OK so I’ve not had a response from my MP yet, but then I didn’t really expect to and it has been only a week! But at the very least it would have been courteous to send me a ‘one liner’ email saying they’ve at least recieved my message and will get back to me.
The next stage is to print my email and attach it to a letter of complaint which I’m going to hand deliver to her constituency office (which handily enough is on my way home from the train station, something I didn’t realise when I wrote the email.)
However I have managed to start a dialogue with the someone from the ‘Correspondence team’ of the passport service. I guess that this is what use to be known as Customer Services but I suspect they can’t use that particular phrase as that implies they serve us rather than us be tied by their rules!
Anyway the responses don’t make sense.
Firstly the child’s passport arrived 24hours before the adults- despite being sent at the same time.
Secondly she tried to justified the difference in cost between a child’s and adults passports using the fast track service- which is where I get really confused:
With regard to your query about the difference between the service fee for a child and an adult Fast Track application, if I may explain,production costs for a child passport are the same as for an adult passport.
OK can’t argue with that
However, the fee for a child passport is substantially less than that of an adult as the consular premium covers a shorter period (the five year validity of a child passport), and also we believe that the public perception is that a child passport should be significantly less than an adult.
Again no argument here, it makes sense.
However, the fees for Premium and Fast Track applications are set independently of the standard passport fees. This takes into account the additional and different production costs associated with producing passports in a shorter time frame, being produced by the local print facility and the precedence over standard passports in relation to delivery by our partners. Effectively this means in a hypothetical situation whereby an application was upgraded from a standard to the Fast Track service (which as you are aware is not possible), the additional fee would represent the difference between the price of a standard passport and the price of a Fast Track passport.”
OK I understand the production costs bit ie a fast track passport costing more than a normal one, but all that waffle doesn’t really answer the question as to why a child passport costs an extra 35 gbp to be fast tracked and an adult costs an extra 25 gbp. Am I missing something?
I’m tempted to email back and ask for further clarification but to be honest I’m not sure it’s worth the hassle- which is probably what they want.
The good news (in an attempt to end on a positive note) is that all applications have turned up and have been sent for processing- but whether this processing includes checking the application or the physical production of the passport remains to be seen.