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.

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????

Beckamaw Tue 31-Jul-12 14:03:32

Peterborough just called me regarding DDs passport. They have fixed our problem and are sending for arrival tomorrow. Left a landline number to call back. I'm willing to PM it if anyone needs it.

MrsApplepants Tue 31-Jul-12 14:43:12

Beckamaw, I'd like the number if possible. I cant pm You as in my phone. Thanks!

Eve Tue 31-Jul-12 16:38:24

this has caused me to worry,

renewal was sent by post office on 18th, they received it 20th , but saying not back with me til after 12th, we travel on the 10th?

If I call them can I get them to upgrade to fast track on the phone?

Eve Tue 31-Jul-12 16:39:01

...when 10 days are mentioned, is that 10 working days or calendar days?

Tinamid Tue 31-Jul-12 17:15:46

Yes Eve it's 10 working days from the day they receive
Your application, I sent mine check on send on 13th they received it on 17th, don't even bother trying to contact them before the tenth day, the only people benefitting will be BT ! On the 10th day (when eligible for upgrade) if everything ok u can pay 60.00 to receive pp in 48 hrs or 65.00 to receive in 24 hours by special delivery, so basically my advice is , sit tight until the 10th day and once through to Durham they do anything they can to help you, personally I think if u ask ips to transfer you before the 10th they let u think they are transferring u but I don't think they really do ! Good luck x

Tinamid Tue 31-Jul-12 17:19:47

Email them by tracking your passport in website and try calling them in Thursday that's your 10th day ! They say they will reply to your email for them to contact you within 48 hours ! They did contact me within this time if all ok with application etc they will check it and call u back saying u can upgrade , if all ok you could receive it by Friday or latest Monday !

Tinamid Tue 31-Jul-12 17:22:25

Email them by tracking your passport in website and try calling them in Thursday that's your 10th day ! They say they will reply to your email for them to contact you within 48 hours ! They did contact me within this time if all ok with application etc they will check it and call u back saying u can upgrade , if all ok you could receive it by Friday or latest Monday !

Izzy77 Tue 31-Jul-12 17:35:09

Will you PM me the number for Petersborough please Beckamaw?????

Izzy77 Tue 31-Jul-12 17:40:38

I sent mine on the 18th via the PO, they are saying that they didnt received it till the 23rd which is a complete joke as they should have received it the next day. Anyway my 10 working days is now Friday & I go away on Monday so its very tight for me. I am worried that there might be a problem & I wont get an upgrade. Very stressed!!!!!

Lotkinsgonecurly Tue 31-Jul-12 20:12:19

I managed to get through to Durham at just after 9 am this morning. Thought I'd try a few times despite having been promised a call back and was very surprised to talk to them. I was promised a call back within 48 hours to upgrade. However I also emailed my local MP and his office called them and said they would be calling me today. They did call and I've been told should have the passport this week as it was nearly completed. Feeling much more relieved.

Keep trying to get through to Durham, try first thing in the morning and you should get through. Once I did get through, they were so helpful. Staff there really are lovely and must be under so much pressure.

foxtrotyankee Tue 31-Jul-12 22:18:17

We had problems with our passport almost not coming on time but I discovered a very useful phone number, direct to Durham office, not to the call centre. Blogged about it today after various tweeters contacting me about it: http://jerometurner.posterous.com/durham-passport-office-and-how-to-contact-the

NoBloodyMore Wed 01-Aug-12 09:17:17

We're having the same problem with Liverpool, they've had my DS' first passport for 2.5 weeks now done via check & send. I'm still waiting on callbacks from Friday, Monday and now today, we fly next Wed, aaaargh. Looks like we'll have to pay to upgrade, how much is it to fast track it?

NoBloodyMore Wed 01-Aug-12 10:32:04

Just spoke to Liverpool, the guy wasn't massively helpful, said they can't fast track it as it's his first passport, will have to wait for somebody to phone me back but he would imagine it will be weekend at the earliest, they're working 7 days and they can't guarantee it will be here by next wed but will try sad we're supposed to be going with the in laws so if needs be DP will have to go with Ds & DD and I'll stay here with the baby angry

Busyevenforbee Wed 01-Aug-12 10:45:14

Durham office. Thank you very much foxtrotyankee, rang the number given. Got through fast enough even with the silent queue. Couldnt help me, so not sure if one get through to actual office, but was give nthe fax number for Durham office: 01913707140. Sent a fax this morning. Not happy, was trying to get them to call back since last Frioday, filled in the online forms, called the main number (they were supposed to email Durham). Done everything I could, guess waiting game for today. Will update if anything good happens via fax or calls...Good luck to all of you! Hope the matter will be resolved.

Izzy77 Wed 01-Aug-12 11:29:51

I got through on the number give by foxtrotyankee- thanks very much. Durham phoned me back & I will now receive my DSs passport on Friday before 1 by special delivery. I am now waiting on Petersborough phoning me back about mine.They have not been anywhere as helpful as Durham. The last girl was great & was away to dig out my passport & said she will phone me back in 2 hours so heres hoping.
The best advice I could give is to keep phoning & emailing. I have emailed about 20 everyday & lost count how many time I have phoned.
Good luck everyone!!!!!

Beckamaw Wed 01-Aug-12 12:36:12

Izzy - I have PM'd you. smile

Izzy77 Wed 01-Aug-12 14:45:12

I now will have both my passports on Friday. MY DSs from Durham & mine from Peterborough. I can now have my family holiday. Thanks to everyone for all your advice especially Beckamaw, I want to give you a big kiss!!!!!
Good luck to everyone else, just keeping phoning & emailing & you will eventually be put through to someone who wants to help & knows what they are talking about.

Wantingmyholiday Wed 01-Aug-12 14:55:34

Foxtrotyankee... Thanks for the number! Got through but to a rude lady who hung up on me before we got it sorted. Just been on hold for 12 mins and a friendly guy answered just before the call failed and I was cut off!!!! Aaarrgggfhhhh this is making me ill! So stressful! It's been there for 13 days, yesterday I was told it hadn't even been examined and today the woman said it had been issued and will arrive in the post soon. But I need guarantee it's going to come before Saturday so want to pay extra for 24 hour delivery from courier. No on hold on two phones. Good luck

Wantingmyholiday Wed 01-Aug-12 15:52:59

Got through again to a much more helpful lady who reassured me it's been printed and will be picked up by courier tonight. She said it was now to late for me to upgrade special delivery in 24 hours (the irony) and that it should come by Friday. If its not here by Friday am I've got to call back for a tracking number with the courier. She couldn't give me that now as its not actually with the courier yet. Fingers crossed. Thanks so much for the number as not one of my call backs from yest have called back yet!

Jul3kids Wed 01-Aug-12 17:04:47

Hi I also sent passport off to Durham 18 july told they received it 20 but told me I have to wait until Monday morning to ring them back and request upgrade, is the Durham office no the one starting 0845 or is there another one your all using the lady I spoke to said it would be no problem getting it next week if I paid

mrscopper Wed 01-Aug-12 17:13:25

Hope those that were waiting got their passports!!
I sent my son & daughters (1st passport) on 9th July the IPS received it on 11th but no other update apart from it's at Peterbrough office. I have rang everyday since Thurs and can't get put through to Peterbrough! Have also emailed for update but not heard back. Starting to panic after reading everybody's problems. Fly out on the 20th which gives me a couple of weeks but just want to fast track now to put my mind at ease, feel sick as I might miss my brothers wedding&#58369;

Anybody have any luck getting through to Peterbrough or getting a call back from them?

Busyevenforbee Wed 01-Aug-12 17:14:51

Hello, again. I was given another fax number for Durham. The previous one 01913707140 is more centralised and takes ages to get to the Team, so the best one is 01913707070. Got a call back and the fax was mentioned. So looks like it was worth sending it. Fingers crossed, will get the passport by the end of the week. Good luck!

angelinterceptor Wed 01-Aug-12 17:24:52

for once, happy that my renewal here in NI got sent to the Belfast office. I used check & send for mine and my sons renewal.
They received it on 13th July, and I got them both back yesterday 31 July, so just about 2 weeks. Not bad.

The ordeal you are all going through with the Durham brance is appalling, wonder can you choose where it gets sent to - as it would seem that the Belfast office are processing them more quickly. I had good service with them last year too.

Beckamaw Wed 01-Aug-12 17:25:21

MrsCopper - see my PM grin

Izzy77 Wed 01-Aug-12 18:25:16

mrscopper-get the number from Backamaw, I got through on that today & mine was examined, upgraded & will be with me on Friday, I fly out on Monday morning at 6!!!!

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!

klovely Thu 02-Aug-12 11:37:47

please could u let me know number for direct line.try to phone your mp to sort it ive read on here it helps.goodluck

tiredemma Thu 02-Aug-12 11:38:02

not looking good for me is it? :-(

jopagey Thu 02-Aug-12 11:48:25

Just to show there is light at the end of the tunnel. We fly on Friday 10th and I sent my DD renewal by check and send on July 14th. After chasing the IPS countless times this week by phone and emailing I finally got through to Durham yesterday. The lady informed me that the passport was still awaiting examination and that I could be offered an upgrade Mon next week for an extra 60 quid as they were fully booked till then. I received a phone call this morning from Durham saying that the passport was ready for printing and that an upgrade would delay it! Durham did not receive it till july 18th but it will be sent Mon following the normal process and not upgraded. Hope this helps.

Jul3kids Thu 02-Aug-12 11:50:45

Klovely -I have sent you pm

Huggers Thu 02-Aug-12 11:54:20

jopagey - do you know when Durham received your application? Assuming they work through them chronologically so just trying to work out where the are up to? Mine was received on 19th July.

jopagey Thu 02-Aug-12 11:56:57

Huggers - Durham received my application on July 18th (another farce as I sent it on the 14th via check and send) Durham have confirmed that it should arrive Tues/Wed next week via courier.

Huggers Thu 02-Aug-12 12:07:19

Maybe they will get to mine and my dd's in the next day or so then, hard to tell though really.

LittleFriendSusan Thu 02-Aug-12 12:43:14

Finally got through to Peterborough office. Tried loads of direct numbers (thanks Izzy77 and google smile) but eventually got through via the helpline. I was told they haven't been checked yet but they are with a team. They have put in an upgrade request for me but can't offer same day for first passports. 1 week would be 2 days after our flight. Am just hoping they will do what they can to help... Someone is going to call me back, hopefully today, but she said it could go into tomorrow.

Sick and stressed does not even begin to describe how crap I am feeling at the moment....

Huggers Thu 02-Aug-12 12:52:47

Durham just called me back, spoke to a very nice guy who has checked our applications and advised me not to upgrade as he is putting them through to print now and we should have them by the end of next week latest. Feeling a bit more in control now but won't be able to totally relax until I have them in my hand! As everyone has said, once you get through to Durham things begin to move, just keep trying the number. x

LittleFriendSusan Thu 02-Aug-12 13:13:57

Well - we have progress! Peterborough office called me back regards upgrading, they are happy to push them through (so have paid the £60 extra per child). Going to ring me back in a couple of hours to confirm they have gone off for printing. They gave me the option of risking courier (who don't deliver on a Sat & some areas not on a Monday???) or collecting. Opted for the safer option as I don't think I could take the stress of waiting till Mon/Tues! So I am going to Peterborough tomorrow.

Lesson well and truly learnt - renewals will be sent off MONTHS in advance from now - it has been a very costly holiday when you factor all this in.

Fingers crossed for everyone else who is still waiting - we will get our holidays!!

Jul3kids Thu 02-Aug-12 13:24:20

Great news Littlefriendsusan I'm hoping that will be me Monday and I will defo collect myself don't think my nerves would hold a min longer

NoBloodyMore Thu 02-Aug-12 14:29:26

Does anyone know if there's anything else I can do at this stage, I've spoken to Liverpool office who've got my sons passport and they've just said somebody will ring me back prob at weekend to see about upgrading but we fly a week today so is that going to be too late? I'm so stressed with it all, don't feel like I can pack or arrange anything as not even sure me and the baby will be goingsad also anxious in case DP and in laws do end up taking my older 2 on their own!

