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Thread: Passport office... absolute shower of *****

  1. #1
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    Passport office... absolute shower of *****

    Meant to be headed to majorca next Saturday (7th may). First family holiday in six years, so obviously the kids needed passports (one renewal, one "first").
    I appreciate the service is overwhelmed but we thought we'd given plenty of time at 10 weeks. Daughters arrived in a fortnight, sons still isn't back.
    After a frantic call to the passport office (and a full day of re-dials, re-dials, on hold, re-dials) we finally got through to someone who happily told us the application hadn't been processed as they have LOST his birth certificate!
    First they wanted to blame us for not sending it, but luckily for us the two kids documents all went together, and my daughters went through no problem.

    Twice since friday we have been promised an emergency call-back. Twice is hasn't materialised.
    I'm now faced with losing the holiday - its way too late to cancel or reschedule..., it took us the best part of a year to pay it off. I've no idea what to do at this point but if I'm not on a plane next Friday the consequences will be absolutely shocking, I'm not in my right mind this week, quite honestly I've not slept since Sunday.

  2. #2
    Master SeanST150's Avatar
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    There's no advice I can give, I just wanted to say sorry to hear of this stress.

    Can you book an appointment and go to their office? The same place people fast track their applications?

  3. #3
    Grand Master JasonM's Avatar
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    Ahhh that’s crap Kev, fingers crossed they come through for you.
    Cheers..
    Jase

  4. #4
    The wife’s just sent ours off, mines gone to Bootle, the wife’s gone to Glasgow…mines so say should be about 4-5 weeks the wife’s 10 plus weeks……going on my own then!

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by SeanST150 View Post
    There's no advice I can give, I just wanted to say sorry to hear of this stress.

    Can you book an appointment and go to their office? The same place people fast track their applications?

    Only way to do that is book and pay for an express service (1-3 days). Two problems - there's already an active application (somewhere!!) which just needs additional documentation (which we already have, replacement birth certificate). The other issue is they won't do an immediate passport for a first one, only replacements.

  6. #6
    Master blackal's Avatar
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    The government minister was in parliament today, and delivered a statement/report/platitudes/lies?

    All going fine, apparently!

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by blackal View Post
    The government minister was in parliament today, and delivered a statement/report/platitudes/lies?

    All going fine, apparently!
    My wife and daughter got theirs immediately, no stress and no messing. Just my sons they are dithering with. The kids are so excited for next week and we've had to tell them it might not happen, and we might not manage another for quite some time. It's pretty upsetting.
    Worst case, I've told my wife to just take Mia and ill stay home.

  8. #8
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    My daughters renewal turned round in 18 days earlier this month.
    Her boyfriend’s is still in the system with no updates after 26!
    Looks like me & the wife only at this rate, they can rebook flights for later if not here Fri/Sat latest.

    Where in Majorca were you going?
    Last edited by g40steve; 27th April 2022 at 20:09.

  9. #9
    Master Wolfie's Avatar
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    Ah Kev…. That’s seriously crap

    Hope it all comes good for you mate 👍🏼

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by g40steve View Post
    My daughters renewal turned round in 18 days earlier this month.
    Her boyfriend’s is still in the system with no updates after 26!
    Looks like me & the wife only at this rate, they can rebook flights for later if not here Fri/Sat latest.

    Where in Majorca were you going?
    Sa Coma. Been to majorca in the past but other side of the island.

  11. #11
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    Hmm, very interesting and you have my sympaties Kev

    My sister-in-law sent off for a renewal for their daughter and were told they needed to send her birth certificate - for a renewal?
    Anyway, everything duly sent but nothing materialised.

    From here on I could copy your update about phone calls etc. Including being told it was not being progressed because they've lost the birth cert.
    S-I-L did actually get a call back from a manager yesterday who promised to sort it out without the birth cert. because he said he didn't understand why that was requested in the first place.

    Sounds like the usual outsourced shit show we've been dropped into so many times and still haven't learned the lessons

  12. #12
    Master blackal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kevkojak View Post
    My wife and daughter got theirs immediately, no stress and no messing. Just my sons they are dithering with. The kids are so excited for next week and we've had to tell them it might not happen, and we might not manage another for quite some time. It's pretty upsetting.
    Worst case, I've told my wife to just take Mia and ill stay home.
    Not good! (Don’t take my post as being in agreement with the government lies and platitudes).

