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  • FIRST POST
    • lifemagic
    • By lifemagic 2nd Jan 18, 7:59 AM
    • 100Posts
    • 21Thanks
    lifemagic
    HMPO String of errors...
    • #1
    • 2nd Jan 18, 7:59 AM
    HMPO String of errors... 2nd Jan 18 at 7:59 AM
    Tldr, a passport application was lost for three years, turned up out the vlue, was mistakenly issued when I was already abroad and already had a passport, then wasn't cancelled when they promised it was, to top it all off, the follosing overseas application was misfiled as domestic and three hmpo staff tried to get me to send my current passport to the uk while I was in Cambodia, leaving me without a visa or id.

    I already posted here about it a few years ago when the first part happened... but then they surpassed themselves.

    Below is the complaint I just submitted onto their system:

    ___________

    Passport Complaint

    I spend my time volunteering abroad. Because the work is unpaid I live on tourist visas and so my average passport lasts me two years before it's full. Usually I renew in Asia, but once, around the end of 2013 , I was in the UK for a short period and applied for a new passport as a renewal, and included the current passport full of visa stamps as part of my application.

    After a month I had no reply and so phoned the passport office to find out that it hadn't been received. I had sent it registered post and so checked with the post office. They had no receiving signature for it and admitted they had lost it. I complained to the post office and received the full amount of compensation due to the importance of the document they had lost.

    I used their apology letter as part of my next passport application, having to declare the previous one lost. This was difficult as both my parents were foreigners and both dead. I finally managed to obtain a new passport and left for Asia in October 2013.

    I volunteered in Cambodia for an extended period, and also completed some teacher training in Saigon. I visited the UK on that passport for a month in March 2015. After two years my passport was again full so I applied for a new one via VFS in Saigon, sending a full colour copy of my passport as part of the application. I received a new passport in December 2015..

    I went back to volunteering with the new passport, and when that finished, went on a meditation retreat in Burma. I travelled down to Thailand to return to volunteering and received a message from my niece asking me if I wanted my passport to be delievered. I asked her what she meant and she said a new passport has been delivered to her address in the UK. I didn't believe her as I was abroad and already had a passport. She was certain it looked like a passport from the envelope but addressed to me. I instructed her to open it and it was indeed a passport, in my name, with my dob, and with a photo of me, slightly younger.

    I was in shock as how can this happen? I hadn't even applied, then remembered the missing application. Somehow, it had not only been delivered after three years, but processed, with no one at HMPO noticing it was three years old, the credit card has expired and they received no payment and that there is already a valid passport issued in that name. I checked all my bank accounts (I couldn't even remember what card I had put on the form) and I definitely hadn't been billed.

    I had to make a few phonecalls to the passport advice line, but eventually someone reassured me it was a total mistake, the passport I had with me was valid, the one mistakenly sent was already cancelled and I can just forget about it.

    The following May 2016 I sent two letters. One complaining to the post office (again), and another complaining to HMPO, explaining what had happened and specifically asking if I needed to do anything as I was abroad using the passport I had with me. I received no replies to either letter.

    About a year (October 2017) later my passport was again full, so I applied in Phnom Pehn for an overseas renewal, again via VFS, submitting a colour copy of the full passport and fee including courier fee.

    After a month I had heard nothing and so phoned the advice line. Someone told me a letter had been sent to my neice's house previously and I hadn't answered. I asked my niece and she opened it for me. It was from HMPO asking me for a letter from my employer to confirm I need a second passport. The passport sent in error had NOT been cancelled.

    I phoned the passport advice line again. They added a note on the system about what had happened. On top of this, the current application had been mistakenly processed as a domestic application (not overseas), and the only way to get a new passport issued was to send the original passport I currently had. The person I spoke to was absolutely certain I must do this. In other words, it was an instruction to break the local laws, as it would leave me without ID, without my visa to be in Cambodia and it would also force me to overstay my current visa to be in Cambodia.

    I phoned again another day and managed to explain the whole thing to someone who believed me and changed the application to an overseas application and wrote the story down for an examiner to read. While we were in mid-conversation, literally she was halfway through a sentence and the line clicked and someone said, 'Hello, can I help you' and I'd been randomly transfered to someone else. This happened twice. Both times I was not able to get back to the person I had been speaking to.

    I left it for a few days, then phoned again. I spoke to someone, had to explain the whole story a few times, but she told me the examiner had looked at the case and was again asking me to send my original, current passport. I refused and she said then the examiner will phone me some time the next day. I said I'm abroad, I can't afford to just answer a call like that, can they email me, can I know their name? Can I write the explanation down? I was told no to all this. So by now I have explained the story countless times, each time the person I'm speaking to doesn't believe me but eventually, after a long time, they get it, but then I can't write it down, it's just jotted down by them into a few stilted sentences, for the examiner to read, but I can't speak to the examiner myself. The issue being that, the whole fantastic story is easily checkable by HMPO, as it's all their own errors and someone at the top can just access all the documents and all the applications and see the errors they have made, but I cannot speak to this person, know their name or pass a message to them.

