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!!!

KazyLou Thu 26-Jul-12 20:47:18

Great news Jane ours are back too! Have a lovely time.grin

janeb204 Fri 27-Jul-12 06:40:43

You have to laugh....we celebrated the passport's arrival last night and finally got excited about the holiday...and I got an email today from IPS thanking me for my enquiry and telling me my DD passport was printed on 25th and would be now sent to courier and would take 4-5 working days to arrive. I would have been gutted, if it hadn't already arrived.

Kopparbergkate Mon 30-Jul-12 14:27:17

I'm in the same situation - any tips for actually getting through to Durham? The people on the 0300 number all seem nice but I'm getting different information from all of them (and I've spoken to 8 different people today already).

I'm also getting mightily hacked off with the recorded message that says that this is their busy period so applications are taking the maximum published turnaround time - NO THEY"RE NOT, THEY'RE TAKING CONSIDERABLY LONGER...

IF they actually bothered to update the website on how long applications were taking I would have either paid more and done the priority application OR not booked the bloody flights; I didn't think it was unreasonable to book flights 6 weeks away when Check and Send is only supposed to take 2 weeks - and yes, I KNOW its not guaranteed but I thought a child's renewal would be simple and wouldn't take 3x as long as the estimate...

Lotkinsgonecurly Mon 30-Jul-12 14:40:26

Oh me too. They said I couldn't get put through to the Durham office until tomorrow.Hopefully they'll be able to do something.

Mrsklg Mon 30-Jul-12 14:57:47

This is my first time posting but we are in the me position. We are due to go on our long awaited holiday on Friday and two of my four children's passports are stuck in Durham.
I have been sat on the phone hitting redial since 8 this morning but I still can't get through!
How can I leave two behind - its just not an option?

Izzy77 Mon 30-Jul-12 19:01:32

I have phoned the 0300 number at least 20 times today. I go on holiday on Monday & I do not have a passport & neither does my son. Sent it through the post office & was told it would be back in 2 weeks. Can not get through to Durham & they cant find mine on the system, total joke!! Dont know what to do now. I am sooo stressed. Does anyone know the best time to call to get through to Durham????

gatheringlilac Mon 30-Jul-12 20:57:57

Hello, I'm joining the thread of despair.

Durham don't seem to be taking any calls. The woman I spoke to today 'phoned them internally, and they wouldn't talk to me - just said they would try and 'phone back on Thursday.

We fly on Sunday. Or not. Most probably not, to be honest. sad

Ironically, I posted on another thread to reassure another poster about how quick and helpful the Passport Office could be.

Not any more.

We can't even do the going-down-in-person-and-paying-lots-of-money thing. Apparently, the first appointment for that is the middle of next week sometime.

Does anyone have a direct number for the Durham Office?

We're in London, but I think I'd be prepared to go to Durham, with the children, if it would do any good.

KazyLou Mon 30-Jul-12 21:18:20

If the helpline have emailed Durham you will get the call back I insisted they email on a number of occasions and got the same number of calls back. It does take around 2 working days though.

gatheringlilac Mon 30-Jul-12 22:17:10

Thing is, KazyLou, even if they do 'phone back on Thursday, it's a little finely cut ... I don't see that they'll be able to process our passports in time for a Sunday flight.

The woman I spoke to absolutely ruled out the possibility of one of those one-day-turnaround things.

I think we're stuffed. sad

Problem is that dh and ds have their passports. I'm confident they will go without us, and I'm just a bit worried that dd (9), who'll be staying here with me, is going to feel a bit abandoned, however we explain it to her ....

gatheringlilac Mon 30-Jul-12 22:30:32

wujo - how's it going with you, my dear?

HomeEcoGnomist Mon 30-Jul-12 22:30:38

Gathering - I don't know if this will actually help, but there is an agent in Covent Garden who has same day slots reserved with IPS...I took my DS's application in on Friday, expecting the passport back tomorrow. If you think it will do any good, I'll let you have the details ...

