Karsten and I both just went through the rigamarole to get our passports processed, and although we have several months before we’re planning to take our European vacation, we’ve heard enough horror stories about delayed applications that we decided to pay the premium for express processing. It was definitely pricey (I think it added something like $100 between the two of us) but it was worth not taking the risk that we would have had to skip the trip.

Anyway, long story short: Karsten’s passport arrived two days ago, just a week and a half after he sent in the application. I’m seriously impressed.

(Of course, mine has yet to show up. Watch it take, like, 10 weeks.)

Unexpected efficiency: the government edition

9 thoughts on “Unexpected efficiency: the government edition

  • July 21, 2007 at 4:17 pm
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    Kate, Our congressman over here in Hooterville is trying to help folks out.
    Send me an e-mail and I’ll see if he can help.
    T.

    Reply
  • July 21, 2007 at 4:22 pm
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    My renewal took less than two weeks. My son’s new passport? Not so much. It took Pete Stark’s office to get it to him in time for his trip in March, almost five months after he applied for it and paid for the expedited processing.

    Reply
  • July 21, 2007 at 6:01 pm
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    Probably a wise move.
    Where in Europe?

    Reply
  • July 21, 2007 at 6:10 pm
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    It’s been two months, and no sight of ours.
    They relaxed it, so we can still fly into Vancouver next month – with our birth certificates.

    Which the passport people have.

    So now we have to order new birth certificates.

    Reply
  • July 21, 2007 at 6:18 pm
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    I think that’s a smart move! My coworker had planned to take a trip to Germany and up until the day before she left, she hadn’t received the passport in the mail for her eight-month-old baby yet. I’m not sure if she paid for the speedy processing or not, but I bet she wishes she did if she didn’t and if she did, she’s REALLY mad!

    Reply
  • July 21, 2007 at 9:22 pm
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    isn’t the concept of expedited premium processing just a little rude? my girlfriend was asked to pay $1000 (yes, thousand) dollars to expedite her work visa processing. Why don’t they just make it an auction? “Oh, we can do it faster, but what’s it worth to you?”

    It’s not like they use the fee to hire someone else to process the premium ones. It just means that for everyone who pays and gets moved to the top of the list, someone who didn’t pay gets slowed down even more. Kinda crappy.

    Reply
  • July 23, 2007 at 9:58 am
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    Do you know that they aren’t using the extra money to hire more people to process the additional work? And if they aren’t, why wouldn’t they? It would seem the smart thing to do.

    I’m not sure if this model is all that different from tiered support models that are fairly standard in other businesses. And there’s certainly a customer expectation that if you pay extra for premium support, the service provider should staff up to handle the volume without falling below the service expectations of customers paying for the lower-tier but still important service level.

    Reply
  • July 23, 2007 at 9:59 am
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    Oy. They sure don’t make it easy.

    Reply
  • July 23, 2007 at 10:03 am
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    We’re spending our 10-year meeting anniversary, which is the main anniversary we celebrate, in Paris, and Karsten’s birthday a few days later in Amsterdam. And this will be Karsten’s first trip out of the U.S.

    We’re really excited. 🙂

    Reply

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