    Next day, no one had called or emailed me, so I phoned again, explained it all to a few people again. Eventually got through to someone. The examiner had looked at the case and was again asking for my current passport to be submitted. Again, for the third time, HMPO is instructing me to break local laws. I argued with her and she said that the rules have changed. Now, you have to submit the original passport even with overseas applications. I asked why then, did the HMPO representative take the colour copy of my passport? Why does it say on the HMPO website to send a copy and not the original for applications in Cambodia? She didn't believe me and so we both accessed the HMPO website read the information at the same time. She finally got it. Thank god we weren't cut off. She wrote on the message for the examiner (which I am not allowed to access) that the instruction, to send my passport, was the opposite of the advice on the HMPO website. She thought that maybe they meant to send the passport that was sent years ago in error, even though I've not been to the UK since it was issued, never received it, so perhaps it would help if that was sent (I'd already checked in May after it was issued to see if anything needed to be done and was ignored). My poor niece left work and sent it in a special envelope so it would arrive the same day.

    The advisor said the examiner would email me by the same time the next day, though I wouldn't be allowed to know their name.

    The same time the next day there was no message so I phoned and was told the examiner would never phone that early. I checked later and there was a note on the file that a passport was being printed. Eventually, it arrived. No apology. No explanation.

    My complaint is that a passport was issued so imcompetently, in error, in 2013. On top of this, my letter asking if the matter was solved was ignored. Then my new application, handled by VFS was incorrectly processed as domestic, then I was given advice to break local laws, more than once and in error. The people I spoke to clearly didn't know the basic rules and procedures. The person in charge, the examiner, cannot be contacted, and presumably direct contact would have solved the problem in one day.
Page 1
    • Fosterdog
    • By Fosterdog 2nd Jan 18, 11:06 AM
    • 3,831 Posts
    • 6,626 Thanks
    Fosterdog
    • #2
    • 2nd Jan 18, 11:06 AM
    • #2
    • 2nd Jan 18, 11:06 AM
    Wow. You do realise that your complaint is going to go largely ignored don!!!8217;t you? You have put in so much irrelevant information it is next to impossible to decipher what your actual complaint is.

    A complaint letter should be short, consise, to the point and stately clearly what result you want.

    Your entire letter/email could be cut down to one paragraph if you lost the drivel and they!!!8217;d be much more likely to take notice and deal with the problem. Nobody needs your life story to deal with a specific complaint in a specific issue.
    • theonlywayisup
    • By theonlywayisup 2nd Jan 18, 2:50 PM
    • 12,198 Posts
    • 8,247 Thanks
    theonlywayisup
    • #3
    • 2nd Jan 18, 2:50 PM
    • #3
    • 2nd Jan 18, 2:50 PM
    TLDR. Yes, I googled it as it was your opening gambit. So what did I do? Stopped right there.
    • photome
    • By photome 2nd Jan 18, 3:40 PM
    • 13,175 Posts
    • 8,727 Thanks
    photome
    • #4
    • 2nd Jan 18, 3:40 PM
    • #4
    • 2nd Jan 18, 3:40 PM
    TLDR. Yes, I googled it as it was your opening gambit. So what did I do? Stopped right there.
    Originally posted by theonlywayisup
    I also googled it

    strange post
    • Pollycat
    • By Pollycat 2nd Jan 18, 6:06 PM
    • 20,184 Posts
    • 54,165 Thanks
    Pollycat
    • #5
    • 2nd Jan 18, 6:06 PM
    • #5
    • 2nd Jan 18, 6:06 PM
    I also googled it

    strange post
    Originally posted by photome
    Very poorly written complaint.
    I wonder if the OP posted it somewhere else and the 'Tldr' comment was made by someone else and the OP has just copied and pasted it here.
    • LadyDee
    • By LadyDee 2nd Jan 18, 7:18 PM
    • 2,932 Posts
    • 3,036 Thanks
    LadyDee
    • #6
    • 2nd Jan 18, 7:18 PM
    • #6
    • 2nd Jan 18, 7:18 PM
    Do you now have a valid passport? If so, what do you want?
    • k3lvc
    • By k3lvc 2nd Jan 18, 7:24 PM
    • 2,253 Posts
    • 3,730 Thanks
    k3lvc
    • #7
    • 2nd Jan 18, 7:24 PM
    • #7
    • 2nd Jan 18, 7:24 PM
    Do you now have a valid passport? If so, what do you want?
    Originally posted by LadyDee
    Lessons in letter writing ?
    • KeithP
    • By KeithP 2nd Jan 18, 7:30 PM
    • 7,667 Posts
    • 7,373 Thanks
    KeithP
    • #8
    • 2nd Jan 18, 7:30 PM
    • #8
    • 2nd Jan 18, 7:30 PM
    I already posted here about it a few years ago...
    Originally posted by lifemagic
    So why have you started a new thread instead of continuing the old one?
    .
    • lifemagic
    • By lifemagic 3rd Jan 18, 11:03 AM
    • 100 Posts
    • 21 Thanks
    lifemagic
    • #9
    • 3rd Jan 18, 11:03 AM
    • #9
    • 3rd Jan 18, 11:03 AM
    Wow, hard audience.