Izzy77 Thu 02-Aug-12 14:46:45

Soooo pleased for you LittleFriendSusan!!!! I have learnt my lesson as well & I will never put myself through this stress again.
I will not totally relax till I have the passports in my hand tomorrow. I stay in Glasgow so driving to Peterborough was not really an option plus DSs was in Durham.
Enjoy your holiday!!!!

Wantingmyholiday Thu 02-Aug-12 15:03:18

Glad to hear you are all making progress. Filled in a separate form o. The home office site which finally got me a call from Durham ( the only one after putting 4 call back requests in this week) she said that it looks like it was printed yesterday and is now with courier. I said I need it by Saturday so she have me the couriers number to chase them- she couldn't say if it left their depot yet. Tried ringing courier but can't get through to anyone without a tracker number, which the lady in Durham couldn't give me. Not sure why???!!!!! So I'm none the wiser! The fact that I haven't got a tracker number makes me think it's just sat in a depot somewhere but I need it for Saturday. Bloody nightmare. Anybody been in this situation/ got any advice on what to do next? Seriously, gonna need another hol after this one to help cope with the stress of it all.

jopagey Thu 02-Aug-12 15:08:00

nobloodymore-dont panic just yet! When I spoke to Durham yesterday they said that when they phone you back re an upgrade they will take the upgrade payment there and then. Once that is paid the passport is ready within 4 hours. This can either be collected or they will talk through various courier options with you. For an extra £5 they guarantee delivery by 1pm the next day, for £16 extra they will deliver it before 7am. Im sure you will be fine if you dont fly out for another week.

Wantingmyholiday Thu 02-Aug-12 15:14:11

So frustrating that they wouldn't let me pay for an upgrade and 24 hour delivery. Rediculous. Don't understand what systems they are using at all. :-(

jopagey Thu 02-Aug-12 15:47:32

I have just spoken to Durham and my DD's passport was printed this afternoon. She said it takes two days by courier and that you dont need the tracking number, if you keep trying you will get to speak to a person. You just need name and postcode. As an aside I had a delivery from DX a month ago and they were a nightmare to contact. In the end I phoned my local depot, they were great and really helpful. Might be worth a try!

NoBloodyMore Thu 02-Aug-12 16:08:52

Thanks Jopagey, just scrolled back and we're the exact same dates as you, I'm just praying I hear from Liverpool tomorrow re an upgrade, although he did say they are working 7 days

bureni Thu 02-Aug-12 16:42:55

I got my U.K passport renewed this time last year, it took 9 weeks to arrive , I ended up applying for an Irish passport which arrived in under 2 weeks with a lot less paperwork and hassle.

kimjay1008 Thu 02-Aug-12 16:43:45

Hi,
I sent my passport off 4weeks ago via check and send at the post office and they still have it awaiting examination! I go away next weds!
I managed to use the 0845 number to get directly thru to Durham office who has now put my application onto the priority team and should receive a call back tomoz with regards to payment etc. Has anyone received this call back when they said they would?? I am really upset and worrying that we wont be able to go next week.
Can anyone give me some advice?

Many Thanks

Huggers Thu 02-Aug-12 16:59:00

kimjay1008 - I called Durham this morning and my request to upgrade was put forward to the team, I was told to expect a call back in 2 to 3 days. Durham called me back about 3 hours later, by this point they had examined both my application and my daughter's - so they do seem to be returning calls once you actually speak to someone at Durham and the examination process can be pretty quick. From what other people have said they are pretty good at turning the applications around asap when the timescales are tight. I would be pretty confident that you will get a call back tomorrow given that you spoke direct to Durham.

OlymPicture Thu 02-Aug-12 16:59:53

Oh no how stressful.

It does seem that the Post Office have a big part to play in this farce because they are telling people that Check and Send is 2 weeks, thereby discouraging people from looking at the other options that are available to them.

Whereas if people knew that there were these delays then they could go for one week / one day from the start.

mateysmum Thu 02-Aug-12 17:00:27

Feel so sorry for all you guys. You may not want to hear this, but I renewed DS's passport via check and send in Feb and it was back 5 days after I handed it to the post office. I was gobsmacked.
You can renew months ahead of the expiry date and they will add I think up to 9months onto the validity. So it really is worth thinking ahead a bit, to avoid the nightmare. Kids passports are a special pain as they are only valid for 5 years and always run out when you're least expecting it.

Good Luck.

Huggers Thu 02-Aug-12 17:05:47

To be fair mateysmum I really only have myself to blame, should have renewed them months ago, I just didn't think we would need them as thought a holiday abroad was out of the question. Should take more notice of the old Scout Motto "be prepared"!! Needless to say I will be renewing my other daughter's passport which expires next year well in advance!

kimjay1008 Thu 02-Aug-12 17:16:38

Huggers, thanks for your reply. I sincerely hope they do contact me back. My husband has just had to call himself to do his own and they told me someone would call me back tomoz if not monday and now they have told my husband we wont get one until 72hrs. Confusing much. I hope we do manage to get on this holiday. I will be heartbroken to tell my 5yr old he aint going to eurodisney for his birthday. Hes counting down the sleeps!! #heartwrenching.

BeckyLouHyland Thu 02-Aug-12 18:08:32

To give you all some hope out there....
After doing check & send on 16th July & application still waiting to be allocated an examiner (i.e. not flaming started!), I finally got through to Durham this morning via the direct line (thank you so much foxtrotyankee) and they put my sons application through to a priority upgrade queue but said he couldn't guarantee it'd be processed, given we're flying this Sunday morning. He said they'd call if it had been accepted & I'd need to pay the £60 upgrade fee.
My optimism rose from 1% to 2% but still extremely stressed & nervous!
Thankfully just 3 hours later a lovely lady rang & said my only option was to collect personally from Durham which I happily accepted!! So we're off to Durham tomorrow & can all now go on holiday thank goodness smile It's been a nightmare few days.
Just goes to show my initial phone calls to IPS all results in "there's absolutely nothing you can do", "no chance it'll arrive in time", "you can't upgrade first baby passports", "can only do one day turnarounds on renewals" have miraculously turned out to be untrue. angry

Good luck to everyone, I unfortunately know how you feel. Won't be leaving it late next time!

busymummy3 Thu 02-Aug-12 18:16:48

I completed my own and my daughters online. Got Passports within 3 weeks at beginning of July - was completing online not an option for you all ?

Wantingmyholiday Thu 02-Aug-12 18:24:14

Thank you jopagey, went on the DX deliveries website and found an email address for them when I clicked on a link to say I didn't have a tracking number. They emailed back with a tracking number and I've now rang them and booked in a time slot for delivery for tomorrow 9am-1pm for £6.00. So got my fingers crossed that it will come tomorrow in time for Saturday. Will keep u posted.

Would also like to say here that none of my call backs from Durham or emails were responded to so thank you to all of the posters on here. Without u and that direct number I'd be no better off than I was on Monday, so thanks.

Here's hoping we all get our holidays!!

Wantingmyholiday Thu 02-Aug-12 18:25:13

As I've just written that my passport has just come through the letterbox!!!! No knock, no sign of a van, weird! Good luck everyone xx

SoupDragon Thu 02-Aug-12 18:28:16

Completing online makes no difference whatsoever. All it does is provide you with a printed form.

Definitely remember in future that you can renew well before the old passport expires and they add the time on (up to a limit). Many people don't seem to realise this.

Fingers crossed for the arrival of all missing passports!

Holidaynughtmare Thu 02-Aug-12 18:32:33

Hello I too am having an absolute nightmare we travel out next Thursday so I do have a week but my application is still waiting to be processed. I have two one for my little boy and girl and thy will be devastated if this holiday has to be cancelled. I am so pleased so many of you have managed to get your passports, please please could I ask for someone to please let me know the direct number, my passports are at Durham. I have rang ips every hour for the past 2 days asked for call backs emailed cried and pleaded an still nothing. Please can anybody help!!!

Jul3kids Thu 02-Aug-12 18:39:41

Just pm you holidaynughtmare

Izzy77 Thu 02-Aug-12 18:44:34

Holidaynughtmare-I have sent you a PM

Izzy77 Thu 02-Aug-12 18:46:18

Jul3kids-we are determined to get people their passports!!!!

Holidaynughtmare Thu 02-Aug-12 18:53:03

Thank you to both of you for replying I apologise for all of the spelling mistakes too I am typing that fast as I am so wound up and stressed. I have rang and it is closed I am going to ring at 9am on the dot.

Thank you, you are wonderful people

Have fantastic holidays!!! x

Wantingmyholiday Thu 02-Aug-12 18:55:00

Direct number for Durham- 0845 129 0044. It has a silent hold and u can get cut off but keep trying! They close at 8pm.

Jul3kids Thu 02-Aug-12 19:06:51

izzy77 even if I don't get mine I would hate to think I could help someone else and didn't bother,we all know exactly what each other is feeling I play it over in my head a hundred times a day

weblette Thu 02-Aug-12 19:19:39

My experience...
Check and Send submitted on July 16th, called today - straight through. Passport received by Peterborough 17, STILL NOT CHECKED! Was told, C&S is 4 weeks atm.
Our holiday has been brought forward - my mum has spent a fortnight in hospital, we want to take her away a bit earlier than planned, lady was v sympathetic, passed me straight onto Peterborough who agreed to a Priority, was called back two hours later and passport will be with us Saturday or Monday at latest.
The staff were all unbelievably helpful and nice, if your passport is at Peterborough you've a good chance of getting it.
Have to say though, if I'd been told by the Post Office that 4 weeks was the current wait I would have gone straight to Fast Track...

Jul3kids Thu 02-Aug-12 19:26:05

weblette I'm afraid your proberly an exception rather than the rule , glad it all worked out for you

gatheringlilac Thu 02-Aug-12 19:37:51

Have to tell you: we have our passports. Which is great. But ... I think I'm now more grey-haired than I was (and our bank balance is dented).

I think they must be very short-staffed, and I do feel a bit for the folks working there.

Not fun.

Anyway, came back to wish all of you luck.

klovely Thu 02-Aug-12 20:26:07

can anyone tell me what 'bump ' means? im new to this.thanks x

weblette Thu 02-Aug-12 20:41:35

Gathering I really wish it were otherwise, crap situation. The woman I spoke to said it was manically busy.

Beckamaw Thu 02-Aug-12 22:13:48

Do not expect that you will get your passport from Peterborough without the 'magic' number. Our experience was totally different.
Chase, contact MP, chase, plead.
Ours took 4 weeks with intervention.

Izzy77 Thu 02-Aug-12 22:55:52

Beckamaw-I totally agree with you, I would not be going on holiday on Monday without that number.
I never ever want to experience stress like I did ever again!!!

LittleFriendSusan Thu 02-Aug-12 23:16:53

Weblette - mine had been sent a week before yours and still hadn't been checked when I finally got through to Peterborough office today. I paid for the upgrade and was advised to collect as there was a chance it may not arrive till Tuesday even if printed today.

If it helps anyone else, I was told the cut-off for same-day printing & despatch is 1pm - it was about 12.55 when I spoke to them and they said there's no way it would be sent that day as need to allow time to check & print (think they said 3 hours for the printing process?)

FWIW I was also told on several occasions my only hope was to wait it out and keep everything crossed as they couldn't upgrade a first passport to the one-day service, however I think they are relaxing this a little at the moment due to the backlog. Obviously if we'd waited it out we wouldn't be going anywhere, seeing as they hadnt even been looked at yet...

Mtee Fri 03-Aug-12 07:46:08

Another family not sleeping here. My 19year old daughter due to go on 1st hol with her friends. She lost her passport six weeks ago. Check and send done on 4th July with Post Office saying no problems with timescale. We stay in Glasgow application at Durham. Shes due to go away on Thursday, started contacting help desk a week ago,last three days of calling the help centre non stop with no help,been told passport hasn't even been checked yet. No one able to let me talk to Durham as they are not answering. Shes told her friends to go without her and think as a mum I'm feeling even worse than her! Tempted to travel to Durham but four hour drive and told by the helpline it will do no good. Going to Glasgow office today but told they will not talk to us, can't bear the frustration of not being able to do anything though.
Help anyone?

