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!!!

Izzy77 Wed 01-Aug-12 18:28:29

Jul3kids-see my PM

DaisySteiner Wed 01-Aug-12 18:34:06

Apparently ds's should be dealt with in the next few days hmm

Hypothetically, how much trouble would somebody get in for hiding their child in the footwell of their car to board a ferry to France? <innocent question>

Beckamaw Wed 01-Aug-12 18:50:23

Izzy, we will get these people their passports! grin

Huggers Wed 01-Aug-12 19:03:57

I'm going to try my luck on the phone with Durham tomorrow, it's day 10 for mine and my dd's passport renewals and I am going to try for an upgrade - fingers and toes crossed. They received them on 19th July and when I called on Tuesday they were waiting examination. Does anyone know if this means the inital identity checks have been carried out in which case? We are travelling on 16th so it's not total panic stations yet but I feel after reading everyone elses posts that if I don't manage the situation now if may well be! It's my own silly fault for not renewing earlier, we had some unexpected funds come our way and decided on a holiday abroad last minute. Nothing like a bit of tension beforehand to make you appreciate it all the more when you finally do get away (if!!!!)

Jul3kids Wed 01-Aug-12 19:06:14

Everybody on here is so helpful makes
Me wonder why the help line can't give as much advice!!
Izzy77 got the pm thank you!!

Jul3kids Wed 01-Aug-12 19:08:44

They received mine on 20 th July and when I spoke to them yesterday they said it was still waiting to go on the floor , anybody know what that means??

Izzy77 Wed 01-Aug-12 20:22:18

I know Beckamaw!!!! I now know the ins & outs of getting passport upgrades from Durham & Peterborough!!!
My passport had not even reached examination today & they managed to push it through & by 2pm & I had an upgrade. I did deal with really nice girl who was willing to help me, I was crying at the time so she probably felt sorry for me!! Also because my DSs was upgraded I think that helped.
Jul3kids-help line is useless, I could do there job better than them now!!!!

Laulau79 Wed 01-Aug-12 20:35:08

Hello jul3kids and everyone, got the same problem sent my passport renewal 16th July check n send thinking of going away in a couple of weeks then my mums bought me a holiday surprise ( haven't had a holiday in 7 years) for 5th August been phoning since 24th July and email got through for a call back Tues just want to fast track but still waiting for a cll back even post office cant get through please please help previous link for number won't work for me . Been told on phone London passports come from Durham , is it worth me going London office in morning ! Help

LittleFriendSusan Wed 01-Aug-12 20:49:50

Just checking in as another one who's waiting on passports sad We are due to fly on Tuesday.

Sent applications for DC's first passports via Check and Send on 9th July. Had taken a week by this point of going backwards and forwards with one problem after another (countersignatory missed the word "that" off DD's photo, then they queried the form as one letter went slightly into the next box... and then they rejected DS's photos (which were deemed OK the first time) as they said he was leaning slightly to one side). Woman in PO had said if I got them back to them before 5pm on Monday 9th (had last been in on the Saturday), then they would go that day. I told them our travel dates and asked if I should upgrade to the Fast Track one week service. They said not to worry, that they would probably be back within 2 weeks, but to allow 3 just in case. So I was expecting them end of last week - this Monday (30th) at the latest.

I have done the online tracking thing 3 times - all it says it that they were received in Peterborough on Thursday 12th. So it took 3 days from me rushing them to the PO sad. I was lead to believe they would be there the next day.

I have called the helpline several times, but they say their target time is 3 weeks from receipt so will not transfer me to the progress dept / Peterborough office until tomorrow. So the PO told me 2 weeks from 9th July; IPS say 3 weeks from 12th... Am confused with the 10 day thing people keep quoting as I am being told 3 weeks? Unless 10 days is only renewals?

The woman I spoke to on the helpdesk tonight said to call back first thing tomorrow and they will check progress or put me through to Peterborough to enquire about upgrading to Fast Track. But as it's the DC's first passports I can't see them doing the same day thing and we have less than 1 week before we travel (7th - next Tuesday).

I told the helpline that I'd been advised by the PO that there was no need to pay the extra for 1 week processing and they said apparently the PO have been saying that to a lot of people. Doesn't help me though!

I feel like crying. This is our first family holiday abroad and mine and DP's first time abroad in 11 years. We have saved for a long time and spent so much on the holiday and everything that goes with it, and now it looks as if it might not happen sad The children will be devastated. We are going with friends - so if we can't go, that messes up their holiday too (have booked shared taxi to airport, car hire when away etc). Not an option to reschedule either, as we can't change our annual leave dates.

I am so angry with myself for not doing it earlier. To be honest, it seemed as if we had ages, and then we had to pay the balance of the holiday off, along with other unexpected expenses, so it was a bit later than I would have liked. Then when I was ready, neither of the 2 people I have used in the past as countersignatories could do it (lapsed professional membership / new job so didn't want to risk them being rejected) and I had to find someone else. Then the palaver with rejected photos etc and having to get everything signed again added another week on... and here we are up shit creek... and if it doesn't happen it will all be my fault.

mrscopper Wed 01-Aug-12 20:50:30

Thanks so much Beckamaw! Izzy77 I will give them a call tomorrow, will keep you all updated. x

Jul3kids Wed 01-Aug-12 21:02:41

I am also now worrying there's going to be a problem with photos as I didn't get them signed (didn't think appearance had changed that much what happens if I now need them sign do they send back my application???

