Passports: UK delay apologises to delivery firm

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An apology was issued by a delivery company after reports claimed that some people have been facing long delays in receiving their passports, and others had to cancel their travel plans.

FedEx has awarded TNT an exclusive contract for delivery of travel documents to the UK Passport Office.

However, there have been reports that delivery dates were delayed several times. Some people are still waiting for their order after one month.

It is also possible to lose passports.

FedEx spokesperson stated that: “We understand the importance these shipments are to our customers, and we take additional steps to deliver timely by adding more resources to the UK operations.

“We apologize for any inconvenience.”

‘Really distressed’

The Passport Office (HMPO), which warns that passport processing is already slowing down due to Covid backlogs has said that it can take up to 10 more weeks. Trustpilot complaints and Twitter reports indicate that the delays in getting documents to customers are increasing by weeks.

One person tweeted: “Paid nearly £300 for two urgent Fast Track passports with a guaranteed 7-day turnaround. Twenty days passed and still nothing. Really disturbed.”

Another stated that she had received three deliveries dates, but nothing has come through. For almost three hours, I have been waiting on hold at the customer service line. Although I was told that it would be here today, it appears it’s been moved to Monday.

An online petition has been started demanding an investigation into HMPO’s £77m three-year contract with TNT, signed in 2019.

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According to the report, thousands of people have been delayed in receiving their passports in recent months. Many have also cancelled their travel plans.

TNT, “unlike many other couriers,” says the petition.

People have been through many failed delivery attempts. Others have seen their delivery dates repeatedly pushed back without any end in sight. TNT has even caused the loss of some applicants’ documents and passports.

The Passport Office seemed uninterested and TNT said it was almost impossible to obtain information.

‘Additional pressures’

According to The Times, HMPO will be looking for alternative postal services. According to a source from the department, the company said it would reprint passports in the event that TNT lost them and send it via Royal Mail.

FedEx blamed delays for an increase in passport applications, as Covid-19 restriction continue to ease.

According to it, “This has led to a significant rise in the items that are delivered through our dedicated HMPO Network.”

It stated it worked closely with HMPO and ensured recipients were informed about possible longer delivery times.

A spokeswoman for HMPO stated that it expects “highest standards” from its partners, but TNT is dealing with an unusually large volume of applications.

She said that she was aware of additional customer complaints about missed deliveries from delivery partners and is working closely with her to find the source of the problem.

Source: BBC.com

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