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Help needed passport in Durham office with no progress

(22 Posts)
Jobee12109 Thu 20-Mar-14 22:44:34

Can anyone help or advise? My 5 year olds passport is in Durham passport office and is apparently still waiting to be examined despite me chasing it for weeks now, we fly to nz in 11 days and I am terrified we won't get it back, i can't get any response at all from Durham despite numerous requests for call back, no one seems able to help. Does anyone have know of anyway to contact them other than asking for a call back? Any help would be hugely appreciated, thank you

Curlyclair Thu 27-Mar-14 20:27:07

Hello, I share your pain as I, too, am struggling to get a passport through for my kids from Durham. I am using an 0845 number. Normally I call 08456015175 but have also been given 08451290044 by a person who I think was an examiner. Make sure you have your barcodes to hand but expect to wait up to 5 minutes, at least, at your expense!
I have also contacted the Passport Office through the email system and their turn around time is shocking. I emailed Sunday and got a reply today, which taking into account they would have had it on Monday that is 3 days! However, it is another avenue - and more grist for your complaint letter.
I have, generally, found them to be helpful BUT snowed under so being made inefficient meaning things aren't happening the way they should. I have pretty much burst into tears on the phone to them and - please God - the passports are FINALLY on their way.
Have you checked with your referee to see if they have been contacted and got back to the Passport Office? That could hold things up and mean an examiner won't even look at the application. One of my letters got lost in the post and if that has happened to the letter to the referee that could be the issue.
Good luck!

girnythecat Mon 31-Mar-14 14:26:52

I got through on 0191 3707141 this morning

yummertron Thu 03-Apr-14 17:54:30

I am in a similar situation. Applied for my 4 month old's first passport on 10/2/14 (7 weeks ago). Sent an internet info request form thing 3 weeks ago - only got a reply a week later. Then started telephoning every day. Just keep being told that they are waiting to make contact with the counter signatory. They have sent him 2 letters but they have been lost in the internal post at his work. He has himself telephoned a number of times to try to expedite things but nothing seems to be working. No one can get hold of Durham when we ring the advice line. I have tried the numbers above, with no luck. The 0845 numbers go through to a "this number is not recognised" and the 0191 is always engaged. Does anyone have any other numbers?

I have no ideas left. We are meant to be flying to France in 10 days so my mum can meet DD for the first time. The flights were bought for us.

I am resorting to going to an MP's advice clinic tomorrow to see if they can do anything to help, but it seems a sorry state of affairs if you need to get an MP involved just to get a passport!

Italy123 Mon 07-Apr-14 18:13:50

Hi all, I too am awaiting for my 4month old's passport even though I sent it over 9 weeks ago (but wasn't logged onto their system until 8th feb.) I've got a direct number for Dawn at the Durham office 0191 3707289. Rang again today to be told once again that it still hasn't been processed! Hope this number helps those others who are still waiting, this situation is ridiculous!! Have emailed MP & Home Secretary today so hopefully that might speed up things as it has for others.

yummertron Wed 09-Apr-14 18:34:01

Update - finally have news that it is on its way! Have escalated it up to 1 week processing by paying extra money, but think the real breakthrough was getting my MP involved. They managed to find out what was happening and speed things up for me. Great service from them, not so great from the Passport Office!

Thanks for the number. Italy123. Good luck with yours!

Italy123 Wed 09-Apr-14 20:12:33

Hi yummerton glad you managed to get through & finally have some progress with your passport. After getting my MP involved the passport was miraculously processed within a day after waiting 9wks and was printed yesterday. Now just have to hope it gets posted soon, have been told by some people definitely by the weekend and by others that it will take 10days!! As I am out in Italy they won't let me pay to fast track the postage so looks like I'll just have to cross my fingers & hope it's here by next wk so I can head back to the UK! Hope everyone else had luck with theirs too.

