A PAVAROTTI lookalike has slammed a bank’s refusal to issue him with a personalised card bearing his picture — after staff mistook him for the real singer.
Colin Miller, of Gough Side, Burton, has worked as a Luciano Pavarotti lookalike for more than 20 years, but believes his bank was penalising him for his unique looks after refusing to issue him with a card bearing his photograph.
He said: “I spoke to the staff at my bank and said they didn’t know why I was refused and could only assume it is because of who I look like. But I can’t help who I look like.
“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.”
The 66-year-old added: “In the past I banked with Abbey National (now Santander) and had a personalised card with my photo on, as it provides extra security.
“They later stopped doing the cards and I just stayed with Barclays, who I have been with for 20 years.”
After Barclays recently started offering personalised cards, Mr Miller and his wife both applied.
“I uploaded a picture of me onto the website. It is the picture I use on my business cards because I look like this naturally, and then I cropped it to the neck.”
Mrs Miller later received her photographic card, but her husband was only sent a plain one. He later received an email saying the bank was unable to process his card.
In the guidelines, the bank stipulates that photographs of celebrities are not allowed, and Mr Miller said: “They say it is because of copyright, but I have never been contacted by people representing the real Pavarotti about it, or been threatened with legal action for looking like him.
“The bank hasn’t had the decency to tell me why they couldn’t process the card.”
However, Barclays said it was an ‘understandable mistake’ after staff believed his photograph was that of the late opera singer.
After being contacted by the Mail, Barclays has now made a U-turn and will issue him with his card.
Nicola Fowkes, Barclays branch manager for Burton said: “The terms and conditions of our personalised card service prevent images of celebrities being used on customer debit cards.
“Clearly in this instance our processing team have understandably mistaken Mr Miller for the opera singer Luciano Pavarotti, who we understand Mr Miller impersonates.
“We are now in the process of contacting Mr Miller so that he can resubmit his application with the original image, so that Mr Miller will have his Barclays personalised debit card, complete with his chosen image.”