Jul3kids Fri 03-Aug-12 08:59:59

mtee check your pm, Durham are open for calls from 8 I phoned at 8.15 and got straight through

Mtee Fri 03-Aug-12 09:14:05

Thank you so much Jul3kids. Got through to Durham, got a call back, we have paid the extra money and they will try to print on Monday and dispatch Tuesday. Said I could go to Durham to pick up but will take courier as we are 4hour drive (hope thats not a mistake?)
This is the first forum I have been involved in and the help from you guys out there has been fab. Without this I am sure I would still be calling that 0300 no 100 times again today. Have sent email to my MP with complaints about the system.
Won't completely believe it till my daughter has passport in hand but wish everyone who's having this nightmare good luck

Izzy77 Fri 03-Aug-12 09:27:50

Mtee-glad -glad you got it all sorted. I stay in Glasgow as well & thought I would have to drive to Durham for my sons then to Peterborough for mine. Managed to get it sorted though with the help of all the people on here, this is my first forum as well & I do believe without their help I would not be going on my family holiday on Monday. My passport arrived via courier just before 9 this morning & my sons will be here by special delivery before 1pm, I wont be able to relax till I have them in my hands!!!
When I get back I will be contacting my MP as well as the service we have all received has been shocking.
I hope your daughter has a lovely holiday!!!

Jul3kids Fri 03-Aug-12 09:34:42

izzy77 so pleased its worked out for you , I'm feeling I have more hope with each positive out come mine is now down with the team and im awaiting my call back

kimjay1008 Fri 03-Aug-12 09:35:31

Still not received a call back and I called durham yesterday!!! Called again this morning and she said I already called yesterday and I have to wait for the call back as theres a queue!!! Stressed yet again! Think I may just have to accept we arent going on holiday next week. sad

Mtee Fri 03-Aug-12 09:38:53

Izzy77 - I got an email back from my local MP within half an hour this morning offering help if required. What a difference from the nightmare of the last week of phone calls.
I still cannot believe passport applications handed to a Glasgow post office end up in Durham when there is a passport office in Glasgow... what a system!
Have a fab time

Mtee Fri 03-Aug-12 09:45:03

kimjay1008 - I found the number of my local MP, explained all the problems - He instantly got on the case and have just had my call back. It might be worth a try.

Izzy77 Fri 03-Aug-12 09:46:12

Jul3kids-thanks. Please let me know how you get on. Hopefully you will get your call back soon. I am keeping everything crossed for you!!!

Izzy77 Fri 03-Aug-12 09:48:57

Mtee-I dont understand why they sent them there either, to confuse things more mine was in Peterborough & my sons in Durham,why???? When my other sons is up for renewal in 2015 I will be going in to Glasgow & doing the 1 week service as im not sending it via the PO ever again!!!!!

kimjay1008 Fri 03-Aug-12 09:53:09

Mtee, I have just emailed my MP and his PA so hopefully they will email me back or contact me via phone. Thank you. Fingers crossed I get somewhere today!

angelinterceptor Fri 03-Aug-12 10:17:15

I used check & send with PO, sent it 11th July and got them both back last week on the 25th July - this was for 2 renewals and I think they got sent to the Belfast passport office.

kimjay1008 Fri 03-Aug-12 10:26:05

it must be the office to which they send them to then. Durham must be snowed under for mine to have taken 4weeks and still not got them back. Bloody typical aint it.

Eve Fri 03-Aug-12 10:47:09

spoke to Durham this morn, sent passport on 18th via PO this morning was 10th day and its not been looked at.

Chap on the phone was questioning me closely as to how I go the phone number, I was n't offered fast path, but I asked.

Now waiting on call back from them.. how long does that normally take?

Lovemylulu Fri 03-Aug-12 11:00:34

Please can someone help and send me the number for Durham?!! Same situation as everyone else, passport is waiting to be printed and the IPS can't get me put through to Durham each time I try.. need to upgrade as travelling a week tomorrow. I will never leave it this late again!! Appreciate any help. Thank you!

Izzy77 Fri 03-Aug-12 11:56:24

Lovemylulu-I have sent you a PM

Izzy77 Fri 03-Aug-12 11:58:05

Eve-they called me back the next day. I think if you read back on here people have been called back quicker. Good luck!!!

kimjay1008 Fri 03-Aug-12 11:59:29

got my call back!!! they should now be with me on tues before 1pm!!!! Thank the lord! Phew. One very happy lady.

Lovemylulu Fri 03-Aug-12 12:09:43

Thank you so much, spoke to a very helpful lady at Durham and am now waiting for my call back.... does anyone know if they call back on Saturdays or if I don't get it today will it be Monday? She told me not to panic as there is still time.. thank God for Mumsnet or I would be sitting stressing unable to do anything!! The whole post office check and send service is a farce... mine was sent 16th July and has not been examined, my sister sent hers by royal mail on 13th and has just spoken to the IPS and will be getting it back on Tuesday. It's a joke. Fingers crossed I will get my call soon

Beckamaw Fri 03-Aug-12 14:42:57

Izzy, please tell me you have ALL of your passports now! smile

elle06 Fri 03-Aug-12 14:58:29

Hi please can someone help me.i really need the number for the durham office. been calling that 0300 number for three days now and cant get through to the durahm office. calling all times of the day being told the same thing. they told me they have sent an email for me to have a call back iv heard nothing. my flight is thursday starting to panic now i cant go. Thank you

missmac77 Fri 03-Aug-12 15:05:06

Please can someone give me the num for the Durham office, my passport is stuck there and I travel a week on sun, will travel and collect if i need to but everytime i try to get through I get cut off. Really need to go away as well because its my best cousins wedding and she wnt forgive me if i cnt go! Any help will b very grateful, thanks

missmac77 Fri 03-Aug-12 15:11:01

please help! how did you get through to durham is there a seperate phone number?

Huggers Fri 03-Aug-12 15:14:47

Try this - http://jerometurner.posterous.com/durham-passport-office-and-how-to-contact-the

Izzy77 Fri 03-Aug-12 15:44:23

Beckamaw-yeeeessssssssssss!!!!!!! I received mine at 9am & my sons at 11.30. I can now relax & look forward to my holiday on Monday. Think a wee bottle of vino is called for tonight to celebrate!!!
Thanks again for all your help, I really do not think we would be going on holiday without your help.

Izzy77 Fri 03-Aug-12 15:44:53

missmac- I have sent you a PM

Izzy77 Fri 03-Aug-12 15:45:14

elle06- I have sent you a PM

Izzy77 Fri 03-Aug-12 15:47:43

Holidaynughtmare-how are you getting on????

mrscopper Fri 03-Aug-12 17:34:44

Received my DS & DD's passports this afternoon, so happy!
To give those just joining an update:

Sent 2 1st passports through C&S at post office 9th July
Received in Peterborough 11th July
Printed 1st Aug
Delivered at home today.

Didn't need to upgrade as when I got through to Peterborough y'day they had already been printed.

Thanks for your help, enjoy your hol's.x

Jowhosreallystressed Fri 03-Aug-12 18:56:03

sent application on 16th july saying received 18th. been ringing constantly since monday without much luck, they said on wed i could upgrade but not till following day so rang back. they said it was in checking so too late to upgrade finally got through to durham this afternoon with much thanks to the people on here. its was sent to print yesterday at 17:44 and said should receive it in 4 days - not much use as i travel on tuesday with my family!!!!! they said nothing else they could do and couldnt give any details about the courier sad very stressed and don't know whatelse to do

NoBloodyMore Fri 03-Aug-12 18:58:25

Well I finally have an update! Contacted my MP this morning and no response so my in laws phoned their MP who was fantastic, rang us at 3pm and said somebody would ring us within a few minutes, they've just rang me at 6.30pm! They can upgrade us, paid the £67 and it will be sent Monday, with me by 1pm Tuesday. So relieved but won't truly relax until its in my hands! Can't help feeling like its a bit of a con too! 3 weeks they've had it, left it until the possible time to ring us back and then charged £67 to get it on time, like we've got any choice but to pay it angry! Still it's a lot cheaper than missing my hol smile

Poppy1972 Fri 03-Aug-12 19:16:18

Beckamaw or Izzy77 please could you PM me the Peterborough number - having a nightmare too!!
Send my renewal on July 10th through check and send and my passport is still awaiting checking....:-(
Got my family holiday coming up on Saturday 11th so really panicking. Haven't ley on to my kids or partner how stressed I am yet!!

Izzy77 Fri 03-Aug-12 19:24:40

Poppy1972- I have sent you a PM

stargirl40 Fri 03-Aug-12 19:26:42

Glad I found this site seems very helpful smile

My situation is: Sent off my sons passport for renewal using check and send on 12th July. I have tracked it and they are waiting for confirmation from his countersignature, they have sent a letter to her work place. My problem is she hasn't received the letter (needed to today) and she is now off on her holidays herself. I rang them and they are trying to put me through to the Durham office who is dealing with this surprise surprise can't get through so they said they will get them to call me back within 48 hrs, they also said i would probably have to get someone else to counter sign now and send it off again. I am in a panic we fly on 27th august and am worried that they wont ring me back and it is going to take too long. Don't think mine is just a case of getting them to fast track it as i have the problem of having to get it countersigned again, am really stressing about it all sad

Izzy77 Fri 03-Aug-12 19:27:51

Jowhosreallystressed-can you not go & pick it up or pay for it to get delivered by special delivery????

Jowhosreallystressed Fri 03-Aug-12 19:31:27

Izzy77- apparently not!! but have just got through to the progress department who have told me it has been issued and given me a number to ring tomorrow

josaunt Fri 03-Aug-12 19:32:26

I went in to check and send on the 7th July, was supposed to be moving to France on Tuesday, got through to Durham after ringing them countless times and have been told its not even been looked at yet (4 weeks on), the woman I spoke to was horrible. I told her people online had sent theirs in later and got them back already and she said it was a case of how many were submitted that particular day, this is ridiculous and I would have submitted it for fast track if I hadnt been told itd take 2 to 3 weeks. I dont even know why it took until the 10th to get from check and send to Durham. Im now staying at my parents (This is my mums account) as Ive moved out of my flat and gotten rid of all my stuff and dont know if I will be able to go at all.

Jul3kids Fri 03-Aug-12 19:33:20

johowsreallystressed was that the 0300 advice line that told you earlier it was to late to upgrade?? They have a lot to answer to, told me I could do nothing for 3 weeks and then they would look at itand when I said that would be to late said well there's nothing you will just have to hope it comes, luckily thanks to people on here I got to speak to Durham myself in time ( I hope) so sorry they have fobbed you off earlier when if you were giving time something could of been done , as a last option could you join your family a couple of days later?

Jowhosreallystressed Fri 03-Aug-12 19:40:54

jul3kids- it was the 0300 number although i have just rung again and they were very helpful. surely if they can help straight away they shouldnt be this busy. just hope they can help when i ring back tomorrow but really appreciate finding all the advice on these pages, thank you so much to everyone!