Italy123 Thu 10-Apr-14 08:09:30

Found this another thread, has direct numbers for all the passport offices. It's in Polish but hopefully helpful for those still waiting

MaddieAyman267 Mon 19-May-14 15:33:48

Hi can someone help me please!!! i sent my passport to the durham passport office which they recieved on the 25th of april i expected it to come back 3 weeks later instead they sent me a letter 3 weeks later to say my supporting document (which was a deed poll because i had changed my name) had not been dated and to send them another??? that was my original document and yet they didnt send it back for me to date!, it was murder trying to get through to them i rung the advice line numerous times and they said we can only send them an email to call you back? This was on thursday.I panicked and paid for another deed poll to be delivered to me next day which cost me another �52 and sent that by special delivery on friday morning so they should have that in the office this morning. we are now on monday im worried will they even call back? i have requested an upgrade im worried if they will deny me that and ill have to wait 3 weeks again? im due to fly out on the first of june as my only living grandparent is seriously ill and they dont think she will be here much longer as she has a number of health problems and is also in her late 80s. im so stressed i have already made arrangements for my disabled sons care for when i leave and also respite for my foster children. This is unbearable :-(

Presch Sun 25-May-14 10:21:14

Help!!! I applied via the Internet for a renewal of my Passport on the 27th April, I was very good and waited 3 weeks before I began to panic as am travelling this Wednesday 28th May, I was told it was processing and I would receive a call back within 48 hours as to whether I needed to upgrade or not. Eventually I got a call back last Thursday and was told that yes I should try to upgrade, but would have to wait a further 48hours for a call back from the upgrade department! 47.5 hours later (sat am)and many nights of hardly any sleep, stress and worrying I called the 0300 number again only to be told that they would send another email which would hopefully remind them of my travel dates and if I had not heard by 4pm that afternoon to call again. Obviously I received no phone call so phoned again. This time the lady I spoke to was not very helpful at all, she couldn't understand why the person Id spoken to earlier had advised to ring back and she also told me that as it was a bank holiday weekend not to call again until Tuesday 27th. I would be very very lucky if I received a call back on either Sun 25th or Mon 27th May! I am now getting desperate !!! Has anyone any ideas/suggestions ????

My daughters passport took 3 weeks and 1 day to be returned and was sent off just 5 days prior to mine!!

Straightforwarda Wed 28-May-14 18:18:31

At the end of the day, all this stress is down to your own stupidity and the fact you chose to ignore HMPO advice by booking travel before you have a passport.
If you care to read the guidance notes, you will see that there are no guaranteed turnaround times - just average timescales.
I think it is important to note that it is the MPs YOU voted for who have made the public spending cuts you all so badly wanted. The result is less staff to process our applications. We should remember that, whilst you are preoccupied with your all-inclusive package holidays, a passport is also a gateway to benefits, NHS treatment etc.... and lets not even get started on people who may make fraudulent applications. I am sure that nobody would advocate banging out these important documents without government agencies completing their vital checks?

PotteringAlong Wed 28-May-14 18:28:20

straightforward you said exactly what I came on to say! Every year it's the same threads - where's the common sense in booking flights without valid passports?!

OwlCapone Wed 28-May-14 21:50:20

But you didn't join specifically to bestow your superior wisdom upon the MN masses like Straightforwarda.

Does it make you feel big to post smug unhelpful comments?

lucylou1106 Thu 29-May-14 14:49:01

i thought I would share my story on here to give everyone some hope! I used all the advise on here and without it I do not think I would have my passport.

I applied for my passport 2nd may via post office check and send. i then found out my annual leave after this and booked a holiday taking the risk for 31st may. pretty stupid now i think about it but I really thought the passport would be back in a week or two.

I received a text saying they received the application on 9th may. When I had not heard anything on tues 20th may I started to panic. I called the 0300 number (left my details to be called back but not trusting it kept trying and got through after about 5th try) and they said the application was no further forward but they were very nice and said they would send an email to durham with my departure date and to expect a call from durham within 48 hours. Thats when I found these forums. again not trusting the call back on weds 21st I called the durham number 08456015175. It says you can only call if you have a letter from them but ignore this and just hold. You have to hold for about 1 hour. The lady I spoke to was loverly and said she would send a message to get my passport fast tracked and that I would receive a call to pay the £60 upgrade, however this was not guarenteed. She said not to call back until the day before departure which was a bit worrying. I called again on friday 23rd may (on hold 1 hour again) and the guy said he would send another message trying to hurry things along.

