Going on holiday can be strangely stressful.  A strike at the airport or lost luggage are amongst the issues that can confront you.  Everyone’s nightmare however is a passport problem such as a failure to receive your new one even though your departure date is a few days away.  If you are pulling your hair out over a passport issue these are my top tips.
  • Think ahead.  Do not apply horribly late for your passport.  Although the service has imoproved in recent years it cannot be relied on, least of all during the summer months.
  • You can attempt to telephone on 0300 222.  This is notoriously difficult as the lines are often busy.  The lines are open 8am to 8pm Monday to Friday and 9am to 5.30pm at weekends and bank holidays.
  • You can resort to old fashioned snail mail by writing to The Passport Office PO Box 175 Newport Gwent NP20 1XA.  It is always a good idea to keep a copy of your letter and perhaps also send a fax at the same time on 01633 473899.
  • When writing you should always include (1) the full details of the problem (2) your name and date of birth (3) the date the form was submitted (4) the regional office to which the application was sent (5) the barcode from the application if you have it (6) the passport number (7) contact details (80 the details of any appointmnets you may have had.
  • You can also complain online: see www.homeoffice/agencies-public-bodies/ips/complaints/passports and the website offers you an online form to complete.
  • The Passport undertakes to respond within two weeks so if they fail to do so you should chase
  • If you are not satisfied with the response you can escalate your complaint to the IPS Chief Executive at 2 Marsham Street, $th Floor, SE Peel Building London SW1P 4DF or email to hqenquiries@ips.gsi.gov.uk.
  • The ultimate form of complaint is one to the Commissioner for Administration who is the appropriate Ombudsman but you can only do this through your MP so he or she should be your next port of call.
  • The passport Office recognise that they make mistakes which can cause financial loss such as missed flights nad they may offer compensation.  They usually only do this when the loss arises when the application has made the application via their Fast Track and Premium service which is inexpensive and available at all post offices.