    The online applications should be more efficient with staff working from home - but hey!

    Good luck.

  13. #13
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    That's crap Kev and I hope you get sorted, the stress is awful at times like this. For balance though I'd say this isn't usual and in fact I suspect highly unusual. They should be pulling out all the stops to help you and make sure you get that passport. My experiences have been excellent, as have others. I applied for two renewals in March via the online portal and they were in my hand inside ten days.

  14. #14
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    They sound like a bunch of tools. Hope it all works out well.

  15. #15
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    Sorry to hear. It’s not over till it’s over so really hope something good can come of this. Fingers crossed for you!

  16. #16
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    Fingers crossed for a last minute result.

    My BIL is on his bike as DVLA have failed to renew his license, seems all these organisations are broken.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by barreti View Post

    Sounds like the usual outsourced shit show we've been dropped into so many times and still haven't learned the lessons
    Yup,most likely explanation. Although blame the system not the undertrained agency workers

  18. #18
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    That's such a Daily Mail thing to say. Believe me, not all Government Departments are broken.

    Quote Originally Posted by Montello View Post
    Fingers crossed for a last minute result.

    My BIL is on his bike as DVLA have failed to renew his license, seems all these organisations are broken.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by TaketheCannoli View Post
    That's such a Daily Mail thing to say. Believe me, not all Government Departments are broken.
    No not all of them but I deal with many of them on a regular basis and all is not well in the garden. Professional courtesy / caution prevents me naming names.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by TaketheCannoli View Post
    That's such a Daily Mail thing to say. Believe me, not all Government Departments are broken.
    Well maybe so … which ones are working like well oiled machines then?

  21. #21
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    drive to wales with sprog and pick one up.

  22. #22
    Master Christian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeremy67 View Post
    No not all of them but I deal with many of them on a regular basis and all is not well in the garden. Professional courtesy / caution prevents me naming names.
    Although I have no experience of the passport office, would agree with this too. In public funded organisations, where the productivity doesn’t directly result in profit, there is no measurable and also no reward to work. WFH just doesn’t work.

  23. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by kevkojak View Post
    Only way to do that is book and pay for an express service (1-3 days). Two problems - there's already an active application (somewhere!!) which just needs additional documentation (which we already have, replacement birth certificate). The other issue is they won't do an immediate passport for a first one, only replacements.
    Mate on the government website it says you can apply for a child’s first passport with the online premium

  24. #24
    Grand Master markrlondon's Avatar
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  25. #25
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    I am living your pain right now. Child passport renewal came back from Liverpool in just 12 days. My own, sent same day to Durham, they haven’t even acknowledged receipt of old passport yet. Think I’m doomed to dog sit!!!

  26. #26
    Master TKH's Avatar
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    Kev sorry for your pain think this dude covers your neck of woods

    https://www.jamesgrundy.org.uk/

    Ring him
    Email him

  27. #27
    Grand Master hogthrob's Avatar
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    I filled in the online application to renew my passport on the 7th of April, and received the new passport on the 21st. When I renewed my son's passport in March, there was a similar turn round time. Guess I must be an outlier.

  28. #28
    Grand Master sundial's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kevkojak View Post
    Meant to be headed to majorca next Saturday (7th may). First family holiday in six years, so obviously the kids needed passports (one renewal, one "first").
    I appreciate the service is overwhelmed but we thought we'd given plenty of time at 10 weeks. Daughters arrived in a fortnight, sons still isn't back.
    After a frantic call to the passport office (and a full day of re-dials, re-dials, on hold, re-dials) we finally got through to someone who happily told us the application hadn't been processed as they have LOST his birth certificate!
    First they wanted to blame us for not sending it, but luckily for us the two kids documents all went together, and my daughters went through no problem.

