Although my passport story is over now and I have mine I’ve looked back at this forum over the last couple of days.
During the course of my application saga I telephoned the Passport Office Advice Line about six times. The first four calls were about my initial renewal application and included at least three calls before I sent it off, and one after. This involved three passport officers, one of whom I spoke to twice.
It’s worth my emphasizing here that I got a different story from each of the three officers about whether to apply and how long it would take. One for example was very strident about me not sending it off, insisting that I should wait for the fast track service to resume. Another said the smart move would be to join the queue before it was swamped by pent-up demand in the summer. The last two calls were about the non-receipt of any tracking information from TNT about the delivery of the new passport, repeated in a Passport Office reply to a tweet. While some of what these two officers said, and also the one who tweeted me, was the same they also contradicted each other in key detail.
I was left unconvinced that those on the advice line or Twitter really know what is going on at all. I suspect they work in different passport offices, but at the time seemed to be working from home, and based their comments on conditions in their own passport offices or what they believe to be the conditions. There is zero consistency.
In that sense, this all illustrates a fairly chaotic communications set-up which is hit and miss. I don’t think anyone involved was trying to mislead me – but clearly some of them believe things that just aren’t true.
I will now post about people abroad with expired passports.