Help - Does anyone work at the Passport Office at Durham

(897 Posts)
janeb204 Mon 23-Jul-12 22:30:40

Im at my wits end...I need to speak to Durham Passport office, I am going on holiday Saturday and my daughters passport renewal is stuck in a backlog at Durham. I will pay for accelerated service but can't get through to ask for it. The general phone number takes hours to be answered, the call back service doesn't work, the 48hr email reply service doesn't reply. Can I drive to Durham and sit and wait. I'm frantic to resolve this...but what can I do? Has anyone got any suggestions of what I can do....apart from cry? Does anyone work there and can tell me something I can DO

Bumping for you.

I apologise as I don't have any advice at all but hope you get it sorted out.

Babylon1 Mon 23-Jul-12 22:36:47

Can you make an appt at Peterborough passport office and go there on the one day service? Costs more and will be a whole new application but maybe worth it?

KazyLou Tue 24-Jul-12 05:33:10

I'm in exactly the same position- we have had to bring travel plans forward a month and our passport renewals are stuck in Durham can anyone help? I have been ringing non stop since Thursday but still not managed to speak to anyone. Desperate to find a solution but it looking unlikely I've not slept for days.

Please me know how you get on today.

OhNoMyFanjo Tue 24-Jul-12 05:46:19

Bump

janeb204 Tue 24-Jul-12 06:42:50

Thanks for bumping!
They tell me I cannot do the one day service as I'm not allowed to have 2 applications at the same time, I have to cancel the first one only cancellation takes a week, in writing...and there are no one day appointments anywhere in the country for 3 weeks. So sorry to hear you're in the same mess, KazyLou. Its sooo frustrating being totally unable to get anyone to even answer the phone. After 80 calls yesterday I got through to the central helpline only twice and they are "allowed" to try Durham phone number just one but it is always engaged. They cant take your money to upgrade to the fast service which would get it to me in time only Durham can but they are uncontactable.
If it gets to Thursday I shall drive to Durham and sit on their floor and cry all day which would feel better than sitting at home and crying all day which is what I will end up doing if the whole family holiday is ruined all because noone would speak to me. I don't suppose it would change anything being in durham but not a lot else I can actually DO

matthewsmummy19 Tue 24-Jul-12 08:09:36

hi janeb. Iam in exactly the same position we fly on sunday and have not received my sons 1st passport im at my wits end. Iam going to go to passport office in Durham today as fortunatly we only live around 20 miles away. i could burst into tears every time i dial that number to IPS. I have left my number numerous times but had no one call be back. Absolute disgrace they have had my sons passort over 6 weeks x

KazyLou Tue 24-Jul-12 08:11:46

Someone did call me back from the Newport office she told me Durham std working on forms from the 28th June mine was on their system on 12 th July so really not looking good . There has to he a better system than us generating all these calls!

KazyLou Tue 24-Jul-12 08:12:45

Sorry to hear that. Let us all know how you get on!

Peasbody Tue 24-Jul-12 10:56:38

I am in exactly the same position! Durham are holding my sons details at ransom so I cannot choose the fast track option! I sent the form at the end of May and now we are in peak time for applications I cannot get through. No one is calling back or replying to emails. It is absolutely disgraceful the service we are all receiving. Still on the messages when you call it says please leave a maximum of 6 weeks. We are now past the 6 week mark and no passport. We are due to leave in 2 weeks. If you have any luck visiting the Durham office please let us know as I may decide to take the long drive there just to get this sorted! I am joining you all in sitting on the floor and crying. Good luck everyone xxxxxx

janeb204 Tue 24-Jul-12 16:55:56

Ive sent you a pm peasbody x

MainlyMaynie Tue 24-Jul-12 17:54:19

Have you thought about contacting the press with these stories? Might be the only way to do it.

