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It's All Our Fault, Isn't It?


Gardian
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It had to happen didn't it?  The old perennial of Passports.

It seems that part of the problem is the fact that 'overseas resident' people applying, are generating additional demand on the Passport Agency. Naughty us!

Correct me if I'm wrong someone, but I seem to remember that it was about this time last year that the application process was changed for us folk, i.e. direct to the UK rather than via the British Embassy in Paris.  Anyway, whilst costly, our's was the latter route and turnround was less than two weeks. Now expats are being blamed as the root cause of the problem.

Anyway, loads of people moaning like hell about applying for a Passport in April for a trip in June and being compromised.  There'll be some genuine hard luck stories there, but hey ...............

This gives me an opportunity to return to my old hobbyhorse - Identity Cards.  If the UK went that way, there'd be less of this nonsense. Usable within the EU (90% of the need) and providing useful security ID. Passports only needed for further flung places.

Better still, roll it up with healthcare entitlement (France too) - the technology is there.

I hear so many moans from people saying that an ID card would be an invasion of their privacy: I suspect that many are the very same people who think nothing of telling the world of their intimate details on Facebook or Twatter. 

That's it: fire started.   

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[quote user="crakpot"]Hi

On the basis 26 European countries have no border checks let the UK carry on with its mad complicated systems and look a plonker[/quote]

Well I think your well named if your plan is for the UK have no border checks. The other countries do have border checks, but they mostly choose not to implement them.[:P] By the way, try getting into Canada, Australia or the USA without border checks.

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[quote user="Gardian"]my old hobbyhorse - Identity Cards.  If the UK went that way, there'd be less of this nonsense. Usable within the EU (90% of the need) and providing useful security ID. Passports only needed for further flung places.[/quote]

Whilst I agree with the general drift, I hadn't realized that ID cards would serve to promote promiscuous travel.

I had been decvidedly in favour, but find myself doing a rapid 180° turn.

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I've never understood all the fuss about ID cards, and have always wished we had them. I often wonder what people do if they don't have a driving licence or a passport and have to provide proof of identity. It's crazy enough that one of my sons had to get a provisional licence just to avoid having to take his passport out in case he was ID checked in a pub or club...

Only 3 years ago, when I needed to get a new passport (because there was less than 6 months left on my existing one, which apparently the US border control agencies don't think is sufficient) in June, it took about a week to renew, without paying to be fast-tracked, so I can understand people not realising or considering that they may need to allow a couple of months.

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I don't want ID cards. Heck the bloody driving licenses in the UK need changing every ten years now, I don't need more expense in my life.

I've had ID cards (carte de sejours) for years and years, chocolate fireguards they are. We had to have our carte de sejours renewed every few months at one time, it was a nightmare.

No one trusted them in France and we still had to have all those utility bills etc before doing most things. And when the french got theirs, they had to give their FINGER PRINTS to get them! Probably still do!

French embassies trust french ID cards more than passports though, or they did....... work that one out!

NO it is not overseas residents fault. It is down to blinkered civil servants and useless politicans.

The foreign office used to run the overseas passport service in the consulates and the prices were the same as in the UK. THEN the Home Office took it over and said that overseas residents needing passports should not be a burden to the british tax payer and increased prices, at the moment the price is about double or more? And then bright sparks they are, they decided that the initial application had to be done via the consulates and sent to the UK.

I did mention on here that my sons took weeks at least 6 weeks maybe longer. WHY he could not have had his passport issued quickly at the price they are charging, I have no idea. And it could happen to anyone, apparently everyone else on here did have prompt service, he didn't. Good job he had not had to get back urgently.

When I complained about the delay in his renewal, I asked where the overseas passports were issued and nobody seemed to know. And if they are issued in a specific office, then how can they be the cause of UK residents applications going awry? They cannot!

All smoke and mirrors and inefficiency and just plain awful. Overseas residents pay la peau des fesses for theirs, so leave them alone UK newspapers.

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Wasn't there the exact same problem 10 years ago?

And since a passport lasts 10 years ........ Hmmmmm what could possibly happen?

Heard a chap on the BBC last evening saying thit is very easy to estimate how many passports you will need if you take the (government) statistics from the Civil Aviation Authority which also have projected figures, you know how many passports are due for renewal, add on a bit for ferry/tunnel passengers and bingo! you know how many extra you need give or take.  OK that's a bit simplistic but I bet it's not far off.

My passport runs out in October, I'm going to apply as if I was in the UK and get it sent to an address there.  A family member can then bring it over when they visit.   Not sure what to do if I have to get back in an emergency

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[quote user="Gardian"]Now expats are being blamed as the root cause of the problem.[/quote]

Exactly. [:D]

Because we changed the renewal process (didn't we?) [:-))] and, of course, all 'expats' renew their passports en bloc in exactly the same time period. Don't we...? [8-)]

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[quote user="Pierre ZFP"]

Wasn't there the exact same problem 10 years ago?

