European vacation almost cost woman $7,000

November 30, 2010 7:53:19 PM PST
What started out as a welcomed call from a credit card company to verify charges turned into a trip from hell for a San Francisco woman. It's the type of call many consumers have received. You make a large purchase and your credit card company calls you to verify the charges. It's what happened after the call that almost cost a San Francisco woman nearly $6,000. Layla Rahimi was all set for the trip of her life. She booked a flight for two for a vacation in London and then a connecting flight onto Spain. She charged it to her American Express card and the company called to verify the charges. "So I said 'yes, it's me.' One of them is with Virgin Atlantic to London the other is with Iberia to Seville," she said. So she was all set, until she showed up the day of her flight. "Virgin Atlantic says I don't have a ticket. I was surprised. I was like what happened," she said. Virgin told her American Express never sent in the money, so her purchase was cancelled. she called american express, but the customer service rep told her nothing could be done without a manager, who wasn't there. "So at that point I had to make a decision. If I didn't go I would have lost the rest of my itinerary. All of my travel, the booking of the hotel, everything that I paid for already," Rahimi said. Tickets which she originally bought for $1,600 would now cost her more than $7,000. "I charged it, I didn't have the money. I was so sure that American Experess would know I had honestly called and this was their mistake," Rahimi said. She called American Express during her trip and after her trip. The company would not budge. "It was hard. I had panic attacks, I would wake up in the middle of the night thinking what if I had to pay $7,500? I don't have that kind of money," Rahimi said. SO Rahimi called 7 On Your Side. We contacted American Express and it reduced the charges for her flight back down to what she had originally paid. "Thanks to Michael Finney, I got my credit back to my card and at least my credit score is in tack and my credit history is intact. You know thank you very much for taking the time," she said. American Express declined an opportunity to comment on this case citing privacy concerns for the customer.

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