Aargh now totally panicking sent my twins off on the 23rd of July we fly on the 19th of Aug arrrrrgggghhhhh!!!!

josaunt Fri 03-Aug-12 20:11:50

My application was sent to Durham (using Post Office 'check and send') on 7th July, and registered there on 10th. I am going abroad to work on Tuesday next (catching a plane at 5.45am). I have not yet received my passport or had any communication from them. I have been trying to speak to someone in Durham office for 2 days, making countless calls. The help line can apparently only make one attempt to get through to them. Finally I spoke to someone this evening, who was incredibly unhelpful and who had a rather abrupt, even rude, attitude. She gave me another number, the person there was very helpful but could not help and referred me back to Durham. I managed to get through again and this time spoke to someone more helpful. He requested an upgrade for me, but still there is no guarantee that I will be able to travel on Tuesday, leaving me really in the ....
If only I had been able to get through yesterday I would be more confident that I might receive my passport in time.
I am so frustrated and upset! I can hardly believe how bad the passport service is.

needu Fri 03-Aug-12 21:21:31

hi
like many of you i am sooooooooo stressed., i feel sick with worry.
durham received my passport renewal on 19th july and i'v spent the last three days phoning the ips helpline to request an upgrade (which apparantly i am entitled to) but durham is too busy to answer. i have also emailled but received no reply. i tried the durham direct number today as soon as i saw it here but it had just closed. is it open tomorrow or do i have to wait until monday. my family holiday is thursday 9th august and will be ruined. please help i feel i'am about to scream, can't sleep, can't eat. wish you all good luck in getting your passport.

needu Fri 03-Aug-12 21:35:51

Sorry about my naff username all the good ones had been taken. smile

BoffinMum Fri 03-Aug-12 22:08:47

I thought the point of raising the fees to apparently astronomical levels a few years back was to improve systems so all this could be avoided in future?

needu Fri 03-Aug-12 22:26:58

i know....nothing has improved in fact its worse!!! and ips told me the post office should never have told me it takes two weeks for passport renewals, and they should have offered me a premium service which costs £109.50 including a one week delivery, especially as i had told the post office my holiday was on 9th august. i paid £86.25 for check and send... so premium service wasn't too much more to pay. I'm the only adult going on this holiday so if i can't go.....its ruined. I'll have to pay the £60 ish upgrade fee, but it'll be worth it to avoid losing a much needed holiday. IF i get through to durham will i even get my passport in time ???

Holidaynughtmare Fri 03-Aug-12 23:42:41

Hi all here is my status so far ( izzy77 and Jul3kids thank you for everything)

Have been ringing ips every hour on the hour since weds, nothing

Requested a call from Durham countless times nothing

emailed through the home office site nothing

This morning rang the direct number at 8.30 received two call backs witjin 3 hours missed the first but on the second spoke to a wonderful lady who said she was currently processing my sons first passport and the upgrade would not be needed as it was nearly done and I would have it early next week ( an upgrade would apparently delay it as it wouldn't get done until Monday). Asked about my daughters who's was just a renewal and it hadn't even been looked at yet. She said she would go and get it and do them both together. Result hopefully!

So now I just have to wait for the passports to arrive.

Strange that my sons first passport was been processed before my daughters renewal though!

You must ring the direct number otherwise you will get nowhere. The first person you speak to can be unhelpful, mine was, but the lady who called me back was marvellous!!!

Good luck everyone

Thank you again to everyone who helped me I will update when I do receive my passports!!!

needu Sat 04-Aug-12 00:11:42

Hi to all

Holidaynughtmare, and the others who finally got some help, have given me some hope....here's wishing your passport(s) arrive soon.
Also, thank you to those who put the info about the Durham direct phone number on here because otherwise i would have never known. Huge helpsmile

I will definately phone Durham the second it opens because my holiday is next Thursday eek, cutting it fine. Will continue to phone 0300 aswell...on the off chance of a lucky strike.

I accept IPS helpline is overloaded during this peak demand time but thats cold comfort when your waiting for a passport !!!

Still have chronic anxiety but at least I have hope now. Thanks again.
My fingers are crossed for us all.....

Laulau79 Sat 04-Aug-12 00:20:05

Quick update, sent 16th July spent many days calling as traveling on Sunday 5 August No Joy called 0845 number no anwser, many thanks for the number emailed mp wed afternoon they contacted ips within minutes then they got phone call from ips Durham saying old passport was damaged meaning extra checks ( rubbish) that's why it took so long got a call back Thursday to pay £54 fast track payed it but still had to send bf to Durham from London (£117.0) on train because they can't guarantee delivery sat because of Olympics , long story short email your MP , bf just got back with new passport & old one not damaged ! All in cost £260 but still cheaper than losing holiday, MPs sec said my file woudnt have been pulled if I hadn't, would still be sitting here never knowing or going! Not sure if im allowed to post numbers but the call back was from a nice man called Luke @ Durham on 0191 370 8003 , but please email your MP , many thanks for everyone's help xxxxxxxxx

4477 Sat 04-Aug-12 00:20:59

I've got same problem as all of you regarding my son renewal passport. sent it on 25 june IPO received 26 june and till now still under examination. i was told that i need to speak to Durham office but never get through after countless calls. The link above for the durham number was broken.
can i have the Durham office numer please . Many thanks .

Laulau79 Sat 04-Aug-12 00:26:03

Forgot to say I kept being told on the phone to call back 4pm when it less busy but got through to Durham @ 8.30 in the morning for the first time in a week to be told your old file was only pulled yesterday afternoon , which was when the MPs sec emailed them x Good luck everyone xxxx

Laulau79 Sat 04-Aug-12 00:50:56

Hiya 4477, email your MP now then they will get it in the morning , you can look up the address on gov website or phone Luke in the morning & tell him your local mp gave you the number , just got mine in the nic of time or call the 033 # @ 8.30! Got a shock when they anwsered for the first time in a week very helpful lady but when I said I'm traveling on sun 5 August she said ooh noo ! Your file was pulled yesterday (when MP called) Don't panic (easy too say) but turns out MP are good for something !

4477 Sat 04-Aug-12 07:46:49

Thanks Laulau79 for posting the number. Now I am sitting with my coffee waiting for 8.00 to call Durham. I hope eveything will be fine.

bobblehat Sat 04-Aug-12 07:57:25

Hi, also having problems getting my son's passport back. Can anyone pm me the Peterborough office number so I can give them a ring on monday. We've still go t 2 weeks before we go but want to get in sorted as soon as possible.

Thanks

NoBloodyMore Sat 04-Aug-12 08:08:04

I second the contact your MP, phoned ours at 12pm and he'd sorted it by 3pm, got a phone call at 6pm and passport should arrive Tuesday, I had all of 30 mins to look forward to the holiday before DD fell off the swing and broke her elbow! This holiday is jinxed!

Jul3kids Sat 04-Aug-12 08:16:41

Does anybody know if Durham call backs include today or would it be Monday???

stargirl40 Sat 04-Aug-12 08:31:33

I'm not sure if call back includes today, I am waiting for a call back too but hate waiting so will be ringing at 9 when they open probably won't get through though sad

LittleFriendSusan Sat 04-Aug-12 08:36:25

bobblehat Peterborough are open today, don't wait till Monday! Will send you pm in a sec

Jul3kids Sat 04-Aug-12 08:37:56

Yeah me too , you got to feel like your doing something it's the waiting that's killing me when it 3 days that's feeling
like a lifetime

4477 Sat 04-Aug-12 09:16:04

Is the Durham office working today ? Already tried to call the number above which was ringing but no one picked up.
I also tried the help line more than 5 times since 9 am. The lines were cut off while they were on hold.
No luck for me at all !!!

Jul3kids Sat 04-Aug-12 09:18:26

I have just spoke to Durham office unfortunately for me priority team don't work today

4477 Sat 04-Aug-12 09:20:29

Jul3kids could you please pm me the Durham number. Many thanks

stargirl40 Sat 04-Aug-12 09:23:06

Called 0300 number after hanging on got cut off rang back on hold for ages then message to say they are closed and to leave name and number. Thought they were open from 9 on Saturdays grrrrrrrr

Jul3kids Sat 04-Aug-12 09:26:08

4477 check your pm

Jowhosreallystressed Sat 04-Aug-12 09:40:58

got my old passport back this morning but want my new one now!!!! does anyone know how soon after the new one comes? need it for monday HELP!!!!!!!

sarah83872 Sat 04-Aug-12 09:43:48

Hi any chance of the Peterborough number - going away next week - waiting on 2 passports and just cant get through to anyone or get them to call me back as promised so I can upgrade. help !!

stargirl40 Sat 04-Aug-12 09:55:51

Jowhosreallystressed when I was waiting for my daughters passport her old one came in the post in the morning then her new one was delivered the same day maybe you should try to contact the courier who is delivering good luck x

Jowhosreallystressed Sat 04-Aug-12 10:13:37

stargirl40 thank you, can't get through to the courier on a weekend so will just have to hope i can track it down on monday and even pick it up!!! have spoken to someone at durham who was really helpful but have since had a call from someone on the call back service who told me it was still waiting to be examined!!!!

needu Sat 04-Aug-12 10:22:48

Hi
I'am waiting for a passport aswell-holiday is Thursday eek.
My stress levels are rocketing so I totally relate. Here's some stuff I know, hope it helps......
The durham direct line is open today, i'v just spoken to them. (Before I did eventually get through I got the "offices are closed" message then a "lines are out or order" message). So keep trying because IPS helpline rarely get through to Durham.
A friend told me that her old passport arrived., then in the very next post her new passport arrived-hope Jowhosreallystressed gets that passport in time!!!
Sorry don't know Peterborough number.
Going to email my MP........this is a nightmare. Good luck everyone.

stargirl40 Sat 04-Aug-12 10:39:26

Is the Durham direct number the 0845 one as I haven't tried that yet? I just need to find out if I have to get another counter signer as the one they have contacted (just my luck) has gone on holiday herself sad

needu Sat 04-Aug-12 10:48:21

yes it is the 0845 number, they are open today, good luck !!!

Jowhosreallystressed Sat 04-Aug-12 10:48:46

yes 0845 is the direct number

sarah83872 Sat 04-Aug-12 11:17:41

Please can I have the 0845 number to try, sat in tears, IPS helpline will try to put you through once only

weblette Sat 04-Aug-12 11:18:59

Phew, passport arrived this morning. Thanks for the advice on here, good luck to everyone waiting.

4477 Sat 04-Aug-12 11:29:51

sarah83872 check your pm. Got the number from Jul3kids.
Many thanks for her help.

verybusybear Sat 04-Aug-12 11:46:52

Oh no! Wasn't too panicky until I read this thread. Dh renewal and ds first passport were sent by check and send on 13 July. I can't phone for my husband but I was told on Wednesday that they hadn't received my sons until 17th so I shouldn't expect it back until tue 7th at the earliest and nothing had been done with it anyway.
They advised me to call back next friday by which point it will have been 4 weeks since I sent it and at that point only 2 weeks until out holiday.

Given the problems everyone seems to be having I'm going to get back on the case on Monday. But at the mo I've no idea which passport office they are in.

Would any of you kind ladies mind pm ing me with any numbers that you have so when I find out which office they are at I can start phoning and nagging for an upgrade.

Thanks x.