Jul3kids Wed 01-Aug-12 21:07:12

#littlefriendsusan # I emailed passport enquiry via home office web site, and I've got to say they rang me from Durham within the hour,I will update everyone after I speak to them again on Monday but fingers and everything else crossed, wouldn't wish this stress on my worst enemy

Izzy77 Wed 01-Aug-12 21:47:34

I feel for you LittlefriendSusan, I was told exactly the same thing by the PO. I am totally disgusted by their service. My passport also took a few days to arrive where as my DSs was received the next day. Also mine was sent to Peterborough & DSs to Durham so this made it even more difficult to try & track them in different places.Our passports were renewals so I do not know if thats why we got an upgrade.
I had been crying since Monday till I got it sorted today. Hadnt slept or ate either.
Do you have a number for the Peterborough office?

Izzy77 Wed 01-Aug-12 21:51:36

Laulac-keep phoning. Do not wait on them calling you back. Hit the redial button as many times you can & email them. I emailed nearly every hour & phoned at least 50 times. You will eventually get through to someone. If you are meant to be going away on the 5th you will need to get this dealt with tomorrow. Do you know where your application is????

LittleFriendSusan Wed 01-Aug-12 23:09:30

Jul3kids - I know what you mean about stress, I've been feeling ill all week just thinking about it. The passport enquiry thing was useless for me! Took 3 days or so to get a reply each time and then it was just a generic email. Going to ring again tomorrow a.m. and hope to God we can get something sorted...

Izzy77 - no, I don't have the number, the helpline said they would transfer me tomorrow but would be a great help to have the number!

So frustrating re. the PO - you'd think being a business partner of sorts they must have up-to-date info on timescales. If you knew what to expect then at least you could make an informed decision on whether to pay the extra. The PO would still get their checking fee no matter what, so why give misleading information???

You know, thinking back, I actually queried the 2-week turnaround they quoted, as in the booklet they say 6 weeks for a first adult passport. But the PO clerk said that only applied to adults as they had to allow extra time in case you were called to interview. She said it was no different for a first child passport or renewal...

I'm getting myself all wound up again now!

Izzy77 Wed 01-Aug-12 23:36:59

LittleFriendSusan-I have sent you a PM

Beckamaw Thu 02-Aug-12 03:15:24

AND CONTACT YOUR LOCAL MP!!
Seriously - it takes minutes.
Google is your friend. There is a site that will advise your local MP and their email address, based on home town.
Include all info that passport office would require - your full name/ address/ phone no/ applicants details/ date of application/ barcode info/ date of travel and circumstances of application.

It helps. Got me a 24hr callback and upgrade (inside of the 3 weeks from receipt that the loons repeatedly quote).

Ray75 Thu 02-Aug-12 09:04:09

Hi, thought i would recap for new people joining the thread to help:
1.When people say contact for a call back, do not do the IPS tracking one - this is rubbish i got my first email today telling me passport waiting checking when in fact it arrive with courier this morning. You need the gov.UK site, you will know its the right one as there is a drop down box for which PO you want to call you back then you can choose to be called or emailed - select call and they will I have had a call back for each one i sent (a few)
Hope this helps, just keep using all the avenues mentioned on here, try the numbers some have had sucess with or beg to IPS to be put through.
keeping my fingers crossed for you all, if i hadnt found this thread with all the useful things to try i would still be waiting based on what the IPS was telling me smile

mrscopper Thu 02-Aug-12 09:12:08

Called Peterborough this morning & passports were printed yesterday so should be with me in a few days! Feel so relieved I can relax now, thanks ladies for helping me.

Littlefriendsusan give them a call, yours should be printed soon & might be able to pay for it to be delivered quicker.

tiredemma Thu 02-Aug-12 09:15:15

gah- now I'm stressed reading this thread. Sent DS1's passport off on 23rd July. Arrived on 24th.
We fly to France at 7am on August 16th so I need the passport by the 15th at the very latest - its not going to get here is it??? (also Durham office)

Huggers Thu 02-Aug-12 10:46:39

I finally got through to Durham this morning, spoke to a man who has advised me that he will put my request forward for an upgrade, though it may take 2 to 3 days for them to call me back. My applications are still awaiting examination which he explained to me means the haven't been looked at at all yet. Not sure there is anything else I can do at this stage other than wait - which is not something I am very good at doing!

tiredemma Thu 02-Aug-12 10:47:34

huggers- when did you send yours off?

Huggers Thu 02-Aug-12 11:06:00

tiredemma - I sent mine off via Check and Send on the 17th July, it arrived at Durham on 19th July. You have to wait until they have been in receipt of the application for more than 10 working days at which point they will put forward a request for an upgrade if you request it (and can get through to request it). So I think come Monday you will be eligible.

klovely Thu 02-Aug-12 11:31:40

my problem is i have lost my barcode number so they said they cant help me trace the passport without it.any advice please? the cheque for the passport fee was cashed on 25th july though..help x

BeckyLouHyland Thu 02-Aug-12 11:33:09

I am in the same position. Did check & send for my sons passport on 16/07 & due to fly on Sun 5th!
IPS number cannot get through to Durham despite me ringing several times yesterday & this morning.
Am about to try direct line - fingers crossed!

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