It's not true at all! That is nonsense.
Americans certainly use the present perfect, and they use it in exactly the same way all that all other native English speakers do.
The only difference is that there are some situations where American English offers the choice of present perfect or past simple. For example, a British person enquiring whether you are hungry would say "Have you eaten yet?", while an American could say either "Have you eaten yet?" or "Did you eat yet?". Both are these forms are available in AE, and an American could choose either one.
American English speakers have told me that, where there is a choice, they consider the past simple option to be more informal and conversational.
In other uses of the present perfect, there is no such choice. For example, if an American who lives in Russia wants to tell you how long he has been in Moscow, he'll say "I've been in Moscow for two years", just the same as anyone else would.
Your friend is either very unobservant, or is deliberately misleading you.