Tinamid Mon 30-Jul-12 22:44:51

Hi All, what a complete nightmare !!! we fly out this Thursday and still dont have my daughters passport back !! Spoken on several occasions to IPS but to no avail ! A complete pantomine, told so many different things and all i wanted to know was what my options were when offered an upgrade! It wouldnt have been so bad it i was told the same thing but was told so many different stories! I understand they are busy, are they not every year?? Why have they not taken on extra staff?? But surely there should be some kind of back up for people like myself! Today i had a call from the passport office in Durham, a lovely lady who gave me a bit of light relief ( after the constant headache ) she told me i would receive a call back within 48 hours which takes me to 11.30 on Wednesday, we need to leave the house by 10am on Thursday!! arrrrrr !!!! She couldnt commit to anything but think she understood my issues/concerns etc ! So hopefully she has pulled our application and will have a promising update for me tomorrow when i call. Does anyone know if they special delivery post on same day?? I Have the option to change our flights up to 3hours before take off and maybe could change until September, incurring £345 additional cost and also a possibily of fine from School approx £360 ! Life is fab !!! typical "customer i wont help you attitude from IPS ! " Good luck to you all !! I have since became an alcoholic !! x

gatheringlilac Mon 30-Jul-12 22:45:53

Thank you, HomeEgoGnomist, I have p.m.-ed a thank you. And then promptly fretted that you might not find it ... <stressy rummaging of hair>

Tinamid Mon 30-Jul-12 22:47:29

Yes you can make an appointment to have your application turned around quickly, we decided to do this and got offered one in Newport, unfortunately would couldnt proceed as we had to wait for our application (currently sitting in Durham) to be returned !

HomeEcoGnomist Mon 30-Jul-12 23:00:14

Gathering - you can stop ruffling, have seem it and replied wink let me know how you get on...

HomeEcoGnomist Mon 30-Jul-12 23:00:56

seen

Izzy77 Tue 31-Jul-12 07:30:42

I am sitting here after a night shift waiting on the phone lines to open at 8am to see if I have any luck getting through today,I am not very hopeful though!!!! I am the same as you Tinamid, they told me to wait the 48 hours for a call back which takes me up to Wednesday at 4.30pm which is cutting it fine for the upgrade. I think I will be an alcoholic by the end of this week as well!!!!!

DoItRight Tue 31-Jul-12 07:41:29

Don't know if this helps anyone, but I was told by a lady at Durham that once your passport has been processed you can contact the couriers direct and pay extra for same day delivery (she even gave me the number) but didn't need to in the end x

Izzy77 Tue 31-Jul-12 07:44:33

DoItRight-How did you manage to get through to Durham? Also they have told me that my passport is in Peterborough, so my DS & mine are in different offices!!! Has anyone had to deal with them????

Izzy77 Tue 31-Jul-12 08:03:34

Just been told that Durham does not open till 9am!!!!!!!!

DoItRight Tue 31-Jul-12 08:10:18

Have PM'd you Izzy

Izzy77 Tue 31-Jul-12 08:57:18

Managed to get through to Durham & they were very helpful. Now waiting on someone to phone me back about an upgrade. My passport is a different story.....Got a phone call from Petersborough who can not offer me an upgrade till Friday as they have not had it long enough.Do not know why as I sent it 2 weeks ago & they said they did not receive it till last week. Does anyone know if couriers deliver on a Saturday????

Tinamid Tue 31-Jul-12 13:09:36

Hi all
Today was the day i qualified for my upgrade, Durham office contacted me this morning asked when i needed it for -they took payment from me of 65.50 for fast track processing and 24 hr special delivery, they called again to say everything was fine and that the passport was ready for printing and defo would be sent today - they give me the Royal Mail tracking number and advised it will arrive at my address by 1pm tomorrow ! we fly Thursday !! I have to say if you contact Durham and are on your 10th day they will do everything possible to help you, i contact them via IPS emailing and also via track my application on the website, good luck to you all

Tinamid Tue 31-Jul-12 13:11:21

Durham opens for phone calls from 8.30 am

Izzy77 Tue 31-Jul-12 13:30:13

Awwww thats great news Tinamid. I am still waiting on Durham phoning me back about my DSs upgrade, I do not know why they did not take my details this morning when they phoned to tell me I qualified. My own passport is not on its 10th day till Friday & I fly Monday. Have been crying now for most of the morning as I do no think I will be going, mine is in Petesrborough. Was today your 10th day????

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