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Old May 14th 2009, 4:37 pm   #31
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Default Re: Passport Delays

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Originally Posted by Catgirl View Post
We'll be right there with you.
We got a card back saying they had received the application because I sent it certified mail.
Let's just hope they get their act together.
Were booking the flights. We can't wait any longer to watch the prices go up. We're just going to have to hope and pray I get that passport before our departure date.
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Old May 14th 2009, 6:24 pm   #32
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Default Re: Passport Delays

And flights are now booked for June 21st

That's five weeks away. To not have the passport then would be truly shameful. I've sent two letters of complaint - one to the Embassy complain department and one to the NAPPC complaints department. Also I've sent the same letter via email. Additionally my mum is writing to Gordon Brown with the letters I've sent, the situation for all of us and the timeline, etc etc.

I love my mum - she rocks I wonder if it'll do any good...
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Old May 14th 2009, 7:02 pm   #33
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Default Re: Passport Delays

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And flights are now booked for June 21st

That's five weeks away. To not have the passport then would be truly shameful. I've sent two letters of complaint - one to the Embassy complain department and one to the NAPPC complaints department. Also I've sent the same letter via email. Additionally my mum is writing to Gordon Brown with the letters I've sent, the situation for all of us and the timeline, etc etc.

I love my mum - she rocks I wonder if it'll do any good...
Best of luck!
Our flights are on June 24th so yeah...it shouldn't really take them this long to process a passport. Could it be that a lot of people rushed with their applications before the prices went up and Abtran has a bit more work to do? Maybe the machines really broke down...all of them...for a few weeks...
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Old May 15th 2009, 12:02 am   #34
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Default Re: Passport Delays

So, I applied for my passport renewal on April 17 back when the website said it would take two weeks, which should have been plenty of time as I am travelling this Saturday.

When I hadn't heard anything at the end of last week I had another look at the website and it had the message about it taking 4-6 weeks. I called the Abtran number and wasted $15 as they told me nothing of use.

Following that I contacted Dean (British Consul) and told him the situation on Monday, he looked into it and told me that my application wasn't even in the system yet and there was no chance I'd get my passport by the end of the week.
After that I called the local consul in Chicago and after explaining the situation I got a call back from a lady called Eileen and arranged to go to Chicago tomorrow to get a temporary passport that would get me back into the UK and then apply for a renewal while I was there. At the same time she also said that she would contact the embassy in DC and cancel my application.

Anyway, this afternoon I got another from Eileen to say that the embassy in DC had called her and it seems that they had produced my new passport and were sending it via overnight and I should have it in my sticky little mitts in the morning.

So it has been a bit stressful the last week or so, but it's all worked out it seems.

My suggestion to anyone waiting who needs their passport urgently as they already have travel plans would be to ignore Abtran and contact the Embassy/consul directly and explain the situation, and maybe some one will find your application in whatever pile it's in and do something about it.

It appears the squeaky wheel gets the grease...
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Old May 15th 2009, 4:47 am   #35
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Default Re: Passport Delays

Zargof! You are a delight, I shall be calling the local Consul here in Houston in the morning.
I applied in early April. They took the payment from my account two weeks ago, and I've spent so much on phone calls to Abtran I need a bail-out. They are about as much use as a chocolate fireguard. I've also sent three emails to the embassy, one fax, and called several times, just to be informed "We are doing our best to clear the backlog"
I'm due to travel on the 21st, my Mum's been really ill and I just need to get home to see her.
Glad to hear that your passport is on it's way.
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Old May 15th 2009, 4:56 pm   #36
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Default Re: Passport Delays

Here's today’s experience in the Abtran Saga.
Called again this morning and was informed yet again, that my name is not on the list of issued passports. Explained that I'm booked to travel next Thursday, and that I booked it back when they said processing times were 10days. Today they have requested I send by fax: 202-588-7892 proof of why I need to travel. The problem is they already have the proof, I mailed it, together with my application, and a letter explaining why I needed to travel five weeks ago.
I honestly do not know or understand the point of Abtran? Clearly they have no information available to them, the chap I spoke to, told me the only information he has available is the date they took the money from my account . I don't understand why we should be charged an extortionate sum of money, for a process that cannot even tell you what stage the said process is at. All I want to know is, where is my passport? Does the application still sit in it's envelope in a box, or is it buried under a pile of papers on someone’s desk.
To be told continually to try calling back tomorrow achieves nothing other than to line the coffers of Abtran.
They also said The Embassy is not expediting any passports unless it was noted at the time of application it's needed for an emergency. Mine was. I even called Abtran prior to mailing my application and purchasing my ticket, and they assured me I would have it back in time if I marked the envelope attention of the 'Blue Team' .
Please do not waste your money calling Abtran.
Call you're local Consulate. I left a message on their answer phone as soon as I got off the phone with Abtran. They returned my call within minutes, are contacting the Blue Team at the passport office today, and will contact me via phone by 2pm this afternoon with an update.... Finally maybe some sanity to all of this.
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Old May 15th 2009, 10:11 pm   #37
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Default Re: Passport Delays