    Twice since friday we have been promised an emergency call-back. Twice is hasn't materialised.
    I'm now faced with losing the holiday - its way too late to cancel or reschedule..., it took us the best part of a year to pay it off. I've no idea what to do at this point but if I'm not on a plane next Friday the consequences will be absolutely shocking, I'm not in my right mind this week, quite honestly I've not slept since Sunday.
    A few years ago I used to work in one of the UK passport offices and am aware that documents are occasionally lost .. it's inevitable when an office is processing up to one million passports per month. I recall we had regular 'searches' when the office was turned upside down looking for strayed docs. And I recall a manager's disbelief when I found an a partially processed application. missing for weeks, stuck behind a wall unit ... furniture I was obliged to move to retrieve a pen. When you next phone the passport office to chase up your application's progress you might consider insisting that you speak to an HEO grade manager and enquire if and when they last conducted a thorough search of the office and advise them that if they do not / cannot find your docs, you will contact your MP and request that he / she asks a question in the House.

    EDIT: Your active application has a unique application number and its whereabouts can be sourced on the passport office system. If you have the replacement birth certificate it should be fairly easy to discuss same with eg an HEO to find the quickest way of matching it up with the existing application ... even if it means making an appointment to hand it over personally.
    Last edited by sundial; 28th April 2022 at 11:16.
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  29. #29
    Grand Master snowman's Avatar
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    The civil service is a shambles from top to bottom as far as I can tell.

    It's always your fault when they screw things up, not theirs.

    My son has been trying to claim JobSeekers' Allowance since January, they 'lost' his application and told him to apply again, after sending him a letter saying he wasn't getting it because he didn't attend a meeting in Swindon (50 miles away) that he'd never been told about!

    I returned some damaged items to Germany - Before I had them delivered, I had to pay the VAT (Fair enough), reclaiming the VAT on the returned goods is nigh on impossible, despite there 'supposedly' being an online system.

    Hardly a surprise though, when the country is led by inbred, entitled imbeciles (That last line is probably more suited to the BP, but indisputable really...) and every public service's budget is squeezed to provide bigger and bigger tax exemptions for the rich.

    M
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  30. #30

  31. #31
    Quote Originally Posted by hogthrob View Post
    I filled in the online application to renew my passport on the 7th of April, and received the new passport on the 21st. When I renewed my son's passport in March, there was a similar turn round time. Guess I must be an outlier.
    Renewals done online are pretty much automated with very little human intervention required hence they are quick

    The OP is looking to get a first issued passport. Not a comparable process unfortunately




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  32. #32
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    I’ve had good and bad experiences with the passport office, the worst included needing a birth certificate for our adopted sons birth mother, we had his birth certificate, adoption certificate, his birth mothers death certificate and a letter from social services.
    The best one hour turnaround when I needed a passport with a longer validity period for a last minute work job, hardly got outside when I was told it was ready.

  33. #33
    I recently did 2 renewals, for me and one of my girls, both came back within 2 weeks. Both done using the online portal, it took less than 5 mins to complete the application, with pictures I took using my iphone, was a pretty nice service, far nicer than having to get pictures done and fill in a huge form.

  34. #34
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    As much as I advocate working from home or the hybrid model, these are the sorts of civil servants that need to get their arse back into the office by mandate. I can't imagine the stress you're going through, hope by some way of a miracle that it works out.

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrBanks View Post
    As much as I advocate working from home or the hybrid model, these are the sorts of civil servants that need to get their arse back into the office by mandate. I can't imagine the stress you're going through, hope by some way of a miracle that it works out.
    To use a computer and a telephone? What am I missing?

  36. #36
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    An utterly ridiculous statement. Hybrid works. Working from home works. If you have professional discipline and are dedicated to your profession. We've achieved some incredible deliveries during the COVID period whilst working full time from home so 'getting their arses back into the office by mandate' is nonsense. Personally I've worked more and longer hours than ever before to ensure our contribution to keeping the country moving is delivered. No time lost commuting, no illness / absence due to not mixing with others, shorter and more focused online meetings as opposed to filling a room with people who have to get there and back has been very noticeable and being able to access my IT at all times has been a massive benefit.


    Quote Originally Posted by MrBanks View Post
    As much as I advocate working from home or the hybrid model, these are the sorts of civil servants that need to get their arse back into the office by mandate. I can't imagine the stress you're going through, hope by some way of a miracle that it works out.

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrBanks View Post
    As much as I advocate working from home or the hybrid model, these are the sorts of civil servants that need to get their arse back into the office by mandate. I can't imagine the stress you're going through, hope by some way of a miracle that it works out.
    Mogg's on the case with his Post it's.