And since a passport lasts 10 years ........ Hmmmmm what could possibly happen?

Heard a chap on the BBC last evening saying thit is very easy to estimate how many passports you will need if you take the (government) statistics from the Civil Aviation Authority which also have projected figures, you know how many passports are due for renewal, add on a bit for ferry/tunnel passengers and bingo! you know how many extra you need give or take.  OK that's a bit simplistic but I bet it's not far off.

My passport runs out in October, I'm going to apply as if I was in the UK and get it sent to an address there.  A family member can then bring it over when they visit.   Not sure what to do if I have to get back in an emergency

[/quote]

I would say that they can predict the volume of passports each and every month to within one or two percent, they have been doing it long enough to know the peaks and troughs even down to something like the world cup producing a tiny peak, insignificant as it is compared to the usual volume.

You will have no problems returning by ferry, I have done it several times, a border control agent explained to me that it is not needed for a UK national returning, only as a means of identification, its the first that they ask for but there are many other ways.

Airlines could be a different matter as if the person is turned back at the UK customs they must fly them back FOC to the departure airport.

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[quote user="Gengulphus"]

Whilst I agree with the general drift, I hadn't realized that ID cards would serve to promote promiscuous travel.

I had been decvidedly in favour, but find myself doing a rapid 180° turn.

[/quote]

I have never heard of this mode of travel. 

And I certainly hadn't realised that you were into this kind of activity?

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The

worrying indicator is that HM Pisspoor Office don't know their five

times table. Most of us mortal plebs have a ten-year red thing with a

photo inside and HM Gov knows exactly when we need a renewal. Even my

ten-year old pet iguana could muster a working spreadsheet for this. In

the meantime, if your are blessed with with progeny, Somerset House has

all the records needed for spotty youths. It is the most basic

production line. Come on HM Gov, if you want to get it sorted try the impossible for you, think about it. After all you charge enough for the so called service?

            

 By the way the overseas Pisspoor office is now in Durham. I went to London two months ago to renew my passport, it turns out I hadn't been given a reference number by the halfwit on the phone, so back on the phone and someone in Northern Ireland said I can give you another appointment tomorrow in Durham. I did suggest in not too polite a manner that they didn't obviously know where Durham was in relationship to Shepperton.[:@]

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 Thanks NickP, IF we have another problem it is our nearest office and a lovely city to visit. Not that that helps when you are hundreds of miles away.[:(]

I spoke to the  Durham Office when his passport didn't turn up. I couldn't call directly but was put through, and they were not doing them then, probably a couple of years ago now. In fact I think I spoke to every passport office in the UK at the time.

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[quote user="NickP"]The

worrying indicator is that HM Pisspoor Office don't know their five

times table. Most of us mortal plebs have a ten-year red thing with a

photo inside and HM Gov knows exactly when we need a renewal. Even my

ten-year old pet iguana could muster a working spreadsheet for this. In

the meantime, if your are blessed with with progeny, Somerset House has

all the records needed for spotty youths. It is the most basic

production line. Come on HM Gov, if you want to get it sorted try the impossible for you, think about it. After all you charge enough for the so called service?

            

 By the way the overseas Pisspoor office is now in Durham. I went to London two months ago to renew my passport, it turns out I hadn't been given a reference number by the halfwit on the phone, so back on the phone and someone in Northern Ireland said I can give you another appointment tomorrow in Durham. I did suggest in not too polite a manner that they didn't obviously know where Durham was in relationship to Shepperton.[:@]

[/quote]

Sorry to laugh, NickP, but I do sympathise with your feelings about that little drive from Shepperton to Durham[:D]

Makes me think of those Indians working in call centres for banks, etc and you realise why you need to write a letter in the traditional way to your bank if you need an address change.  I'm not knocking the Indians, just feel a bit sorry for them, having to deal with people who ring from Falkirk (well, can you really understand the accent?) and all those people who live in places with names unpronounceable other than by natives.

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[quote user="Benjamin"]Betty wonders why all fuss about ID cards.

They're the same people who object to CCT cameras.

If the dunderheads who are waiting for passports can't be bothered to renew up to six months before expiry that's their bad luck.[/quote]

Thanks for the compliment? although it's nice to know that you are perfect, unlike me and most of the population. [:P]

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If the dunderheads who are waiting for passports can't be bothered to renew up to six months before expiry that's their bad luck.

Many many people dont travel regularly outside of the UK and will only renew an expired passport when they decide to book a Holiday, I was always like that until I started travelling regularly on business. There are also those that will never have had a passport as an adult until they book their first Holiday abroad.

