Applying for a passport/ benefit or other

  jack 15:32 21 Feb 2010

Govenrment related issue.
This is one of the circulating 'Rants' I guess we all get sent from time to time and which I consign to trash.
However this one caught my imagination -and caused me to wonder- if the governments knows so much about us as individuals why do we have to keep reminding them?
Anyway here it is

his was actually taken from a passport application and a member of staff copied it, as it made her laugh all day.

Subject: Passport Application

Dear Minister,
I'm in the process of renewing my passport but I am a total loss to understand or believe the hoops I am being asked to jump through.

How is it that Bert Smith of T.V. Rentals Basingstoke has my address and telephone number and knows that I bought a satellite dish from them back in 1994, and yet, the Government is still asking me where I was born and on what date?

How come that nice West African immigrant chappy who comes round every Thursday night with his DVD rentals van can tell me every film or video I have had out since he started his business up eleven years ago, yet you still want me to remind you of my last three jobs, two of which were with contractors working for the government?

How come the T.V. detector van can tell if my T.V. is on, what channel I am watching and whether I have paid my licence or not, and yet if I win the government run lottery they have no idea I have won or where I am and will keep the bloody money to themselves if I fail to claim in good time.
Do you people do this by hand?

You have my birth date on numerous files you hold on me, including the one with all the income tax forms I've filed for the past 30-odd years. It's on my health insurance card, my driver's licence, on the last four passports I've had, on all those stupid customs declaration forms I've had to fill out before being allowed off the planes and boats over the last 30 years, and all those insufferable census forms that are done every ten years and the electoral registration forms I have to complete, by law, every time our lords and masters are up for re-election.

Would somebody please take note, once and for all, I was born in Maidenhead on the 4th of March 1957, my mother's name is Mary, her maiden name was Reynolds, my father's name is Robert, and I'd be absolutely astounded if that ever changed between now and the day I die!

I apologise Minister. I'm obviously not myself this morning. But between you and me, I have simply had enough! You mail the application to my house, then you ask me for my address. What is going on? Do you have a gang of Neanderthals working there? Look at my damn picture. Do I look like Bin Laden? I don't want to activate the Fifth Reich for God's sake! I just want to go and park my weary backside on a sunny, sandy beach for a couple of week's well-earned rest away from all this crap.

Well, I have to go now, because I have to go to back to Salisbury and get another copy of my birth certificate because you lost the last one. AND to the tune of 60 quid! What a racket THAT is!! Would it be so complicated to have all the services in the same spot to assist in the issuance of a new passport the same day? But nooooo, that'd be too damn easy and maybe make sense. You'd rather have us running all over the place like chickens with our heads cut off, then find some *[email protected]:er to confirm that it's really me on the goddamn picture - you know... the one where we're not allowed to smile in in case we look as if we are enjoying the process!
Hey, you know why we can't smile? 'Cause we're totally jacked off!

I served in the armed forces for more than 25 years including over ten years at the Ministry of Defence in London. I have had security clearances which allowed me to sit in the Cabinet Office, five seats away from the Prime Minister while he was being briefed on the first Gulf War and I have been doing volunteer work for the British Red Cross ever since I left the Services. However, I have to get someone 'important' to verify who I am -- you know, someone like my doctor....
who, before he got his medical degree 6 months ago WAS LIVING IN PAKISTAN...

  spuds 16:10 21 Feb 2010

I know the feeling ;o))

  Forum Editor 16:31 21 Feb 2010

it was made up, and has been circulating - with the names of towns, people and country changing - for at least the past four years to my knowledge.

  BT 17:02 21 Feb 2010

Regardless of what you say there is an awful lot of truth in it!!

  Forum Editor 17:14 21 Feb 2010

I'll take your word for it, I've seen so many emails like this I no longer take much notice of them.

The last time I renewed my passport it was a rapid, efficient process, there was no similarity to the frustrations mentioned in the email.

People create these circulating email rants for the fun of it - nobody takes them seriously.

  QuizMan 17:58 21 Feb 2010

I have not read this story before and I do not really care if it is true or not. It made me smile and that is the main thing.

  john bunyan 17:59 21 Feb 2010

Without any adverse comment, about 8 years ago I needed to get a new passport on a "while you wait" basis from Petty France in London. I was the only caucasian in the queue and in all the staff ...

  PalaeoBill 19:20 21 Feb 2010

I've just renewed mine, it still had six months left and they have added this to the ten year term which pleases me. The only things that I had to send them (other than too much money) was the old passport and a couple of new photos.

There is no need to get a photo signed unless the new one looks substantially different to the one in the old passport. I had the new one within a week. No fuss, all done by post.

  OTT_B 20:33 21 Feb 2010

It has to be said, that biometric passports which can contain fingerprint information could make passport renewals very fast indeed. But they won't. That would be too simple.

  natdoor 22:13 21 Feb 2010

My wife is German and about to renew her passport in the UK. You should see the process which she has to go through. This will include an interview at the German Embassy which has to be pre-booked months ahead and must take place before 10.30 am. For many people this will rquire an overnight stay in London.

I actually believe that there are many people who are opposed to too much information about them being collated by government departments. Of course, there is the problem of data being unintentionally circulated but, that apart, I do not see a problem with a centrally-held database.

  BT 09:05 22 Feb 2010

I'm only going on personal experience.

Example no.1
When I retired early I went to the Pensions website and asked for a pension forecast. This was done OK but in the letter that came they said they had no record that I was married. We had at the time been married 32 years and had received the Married Allowance before it was abolished, and the Child Allowance before it was abolished, as well as Child Benefit. I had to take our Marriage certificate into the Job Centre to prove it, and THEY didn't know what to do about it.

Example No.2
I finally reached retirment age in December last, and received the letter inviting me to apply for my State Pension, and the preferred method was by Telephone, which I did. Everything went OK and the chap took all my details and told me how much I would be getting, then he asked if I wanted to claim the Adult Dependants Increase for my wife. Of course I said yes but although he was able to access all her details he wasn't able to process this part of the application, and would send me a separate form, which he did, although he didn't send any covering paperwork or return envelope which he should have, so I had to phone again to find out where to return the form.

I had to send it back with my wife's Birth Certificate and Marriage Certificate, which I had already showed them a few years ago - see above.

Although the chap had taken and processed my Pension claim on the phone after 6 weeks I still hadn't had a written confirmation and when I called to find out why was told "It takes 6 -8 weeks to send out the letter". WHY? the application had been made and processed by phone, surely with modern technology it was just a matter of him pressing PRINT on his computer to generate the appropriate letter.

Again it took nearly 7 weeks to get the letter confirming the Adult Dependants claim although the Certificates were sent back almost by return post.

So the points in the original post do show how despite all the modern technology, whatever you tell these people they don't seem to be able to make proper use of it, and still spend most of their time shoving around vast amounts of paper with no attempt to make proper use of the information they already have, which was to essence of the original post.

This thread is now locked and can not be replied to.

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