Bank of America Fumbles Customer Service... Again. The Case of the Thumb-less Man and the Thumbprint He Couldn't Provide
Come on, BofA! What in the hell are you thinking? Are you really America's bank? Estimates are that 1 in 5 Americans lives with a disability - and this doesn't put Bank of America in that nice of a light for serving these Americans. Just sayin.
Tampa Bay Online:
Subjected to a national barrage of negative publicity, Bank of America has apologized to Steve Valdez, a 54-year-old Tampa man born with no arms who was not allowed to cash his wife's check last week because he could not offer a thumbprint.
The apology came from "somebody from the regional office of Bank of America, with a 727 area code," said Valdez.
The thumbprint policy is to prevent fraud.
But there are other policies as well, policies that Valdez apparently followed but the bank now admits it ignored.
"The bank has apologized to Mr. Valdez and his family for any inconvenience this may have caused," said bank spokesperson Nicole Nastacie in a written statement Wednesday afternoon. "This is an isolated occurrence and does not represent the bank's policies for accommodating customers or non-account holders with disabilities. We have ensured those policies have been underscored with all our associates across the bank."
Valdez was attempting to cash his wife's check for less than $2,000 Thursday at the Bank of America, 101 E. Kennedy Blvd. However, Valdez doesn't have an account at that bank and was asked to provide a thumbprint. It has been the bank's procedure for 10 years to prevent fraud.
"Obviously, you aren't going to give us a thumbprint," Valdez recalled the teller saying.
Valdez wasn't offended by the remark.
However, he asked to speak with the manager for alternatives that would allow him to cash the check. He was provided with two options: Have his wife come to the branch or open his own account.
Neither was practical, so he didn't cash the check.
"I guess I was shocked – anger hadn't set in at that point – by what they had to say," Valdez said Wednesday. "That's just not acceptable"
Nastacie said that once Valdez made it clear that he could not offer a thumbprint, bank personnel should have accepted his two identifications.
"Although we have certain requirements for non-account holders who use Bank of America for check-cashing services - including thumb printing - we also offer alternate requirements for individuals who may not be able to provide a thumbprint signature," she said. "One alternative may include additional forms of identification. This alternative should have been offered Mr. Valdez."
Ohhhh, BAC, when will you ever learn?