And good luck to everyone.

stargirl40 Sat 04-Aug-12 11:48:48

Got through using direct number was on hold forever though, Nice lady was very helpful i have to fill out a whole new form and send another picture with a different person to countersign (if i can find one who is not on holiday themselves), then she gave me the address to send to Durham direct. I am still in a panic even though I have 3 weeks until holiday but she seemed to think i have plenty of time, thanks to every one for your help would be still waiting call back if i didn't join this site. Good luck every one x

sarazack Sat 04-Aug-12 12:38:39

sent on 9th july by post office check and send and received at durham 11th july. have been told this morning when rang the ips helpline that it is 'awaiting examination' they put me through to the progress department who said durham office 'may or may not' decide to contact the countersignatory within a few days if they do they will send a letter to them then wait for their response then process it. Advised we travel 14th aug.
They said they have contacted Durham by email (they typed it whilst I was on the phone) to request the application is upgraded and durham will call me back within 48 hours. Not looking hopeful i feel! Any advice or knowledge on this situation? What a nightmare! x

stargirl40 Sat 04-Aug-12 12:47:37

I think you should be fine sarazack even if they contact the counter signer as long as they send it straight back, they contacted my counter signer but she is on holiday sad so i have just had to re fill a whole new form with another counter signer and send that off so hope mine wont be too long now x

Jul3kids Sat 04-Aug-12 12:52:10

sarazack I requested my upgrade last week it was sent down to the team on thurs and they said I would receive a call back in 72 hours I travel 13th aug

babushka1 Sat 04-Aug-12 12:54:04

Hi all,

So glad im not alone. Sent my passport applications 17/07/12 by special delivery was told by post office it would be a two week turn around. I rang Durham this morning (got the number from you lovely folks) only to be told my application is at peterborough. The 0300 told me it was at Durham bb angry face haz anyone got the peterborough number. We fly out on the 13th of aug, so anxious at the mo.
Thanx in advance

Izzy77 Sat 04-Aug-12 12:56:04

Holidaynughtmare-I am really pleased that you managed to get things sorted. I know you will not relax till you have both passports in your hand, I didnt!!! I am away on holiday early Monday morning so I am keeping everything crossed that they come.
Have a lovely holiday!!!

sarazack Sat 04-Aug-12 12:58:01

do they count sat and sun within the 48/72 hours callback?. My worry is that if they decide to send a letter out to my countersignatory will take a few more days for that to go out and get returned. Just hope they can upgrade it. Tempted to call the durham number even though helpline said they have emailed durham but part of me thinks it will help and part of me thinks will it mess up what the helpline have said! arrgghhh. babushka1 so anxious also sad

Izzy77 Sat 04-Aug-12 12:58:58

babushka1-I have sent you a PM

babushka1 Sat 04-Aug-12 13:00:16

Hi Sarah,
Any luck with the peterborough number?
Thanx

babushka1 Sat 04-Aug-12 13:01:05

Thanx Izzy :-)

stargirl40 Sat 04-Aug-12 13:18:43

Sarazack helpline told me they emailed durham yesterday and that i will get a call back within 48 hrs. I couldn't wait so called direct this morning and found them very helpful (will still be panicking though until i have the passport here) x

Jul3kids Sat 04-Aug-12 13:39:02

Sat and sun are not included in 48/72 call backs I would call Durham myself because a lot of people on here were told Durham were emailed and they would get calls and they never did a least if you speak to someone yourself you know the info is correct

sarazack Sat 04-Aug-12 13:45:28

please can somebody send me the number for durham and I will give them a call. thank you x

stargirl40 Sat 04-Aug-12 13:46:53

inboxed you sarazack x

sarazack Sat 04-Aug-12 13:48:05

thanks you smile x

sarahchat26 Sat 04-Aug-12 14:40:34

If anyone could please message the direct number for durham as they have had my 2 kids passports for 6 wks now nn cant get a straight answer from the helpline number n we fly out in a wk HELP!

stargirl40 Sat 04-Aug-12 14:43:11

done sarahchat26 x

sarahchat26 Sat 04-Aug-12 14:50:21

Thanx stargirl40

Beckamaw Sat 04-Aug-12 17:47:30

I have posted this on all passport threads. Contains every direct office number. Is in Polish though
www.anglia4u.pl/informacje/porady-uk/porady-uk/18-oszczednosci/73-alternatywne-numery-telefonow

Thanks for that becka,
I managed to get through this morning although because it hadn't been two weeks he said it hadn't been processed and to call back Wednesday,
Does anyone know if I call back on Wednesday wether I can switch to fast track? He said all applications are taking 3 to 4 weeks and we fly on the 19th,
They are child first passports,
Also how do you know which office to call?

Beckamaw Sat 04-Aug-12 18:03:57

Call the crappy helpline again and ask them. They should be able to advise which office it is held at.
You could wait until Wednesday and pay for an upgrade.
First child passports do not take as long as adult passports.

Matriach Sat 04-Aug-12 18:18:26

i also sent of my passport on the 10th July via the post office service, I am still waiting have phoned countless times and told it is in Durham, but can't get through. my husband got his back on Thursday can't understand this as sent together. Has anyone tried to ring Luke as suggested? Is it open on sundays need to travel on the 10th first holiday for 10 years I am so agitated and would do anything to speed up the process.

needu Sat 04-Aug-12 19:32:53

i did check and send-never again, and phoned the 0300 number dozens of times over last four days-waste of time, i did email requests aswell but it is a shambles.... i phoned durham direct today (thanks for that tel no. it was a big help) they told me i will get a call back Tues or Weds then a courier will deliver my passport. Holiday booked for thurs 9th so its unlikely to get to me in time. What can i do....any suggestions. i'm so stressed and the thought of my daughter not having a holiday is dreadful,not even ben on hol in years. Help....and good luck to others in same boat.

Huggers Sat 04-Aug-12 20:09:53

Passports arrived this morning!! So relieved I can't tell you. Durham were true to their word and were able to process them quickly once I had spoken to them (didn't need the upgrade in the end).

Sent DD's and my Renewals Check and Send - 17th July
Arrived in Durham - 19th July
Spoke to Durham on Day 10 (2nd August), had call back within 3 hours and advised upgrade was not needed and they were being processed, would be here by Friday 10th Aug latest
Friday 3rd August - Old passports and documents arrived
Saturday 4th August - Passports delivered by courier.

Durham were very helpful and reassuring, I think it's probably a case of getting to speak to the right person.

I wish you all the best of luck in getting your passports sorted, I know how it has felt over the last few weeks; keep trying.

needu Sat 04-Aug-12 20:25:47

Oh wow Huggers i am so pleased for you and its given me hope. I will phone Durham on Monday, my holiday is next Thurs so i'm full of stress. Anyone got any other tips about what i could do to get my passport...please???

TalkinPeace2 Sat 04-Aug-12 20:33:38

WE booked the day service at Newport.
Drove up, first appointment took 20 mins
then went to Caerleon for lunch and the afternoon
drove back to Newport and waited in the car park while second appointment was done
WELL worth the extra how much for the NIL stress of driving home with the passport

Jul3kids Sat 04-Aug-12 21:07:59

needu could you collect passports in person might save you a day ,get back on phone Monday morning asking if its with the priority team just do you know it's moving in right direction , in reality if you can collect you have until wed so there is still time I'm in same boat I'm just trying to think positively other wise would drive you mad ,

verybusybear Sun 05-Aug-12 07:06:52

Hi. After posting my message yesterday morning I went out to the shops, came back three hours later and there they were-both hubbies and ds's passports waiting on the doormat.

Phew!

Our timings were:
13 july sent by check and send
17 July received by passport office (but I don't know which one)
4 august received

So just over three weeks-they can do it.

Goodluck to you all. Just keep phoning them!

BeckenhamAndie Sun 05-Aug-12 10:10:01

Hi - desperate to contact Peterborough PP office. Has anyone been able to contact them directly? The numbers on Beckamaw weblink are dead unfortunately! my eldest's renewal is stuck there. It doesn't even appear that our cheque has been cashed.

We go away on 14th and I'm panicking sad.

The advice line is so unhelpful and they promised to call back in 48 hours when I spoke to them on Thursday and I've heard nothing. Just keep calling but they don't put me through.

Izzy77 Sun 05-Aug-12 10:58:28

BeckenhamAndie-I have sent you a PM

needu Sun 05-Aug-12 11:18:50

Jul3kids i will go up to Durham if i have too. I'm doing my best to stay positive to, its not easy though, to be honest i have felt insane with worry/anger/helplessness/frustration the list goes on, but hope and positivity keep me from cracking. Hearing some people get their passports just in time helps as my holiday is next Thursday eek!!! We can but try our best but you should get yours before the 13th. Anyone elso got any tips on getting passports that are stuck in Durham please ???

Izzy77 Sun 05-Aug-12 11:42:04

needu-I agree with Jul3kids, I would phone them back on Monday & see if you can go & pick them up. They must be able to do something so you can get away on Thursday.

KimSoton Sun 05-Aug-12 12:44:26

Hi All. I have been following this thread for the past few days as I too am in a frantic (that's putting it mildly!!) state. I saw an 0845 number posted on here yday - Izzy - not sure if it is the same one you are sending folk. It just says their office is closed. Help!! I am waiting for my son's pasport. I got IPS email saying it was received on 20 July & being examined. I took that to mean action was in hand. After many, many calls I got through to helpline (question the word "help") who said it was waiting to go to examination. Noooo!!!! All he could say was that Progress Team will call me back in 48 hrs - if not yesterday then today ie Sunday BUT I see on here it says they don't work weekends...? Is that the number I am calling which says they're shut?

I was holding out a glimmer if hope trying to be positive but now I feel distraught & ill & keep crying. It is my fault for not sending in sooner but I didnt know if I could go away then suddenly I could then I had to redo app get another signatory etc which delayed matters.

We are due to go on cruise to Norway on Friday 10 August. It's a very special trip in memory of my late Mum & is a 13th birthday present for my son. Do I have any hope if (a) cant get thru to anyone & (b) if it's not been looked at yet? Durham received it on 20 July.

I have looked at options - to fly to Durham from Southampton would cost £910!!! I think that rules that out!!

I'm distraught. Have not even thought about packing as can't bear to. I have no idea what to say to my son - he knows there's something up but not what. I can't believe I've got in this situ.

Help - anyone????

Much appreciated.

Kim

(PS - this such a useful thread)

Jul3kids Sun 05-Aug-12 12:53:18

kimsotton you must call Durham direct on Monday and you will be able to request an upgrade you will be told they will put your request forward to the priority team and they will call you back , priority teams don't work weekends so hold tight until tomortow

KimSoton Sun 05-Aug-12 13:14:34

Thanks Jul. Will do. I can't bear this. Never again will I do this. I hadn't renewed son's P as money tight & had no holiday plans. I was then unexpectedly able to book this trip. What a mess. If we can't go it's a he'll of a lot of money to lose & I can't bear the thought that I will have disappointed my son who is SO excited. We've watched every cruise depart Soton since he was little & this is his dream. I just can't function at the moment!!! I have until Friday lunchtime - what do you reckon my odds are? Is that defo there is no one I can ring today? All stuff indicates IPS open at weekends so I cant believe that the folk you need the most ie Priority Team aren't in at weekends!!! I saw 0191 nos on here & the 0845 number. Which is best? Any other tips to try & keep me sane today? I think maybe I'll look at getting a few bits ready as otherwise IF we can go then that'll be another last minute flap!!! This thread has been really useful & I'm SO pleased for those who have got sorted. Please PLEASE let luck be on my side too!!!! Kx

Jul3kids Sun 05-Aug-12 13:30:40

0191 numbers don't work it's the 0845 one I spoke to Durham yesterday the advice team worked until 3 , I'm awaiting my call back to upgrade and they said the priority team don't do weekends she even went to double check as she said some departments were for overtime due to back log , I first spoke with them last week and they seem positive I will have mine in time for 13 aug ,

Jul3kids Sun 05-Aug-12 13:32:47

And don't believe a thing the ips helpline tell you , it's a diffrent answer for the same question depending on who you speak to !!!!

KimSoton Sun 05-Aug-12 14:01:35

Hi Jul3kids

I realise now the 0191 nos are dead. I have the number 0845 129 0044 - that's the one which says closed - is that the right one to be ringing? I'm trying SO hard to hold out hope but given its Friday we travel I have the sickening feeling that time us against us on this one. Assuming I get through early tomorrow even then I think we're against it. I can't believe this. I'm SO cross with myself & upset generally at the whole thing :-(

ashleysmumm Sun 05-Aug-12 14:07:49

Hello all,

Have been phoning the helpline but they are useless, the reason there probably so busy is that people aren't getting their questions answered and are calling again and again, never getting the same answer.
They should be able to vet the calls and then place them in a queue for whichever office you need to speak to instead of just saying they are unable to get through and you should call again.

I will now join the queue of people calling the 0845 number and hope they can do something.
Does the person that answers this line give you into bother for using it and refer you back to the 0300 number or are they alright with dealing with you?

TrollofTrollHall Sun 05-Aug-12 14:12:50

My heart goes out to all of you who are waiting, I'm OK this year but have played 'passport roulette' in the past and it is hell, totally destroys the excitement of the build up to the trip. I do hope it all works out for you.