    The old thread is over a year old.

    It's so long because it's more than one error. They issued a passport in error ignored my first complaint, didn't cancel the passport when they said they had, incorrectly filed the new application, then instructed me to break local laws on three seperate occasions.

    I want them to make sure the front line staff have the correct information. In complex cases, people need to be able to write/directly talk to the examiner.
    • Pollycat
    • By Pollycat 3rd Jan 18, 11:15 AM
    • 20,184 Posts
    • 54,165 Thanks
    Pollycat
    Wow, hard audience.

    The old thread is over a year old.

    It's so long because it's more than one error. They issued a passport in error ignored my first complaint, didn't cancel the passport when they said they had, incorrectly filed the new application, then instructed me to break local laws on three seperate occasions.

    I want them to make sure the front line staff have the correct information. In complex cases, people need to be able to write/directly talk to the examiner.
    Originally posted by lifemagic
    But you could still have cut down the complaint letter.
    There's lots of stuff in there that really has no relevance.
    Do you really think they are interested that you went to a meditation retreat in Burma?
    No.
    They won't care where you went.
    Will they be interested in the fact that you received a message from your niece asking if you wanted your passport to be delivered?
    No.
    They key point was that they issued a new passport on a 3 year old application.

    As other posters have asked - what exactly are you looking for as a result of this complaint?

    And where did the 'Tldr' comment come from?
    • k3lvc
    • By k3lvc 3rd Jan 18, 11:23 AM
    • 2,253 Posts
    • 3,730 Thanks
    k3lvc
    And where did the 'Tldr' comment come from?
    Originally posted by Pollycat
    It's a new equivalent of those who start their sentence 'with respect' when it's anything but respectful

    The whole x pages of tripe could have been replaced by 'please give me a refund and tell me you've sacked someone to make me feel better'
    • pmduk
    • By pmduk 3rd Jan 18, 11:43 AM
    • 8,502 Posts
    • 6,272 Thanks
    pmduk
    Wow, hard audience.
    Originally posted by lifemagic
    We're no tougher an audience than the IPS complaints handler will be. S/he needs a concise list of issues with dates.
    • lifemagic
    • By lifemagic 5th Jan 18, 3:21 PM
    • 100 Posts
    • 21 Thanks
    lifemagic
    Oh cripes, I got it already! It should be concise. It should have just listed facts.

    I wrote to the tldr myself when I posted it here and realised it was long... clearly too long, and I wanted to state how the errors were multiple and serious thus warranting the length.

    But clearly I've fell flat on my face with this.

    Sigh.
    • Fosterdog
    • By Fosterdog 5th Jan 18, 4:55 PM
    • 3,831 Posts
    • 6,626 Thanks
    Fosterdog
    Oh cripes, I got it already! It should be concise. It should have just listed facts.

    I wrote to the tldr myself when I posted it here and realised it was long... clearly too long, and I wanted to state how the errors were multiple and serious thus warranting the length.

    But clearly I've fell flat on my face with this.

    Sigh.
    Originally posted by lifemagic

    Their errors were not multiple, nor serious though.

    Your first complaint is them not recieving your application in 2013. Not their fault, that was a Royal Mail error for which they compensated you.

    Your second complaint is them sending things to your nieces address, well as that is the address you gave them when you applied, what were they supposed to do?

    Your third complaint is that they sent the passport you hadnít applied for, they obviously finally received the application so processed it. Yes they should have noticed the 2013 date, but that could partly be your handwriting, my 5s sometimes look like 3s so it is possible they thought the 3 was a 5 and so it was in the correct year. You also say they were both at the end of the year so the day and month if the year probably matched up. Oh and 2013-2015 is two years, not 3.

    Your fourth complaint/ second to Royal Mail was pointless, the letter you sent finally turned up so they delivered it, they probably didnít have a date on the outside of the envelope to even know that it was two years old when they delivered.

    Your fifth complaint, again the letter was sent to the address you gave them, if you use your nieces address you really should have something in place for her to forward things on to you, or at least for her to contact you and let you know when something addressed to you arrives.

    Your sixth and so far only valid complaint is that they failed to cancel the passport issued in 2015.

    Your seventh complaint, if it was processed as a domestic application then itís because you mustakingly submitted it as a domestic application, they are done in two completely different ways so no way for them to get it mixed up their end.

    Your eighth complaint about them wanting your passport back, as explained here, they can require you to send it back, if they request it you have to send it, your visa or lack of other ID is not their problem, you agree when applying that shoukd they ask for it you will send the original.

    https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/564959/OS_Guidance_G3_10.16.pdf

    So out of at least eight complaints (from what I could decipher in the rest of your life story) only one has any validity, for which they have apologised. Not really anything else they can do.
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