back to article Bank of America demands thumbprint from armless bloke

A Florida man is a bit hacked off with the Bank of America after it refused to cash a cheque made out to his missus unless he provided a thumbprint - a slight impediment to the transaction, because he has no arms. Steve Valdez, 54, explained to the Today show yesterday that he went to his wife's branch, but "teller and branch …

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Anonymous Coward

BOA SOP

Idiots... The whole lot could screw up a one car parade.

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Coat

He is lucky not to be in the UK

With NuLabour's National Id Card Scheme he'd be a "Non-person".

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Maybe I'm missing something*

but why is he trying cash a cheque, sorry, check, made out to his wife, and how did his own bank accept said check?

*insert your own taste-free gag

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Unhappy

See, this is why you need an ID card

Oh, hang on a minute...

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FAIL

Commerce.

So he can open his own account and pay the check (sic) in. So, basically, the bank get another customer. Brilliant. Nothing to do with policies or prejudisms against people with no arms, as such. Just another (and somewhat insensitive) way of getting more custom.

The Bank Of America is showing its true colors (sic) there - predominantly green.

I suggest Mrs Valdez move her bank account to somewhere more accommodating.

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corporate tick-list mentality

It seems that more and more local/ branch/ regional managers are becoming nothing more than glorified cashiers, since they are not being allowed to exercise any local judgement. I'll charitably assume that the bank manager her-/him- self would personally not have had a problem with the two forms of ID, but had to follow Procedure lest s/he get a shitload from higher up the food chain. Also, remember that BofA (and chain banks in general, I'll wager) takes great glee in charging fees every time one turns around, presumably to prop up an otherwise sagging bottom line as customers flee to credit unions, local banks, and other institutions that treat customers like people and not like inventory.

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FAIL

Umm...

... unless you're a *very* dedicated criminal, not having arms is pretty much of an identifier, isn't it...?

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Stop

Special needs or special wants?

He would rather play on others' sympathies toward his handicap to cash a check, which isn't in his name, than face a two-day hold at his own bank? The policy at Bank Of America may seem a bit on the ridiculous side concerning the requirement of a thumb-print, but it seems Valdez needs to realize that the world does not revolve around him.

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Tel
Coat

Dear me...

I'm sure it was just an armless misunderstanding...

(Sorry!)

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All our associates are belong to us.

People make mistakes.

But calling the "Associates" makes them sound like people the bank doesn't have much control over.

I'm an "associate" of an American web site. I buy stuff from them, occasionally.

Want to trust me with your money?

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FAIL

Bank of America - not MY America, thank you

Typical Bank of America crap. They are without a doubt the most evil, foulest bank in the known universe. BofA isn't about banking or customer service, never has been - it is all about mergers and acquisitions - customers are a nuisance to them. Should you need a US bank, talk to any one of several hundred smaller regional banks where you are a person, not just a number.

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Grenade

Bank of A...

Insert humorous A word. Yep, they're this stupid. Why I used to bank there.

My savings account slowly kept getting lower and lower interest, so I pulled it out to go with the competition. As I was getting the draft check, the teller asked my why I was leaving. I replied that the service was kind of lax and the interest was poor. She told me that they could up the interest rate, and that I'd only had to ask for a better account. My reply was that it was a little too late as I'd already opened the other account. I checked with other customers and found that BOA basically creates new account levels every six months and demotes the previous savings account offering, so you have to ask at six month intervals for the new account offering, or you don't get the current rates being offered by the other banks.

My mom is still with them, and over the years, they've bolloxed up some rather simple, but very important things like getting SSI numbers correct, names on the accounts correct, things that could be rather devastating and needing a lot of proof to reverse any account fiascos.

Just remember, "They're too big to fail" so I guess the incompetence is justified.

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Coat

Evil bank

I'm sure the poor bloke was quite 'armless.

Stop pushing, I'm going...

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see below

I'm glad we have an icon for this kind of story...

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Coat

Policy

Only bank bosses can get a handout without a leg to stand on.

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WTF?

In b4

'armless jokes.

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Welcome

Similar...

..thing happened to me when I tried to cash Travellers Cheques at Bank of America, McArthur Blvd, Irving, TX.

"Two forms of ID, please"

ID - Sure, here's my passport (OK for entry into US) and my Finnish driving licence.

"Nope, your driving licence is foreign, we can't accept it" Er, so is my passport...(Sound of deaf ears flapping in the breeze)

OK, so why would I wanna cash Euro travellers cheques if I was a 'merkan?

Flapping sound again.

OK, how about my work identity tag? "Yep, that's fine" (Freshly printed in Finland, recently the ink dried by that same muppet's ears flapping...)

Godalfuc*kingmighty.

I for one welcome my new cretinous overlords.

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Coat

re. The last paragraph

Pretty handy...

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BofA's Finger Print Collection

Bank of America's policy to collect biometric data is questionable at best. A few years back it was either left or right index finger, now it seems to be a thumb print. I understand their motive to cut down on fraudulent check cashing, but in my opinion it is not appropriate for them to get to a customer's finger print for free (it is valuable information that should cost them quite something), and they probably don't know how to handle this sensitive data with the required care (at least a few years back their personal was not able to provide information about what happens with their finger print collection and who has when access to it, etc.).

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Coat

Hopefully, I'm not repeating 1000s of other posts

"Don't mind 'im - he's 'armless"

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Well, it's even, actually.....

He's short two arms; the teller and manager are short two brains.

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Anonymous Coward

(Untitled)

Ah, as the recession bites, the blame culture flourishes, and the number of jobsworths increase trying to cover themselves.

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Joke

Oh come on!

Surely there's no 'arm in it?

I'll get my coat, its the one without the sleeves that wasn't on the hanger ta.

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WTF?

