Posted: 1:52 am EDT
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This story via The Points Guy:
[O]n the bright side, I did need to get my passport renewed anyway so no big loss, right? Wrong. A few weeks later, my passport is delivered. Wait, let me rephrase that: My information is displayed on my passport, but not my face. I may be blond haired and blue eyed, but this girl in the picture was not me.
I spent the next few days calling and calling the National Passport Information Center trying to reach an operator that will take my story seriously. No one has ever heard of this happening before, no one believes me and asking “Are you sure?” really doesn’t do much good. Am I sure that this photo is not of my face? Yes I am.
After a week, I ended up going to speak to someone in person at the Connecticut Passport Agency in the hopes that someone there would be able to understand the situation and help me correct it. After going through an airport-like security system and having to explain why I was there, I was finally sent upstairs and eventually passed off from one employee to another since, spoiler alert, they don’t believe me either, even with passport in hand. The last woman looked on the computer, found not a single trace of this other girl’s face and called her supervisor, then her supervisor’s supervisor — all while looking at me like I had five heads.
Passport processing is done by people so human error is part of a system where mistakes can be minimized but cannot be completely eliminated. However, there has to be a better way to respond when something like this happens. We’ve been to one of these domestic passport agencies last year and it actually reminds us of the DMV. It was clear to us, at least at the site that we visited, that no one thought through the customer flow. You get an appointment via telephone, and then you show up and fall in line to go into the building, fall in line to get through the door, check with the guard (like every single one before you) on where to go next, fall in line again to get a priority number, sit (if you can find a chair, otherwise stand) and wait, and a couple hours later your name is called to the window where you write a $90 check for expeditious processing (state.gov says expedited fee is $60).
In any case, we’re wondering, which passport still has The Points Guy’s photograph?