Next year, I'm going to post a thread in big capital letters in, say, March or April, asking people who are going away in the Summer to find and check all their passports NOW and start the renewal process early. Maybe we can all plan to start or bump thread like that, then maybe we can help some people avoid the distress on this thread. sad

Izzy77 Sun 05-Aug-12 14:31:09

KimSoton-I got through on the 0845 number last week, it was during the week & about 8.30 in the morning.
I totally understand the stress you are going through as I went through it all at the beginning of last week. I cried from Mon to Thurs & hardly ate or slept. I also felt extremely stupid as I left it so late but the PO told me they would be back in time!!! It was also difficult to try & act normal for my kids as I did not want to worry.
Phone Durham first thing on Mon & request an upgrade & you should have it for the 10th. You can pay extra for it to be there the next day by special delivery.
Good luck, I will keep everything crossed for you.

Jul3kids Sun 05-Aug-12 14:33:00

Not sure what the reaction is if you call 0845 number and they haven't contacted you first but I haven it to a few people who only had a matter of days to sort out mess, and they all got or have been promised passports in time , it's seems as long as its still humanly possible to be done they will try to help

BeckenhamAndie Sun 05-Aug-12 14:42:33

Do you know if they have cashed your payment? My worry is that they don't seem to have cashed our cheque yet..

Jul3kids Sun 05-Aug-12 14:47:51

They took my payment ie debit card 21 july sent application 18 july

Jul3kids Sun 05-Aug-12 14:49:18

You could get your passport before cheque is cashed that has happened before to a friend of mine

Jul3kids Sun 05-Aug-12 14:51:17

Although she has just said she got her passport back within 5 days , so that it just beat the bank, because of the speed it was returned to her

needu Sun 05-Aug-12 15:12:58

I've also been following this thread for a few days now, need my passport which is in Durham by Thursday (to say I'm stressed is an understatement).
I haven't heard anyone say the 0845 number gives you grief for phoning direct so I'm definately ringing Monday morning and recommend others do aswell, its worth a try because the feeling of all is the helplessness. Good luck everyone.

Jul3kids Sun 05-Aug-12 15:18:12

And they seem happy to collect the upgrade fee, and because we are desperate were happy to pay for 24 hour service ( althought in most cases they have had passport a least 3 weeks)

KimSoton Sun 05-Aug-12 15:45:19

I am a bit worried about ringing & whether they be shirty as the message says only to call that number if you have received a letter from them. That is assuming the number I have posted earlier is the right one to be trying. Is it? Can anyone confirm please or tell me if it's different. Many thanks. I would certainly not wish this stress on anyone. Never again!!! This thread has been a God send & I hope all of us get a positive outcome.

Jul3kids Sun 05-Aug-12 15:53:57

That is the right number for Durham , I used the passport enquiry link on home office web page I received a call from the Durham office within 2 hours and she gave me that number to call them back on direct

needu Sun 05-Aug-12 16:00:19

To KimSoton... the 0845 number you have is correct, they won't be shirty and highly unlikely to even ask if you've got a letter. Good luck.

KimSoton Sun 05-Aug-12 16:21:11

Many thanks. Gosh, it's going to be a hot line to them tomorrow isn't it!!! I hope they are feeling helpful & dont have a 'Monday morning' head on. Fingers crossed & Good Luck everyone!!!

Jul3kids Sun 05-Aug-12 16:33:56

Also it opens before 9,regardless to what the recorded message says I got through at 8.19 last week

BeckenhamAndie Sun 05-Aug-12 16:41:15

Jul3Kids - thanks. Going to be on phone first thing tomorrow and keeping everything crossed. I just hope that they will be empathetic. The man I spoke to yesterday on the advice line almost seemed to be enjoying my distress. Really unpleasant and terrible customer service sad sad

Jul3kids Sun 05-Aug-12 16:58:13

beckenhamandie that was my experience with the. 0300 number I have lost the bar code number and they were so gleeful in telling me well in that case all you can do is hope it comes nobody can help you without it, with advice on here I sent a request via home office (where the bar code is optional) and once I spoke to lady at Durham she was lovely told me they didn't need it ,they could access my spplication using my postcode and not to worry ,all thought I still don't have passport she made me feel thfy really would try and hrlp

BeckenhamAndie Sun 05-Aug-12 19:06:58

Jul3kids I hope Peterborough are as helpful. Will let you know. And I hope yours arrives soon too. Thanks for all the help. I have not been on Mumsnet before. Joined specifically for help with this. I think I am going to be a regular now smile

mrswobblebottom Sun 05-Aug-12 20:43:56

Just noticed this thread and about to renew 4 family passports. Shall I leave it a bit as no plans to go abroad in next couple months or should it be ok if not in a rush? Wasnt going to use the post office service as would cost too much for 4 passports, just send recorded/registered delivery in one envelope. Didnt know it was Durham now and not Newport?? Uk hols for us this August. But didnt want passports to run out.

Anismum Sun 05-Aug-12 21:29:15

Please can anyone help me? I need the number to the petersborough office as I''ve had no luck with the 0300 number, spoken to about 10 different people yesterday and Fri all of them giving me different information and none of them could connect me to petersborough. I sent off my passport renewal on 16th July and have traced it to the petersborough office where it is still sat waiting to be checked! We are due to fly on 9th Aug and I would be devastated if I missed this holiday as it will be the last one I ever have with mum, she's got terminal cancersad
Am
Planning to get on the phone first thing to try and get upgraded but would be so much easier if I could ring them directly, any one out there who can help me? X

Izzy77 Sun 05-Aug-12 22:50:46

Anismum-I have sent you a PM

Anismum Mon 06-Aug-12 05:18:18

Thanks so much Izzy, I'll ring them first thing

BeckenhamAndie Mon 06-Aug-12 08:40:39

Izzy77 Anismum Just got through on the local number (Peterborough). They weren't happy at all that I had their number (wanted to know how I'd got hold of it - I just said another mum). They accused me of trying to jump the queue and I needed to sit it out and keep calling the 0300 number. I said that the helpline was not helpful at all and noone had called me back.

At least they told me they had the application and it's being processed so I feel a little better, but be warned they don't like direct calls.

Anismum Mon 06-Aug-12 09:07:20

Just a quick update, I spoke to a lovely woman from the Petersborugh office, managed to get through first time on the 0845 number (thanks Izzy) she said someone should ring me back shortly regarding an upgrade and to process the fee and if that's done today then I should have my passport tomorrow! Couldn't have done this so quickly through the 0300 number so thanks to everyone on here, I will keep you posted as to whether it arrives on time

Punkatheart Mon 06-Aug-12 09:09:51

I would really recommend the check and send. They picked up a discrepancy on mine - it would have been sent back. Also they gave me a reference number to contact in a week - by email. I can track if from there.

But I blame myself for not getting it done earlier - it is peak time. But also, there should be a better system.

Good luck to everyone - it's a nightmare when you have plans.

babushka1 Mon 06-Aug-12 09:15:06

Hi all,
Just got through to peterborough. The lady said their still dealing with the passports that came in on the 16th but I still got time to receive them as I travel on the 13th. She asked if I was willing to upgrade and collect passports if neccessary, obviously I said yes. Im now awaiting my call back. God I hope this works. If your ringing Peterborough stay on the line regardless if the automated service is telling you they cant put you through. Hth.

Anismum Mon 06-Aug-12 09:15:39

You may be better trying the 0845 number, I had no problems at all and the woman couldn't have been more helpful

Anismum Mon 06-Aug-12 09:18:58

Sorry the above message was for Beckenham, you can tell I'm new to this!

BeckenhamAndie Mon 06-Aug-12 09:41:47

Anismum I'n new to it too! I have just tried the 0845 and a message says they are temporarily unavailable. Suspect overwhelmed by calls. I will keep trying though and glad it looks like you will get yours this week smile

BeckenhamAndie Mon 06-Aug-12 10:02:54

Anismum Got through on 0845 number (just held on even though recorded message said they were temporarily unavailable. Eventually someone answered). Lady was so helpful and said to call back in the morning (when it would be exactly 3 weeks since they received the application). They will upgrade (£60) and process within 4 hours and courier so we get it before the end of the week. I'm not counting chickens but feel SO much better. Thanks Izzy77 for number. Still fed up that website said I would get renewal within 3 weeks (and I sent it on 11th July, allowing 5 weeks) and I'm now having to pay to get passport in time for holiday. Something seriously wrong with this system.

Jowhosreallystressed Mon 06-Aug-12 10:49:43

pleased to say my passport arrived this morning with not a day to spare as we travel tomorrow. would like to thank everyone on this page don't know how i would have coped otherwise!! hope you all receive yours in time and will never leave it this late again. the 0300 number was no help but there were a few helpful people at durham but still didn't think it would arrive in time!!!!!

Newtothisstuff Mon 06-Aug-12 10:54:18

I just called the 0300 number about mine, i sent it off 4 weeks ago for a name change (so didn't need it countersigning or anything) he said I should have it by Friday, that will be 5 weeks for a change of name !! I think they need to start advertising the fact that they it won't take the 3 weeks they tell you it will !!

Anismum Mon 06-Aug-12 11:22:00

Have managed to pay for an upgrade at last! The woman said it would be delivered by DX courier in the next 48 hours which is great but I can't relax until I've got it in my hands! Does anyone know how I can pay extra for next day delivery? Passport office gave me a number (0844) which is an automated service and just asks you to go on direct gov website

Lovemylulu Mon 06-Aug-12 11:22:50

Just had my call back from Durham and for £52 it is being printed today and I will receive it in 48 hrs, so relieved but still won't relax completely until it is in my hand! Looks like we will be flying on sat after all :-)) thank you to all who helped me, without that tel no for Durham I never would have got it sorted

Ratbag01 Mon 06-Aug-12 11:37:44

I am at my wits end and feel like crying. Tried Durham today and the chap was very helpful, but admitted it was only a call centre and not the actual passport office. It has been 3 weeks on Thursday and they cant put me through to the actual Passport Office until 3 weeks is up. We are travelling on the 13 August 2012!!! My daughter is ony 8 and has held a passport before - how hard can it be!!!! Anyone got a phone number other than the 0300 one?

We used Send and Check via the Post Office, which was supposed to make it quicker. We are going to be all so gutted if we miss our holiday to Turkey as we haven't been away since the recession hit in 2008. sad

stargirl40 Mon 06-Aug-12 11:44:06

Ratbag01 I will inbox direct number to you x

Ratbag01 Mon 06-Aug-12 11:48:45

Thank you so much. x

Katybabes Mon 06-Aug-12 11:50:36

I'm in the same boat - lost barcode number, I sent the passport forms to Gwent. Should I continue trying the 0300 number or a different one?

The renewal passports came back over a week ago, the new one still isn't here.....

tiredemma Mon 06-Aug-12 11:57:27

I dont have my bardcode number- DS1 renewal has been in Durham since July 24th. We fly out on August 16th.

They shouldnt put on their website that it will only take three weeks for a renewal. Ill be devastated if we cant get to visit grandparents in france.

Is it too soon for me to chase? The 0300 number will be pointless as I dont have ref number.

I feel physically sick.

Chloeboe1 Mon 06-Aug-12 12:01:54

Help please!!! My son travels on Mon 13th with his Dad to Disney, they both did check and send on 14th July. Rang 0300 number today and am happy to pay whatever it takes to get them back on time, but they couldn't get through to Durham office so am waiting a call back (they said this could be 48 hrs) The guy u spoke to said about needing to make an app to go there!! Is this necessary as we live in Devon! Would really appreciate some advice, many thanks.

