U.S. service member Abdiel Gonzalez said an employee at a Shane Co. store in Roseville, California, didn't accept his Puerto Rico driver's license when he tried to buy an engagement ring for his soon-to-be wife.
When the employee didn't accept his license at the jewelry chain last October Gonzalez says he showed his military ID to back up the fact that as Puerto Rican, he is a U.S. citizen. But the employee, Gonzalez said, didn't accept either ID as valid.
Shane Co. asked for a driver's license because Gonzalez wanted to finance the ring using a Shane Co. credit card.
"I felt discriminated and treated like I was a lie," Gonzalez told CBS News.
Shane Co. CEO and president Rordan Shane offered his "sincerest apologies" in a letter to Gonzalez after CBS News called the company about the incident. He thanked Gonzalez for his service and offered him a $1,000 gift certificate, as well as a $1,000 donation to the charity of his choice.
"We are deeply sorry for his experience and are making every possible effort to ensure that it never happens again," the company told CBS News. "This is not reflective of our brand values and was not done with malicious intent."
Shane Co. said it investigated and found that the company needs to improve employee training.
Gonzalez ultimately purchased the ring online without having to use his driver's license. He wrote a message to Shane Co. through its Facebook account but never heard back.
The company said the message was "unfortunately overlooked by our social team and therefore left unaddressed for an unacceptable amount of time."
"We will be taking corrective measures to make sure all direct messages are responded to in a timely fashion," the company said.
In a similar recent case,because he didn't have his passport. Humberto Marchand didn't need his passport because he is a U.S. citizen and has his Puerto Rican driver's license, which is as valid as any other driver's license issued in the United States.
And in April, a Puerto Rican family traveling from Los Angeles to the island of Puerto Rico wasbecause the parents didn't have a U.S. passport for their toddler. The parents didn't need one, nor did their child, because Puerto Ricans are U.S. citizens and Puerto Rico is not an international destination. Spirit Airlines apologized.
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