I've been to the passport office there and you will get in and get to speak to a person, as they give out 'appointment' times which are actually just the start of the am or pm session and everyone has to go and get a number to queue. I'd guess they won't have the authority to do anything though.

jasper28 Tue 24-Jul-12 20:44:20

Hi janeb204 did you have any look going down to the passport office. I'm in the same situation both mine and my daughters passport stuck at Durham. We go away on Saturday don't know what to do! X

janeb204 Tue 24-Jul-12 21:55:02

I havent gone...yet. Today I got through to a lady from IPS in Durham...after about 250 phone calls in 4 days...and she was really helpful, told me my daughters passport was virtually ready to go and not to have it pulled ut for the special upgrade as its likely to get to me on time. She gave me the couriers phone no to track it to me. Im hopeful but still holding my breath until I have it in my hand. Keep trying to speak to Durham, seems from mine and others experiences you get some action once you get to them.
if no passport in couriers hands by Thursday I will go to Durham Friday

OlymPicture Tue 24-Jul-12 23:28:04

Glad to hear you have had some positive news OP.

Babylon1 Wed 25-Jul-12 05:08:49

Can I just add in here, the extra few quid for the check and send service from post office is invaluable.

I did DDs first passports and my renewal last year. They were sent at the beginning of July and were back inside of 10 days. Post office guarantee them back in 14 days.

I realise this doesn't help anyone whose passport is stuck in Durham but for future reference, well worth the extra few quid IMO smile

janeb204 Wed 25-Jul-12 06:46:33

I rang the recorded message line and it said renewals would take 3 weeks. I sent my daughters off with 7 weeks to go and didn't even consider any of the faster options as it was clear from IPS own message that I had plenty of time. What they dont tell you is that the 3 weeks only starts from the day they begin processing your application which in my case took 4 weeks. A harsh lesson learned to do it in plenty of time, Im hoping this distress is the only harsh lesson and the passport arrives or the worse lesson - that of taking a large family group away without one of the children - which is unimaginable ( its that or ruining everyone's holiday)

OlymPicture Wed 25-Jul-12 14:07:58

jane that is terrible that it has taken them so long. Can you keep badgering them? Ask your MP for some intervention?

7 weeks is ridiculous

janeb204 Thu 26-Jul-12 06:54:10

I've badgered as much as I can but the system stinks. I rang over 250 times, only to get through a couple of times and managed to get one of their call backs within 48 hours booked. Its a very long time when you're desperate. The called back and i gave my name and postcode and passport application number and the call was mysteriously "lost" I rang back over 80 times to tell them i had lost my call and they told me...sorry but you DID have a callback ...even though I didn't even get to talk! When you are on hold to their phone line, after 5 minutes it sends you to their automated call back service and doesn't let you hold on, and when you get to that bit of the phone call it say " We are sorry but this service is not available" so back you go to phoning. Even when you do speak to them they are helpless and can't do anything - one or two are sort of sorry for you helpless but unfortunately most seem cold and robotic about it.
Refreshingly..this is just the awful helpline but once you get to a passport office, in my case Durham the whole ethos of wanting to help changes and I've every respect for the staff there who clearly want to help. IPS need to review their telephone service and replace with something that functions

KazyLou Thu 26-Jul-12 07:34:00

Janeb204 I totally agree with every aspect of your post. I too have made between 100 - 200 calls! Couldn't get much from Sx last night 4 calls to get through then no joy as my parcels were not on their system (yet?).

Have you got your daughter's pp back yet?

Least of my worries but i'm dreading the phone bill! X

Anyone else hit theirs back yet?

KazyLou Thu 26-Jul-12 07:34:53

Sorry meant DX the courier!

OlymPicture Thu 26-Jul-12 09:32:36

Have you got access to a fax? I found this number for them - 01913707140

I wonder if you could have a play around with the numbers to see if you can get hold of someone?

JenaiMarrHePlaysGuitar Thu 26-Jul-12 12:36:42

Babylon1 that was last year though.

I used the same service and got a passport back with a week.

I imagine that like much of the civil service, the passport office are stretched to the very limit; the cuts have been harsh.

janeb204 Thu 26-Jul-12 13:50:16

it has just arrived. I hope so much you get yours too. i have nothing but praise for the staff at Durham

OlymPicture Thu 26-Jul-12 14:45:24

jane grin grin grin so relieved for you

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