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by TaketheCannoli View Post
    An utterly ridiculous statement. Hybrid works. Working from home works. If you have professional discipline and are dedicated to your profession. We've achieved some incredible deliveries during the COVID period whilst working full time from home so 'getting their arses back into the office by mandate' is nonsense. Personally I've worked more and longer hours than ever before to ensure our contribution to keeping the country moving is delivered. No time lost commuting, no illness / absence due to not mixing with others, shorter and more focused online meetings as opposed to filling a room with people who have to get there and back has been very noticeable and being able to access my IT at all times has been a massive benefit.
    This ^^^^ From 2013 I worked exclusively from home, achieved more whilst at the same time felt that my time wasn't being wasted by the commute or pointless meetings.
    "Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. The third time it's enemy action."

    'Populism, the last refuge of a Tory scoundrel'.

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by sundial View Post
    EDIT: Your active application has a unique application number and its whereabouts can be sourced on the passport office system. If you have the replacement birth certificate it should be fairly easy to discuss same with eg an HEO to find the quickest way of matching it up with the existing application ... even if it means making an appointment to hand it over personally.
    This is exactly what I'm praying for- them to summon me in to hand over the document and them to process it immediately. There's almost no chance of this now being g handled by post.
    Sadly, it's the "speaking to someone" part that's proven problematic. 9 out of 10 calls get a message about the system being too busy to even place me in a queue. The other 1/10 either goes unanswered (I've waited 1 hour 40 minutes before it clicks off) or the customer service advisor has no idea what to do.
    As I say, this has been passed up to an "emergency upgrade" complaints team but we have mo way to contact them... they have to contact us. On an urgent request which they promised would be settled within 24 hours, we've now waited 4 days (5 if you include friday) with no contact.
    This is absolutely unforgivable regardless how busy they are. I'm supposed to fly in 8 days and they haven't even called to tell me what steps to take.
    I've not even gone into work today, after a mega stressful 4 months this has completely broken me.

  40. #40
    Does anyone know what's precisely wrong with these government departments? With facts, if anyone has them.

    For a long while the governments digital transformation has been fantastic. Even at the end of last year I got passports very quickly. The DVLA is super responsive and every year the Self Assessment process get easier and easier.

    I genuinely have found it hard to fault these services, but something has gone wrong in recent times.

    Is it covid/underfunding/outsourcing/staff retention/hiring/preparing for sale/all of the above?

    It's pretty sad, as I think since mid 2000s we've been doing well.

  41. #41
    Grand Master Passenger's Avatar
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    Might it have anything to do with the govt leadership, poor morale and the removal of some of the most senior cvil servants over the last year or two...though we might be n the wrong place to really dig into this.

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by guinea View Post
    Does anyone know what's precisely wrong with these government departments? With facts, if anyone has them.

    For a long while the governments digital transformation has been fantastic. Even at the end of last year I got passports very quickly. The DVLA is super responsive and every year the Self Assessment process get easier and easier.

    I genuinely have found it hard to fault these services, but something has gone wrong in recent times.

    Is it covid/underfunding/outsourcing/staff retention/hiring/preparing for sale/all of the above?

    It's pretty sad, as I think since mid 2000s we've been doing well.
    12 years of ..oooops nearly put my foot in it
    "Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. The third time it's enemy action."

    'Populism, the last refuge of a Tory scoundrel'.

  43. #43
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    Positive thoughts Kev. It will come through and you will get away. I bet they issue it in the next 48 hours and courier it to your home.

    Quote Originally Posted by kevkojak View Post
    I'm supposed to fly in 8 days and they haven't even called to tell me what steps to take.
    I've not even gone into work today, after a mega stressful 4 months this has completely broken me.

  44. #44
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    I think it’s primarily a funding issue. Budgets are constantly squeezed and there’s no money for anything unless it’s a minister’s pet project.
    It’s inevitable that services will suffer.
    To be fair to the Passport Office they are suffering unprecedented demand following lockdown. Whether that was anticipated or not I don’t know, but I suspect even if it was there would have been no funding to do anything about it. Government seems to wait for the proverbial to hit the fan before they do anything.
    I’ve recently applied for two renewal passports for my kids. The first took about 4 weeks and the second has been printed after 3 weeks so should be back soon. The online application process is fantastic and a massive improvement over the old application form.

