MP calls on Government to improve passport services following complaints

Pensioner Eileen Shepherd who missed out on a cruise following passport delays

PASSPORT OUTRAGE: Darlington MP Jenny Chapman

First published in News

AN MP flooded with complaints about Passport Office blunders has called on the Government to make changes.

Darlington MP Jenny Chapman is working to help an increasing number of constituents as they struggle to get passports in time for travel.

She says the Government must do more to improve the situation and has called on them to take on more staff and employ extra resources.

Mrs Chapman spoke out after Darlington pensioner Eileen Shepherd lost her dream holiday following delays and conflicting information from the Passport Office.

She said: “We were helping Mrs Shepherd and she did everything asked of her in good time and was let down badly.

“It’s not just her, we are helping a lot of people and it’s just horrendous, your heart breaks for them.

“They advertise being able to provide a passport in three weeks in some circumstances and six weeks in others and you take that at face value as that is what you are told.

“These people have done everything right and everything the Government has asked for and then have lost huge amounts of money.

“It is outrageous. Officialdom and bureaucracy preventing people fulfilling things they’d love to do and have worked hard for is unacceptable.

“Holidays matter, especially when people don’t have much money to splash around.

“When they decide to treat themselves, it really matters and it’s not like they can just go and book another one.

“People make sacrifices to go on holiday and then find out, through no fault of their own, they are unable to do that.”

She added: “There is such disinterest from the passport office and they are not pulling out the stops to help in the way you would expect.

“It’s unacceptable and the Government needs to put in extra resources and provide extra staff.

“I feel very strongly about this and we cannot have this situation going on any longer than it has - a lot of people are losing money.”

In relation to the case of Mrs Shepherd, a spokeswoman from the Home Office said her passport application had now been processed and her passport was being returned to her.

She added: “We are sorry Mrs Shepherd missed her holiday, however we do recommend customers should not book travel until they have received their passport.”

Comments (6)

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8:09pm Fri 30 May 14

loan_star says...

Sack the disinterested workers and get people in who want to do the job, people who give a toss about providing good customer service.
Sack the disinterested workers and get people in who want to do the job, people who give a toss about providing good customer service. loan_star
  • Score: -3

10:36pm Fri 30 May 14

PaulMJohnson says...

loan_star wrote:
Sack the disinterested workers and get people in who want to do the job, people who give a toss about providing good customer service.
That wouldn't exactly be to the liking of the unions though, who fund the Labour Party and people like Jenny Chapman.

Of course, adding more people and spending more money, which she proposes (and indeed is Labours answer to everything), would go down very well with the unions.
[quote][p][bold]loan_star[/bold] wrote: Sack the disinterested workers and get people in who want to do the job, people who give a toss about providing good customer service.[/p][/quote]That wouldn't exactly be to the liking of the unions though, who fund the Labour Party and people like Jenny Chapman. Of course, adding more people and spending more money, which she proposes (and indeed is Labours answer to everything), would go down very well with the unions. PaulMJohnson
  • Score: -2

12:05pm Sat 31 May 14

oliviaden6 says...

I feel sorry for these people losing out but has nobody ever thought about forward planning. If you surely book a holiday it goes with out saying you should check your Passports validity and that your E111 is up to date also.
I feel sorry for these people losing out but has nobody ever thought about forward planning. If you surely book a holiday it goes with out saying you should check your Passports validity and that your E111 is up to date also. oliviaden6
  • Score: 3

6:34pm Sat 31 May 14

aposiopesis says...

The passport delay problem is even more desperate for British nationals living abroad. My family live in Indonesia and I work in Malaysia - I needed to renew my passport, which involved sending it back to the UK, and now 8 weeks later, it still hasn't been returned. I haven't seen my family, I'm going to miss a family wedding, because I'm stranded here in the wrong country!!

This situation has come about because passports are no longer renewed in Hong Kong, but sent back to the UK. A cost cutting measure.

