Help - Passports renewal application stuck at Durham Passport Office and we are traveling this Friday

(1000 Posts)
wujo Wed 18-Jul-12 22:22:10

hi all,

I am desperate!!!

Passports sent via PO Check and Send on the 2nd July.
Called the IPS 0300 number over 60 times today - got through a dozen times.
Cant escalate - can't get transferred to Durham.
Cant talk to anyone.

I am crying and feeling sick as it will ruined the holidays for my twin girls, my son, my husband and my mum.

Can someone help or know someone from the Durham office help us!? We prepare to drive up from Bristol tomorrow to pick them up if need be sad

Help!!!

AKMD Thu 19-Jul-12 10:53:54

Phone again. Cry. Drive to Durham with everyone whose passport is stuck and all forms of ID, birth certificate, marriage certificate, bank statements, new application forms, countersigned photos etc. you can muster.

FredWorms Fri 20-Jul-12 22:54:49

Did you go?

janeb204 Mon 23-Jul-12 17:50:31

Im desperate too....Durham have had my daughters passport 6 weeks now, and returned photos as not having a grey background when they did have. We replaced, resent and now are going on holiday on saturday and noone can get Durham to answer the phone from the Passport helpline and they tell me there is nothing anyone can do to get my daughters passport for saturday. Our holiday is in ruins and there isnt even a phone number I can ring.
What chaos and soo unfair

Sazzley35 Mon 23-Jul-12 18:29:06

Its absolute madness, I have tried to get through to Durham repeatedly and they just say oh its busy call back later. I have requested a call back but I'm not confident they are going to ring me.

If I haven't heard anything by Wednesday I am going to drive up

janeb204 Mon 23-Jul-12 20:27:37

They tell me I have to wait 48 hours for a call back. I did that Friday and no call back ever came. The call centre tell me they cannot put me through, the lines are just busy all the time. They say I can pay extra for a priority posting but I cant speak to anyone to order it and time is running out. They cant confirm if they can do this until I speak to durham and they are impossible to get hold of. I asked if I can drive to Durham and wait in line but they said I cannot do that without an appointment and the waiting list for an appointment is 3 weeks. What can i do????? Does anyone have any idea
Can you go there and wait?

Sazzley35 Tue 24-Jul-12 09:19:38

I'm going up tomorrow, I'm getting no info at all. I can't even say to the airline move my flights to such and such a day because they aren't answering the phone to tell me when the passport will be ready.

I'm emailling Sky News as well, its a bloody disgrace. I was told yesterday that it doesn't matter when I sent the forms off, if they haven't had it on their system for 3 calendar weeks I can't upgrade it. So basically if they didn't do anything with it for a fortnight I'm knackered because of their incompetence. I suggest others do the same we might get some action, or at least feel better venting our spleens!!

Willsmum79 Tue 24-Jul-12 09:26:22

I feel for you all. I sent my LO's one off in May (travelling IN 13 days) and it was back within 2 weeks.

Sazzley35 Tue 24-Jul-12 09:26:29

If anyone wants to come up with me, we might have greater sway in number than going individually, let me know and I will happily meet you.

Its their own fault, they offered us a call back and we didn't get it.

janeb204 Tue 24-Jul-12 16:38:11

i got a call back in the end from an absolute diamond in Durham who had a 'can do, will do attitude!' she looked at my application as suggested not to fast track it as it was pretty well done.and that a fast track at this late stage might actually slow it down..gave me a courier phone number to track it to me and felt it WOULD be with me by Friday. I have to hope shes telling the truth. i will know on Thursday if the courier actually has it.
the system is a mess and cannot cope with phone calls, messages or promised timescales. my passport has been in the system weeks and weeks. keep on trying there are real people in Durham who at least try to help if only you can get through to one!

KazyLou Tue 24-Jul-12 20:03:57

I had exactly the same experience spoke to three people in Durham today. All super- gave me the impression they wanted to help. Shame the same cannot be said of the helpline. It must create more problems than it solves!

janeb204 Tue 24-Jul-12 21:47:54

So pleased for you...please come back and tell us if yours does arrive and it would be great to hear they have! Totally agree the helpline is awful. They rang my home phone today while my daughter was at home and I was at work and they wouldn't ring my mobile so she rang me and relayed my messages over the phone to them...what official organisation will ONLY speak to a child about such an important thing. They asked her if it was an emergency and she said yes, my mummy cant take me away on our holiday and the caller said that wasn't an emergency....and my little one said...is leaving a child at home without her mum not an emergency? and IPS said no...heartless!!! It may not be their definition of an emergency but fancy telling a child that.