  45. #45
    Grand Master oldoakknives's Avatar
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    Probably something to do with the popularity of Peloton and working from home perhaps.
    Started out with nothing. Still have most of it left.

  46. #46
    Grand Master JasonM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TaketheCannoli View Post
    An utterly ridiculous statement. Hybrid works. Working from home works. If you have professional discipline and are dedicated to your profession. We've achieved some incredible deliveries during the COVID period whilst working full time from home so 'getting their arses back into the office by mandate' is nonsense. Personally I've worked more and longer hours than ever before to ensure our contribution to keeping the country moving is delivered. No time lost commuting, no illness / absence due to not mixing with others, shorter and more focused online meetings as opposed to filling a room with people who have to get there and back has been very noticeable and being able to access my IT at all times has been a massive benefit.
    I think the operative word there is the ‘if’ in your 4th sentence, hybrid working can work, working from home can work, it’s just that it sometimes doesn’t.

  47. #47
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    I know, i know, don't shoot the messenger........

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/art...London-HQ.html

  48. #48
    Grand Master sundial's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kevkojak View Post
    This is exactly what I'm praying for- them to summon me in to hand over the document and them to process it immediately. There's almost no chance of this now being g handled by post.
    Sadly, it's the "speaking to someone" part that's proven problematic. 9 out of 10 calls get a message about the system being too busy to even place me in a queue. The other 1/10 either goes unanswered (I've waited 1 hour 40 minutes before it clicks off) or the customer service advisor has no idea what to do.
    As I say, this has been passed up to an "emergency upgrade" complaints team but we have mo way to contact them... they have to contact us. On an urgent request which they promised would be settled within 24 hours, we've now waited 4 days (5 if you include friday) with no contact.
    This is absolutely unforgivable regardless how busy they are. I'm supposed to fly in 8 days and they haven't even called to tell me what steps to take.
    I've not even gone into work today, after a mega stressful 4 months this has completely broken me.
    Pls see my PM. customer service person might be a temp if he/she has no idea what to do ... but their EO or HEO would know what to do ... so insist on being transferred to the HEO .. but pls have your ppt application number to hand so it can be ID'd and progress to date seen on the system. At this time of year and during busy periods temps are employed ... ask the customer service person if they are are a temp ... insist on speaking to an experienced permanent employee rather than a temp ... and again ask to be transferred to their manager ... preferably the HEO ... Keep your cool when speaking ... Insist that you want an appointment so you can deliver the birth cert personally to have the ppt processed same day
    Last edited by sundial; 28th April 2022 at 15:36.
    "After a certain age you got the face you deserve I think" ... Henri Cartier-Bresson

  49. #49
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    Passport office... absolute shower of *****

    So far, so good for me.

    Application submitted 20/4 for a renewal, sent the expired passport on the same day first class post. Text 26/4 documents received and now 28/4 application approved now awaiting for it to be printed and then posted.

    B


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    Last edited by bomberman; 28th April 2022 at 20:41.

  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by TaketheCannoli View Post
    An utterly ridiculous statement. Hybrid works. Working from home works. If you have professional discipline and are dedicated to your profession. We've achieved some incredible deliveries during the COVID period whilst working full time from home so 'getting their arses back into the office by mandate' is nonsense. Personally I've worked more and longer hours than ever before to ensure our contribution to keeping the country moving is delivered. No time lost commuting, no illness / absence due to not mixing with others, shorter and more focused online meetings as opposed to filling a room with people who have to get there and back has been very noticeable and being able to access my IT at all times has been a massive benefit.
    WFH is fine for conscientious people but some people take advantage. I still have not seen your list of perfectly functioning government departments. I think a great number of people are sitting at home with their feet up. You are clearly putting a strong shift in but I’m afraid you maybe not the typical employee.

    We have an example here of failing plus from my own experience HMRC, DVLA, local authority CCG, council tax department locally and the Planning Portal are all shadows of their former performance, that is a generous description. No business could function like this without going bust.
    Last edited by Montello; 28th April 2022 at 22:16.

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