Quote:
Originally Posted by Talented Ferret View Post
Here's today’s experience in the Abtran Saga.
Called again this morning and was informed yet again, that my name is not on the list of issued passports. Explained that I'm booked to travel next Thursday, and that I booked it back when they said processing times were 10days. Today they have requested I send by fax: 202-588-7892 proof of why I need to travel. The problem is they already have the proof, I mailed it, together with my application, and a letter explaining why I needed to travel five weeks ago.
I honestly do not know or understand the point of Abtran? Clearly they have no information available to them, the chap I spoke to, told me the only information he has available is the date they took the money from my account . I don't understand why we should be charged an extortionate sum of money, for a process that cannot even tell you what stage the said process is at. All I want to know is, where is my passport? Does the application still sit in it's envelope in a box, or is it buried under a pile of papers on someone’s desk.
To be told continually to try calling back tomorrow achieves nothing other than to line the coffers of Abtran.
They also said The Embassy is not expediting any passports unless it was noted at the time of application it's needed for an emergency. Mine was. I even called Abtran prior to mailing my application and purchasing my ticket, and they assured me I would have it back in time if I marked the envelope attention of the 'Blue Team' .
Please do not waste your money calling Abtran.
Call you're local Consulate. I left a message on their answer phone as soon as I got off the phone with Abtran. They returned my call within minutes, are contacting the Blue Team at the passport office today, and will contact me via phone by 2pm this afternoon with an update.... Finally maybe some sanity to all of this.
Hey TF, did you find out anything more? I hope you get your passport ASAP

*HUGE hugs* - this is so stressful, but I think all will soon be resolved. They are going to have to do something soon because the complaint level will reach an enormous high and people are going to start going to court. This is America after all, and while we are expats, the litigation situation in this country will probably prevail one of these days...

I really want to just be able to look forward to seeing the old country again...aaarghhh *weak yelling noise*
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Old May 15th 2009, 10:16 pm   #38
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Default Re: Passport Delays

I have contacted the British Consulate in Atlanta, waiting for a reply, hopefully on Monday.
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Old May 17th 2009, 1:45 am   #39
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Default Passport Delays

Calling the Consulate seems to have done the trick. Got a call from the passport office on Friday afternoon. They said they found my application and will process my passport Monday. it should be delivered Tuesday. So fingers crossed.

Best of luck to you all and hope you see you're passorts soon.
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Old May 17th 2009, 1:59 am   #40
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Default Re: Passport Delays

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Originally Posted by Talented Ferret View Post
Calling the Consulate seems to have done the trick. Got a call from the passport office on Friday afternoon. They said they found my application and will process my passport Monday. it should be delivered Tuesday. So fingers crossed.

Best of luck to you all and hope you see you're passorts soon.
Excellent news TF! That's wonderful! Hopefully ours should come as well then. I wonder what the heck they even mean by "technical difficulties"?

By the way, my Mum did write to Gordon Brown, and she says if he doesn't help her, she's going to write to the Queen. God Love her. I do - she's so awesome She's going to bat in ye Olde England for us all Gotta feel like you're doing something, don't you?
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Old May 19th 2009, 2:06 am   #41
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Default Re: Passport Delays

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Originally Posted by JayBowyer View Post
Excellent news TF! That's wonderful! Hopefully ours should come as well then. I wonder what the heck they even mean by "technical difficulties"?

By the way, my Mum did write to Gordon Brown, and she says if he doesn't help her, she's going to write to the Queen. God Love her. I do - she's so awesome She's going to bat in ye Olde England for us all Gotta feel like you're doing something, don't you?
Alright - here is an update from me

Dean and I have been in contact, and he informed me today that my passport was due for completion next week. I checked this evening and found the Embassy had taken my money out, so that is good news indeed.

Dean is awesome. Just wanted to put that one out there. Go Dean! Dean rocks!
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Old May 19th 2009, 3:02 pm   #42
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Default Re: Passport Delays

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Alright - here is an update from me

Dean and I have been in contact, and he informed me today that my passport was due for completion next week. I checked this evening and found the Embassy had taken my money out, so that is good news indeed.

Dean is awesome. Just wanted to put that one out there. Go Dean! Dean rocks!

Good news here too. I just got a message from Dean saying that my daughter's passport is ready. He really rocks! Thank you!
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Old May 19th 2009, 3:25 pm   #43
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Default Re: Passport Delays

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Good news here too. I just got a message from Dean saying that my daughter's passport is ready. He really rocks! Thank you!
poor Dean. He is definately being made to work for his money at the moment. He will be applying for a name change to get some peace and quiet..
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Old May 19th 2009, 6:45 pm   #44
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Default Re: Passport Delays

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poor Dean. He is definately being made to work for his money at the moment. He will be applying for a name change to get some peace and quiet..
Well I think he's ever so nice, because it really isn't his job to be doing all of this for us - it's the Washington people's! He's doing this off his own back because he wants to help worried people, and I genuinely think it's just awesome of him.

Must go and get some kind of fruit juice now. I am suffering rather badly from morning sickness today...yay!
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Old May 21st 2009, 12:07 pm   #45
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Default Re: Passport Delays

Does anyone have more recent estimates of how long it takes to get the passport renewal back? I sent mine in April when the estimate was still 10 days, heard nothing from Abtran - and I have a series of flights booked starting next week for two months of back-to-back conference travel. I just saw on the website that it is now taking 6 weeks and now I'm starting to panic.
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