Please all do persevere for it seems to me that Durham ....once you get through to them are so very much better.

janeb204 Tue 24-Jul-12 21:50:46

btw .....she wouldnt be left home alone, my OH wasn't coming on holiday cos cannot get away...she was just having to be without mum.....I just reread that and it sounded like I was abandoning the poor mite

Peasbody Tue 24-Jul-12 22:04:14

I agree with Janeb204 keep your phone on redial, keep phoning keep phoning keep phoning! I also filled in countless contact forms which can be found on the direct.gov website through the 'track your passport' section. The home office website also has a form to fill out for complaints. I guess I called them and emailed them enough for them to call me back! Apparently if you get through on the 0300 number if you ask for the progress department they can try and put you through there and they might be able to give you a little more information. I too have been promised my sons passport will be with us by Friday. We will see.......I travel on the 6th August! Jane, that is terrible about your daughter being spoken to like that. It seems to me the 0300 number is simply a barrier to stop us getting through to the real people, as they cannot actually help with anything when you speak to them. I think everyone should write letters of complaint about this situation. The 0300 message advises customers to leave the maximum number of weeks for the application to be processed which is 6 weeks. This is obviously not true as we sent ours in May! Keep trying everyone. Don't give up xxxxx

Peasbody Tue 24-Jul-12 22:06:40

Haha Jane I don't think anyone thought that. I have joked to my friends they might find a little boy on their doorstep with a note on him saying please take care of me for a week ;-). I think we'll all have to stay at home if his doesn't come though as the whole point of this trip is it is our first family holiday. Silly me, should have applied for his passport before he was conceived just to make sure he actually had a passport to travel!

FrankWippery Tue 24-Jul-12 22:16:40

THis happened to a friend of mine last year. Get up early, drive to arrive at the passport office in Swansea BEFORE it opens (9am I think) and go in and explain to them. Your details will all be on the system and they will be able to provide you with passports the same day - my friend got her passport and those of her children within 4 hours.

KazyLou Wed 25-Jul-12 08:22:40

I said to one operator what if we reported missing and I started again she said that would be fraud and thats a crime! No customer care or self awareness at all. No skills in dealing with distressed individuals. Like others have said it was making me physically I'll! angryangry

OlymPicture Wed 25-Jul-12 17:54:49

I found the main helpline really really unhelpful, but once transferred on from them to someone in a PP office, then they were really on the ball.... it's just the getting passed the initial person who answers.

Keeping fingers crossed for those waiting - this was us last year and it was so so stressful - went down to the wire, arriving the day before we flew out

Newtothisstuff Wed 25-Jul-12 18:01:06

Oh crap I'm flapping now.. We are going in 4 weeks, they have had mine almost 2 weeks now. Hope mines back in time sad

OlymPicture Wed 25-Jul-12 19:13:35

Newtothisstuff once they have had it 2 weeks you can ring them for an update.

Two friends have renewed their DCs lately, one was back in ten days, the other phoned after 6 weeks to be told they had written to the countersignatory (who hadn't received a letter), and it was a close call for them getting it back in time.

Newtothisstuff Wed 25-Jul-12 20:24:14

Mine was just a name change so fingers crossed it hurries up

AKMD Thu 26-Jul-12 11:51:27

I hope the OP hasn't come back because she's on holiday! smile

Misssss Thu 26-Jul-12 12:30:26

I feel your pain. Applied for my renewal through check and send on the 11th June and Still haven't got it back... I've already had to cancel a holiday and it looks like I may have to go without another. Furious is not the word!

Does anyone have another number other then the 0300 one?

janeb204 Thu 26-Jul-12 13:42:43

It arrived today, wonderful woman at Durham was true to her word and got it to me. VEry best of luck for you wll..hoping it works out for you

Lotkinsgonecurly Thu 26-Jul-12 17:56:53

I sent my DD's 10 days ago with the check and send service hopefully it will be back soon. We go on the 6th August too. Oh bloody hell.

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