I held out the back holiday weekend not sleeping or eatting with worry and annoying people talking about it.

On tues 27th I called again the 0845 number the lady said i have already called lots and nothing can be guarenteed however she did say ' leave it in my hands'. Becoming very worried at this post I emailed my local MP as threads on here suggest. I thought this was a bit of a crazy thing to do. The local MP was amazing they emailed the passport office on tuesday within an hour of emailing them and then magically I got the call from durham a couple of hours later saying my application had been processed and would I like to have the passport sent or pick it up.

I picked the passport up weds 29th (it was crazy busy in there) and I am now packing for our holiday leaving tomorrow. Email your MP it seems they have power with this. Theres no need to get angry I just explained to the MP I'm disapointed that the poor people at the passport office are over worked due to government cuts. Be really nice to all the people on the phone they are trying to help and I got great service from all of them, it seemed to pay off in the end.

Keep calling the 0845 number (dont wait for call backs) and contact your local MP or apply for your passport months in advance to avoid the stress. Good luck everyone.

Straightforwarda Fri 30-May-14 17:53:30

Owl... you think reading the notes for guidance and following the advice is a bad suggestion?? Maybe that's why threads like this exist!

OwlCapone Fri 30-May-14 18:07:13

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

Straightforwarda Fri 30-May-14 18:47:05

I apologise if my opinion offends you

OwlCapone Fri 30-May-14 19:37:01

Your opinion doesn't offend me, your attitude and behaviour does and the fact that you only post stuff like this.

Harryban Sat 02-Aug-14 00:49:51

Basically I applied my first passport 6 weeks ago,and my boss
Done countersign on application form,very next week I have had an argument with me boss and I don't work for him any longer,today I called to passport office and they told me that they sent a letter to your counter signature(referee) two weeks ago but we haven't got no reply from him,I believe he won't won't reply them.i am confused don't know what to do?Any help would be appreciated;)

Harryban Sat 02-Aug-14 00:54:53

Basically I applied my first passport 6 weeks ago,and my boss
Done countersign on application form,very next week I have had an argument with me boss and I don't work for him any longer,today I called to passport office and they told me that they sent a letter to your counter signature(referee) two weeks ago but we haven't got no reply from him,I believe he won't won't reply them.i am confused don't know what to do?Any help would be appreciated;)

Harryban Sat 02-Aug-14 00:55:16


Lovemykids80 Tue 18-Nov-14 11:14:34

Mines a bit different ....I applied for picture renewal for mine and the kids passports in April my husband done his separately ...the applications WERE received on 2/5/14 in passport office to be processed ....(we had a holiday booked for 28th August PLENTY OF TIME TO PROCESS A PASSPORT!) my hubs arrived back about 10 days later as mine had kids enclosed I knew mine would be longer and my youngest Lily's needed counter signing as it was only her second passport my house we've now celebrated everyone's birthday, Easter, bonfire night, Halloween, children had six week school holiday and a half term in October's Christmas in a month and I still don't have my flipping passports!!!!!!!!! They cashed my CROSSED postal orders on 7/5/2014 I have postal order numbers din numbers passport application numbers I've filed missing passport requests ...I've been to 5 appointments at Durham ...I was even handed someone else's passports!!!!!!!!!! Got my MPs office involved and even that hasn't helped they've been fobbed off with the yes we have p.orders but they were sent to immigration WHICH IS IN THE SAME FLIPPING BUILDING!! So apparently I have to reapply.. pay again..fill in apps again and get new photos done and I'll apparently be refunded and reimbursed for what it costs me for pics etc ....yeah like I believe a word they say to me anymore...what do I do now ...this is completely bonkers its cost me the loss of a £500 deposit for aug holiday we missed petrol to Durham parking when u get there and now they want me to start again ....its a joke!

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