Letter: Restaurants that do accept American Express

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Sir: Steve Boggan ('Amex won't do nicely at the Waterside Inn', 19 August) is wrong to say that Michel Roux was invited by American Express to be part of the new American Express television campaign which began last evening. Only two restaurateurs were invited to appear, and both Richard Shepherd of Langan's Brasserie and Sir Terence Conran accepted. Both are American Express cardmembers and neither receives a fee for appearing in our campaign.

Michel Roux is one of the few top restaurateurs in this country who does not accept the American Express Card. It is unfortunate that Mr Boggan did not balance his article by speaking to some of the many thousands of quality restaurateurs who do accept American Express.

American Express has changed its terms and conditions of business, and the figures quoted are not correct. American Express charges restaurants a maximum of 3.5 per cent, which reduces according to individual circumstances. Access and Visa charges for a new restaurant are more likely to be 4 per cent than the 1.5 per cent quoted.

We have more than one million high-spending and discerning cardmembers in the UK, and it is unfortunate that Mr Roux has decided that they are not welcome at the Waterside Inn. We hope that one day Mr Roux will see the benefits of accepting our cardmembers' business.

Yours sincerely,

DAVID CORNTHWAITE

Vice President

Service Establishments

American Express Europe

London, SW1

19 August

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