Passport Office charged £588 – but we got nothing as a result

Credit card buy

I’m in the process of trying to get a replacement passport for my son so that he can come to France with us in July. His current passport does not have the requisite three months left after his return.

After multiple attempts on the Passport Office website on 16 May 2022, I was offered an appointment in Liverpool (I live in London) for 6 June and went through the process of completing the forms, putting in my card details, only to be informed as I pressed “pay” that the appointment had gone.

Later that day I undertook the same process (this time for an appointment in Durham), completed the forms and put in my card details only to be informed as I pressed “pay” the appointment had gone.

I did not receive any emails confirming these payments or appointments, but when I checked my credit card statement two payments of £147 had been taken (we only need one new passport). I contacted the Passport Office via its online form later that day, to which I have yet to receive a response.

I can now see that the Passport Office has taken four payments of £147 from my credit card – a total of £588 – despite no emails confirming the payments or appointments.

Help credit report

My son travels on 16 July.

SB, London

With the Passport Office advising people to allow up to 10 weeks for applications – and despite your growing credit card bill – you pressed on and secured a premium online appointment in London at a cost of £177. Happily, your son has now got his new passport. Getting a refund took longer than it should have but, after chasing from us, your money has been returned.

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HM Passport Office says: “The overwhelming majority of applications are completed within 10 weeks, with the latest figures showing 90% were completed within six weeks. But we cannot compromise security checks, and people should apply with plenty of time prior to travelling.”

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