Can't Pay Your Amex Bill? Blame The Website

It’s the Web 2.0 era equivalent of the “dog ate my homework”: I couldn’t pay my bill/submit my claim/file my story/etc., because the site was down. Today’s entry comes courtesy of American Express, who’s been out for five hours today. Via monitoring service Pingdom:

The American Express homepage ( was unavailable for over five hours today. During that entire time the page responded with an HTTP 404 error (page not found). Visitors to the homepage were met by a simple text message: “File not found.”

The problem lasted from 05:47 a.m. to 10:52 a.m. Central European Time (11:47 p.m. yesterday to 04:52 a.m. today US Eastern Time).

This is the first time in 2008 that the American Express homepage has had any downtime. A previous report from Pingdom comparing the availability of credit card company websites showed the American Express homepage having 100 per cent uptime during the period leading up to Christmas.

This appears to have been unplanned downtime. If American Express were performing planned website maintenance, a maintenance message should have been shown on the homepage.

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