Pavarotti impersonator refused bank card because he looked too much like opera star
Posted by Xeno on August 7, 2012
A Luciano Pavarotti impersonator was refused a personalised debit card after staff at his bank refused to accept his photograph was not the real opera singer.
Colin Miller, 66, had attempted to apply for the Barclays photo card, uploading his picture on to their website in line with the company’s rules.
But days later, his card was posted back to him missing the all-important photograph, after staff suggested he did not own the copyright to the snapshot of his own face.
Officials at Barclays informed him pictures of celebrities were not permitted on bank cards, insisting that his uncanny resemblance to the late tenor had caused the confusion.
Staff have now explained the error as an “understandable mistake” and resolved to issue a card, complete with image, at the first opportunity.
Mr Miller, who has worked as a Pavarotti impersonator for more than 20 years, said he spent said he was “shocked” to be “penalised for looking like someone”.
“I was shocked,” he said. “I don’t try to look like him. I have had no cosmetic surgery and I don’t try to do things to myself to look like him.
“I am being penalised for looking how I do.”
Mr Miller, from Burton-upon-Trent, Staffordshire, added: “When I phoned to complain it took 45 minutes of being passed around their call centre, on my own phone, at my cost, before someone gave me any kind of answer.
“Then she said she didn’t know what the issue was, but suggested it may be because I don’t own the copyright to Luciano Pavarotti’s image.
“It is the picture I use on my business cards because I look like this naturally, and then I cropped it to the neck.
“I have never been contacted by people representing the real Pavarotti about it, or been threatened with legal action for looking like him.
“You are allowed to use pictures of pets, so I asked if someone had a dog that looked like Lassie would they be refused? She was stumped. …