It was never unreasonable to expect to get a new passport within 2 weeks.

I'm sure this hasnt changed drastically over the years, if anything become more predictable as people are taking more holidays so do renew their passports within a few months of their expiry, in any case it will just form part of the seasonal ebbs and flows which are well known to the passport office.

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It was only a couple of years ago I found out that IF I order my next passport at 6 months prior to the date my current one expires, then the expiry date on the new one is ten years after the expiry date on my current passport.

And because I didn't know that, I always left it late, so this is good to know.  Still I would not want it taking weeks and weeks to come. With a son in France, urgent visits can go either way.

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If the dunderheads who are waiting for passports can't be bothered to renew up to six months before expiry that's their bad luck

It's not always that easy.  It so happens that I haven't had a 3 week slot this year where I haven't had to use my passport and whilst getting back to the UK might not be a problem I would then be stuck when I needed to leave a few days after.  If I time it right and it's not held up too long I may be able to get it renewed in September.

It was so much easier when I could go to the British Embassy here in Luxembourg and get a renewal virtually on the spot.

 

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It appears about 800 staff were removed from doing passports never to be replaced ... I remember too well when I worked , our "vacancy " list was never filled .In the end  we all had to get by as best as we could with what staff we had . Nothing changes ...now they cant cope with demand because nobody found the staff to do what they knew was coming .

When it comes to a renewal whats the matter with doing it at a main Post Office that has been given the the right equipment to process it ? , . Face to face and they end up heat sealing a new page in the passport there and then . Job done !
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Yeah yeah yeah yeah. We can all quote reasons why we can't plan ahead but these are exceptions not every day occurrences.

I saw an historical news clip on BBC 1 yesterday concerning a strike/walkout by Passport Office staff with a very prominent banner from Unison.

As far as I can see these are the people who are aiming to form/greatly influence the next UK government. That is truly scary but at least passport renewals will be dealt with speedily as all the brothers benefit from no unemployment.

Now which other European country has already tried that?

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Come now, do not blame the Passport Office, they are under a lot of pressure with the extra work of issuing passports to all of the prisoners walking out of Ford Open Prison.

It was stated yesterday that you can apply nine months before a passport runs out.
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No 2 daughter and family recently applied and waited the stated 7 weeks (which was then the official time stated for renewals I believe) only to be told the goal posts had been moved and it was a 10 week wait. In the end two of the passports still had not arrived 5 days before their flight out so they paid £120 extra to have passports fast-tracked and courriered from Peterborough office to Leeds and were told there was still no guarantee that the passports would get there in time. They received the outstanding ones two days before departure.

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[quote user="Pierre ZFP"]

If the dunderheads who are waiting for passports can't be bothered to renew up to six months before expiry that's their bad luck

It's not always that easy.  It so happens that I haven't had a 3 week slot this year where I haven't had to use my passport and whilst getting back to the UK might not be a problem I would then be stuck when I needed to leave a few days after.  If I time it right and it's not held up too long I may be able to get it renewed in September.

It was so much easier when I could go to the British Embassy here in Luxembourg and get a renewal virtually on the spot.

 

[/quote]

How come you can just walk into the Embassy in Luxembourg, I really thought that they had stopped all embassies and consulates doing that and for all the applications have to go to the consulates, they then had to go to the UK now for processing.

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[quote user="idun"][quote user="Pierre ZFP"]

If the dunderheads who are waiting for passports can't be bothered to renew up to six months before expiry that's their bad luck

It's not always that easy.  It so happens that I haven't had a 3 week slot this year where I haven't had to use my passport and whilst getting back to the UK might not be a problem I would then be stuck when I needed to leave a few days after.  If I time it right and it's not held up too long I may be able to get it renewed in September.

It was so much easier when I could go to the British Embassy here in Luxembourg and get a renewal virtually on the spot.

 

[/quote]

How come you can just walk into the Embassy in Luxembourg, I really thought that they had stopped all embassies and consulates doing that and for all the applications have to go to the consulates, they then had to go to the UK now for processing.
[/quote]I think Pierre was referring to the old system. You used to be able to go to the Passport Offices in the UK with the right money and paperwork and get a passport issued in about three hours.

I renewed my passport last December and got the new one in about a week so this seems to be a new problem.

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And lo, as if to highlight the fact that people can't always plan ahead...

Had a phone call from my eldest son this afternoon to ask about how much validity you need on your passport to travel within Europe.

He had no plans to travel anywhere, but now finds he has to be in Belgium for the whole of July and into early August, and his passport expires on August 13th. Fortuitous, because he will just scrape in under the wire, but less so, because instead of having plenty of time to renew, he will need his passport right up until a few days before it expires. He already accepts that he'll have no chance to renew before he leaves.

Hopefully, he won't need to do any further travelling over the summer.

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