It's impossible to speak to anyone - the UK Passport Office have outsourced their phone line to a private call centre company. No replies to complaints, and no information from them at all.

This is a very desperate situation for many British nationals trying to do business and generally have a family life and get to see their loved ones.
The passport delay problem is even more desperate for British nationals living abroad. My family live in Indonesia and I work in Malaysia - I needed to renew my passport, which involved sending it back to the UK, and now 8 weeks later, it still hasn't been returned. I haven't seen my family, I'm going to miss a family wedding, because I'm stranded here in the wrong country!! This situation has come about because passports are no longer renewed in Hong Kong, but sent back to the UK. A cost cutting measure. It's impossible to speak to anyone - the UK Passport Office have outsourced their phone line to a private call centre company. No replies to complaints, and no information from them at all. This is a very desperate situation for many British nationals trying to do business and generally have a family life and get to see their loved ones. aposiopesis
  • Score: 0

2:23am Mon 2 Jun 14

SirLance says...

The British Government advise 6 weeks to get your passport processed. Take a look at https:www.gov.uk/ove
rseas-passports If there is a 'special urgency' then the same website offers a means to follow and offers further advice. My advice: When you know there will be queues go early! People sleep on the streets outside the big stores for doors to open for the 'bargain discounts' on new Years sales! If you want a bargain you have to do something about getting it! Now i'm not suggesting camping outside the Passport office but if it says '6 weeks' to get a renewal then at least apply at '8 weeks ' to hopefully receive your passport in time! Identity theft is very serious, many passports are stolen, hundreds of passports are 'lost' by young people 'partying up' in Spain! The passports offices are very busy replacing passports lost by carelessness or dare i say it? Stupidity!
The British Government advise 6 weeks to get your passport processed. Take a look at https:www.gov.uk/ove rseas-passports If there is a 'special urgency' then the same website offers a means to follow and offers further advice. My advice: When you know there will be queues go early! People sleep on the streets outside the big stores for doors to open for the 'bargain discounts' on new Years sales! If you want a bargain you have to do something about getting it! Now i'm not suggesting camping outside the Passport office but if it says '6 weeks' to get a renewal then at least apply at '8 weeks ' to hopefully receive your passport in time! Identity theft is very serious, many passports are stolen, hundreds of passports are 'lost' by young people 'partying up' in Spain! The passports offices are very busy replacing passports lost by carelessness or dare i say it? Stupidity! SirLance
  • Score: 0

2:24am Mon 2 Jun 14

SirLance says...

The British Government advise 6 weeks to get your passport processed. Take a look at https:www.gov.uk/ove
rseas-passports If there is a 'special urgency' then the same website offers a means to follow and offers further advice. My advice: When you know there will be queues go early! People sleep on the streets outside the big stores for doors to open for the 'bargain discounts' on new Years sales! If you want a bargain you have to do something about getting it! Now i'm not suggesting camping outside the Passport office but if it says '6 weeks' to get a renewal then at least apply at '8 weeks ' to hopefully receive your passport in time! Identity theft is very serious, many passports are stolen, hundreds of passports are 'lost' by young people 'partying up' in Spain! The passports offices are very busy replacing passports lost by carelessness or dare i say it? Stupidity!
The British Government advise 6 weeks to get your passport processed. Take a look at https:www.gov.uk/ove rseas-passports If there is a 'special urgency' then the same website offers a means to follow and offers further advice. My advice: When you know there will be queues go early! People sleep on the streets outside the big stores for doors to open for the 'bargain discounts' on new Years sales! If you want a bargain you have to do something about getting it! Now i'm not suggesting camping outside the Passport office but if it says '6 weeks' to get a renewal then at least apply at '8 weeks ' to hopefully receive your passport in time! Identity theft is very serious, many passports are stolen, hundreds of passports are 'lost' by young people 'partying up' in Spain! The passports offices are very busy replacing passports lost by carelessness or dare i say it? Stupidity! SirLance
  • Score: 0

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