurate number. Especially in today's environment, we understand that security is paramount and take this very seriously. We are checking our records to identify customers who may have been provided the incorrect number, and we will be reaching out to notify them about this incident as soon as possible.
In addition, once customers are identified, we will immediately apply enhanced fraud monitoring to their accounts. Card Members are not liable for fraudulent charges that may occur on their accounts. Out of an abundance of caution, we will also arrange for affected customers to receive complimentary Experian credit monitoring and identity protection services."
The Troubleshooters reached out to many of the impacted American Express customers. Most tell us they did, in fact, receive a letter from American Express.
However, if you are in impacted customer and have not heard from AmEx, contact Nydia Han and the Action News Troubleshooters through Facebook or Twitter.
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