Complaint Review: US Passport 123 - Internet
US Passport 123 Incomplete information of what "hand-carrying" a passport means; governmental limitations for hand-carry Internet
I am traveling with my son July 3 internationally and needed to get him a new passport. I have heard horror stories about the length of time it takes to get passports without expedition; therefore, I chose to have his passport expedited to ensure we had it for travel time (approximately 90 days from this report). US Passport123 has a very easy to navigate website and clear choices for the consumer to make. Once you "submit" your form, without talking to an agent, you get an email with further instructions on how to fax or email credit card payment for their $109 fee. This should have been my first sign.
An agent is assigned and sends a checklist of things that need to be gathered for everything to run smoothly. This is also on the website and is very helpful. After my payment to the company was confirmed, we held an actual conversation. It was during this conversation that the agent realized my travel date was a couple of months away. He then "suggested" I try to come up with earlier travel plans as the acceptance agent "may not be willing to expedite the passport" with the date being so far off. I am an honest person however, and I did not feel comfortable lying or creating false records to make this happen.
I took all my paperwork to the acceptance agent with high hopes that my sincerity and admission that I paid for expediated services would compel them to work with me. This is when I discovered the term "hand-carry" and the limitations that were placed upon the acceptance agent, not by their own choosing. Apparently, they can expedite a passport ANY time (it just takes 3 weeks); what they CANNOT do is process the paperwork for hand couriers unless the travel date is within 2 weeks. The agent pulled out a huge book of rules to double check her capacity. So basically, I paid US Passport123 $109 for hand courier services that wasn't going to be permitted to begin with. The agent from US Passport123 did not disclose this information to me until AFTER my payment was processed when he suggested I try to come up with earlier travel plans.
The fee is non-refundable unless you cancel within 24 hours, and then you receive all but $50 back. Had I known ahead of time that the hand-courier service wasn't permitted on passports for travel dates further away, I would never have requested it to begin with. There is no information on the site while you are collecting all your documentation that states this information. The only statement regarding travel itinerary is to ensure the traveler's name is included as proof.
I do take some responsibility for lack of knowledge here, but what angers me is thinking about how many other people also paid this fee and were then told the service was not permitted at the acceptance agency. This company needs to clearly state that their services are null-and-void unless traveling within 2 weeks of the request date.
This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 04/10/2016 12:52 PM and is a permanent record located here: https://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/us-passport-123/internet/us-passport-123-incomplete-information-of-what-hand-carrying-a-passport-means-governme-1298949. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year. Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report. READ: Foreign websites steal our content
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