Barclays Inquires About AA Shutdowns, Gets Told “None Of Your Business”
For those following the progress of the AA shutdowns of American Airlines AAdvantage accounts, here’s an update. After Barclays called me to talk, they promised an update. I got the update, and it wasn’t at all what I was expecting. Here’s a short synopsis.
Previous Phone Call From Barclays
After American Airlines shutdown my account, I filed claims against them and the credit card issuers with whom I had cards earning AAdvantage miles. That was Barclays and Citi. Barclays called me and expressed complete surprise that any of this was happening. They promised a follow-up call.
Barclays Calls Me Back
Barclays called me Friday afternoon. It was the same gentleman from the office of the President of Card services. This is what he told me.
“After our previous phone call, I contacted our relationship manager with American Airlines. He called American Airlines to ask about what’s happening with our customers and their American Airlines accounts. They told us it’s something internal and has nothing to do with us. They refused to provide any further information.”
Barclays asked American Airlines what’s going on, and AA basically said “none of your business”. Barclays stands to lose a lot of customers who will close their cards, and you’d think a business partner would act like a partner. Not here. American Airlines is making a power play here and has no interest in sharing information with their co-branded card issuers.
I also asked if Barclays will refund annual fees because of this. The agent on the phone was adamant that they will not waive or refund annual fees on AAdvantage miles-earning cards. I pointed out that customers who cannot earn miles on these cards will have no interest in paying to keep a card that earns nothing. He said he’s already aware customers will think that.
The news on the AA shutdowns just keeps getting weirder. Barclays at least responded to inquiries and tried to find out more information. American Airlines refuses to provide information at all. Citi hasn’t responded to CFPB complaints or found anyone I can talk to when I call the number on the back of my card. They say they don’t know anything, which I find highly suspicious. Barclays was clueless and tried to become informed. The result: American Airlines told Barclays the AA shutdowns are none of their business.
2 possibilities exist here: American Airlines doesn’t want anyone questioning them on this, or someone is lying (relationship manager to phone rep or phone rep to me). Both of those make this whole thing even stranger. My original thought was that Barclays could leverage the “you’re costing us customers” claim against American Airlines. This could slow down the AAdvantage bulldozer. I clearly was wrong on that idea. While we already knew that American Airlines doesn’t seem to care about its customers, it seems they don’t care about their business partners either.