AmEx return protection - denial for used product

I’ve used AmEx return protection (and purchase protection, and extended warranty) often over the years and have found them to be incredible benefits.

I was recently denied for a return protection claim because I used the item (I wore the shoes). Sure enough, the agreement terms say “To be eligible, an item must be in the original purchase condition (not visibly used, defective, or damaged in any way) and must be in working order.” I’ve never been denied this before, so wanted to give everyone a heads up.

Wouldn’t mind this becoming a general thread on the return protection benefit, too.

Conversely, I just this week had an approved claim for shoes that had been worn.

I’d worn them less than a week. The shoes seemed comfortable on first trial, but realized as the week went on I realized they hurt my feet. I included all that in my claim.

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Do you have to prove that the merchant won’t accept the return first? What happens to the item? Thanks.

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jamori, we had the same claim. I think I may be targeted now for using the benefit too much.

TravelerMSY, in my experience, they sometimes have you send it back and sometimes don’t. I think it’s based on the price of the item.

I think they’ve become a bit more black/white with the requirements as it’s being abused more. Personally, and assuming it’s true, I’d call them and explain that they are in essentially brand new condition and most people would not notice they’re not new. The shoe store denied the return based on the fact that they were worn outside - not that they’re dirty or no longer appear to be “not visibly used”. Use their language against them.

I’m becoming less and less impressed with AMEX on these “soft” benefits. In my prior experience, they were the only major card issuer that just made things right. They’re not “bad” but they’re not what they once were. I submitted a claim online and they sent me the claim form to fill out. First - I already provided much of the information, and the rest of the information is stuff they already have. Second - if I have to fill out the claim form, tell me that when I first submit the claim so I have everything in front of me. Unless they only ask for the claim form in certain circumstances, it appears the only reason to do this is to decrease the number of claims they have to pay out by requesting generic “additional information” a week after the claim was filed.

From my understanding, they were the ones that started all these little extra benefits that were actually useful. Seems that once other issuers started doing the same it alerted people to the fact they may have these benefits on particular cards. After that AMEX probably started getting a lot more claims which resulted in tighter policies. It seems short-sighted to me, but obviously I don’t know what the numbers are.


So basically you expect a merchant to take back a wearable item on your word that it’s uncomfortable? So anybody who needs a dress or shoes for a one time event like a wedding or prom could return it afterwards on that basis and get their money back?

atikovi, I don’t get your point. Are you critiquing the merchant return policy or the AmEx assurance?

The merchant can have whatever policy they want. And yea, I think a good business would take my word for it. Who else’s word should they take? The shoes are incredibly uncomfortable, to the point that I had to bandage my feet. I’ve already told a number of friends and colleagues how awful these shoes are.

And AmEx’s is what it is, too. If their benefit doesn’t provide for worn items, that’s OK, though I think it goes against the spirit of the program.

Perhaps buy a larger size? I understand woman hate to admit they have large feet, but who cares?

There’s more to shoe comfort than just ‘size’.

For mine, I actually bought two adjacent sizes (11, 11.5). One was too small and squeezed my foot, the other was too big in a different dimension and slid around.

Again, the merchant can do whatever they want. Amex guarantees they’ll “take a return” regardless of what the merchant does.

Intentionally buying something for a one-time event and returning it under the Amex guarantee constitutes insurance fraud. Maybe you can get away with it, but it’s still fraud.

I don’t think the return protection program is insurance . You might abuse or overuse the program but it’s not insurance fraud

This is the wording on AMEX’s form:

Any person who knowingly and with intent to defraud any insurance company or other person files an application for insurance or statement of claim containing any materially false information, or conceals for the purpose of misleading, information concerning any fact material thereto, commits a fraudulent insurance act, which is a crime, and shall also be subject to a civil penalty not to exceed five thousand dollars and the stated value of the claim for each such violation.

(emphasis added).

To be honest, I don’t know what that means, and whether lying actually constitutes insurance fraud, as opposed to AMEX just saying it does. I’m also not convinced that purchasing something with the intent on using the return protection benefit would constitute insurance fraud even if this was insurance.

ETA: Actually, it appears this is just a general statement of the law by AMEX. They don’t even say that lying on this form is a “fraudulent insurance act” (although it’s probably implied by the fact that the statement is on this form).

Happy I haven’t had to use this product as yet.