This raises so many quesitons...

How did he enter the bank with no hands?

How did he hand over a cheque?

How does he produce photo ID?

Hell, how do you even get married?

AND WHAT KIND OF A WIFE SENDS A MAN WITH NO ARMS OFF TO RUN ERRANDS? THAT'S PRETTY COLD.

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Go

Wow

Wow, a whine that was even remotely justified for once... I think.

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"a bit hacked off"

That's just mocking the afflicted.

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Unhappy

Shame on u BoA

BoA statement reads a bit like "We don't give a s*it about the armless geyser but we do give a very strong s*it about Americans with Disabilities Act"

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Grenade

The wonders of the corporate world

A classic piece of "cover your ass".

We all have to play the CYA game, and the larger the corp. you work for the more it has to be played.

I'd bet that there is some rule on BoA's books along the lines that any cheques cashed that turn out to be fraudulent have to have the costs paid by the teller who cashed the cheque. The teller is probably the most poorly paid employee who would be involved in the transaction too. If the teller sticks to the letter of the rules then they don't have anything to worry about, so that is what happened.

And of course, if you are disenchanted with your job - which I would be if I worked in a bank where the fat cats are getting huge bonuses whilst the rest of the economy appears to be going down the pan - then you will stick to the rules and hide behind an equivalent of "computer says no", without a care in the world as to the reputation of the business. And the reputation is worth a lot. One helluva lot. But it is an abstract concept and difficult to quantify, so the bean counters who don't understand that there are people in the world smarter than them just ignore reputation because there isn't a number for it to go into their beloved spreadsheets. And it's spreadsheets that drive corporate decision making.

Hell, I've been in a job where I got burnt out. When it happened that I had to enforce rules or policies or procedures that sucked, when the user complained I would simply refer them straight to the policy writer. Yeah, management types don't like that - they want the people in the trenches to take the flack. And this mentality is widespread - this is why so many companies have call centres that focus on apologising and keeping customers sweet with BS rather than actually helping the customer get a better deal than the competition are offering.

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An outrage but...

I'm wondering how he presented two forms of ID with no arms. He may have used his feet but I'm going with a prehensile tongue.

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WTF?

Verification?

How would the bank have verified his identity even if he had given his thumbprint. Do they do some kind of check with the FBI (or somesuck body). If he hadn't an account there he might not have ever visited so it would be unlikely that the bank had his prints already to check against.

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Stop

As a banker...

I've completely read the wrong part of the story here...

A man, took a cheque made out to HIS WIFE, to a bank where he had no account and asked to get it cashed.

Is it just me or is that the most ridiculous part of this story??

Move to America gents, steal your missus's money

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Anonymous Coward

May I be the (probably) 52nd to say

that they should have cashed his cheque (check),

After all, he looked armless enough...

Was that bad taste? Was it? It was? Soz.

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Joke

A Mighty Big Thumb

He should have just given them a stump print.

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Bronze badge

A bit hacked off indeed ;p

and rightly so.

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All I can say is

nuff said

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Coat

Me too!

I'd have given them the finger too.

(I'll get my coat)

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FAIL

WTF?

Why oh why under the good burnin' ball o'fusion would one have to produce a freakin' thumbprint to cash a check? What is *wrong* with these 'Mericans? And where is the creativity? If such inane insanity is demanded by company policy (fuck it), have him press whatever he has onto the paper. Like a toe, toes have prints. Or just the blunt stump of his birth-defected arms. If there was a gang of grifters out cashing in by the help of cripples, the bank would have been told so. This way, he can very likely sue due to discrimination, and I hope he does.

Anyway, here in good old continental Facististan I simply produce my nationally issued ID-CARD which is designed to keep the machinery of control via of labour and money in good working order.

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Anonymous Coward

Cha-Ching!

He should respond in the only way banks, corporations understand.

Sue their arse off!

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Happy

I smell..

... a multi million dollar lawsuit...

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Marvellous!

He's 'a bit hacked off', is he? The 'from birth' nature of his disability notwithstanding, that is the BEST line this article could have started with!!!

Good work!!

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Anonymous Coward

Isn't?

This is the same Bank of America who blamed a dead woman for the banking crisis whilst trying to collect from her, right? http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/266767

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Coat

too soon?

You would think the bank would give him a hand....

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Coat

Well..

To be fair, with 2 forms of ID, he was almost certainly armless...

Coat.

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Unhappy

why couldn't the give him a hand?

This underscores that disabled people might need a leg up in this world.

:(

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Joke

Reminds me of a friend I had

He had no legs. The harassment he received was terrible.

He was once throw off the Bus for standing on the seats.

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FAIL

BoA didn't have a leg to stand on.

They're prepared to let him open an account and pay the cheque in using the two photo-IDs but he couldn't cash the cheque with the same IDs? I suppose they could have argued that he would have to wait for the cheque to clear before he could withdraw the funds, but since electronic fund transfer allows the bank to take the funds from the payee immediately after reading into the bank's system (that's how long it takes to show when you check your balance at an ATM, after all), he shouldn't have had to wait too long... should he?

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WTF?

Rules on cashing spouse's checks (/cheques)

So this is all new to me - can I cash cheques made out to any Mrs A Coward then? Or any Mrs Coward? Or is one of the forms of id a marriage certificate?

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The banks in the US

sure seem to want an arm and a leg. You'd think they'd have just given him a hand with it.

Thumbs up because... well...

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WTF?

Language, Timothy

"We have ensured those policies have been underscored with all our associates across the bank."

When did American corporations stop speaking English? What's wrong with saying "We've reminded all staff not be idiots".

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Joke

Oh dear...

Maybe it's their new ploy to get new customers?

not working to well.

Thumbs up to the guy for walking away, lets give him a hand!

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