Anismum Mon 06-Aug-12 12:04:27

If you've lost your barcode number like I did then if you ask at the post office where you applied they can trace it for you x

Chloeboe1 Mon 06-Aug-12 12:07:48

And could anyone kindly give me Durhams phone number?

stargirl40 Mon 06-Aug-12 12:08:23

Chloeboe1 I don't think it's an option to go to Durham you could call them direct instead of waiting a call back 0300 are not much help at all and can never get through to Durham i will inbox direct number for you x

Chloeboe1 Mon 06-Aug-12 12:18:34

Thank you stargirl40 I will try them now and let u all know how I get on!

tiredemma Mon 06-Aug-12 12:19:00

Anismum- even if its not check and send? I have proof of postage?

katykoo Mon 06-Aug-12 12:22:39

Is there an 0845 number for Peterborough ? Like BeckenhamAndie I called the Peterborough number someone here kindly messaged me but they weren't happy and was also told to call the 0300 number next week. They have had my passport since 23rd July and I travel 21st Aug so not panicking just yet. I don't have my barcode but would just like to know where in the process it is. If it takes a week for a call back I may have to start now ! She said I had got through to the examiners office and should not call them again. Felt like a naughty 8 year old !

Jul3kids Mon 06-Aug-12 12:28:25

If you gave lost your bar code the 0300 number will refuse point blank to help you due to data protection , go on home office web site and fill in passport enquiry form , someone will ring you back and they access it via postcode

sarazack Mon 06-Aug-12 12:30:20

we were told on fri by 0300 number we would get a call back within 48 hours as we sent ours by po check and send on 9th july. I gave up with waiting anxious that some people get told this and never get a callback and rang the durham 0845 number just now. They said it has been 'awaiting examination' for some time but was last looked at 12:03 today, told the lady we needed it to travel 13th aug she said we will get a callback within 2 hours advising if they are going to process it today and if they are we will have it by friday, but if they aren't processing it today we will be able to upgrade it which I am presuming costs? anyone know of how much this would be? x

Ratbag01 Mon 06-Aug-12 12:32:13

I got through to the actual Passport office many thanks to stargirl40. I spoke to a lovely lady called Julie, but all she could do was to send a message to the person dealing with my daughter's application to see what the hold up is and hopefully they will be phoning me (I dont hold out much hope of them phoning back!). The passports are apparently not even printed at Durham! Probably shipped to China to be printed cheaper or something! Nothing would suprise me!!! Once they have phoned me I have the option to pay £64.00 to get it quicker. But we'll see if anyone phones first! Arghhhhh! I feel sick. sad

Katybabes Mon 06-Aug-12 12:34:07

I just called the 0300 number. The chap was very nice in spite of the fact that I didn't have the barcode ref. He wasn't able to check as their system will only allow them to do this using the ref number. He took my contact numbers and said that he would try and get someone from the passport office to call me back either today or tomorrow.

I don't feel any better but at least I've done something.

is there anything else I should try?

sarazack Mon 06-Aug-12 12:35:14

they are printed as durham as I did mine there last year by the premium one day service and had to go in the morning to an appointment then pick it up 4 hours later. so at least that is maybe one small thing! :s

MrsApplepants Mon 06-Aug-12 12:46:34

Is there an 0845 number for Peterborough as I tried the local number I was kindly PMed but a really horrible woman answered and refused to help as she said I shouldn't be calling that number! Please help someone!!

Ratbag01 Mon 06-Aug-12 12:49:57

sarazack - I find it more reassuring that you think they are printed at Durham. I guess I have learnt my lesson with all of this. Whether we get to Turkey or not is another matter though! Fingers crossed for everyone. x

ashleysmumm Mon 06-Aug-12 12:50:42

Well today both myself and husband were working so were unable to phone the number so gave all necessary details to my parents to do the phoning, they got through and got told someone would phone back for extra payment and postal details.
I just checked my phone and had a missed call and message to phone Durham office, got straight through and took payment for extra £60 odd to get it printed at Durham tomorrow and posted special delivery by 1pm Wednesday.
This could have been the result of me phoning the 0300 and giving them my mobile to callback me on or it could have been as a result of my dad phoning this morning but surely they would have contacted him again and not me.
So smiley face here will be even bigger smile when we get it.
Thanks to all the people who ive pmd and they got back to me and best of luck to everyone else.
There must be a way we can complain collectively about the 0300 call centre, judging by how big this thread has got there are lots of people in same position.

candxx Mon 06-Aug-12 12:59:10

hey guys, ive been following this and called Durham today and the man said he would put me through for an upgrade, but someone would have to phone me back, will they phone back?!?! I fly on the 13th I am desperate as my travel agents need my passport number for my boarding passes and need them ASAP

sarazack Mon 06-Aug-12 13:01:35

candxx I too am waiting for the callback to hopefully upgrade. was told within 2 hours. now sat by the phone and won't move! hopefully they do phone back with speaking direct to durham. we need to update the passport details for boarding passes to to fly on 13th x

Chloeboe1 Mon 06-Aug-12 13:06:08

Managed to get through to Durham who said passport was done on Fri and will be with me by Wed, although will not rest easy till I see it! Why the 0300 number couldn't tell me this I don't know! Thanks for all your help.

Jul3kids Mon 06-Aug-12 13:06:46

I also travel 13 aug my request was put to the priority team on thur last week and in still waiting for my call back

sarazack Mon 06-Aug-12 13:12:07

jul3kids was the request put through by speaking to the passport office direct or by calling the helpline (0300 number)? I was told by helpline on fri my request had been put through and would get a callback within 48 hours but just called the durham office direct today that who can tell usually tell you more and said they will call me back within 2 hours. If you know what passport office it is at I would call them direct rather than the 0300 number as seem to get further that way and more info

stargirl40 Mon 06-Aug-12 13:20:45

I have just had a call back from Durham even though I spoke to them Saturday so it looks like they do call back they are waiting for my second countersignature as first one they contacted is on holiday if they don't receive it by tomorrow they will call me back again. They do seem to be helpful when you speak to them direct smile Won't relax though until i have my sons passport here

ijolt Mon 06-Aug-12 13:22:51

Another mum in desperate situation - Durham received passport application for my 9month old 3 weeks ago but have sent letter to countersignatory by 2nd class post and he hasn't received it yet.
We're supposed to travel next Monday and that's looking so unlikely. Any suggestions for how to get through to Durham?
I keep phoning the 0300 number but no good yet.
Am so upset - I was told that 3 weeks would be plenty of time for check & send and we allowed 4 and this is our only holiday this year. Argh.

Jul3kids Mon 06-Aug-12 13:23:40

It was the Durham office direct that put tha request forward for me, have just spoke to them again and they say it's taken 72hr for call backs do if I include thurs the day of request I should hear something today but could be tomorrow

stargirl40 Mon 06-Aug-12 13:30:54

ijolt That's what happened to me with counter signatory except the letter took so long to get to her she is now on holiday so I have had to send a whole new form and name of second counter signatory which i'm sure they are going to check again (more time) I will inbox you the number direct although they may just tell you to wait a bit longer for the letter to arrive, once it has it should be pretty quick to get the passport sent out x

sarazack Mon 06-Aug-12 13:31:24

ijolt i have messaged you the durham number call that num x

candxx Mon 06-Aug-12 13:36:33

sarazack- the guy told me within a couple of days, but my phone won't leave my side until I hear from then, I'm freaking out just hope I get it in time!

Holidaynughtmare Mon 06-Aug-12 13:56:46

Woo hoo my passports have arrived, the courier has just delivered them and I did nearly kiss him, he was saying they are taking on average 3-4 weeks and the most anyone has waited that he has delivered to was 4 weeks. I sent mine away 3 weeks today (16th july) exactly using check and send they received it a day later on the 17th July in Durham.

Thank you so much to all who helped me last week I got straight through on Friday morning to the Durham number a lovely lady called me back 2 hours later and said she was processing them there and then (ds first passpory and dd renewal) I didn't need to pay the upgrade as they would be here by the middle of this week, it has just arrived

Good luck everyone don't give up, we all deserve our holidays

Yey thank you again izzy77 and jul3kids x

shellbell78 Mon 06-Aug-12 14:07:42

Help ..... another mum in distress!!

Can someone please message me the direct number for the Durham office.

I sent my dd's application at the beginning of July for renewal, the cheque was cashed 2 weeks ago, still no passport and we travel on Friday!!

The 0300 number is useless, we've spoken to them 3 times today already and we're just told we'll get a call back within 48 hours angry

If someone wouldn't mind messaging me the direct number I'd be really grateful thanks

tiredemma Mon 06-Aug-12 14:10:57

I would appreciate the Durham number if possible.

sarazack Mon 06-Aug-12 14:14:21

shellbell78 and tiredemma have messaged you both x

tiredemma Mon 06-Aug-12 14:23:21

Just phoned and spoke to a really unhelpful woman who asked me where I had got the number from and stated 'you have left it a bit late haven't you?' hmm

Really unhelpful.

Said that no-one had looked at the application yet and I couldnt do anything about it until Thursday when I could apply for an upgrade. More money.

feel like my hands are bloody tied.

candxx Mon 06-Aug-12 14:28:26

do the fast track call you from
an unknown number? I've Just had a missed call from
one I'll be angry with myself if they don't phone back!

Holidaynughtmare Mon 06-Aug-12 14:34:36

Candxx - yes they call you from a blocked number I missed my first call but they rang back and left a voice mail

tiredemma - when do you fly?

candxx Mon 06-Aug-12 14:36:51

Holidaynughtmare- thanks, did they phone you back
the same day? I hope they do!

Ratbag01 Mon 06-Aug-12 14:37:00

A lovely man at the actual Passport Office who sounded like he knew what he was doing said that the passports are passed to the printers and then couriered from there. He said he would "pass my application through to the printers now", (Done online I guess). He said that as there was a backlog of upgrades, this would not make my application form come any quicker. But he did say that we should receive it by Thursday or Friday at the latest. So we will see. At least someone phoned me back. We can do no more for now, but sit and wait! I still feel sick!

Holidaynughtmare Mon 06-Aug-12 14:45:16

candxx - yeh they phoned me back about 30 mins later check your answer phone too!

Ratbag01 - I spoke to Durham on Friday and got told exactly the same thing it was been processed that day and would be sent to the printers that day, they also said not to upgrade as it could delay it and my passports arrived today. You should be fine

candxx Mon 06-Aug-12 15:00:40

Holidaynughtmare- thanks! fingers crossed I hear back today then, this is far too much hassle, the post office shouldn't guarentee 2 weeks!

NoBloodyMore Mon 06-Aug-12 15:00:45

We've just had a call back from Liverpool with the tracking number so from involving the MP Friday it's all been sorted fairly quickly, we'd been trying for over a week and not even had a call back until we involved our local MP It's not something I would've ever thought of doing but within 3 hours he'd sorted it for us, ds' passport comes tomorrow, we fly Thursday so it's taken 3.5 weeks and cost £125 but at least it's done now

Ratbag01 Mon 06-Aug-12 15:12:55

Holidaynughtmare - thanks for your reassurance. I do hope it comes. It is horrible isn't it. But I guess our my own fault! My two other childrens passports run out next year, I'm thinking I should give them more time!

Thanks everyone and 'happy holidays'!

Katybabes Mon 06-Aug-12 15:14:17

Anyone able to DM me the number - would be so grateful. I'm not too hopeful of a call back.

Ratbag01 Mon 06-Aug-12 15:15:02

NoBloodyMore - involving your local MP is a great idea. Not sure who ours is in Henley-on-Thames now, but it used to be Boris Johnson; not sure if he would get things moving or add to the confusion! lol!

Ratbag01 Mon 06-Aug-12 15:16:25

Holidaynughtmare - sorry, one more question. Did you get a tracking number sent to you before the courier brought the passport?

Holidaynughtmare Mon 06-Aug-12 15:26:15

Ratbag01 - no I didn't get a tracking number but the lady I spoke to did say once it goes to printing it is literally a matter of days this was literally 12 o clock Friday lunch and it arrived today, if its gone to printing you will be fine, I know you will panic until the passports are in your hand, I did, but I am sure you will be ok. Let me know how you get on

shellbell78 Mon 06-Aug-12 15:29:35

Thanks for giving me the direct number for Durham.

We've just spoken to a helpful person and have found out the application is now with Peterborough, due to the backlog!

