I recently got a prepaid card from American Express — part of the Serve line, that allows you to send and receive money from friends on Facebook. I got it primarily because it promised in game rewards for a game I particularly like on Facebook. I wanted to see how well it worked and so I put a little money on it and went to Starbucks to get my wife Elizabeth a surprise drink.
The following day, I was surprised to receive a call from American Express Serve Customer Service. They told me that they had been notified that I had left my card at that Starbucks and when I looked in my wallet, it was of course not there. I’m not sure why I thought it might be there. I was extremely grateful that they reached out to me and I also thought it was fantastic that someone at the Starbucks store had called American Express to let them know that the card was there.
As it was Friday, I was going to go to Starbucks anyway to get my weekly flowers for Elizabeth and so I went and ordered her drink, adding “Affogato style” at the end so that they would know that I did not want Elizabeth to taste plastic in her drink. I then added that I got a call about my missing American Express card.
Two people looked for the card and neither of them found it, either in the safe where lost things were kept or by the register where I left it. One of the baristas suggested that perhaps American Express had mentioned Starbucks because that was the last place I had used it.
This would be well and fine if it weren’t for the fact that I only used the card at two different places, the second of which was Starbucks, and I went home immediately after that. Additionally, the person at American Express specifically told me that the card had been found at Starbucks, not that it was last used there. We went around in circles at Starbucks before I gave up and left.
I called American Express and told them what had happened — they too were baffled as to how the card was no longer there. The only thing I can imagine is that the card was thrown away because it not only did not look like a traditional American Express card, it didn’t look like a traditional credit card at all with a whimsical drawing of a princess on it. I suppose it will be quite amusing if, the next time I go to Starbucks, I get an apology and my card — but that is not likely to happen and wouldn’t do much good as I am having a replacement card sent.
Be careful with your credit cards! You never know who will misplace them. I went back to the same Starbucks location on Sunday and asked again about the card, as there were other people working there. The woman who made my drink asked a few identifying questions and immediately knew the card I described. She went to one of the same places the previous people had searched and had no problem in immediately locating the card. One of the people that had looked for the card looked at my card and said, “I thought it was an American Express card.” “Yes,” I said, “as it is an American Express Card.” I pointed to the American Express symbol on the card.
“Oh,” he said, “Sorry about that, man.” That was sadly one of the best apologies I have ever gotten at Starbucks.