I don't suppose anyone knows the direct number for Peterborough at all?

sarazack Mon 06-Aug-12 15:57:23

sorry don't know the peterborough number. we didn't get our 2 hour callback today so i called durham back and we were told it was issued an hour ago. told up to 2 working days for printing (but usually faster) then 2 days for delivery so should be with us by friday. She even said to call back about 6ish as might have been Printed by then! slight ease ofstress and anxiety but won't be totally happy till i hold it in my own hands!

tiredemma Mon 06-Aug-12 16:03:24

holiday-

We fly on 16th _ I doubt this will happen now.

candxx Mon 06-Aug-12 16:06:40

I've still not had a call back since that missed call earlier .. this is so frustrating!

SizzleSazz Mon 06-Aug-12 16:11:57

Can someone pm me the number too please? I have requested tracking via the website but no response sad

Leelee78 Mon 06-Aug-12 16:24:01

Hi, I've just stumbled across this thread and I'm now very worried! Sent DD's renewal by Check and Send on 20th July and we fly on Monday, 13th! I've called the 0300 number and they have said they won't be able to provide further information on the application until Friday, 10th! I've sent three requests on the tracking page and not had a single response. I'm worried sick cause I doubt if I it's not received by Friday I will be able to get it sorted over the weekend. I've rung the Post Office and they said the application has been sent to the Liverpool, could I ring them and ask for an upgrade? If so, does anybody have the direct number? :-(

NoBloodyMore Mon 06-Aug-12 16:25:00

Yeah Ratbag I can't imagine he'd be much use! To be fair it was ours secretary that did it all, not him! I didn't have a clue who ours was, just googled.

NoBloodyMore Mon 06-Aug-12 16:27:43

Leelee we were also Liverpool, we sent ours 16th and still had to pay to upgrade (£66) to get it here for tomorrow. No direct line I'm afraid, they called me each time from a blocked number, we had to involve the local MP to even get a call back for an upgrade.

BeckenhamAndie Mon 06-Aug-12 16:29:28

Sizzlesazz have PMd you.

Jul3kids Mon 06-Aug-12 16:29:48

Well looks like the 72 hr call back I was promised last Thursday to enable me to upgrade is not going to happen , just phone Durham yet again to be told I should get it tomorrow as they are very busy(I know that they have had my application 3 weeks and not even looked at it)

Leelee78 Mon 06-Aug-12 16:32:45

NoBloodyMore. Can you suggest what I should do? I've rung the 0300 number and asked for an upgrade but they've said that they can't get through and have put a call back through. How long does a call back take? Sorry for all the questions really stressed out now. I would have paid for the one week's service, it's not worth the hassle.

SizzleSazz Mon 06-Aug-12 16:38:17

I have spoken to Durham and apparently ours is in Liverpool. Apparently being printed this afternoon, but i am thinking they may be saying the same to everyone hmm. She said i need to wait a few more days and then track it but no guarantee it will be sent out this week.

Any ideas of how I can fast track this (assuming it was printed this afternoon?)

I take it there is no Liverpool number available to chase it?

Ratbag01 Mon 06-Aug-12 16:38:27

Whatever happened to the 'good old days' of being able to get a temporary 1 week passport? Terrorism I guess! Mind you, I would have thought that an 8 year old, whos had a passport before would sailed through! Plus it had already been 'Check and Sended' at the Post Office.

I wont relax until it comes and family/friends keep phoning me to ask me if I've any news, which is nice, but it is freaking me out even more!

BeckenhamAndie Mon 06-Aug-12 16:43:55

This thread needs to go to MPs. It's shocking. I'm emailing mine with a link.

babushka1 Mon 06-Aug-12 16:55:16

Phoned peterborough and was told to phone back thursday. I think im going to take a trip up their instead. Really anxious now.

KimSoton Mon 06-Aug-12 16:56:47

Hi. I had a good result with Durham today!! Rang first thing & got thru straight away to a man who said I should be OK - we travel Friday. He said he'd put our details through to team & someone would call in 48 he's. I burst into tears at this point (couldn't help it, Im so tired & stressed) & said to him that that would be too late, surely? He said "no, you will be fine as can upgrade". We left it at that. I felt totally unconvinced we'd be ok THEN this afternoon a lovely lady (Emma) rang me to say all ok with my son's form & I could fastrack with extra payment. I'd missed their posting out for today so it'll be sent out tomorrow & she said will be with me by Weds. It will come Royal Mail Special Delivery & I paid even a bit more extra to get it by 9am. It would've been 1pm onwards otherwise which would be ok but I just want it in my hands ASAP to know I've really got it!!! I was SO thrilled & couldn't thank the lady enough. She said they are manic. BUT it was not without extra stress - Emma called me back shortly after to say my card had been declined!! I have £ in account so no way should that have happened!!! I said this & she said she'd check again with Finance Dept. I frantically went on line to my bank wondering what on earth had happened but money fine. Emma rang back very quickly to say it was a blip & Finance had now drawn the £. Geez - I'm feeling like this trip is jinxed!!! LOL. So... I'm now just awaiting delivery on Weds & hope no other probs arise!!! I won't rest until the P is in my hands tho!!!! Given the chap said 48 hr call back, I was amazed (& VERY thrilled) to get call today. There IS light at the end of the tunnel!!! I do think once you get Durham Progress Teamcontact then you will be ok. The lady was lovely that I spoke with & I do think they do want to help people get away. I hope people on here still waiting get sorted. I'm confident you will. Hang in there. K x x

Anismum Mon 06-Aug-12 17:05:38

Tiredemma- not too sure as mine was check and send but it's worth a try as they probably had to scan the barcode on the form and it should be on their system somewhere

stargirl40 Mon 06-Aug-12 17:10:00

shellbell78 will message you direct number smile

stargirl40 Mon 06-Aug-12 17:15:36

oh see you have it already can't delete my post though don't know how lol

SizzleSazz Mon 06-Aug-12 17:15:48

I have just had a call back from the 0300 number who said it hasn't been passed for printing yet, despite Durham telling me it was being printed this afternoon.

Gah!!!!!!

BartletForTeamGB Mon 06-Aug-12 17:23:47

This is not going to be a popular post but I am completely bemused by the vitriol towards the Passport Service here because, at their busiest time of year, they are not getting out passports within the minimum time they allow. I don't think the IPS can be blamed for people not allowing enough time before booking holidays. I'd rather my MP was dealing with something important!

The timetable they give is really clear:

The time it takes to process a passport application depends on:
how busy IPS is - April to September is the busiest time
which service you use
whether your application is completed correctly
whether you provide the correct documents
whether IPS needs to contact the person who countersigned your application

Using the Check & Send service will:
take a minimum of two weeks (not guaranteed) but you should allow more time in case IPS needs to contact you or a countersignatory for extra information
help you reduce errors but remember IPS may still need to contact you for more information
Using the post:
will take a minimum of three weeks (not guaranteed) but you should allow more time in case IPS needs to contact you or a countersignatory for extra information
you should consider using Check & Send as it will help you reduce errors, but remember IPS may still need to contact you for more information

First time applicants will:
take a minimum of six weeks (not guaranteed) but you should allow more time in case IPS needs to contact you or a countersignatory for extra information
find that using Check & Send will help you reduce errors
find that during peak times appointments may not always be available at a time or place that is ideal and this can delay your application

BeckenhamAndie Mon 06-Aug-12 17:37:20

When you ring up before booking holiday and told that 3 weeks for a renewal is the norm then why worry when you then allow 6 weeks? The fact is they are providing dreadful service. One person said that cut backs has meant they are very understaffed hence serious delays. This certainly is a matter for my MP in my view.

BeckenhamAndie Mon 06-Aug-12 17:40:23

BartletForTeamGB and mine was only a renewal ...

ashleysmumm Mon 06-Aug-12 17:47:13

Bartletforgb

Thank very much for sharing that information.
I've got to say that speaking for myself I am to blame for sending the passport and only giving almost 4 weeks before traveling I am not blaming the passport service.
The big thing here that I see and I think it is something that local MPs should be involved in is that the advice line people phone is very unprofessional and the people are uneducated in the work that they do, out of the 8 different people I spoke to each and every one I would say we're almost incompetent at their job!
This is costing how much?
You only have to read through the posts on here to see another picture emerging and it seems some passports are being held to ransom, people have booked holidays costing thousands and in my case I am more than happy to pay the extra 60 odd quid to make sure I can go. Non profit organisation it says, well what is the extra cost used for to get it printed in a day when they have had it for a few weeks already?

Losingmymind123 Mon 06-Aug-12 18:25:19

Hi sorry to bother you but the more I read the more I'm panicking
Do you have a number for Durham I could ring to chase

Thankyou xx

NoBloodyMore Mon 06-Aug-12 18:28:10

Lee lee I never got any of the requested call backs despite numerous requests, the only way I got anywhere was through the mp.

Bartletforgold, my only gripe is with the way the system works my sons was sent check & send with nearly 4 weeks to go, well within their guidelines, I didn't receive a single call or email back despite numerous requests and then still had to pay £67 to get it in time, there is something very wrong with that system. And if according to their own guidelines they know they're very busy between May and Sept then get in extra staff/overtime before the backlog gets this bad. No private company would ever get away with charging people for such a crappy level of service so I don't see why we should just put up with it off them. The guy who rang me had my sons form in front of him but wouldn't process it unless I paid the £67 additional fee, i have no problems with the staff themselves it's the system that doesn't work.

LYSAIDANI Mon 06-Aug-12 19:53:02

can anyone give me the DURHAM office number direct?

i fly on the 19th and lost my previous passport and they cant guarantee that it will arrive by the time i need to apply for my USA waiver!!

HELP!!!

Leelee78 Mon 06-Aug-12 19:55:33

Thanks NoBloodyMore. I'll try them again in the morning and if I don't get anywhere I'll contact my MP.

mentalmumof3 Mon 06-Aug-12 19:58:51

I'm very stressed now. sent my two childrens applications off through check and send on the 17th july and still not received anything, we fly on Friday!!!!!!!

Does anyone have the correct telephone number for Durham please my 5 year old really won't understand why she has to stay at home with me and the baby while her big sister goes on holiday with her dad - I can see that is what is going to happen. This is a complete nightmar

Myers1812 Mon 06-Aug-12 20:31:10

Really desperate.....anyone have direct contact for Liverpool???

We fly on 8/8/13, post office was a joke & been trying IPS for 2days for them to not be able to transfer me. I've just emailed Michael Robotham MP. Only option is for us to drive to Liverpool from Leicester tomorrow to pick it up if I manage to get through to them.

Any help would be great.

kumi1979 Mon 06-Aug-12 21:27:04

Hi I'm wondering if anyone can help me, I sent my daughter's passport for renewal on the 3rd of July and Peterbrough received it on the 4th. I have been calling them since week two only to be told there was plenty of time before I travel on the 13th of August and I should receive it within 4 weeks.Since last Tuesday when it had been 4 week I called only to be told that it's still waiting for checking.After making about 50 calls a day and sleepless nights my hubby spoke to Peterbrough who told him it is still waiting to be checked and cannot upgrade the application. They have now had it for 5 weeks tomorrow and the rude lady at their office informed my husband that it could take another 3 weeks and it's our fault for booking holidays. Can someone please help as i feel like my head is going to burst from all the tension!!

babushka1 Mon 06-Aug-12 21:38:38

Hi kumi1979,
I rang peterborough twice today. The first lady said that I had plenty of time (flights booked for 13 aug) and that she would request a call back. I later rang back to ask if they would accept payment using my hubbies card when I get my call back and this miserable women said that it was highly unlikely I would get them back on time and I should phone back on thursday to see if they had exaimed them yet.
Talk about mixed messasges.

stargirl40 Mon 06-Aug-12 21:44:42

I hate it when you get a rude person don't think they realise how stressful it is, I had a nice lady from Durham who says i have plenty of time 27th, but the more i'm reading here the more i'm panicking sad would be more helpful if you could speak to the same person all the time.