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Passport appointments at USPS - Frustrated

Discussion in 'Life After Citizenship' started by desibartender, Feb 1, 2010.

  1. desibartender

    desibartender Registered Users (C)

    So far getting the citizenship was smooth sailing. What I didn't realize is getting passport is a world of hurt in the Sillycon valley.

    Most USPS offices have converted to an appointment system. That's fine but how the f*** you get an appointment. I keep calling post offices and most of the time getting weird messages. If people can't get appointment how can they apply for passport. Looks like someone is relaxing through the day at USPS passport office.

    One post office I physically went to didn't have a passport appointment for Saturday for 2 weeks but on normal days their schedule looked quite empty. If I want to maybe make an appointment for week days I should be able to call. Right? Looks like I have to go there and stand in a line.

    Few post offices who don't have appointment dole out tokens in the morning. Sheesh! This is like trying to get a H1N1 vaccine. You go there couple of hours late and the tokens are gone. WTF!

    So far I have visited 3 post offices without luck and called 4-5 post offices without getting anyone. This is interesting or maybe it is just my bad day?

    Anyone gone through this same thing in Sillycon valley?
     
  2. nkm-oct23

    nkm-oct23 Registered Users (C)

    Appointments for passport applications are not required at these post offices: Fremont, Union City, Sunol, Milpitas, Mountain View, Pleasanton, Palo Alto..
     
  3. sanjoseaug20

    sanjoseaug20 Registered Users (C)

    Try again and have patience. I have always been able to reach a human on the phone ... call between office hours ... and not right at the opening time. Give them a few minutes to settle in.
     
  4. RSK1

    RSK1 Registered Users (C)

    I can understand your frustations. But you will get less pain and frustation if you recall when we used to stand for hours in front of US consulate starting 4-5 AM in morning to get 3 yrs H1B. We need to sweat little more for life long US passport:)
     
  5. desibartender

    desibartender Registered Users (C)

    My misadventure with USPS continues.

    We went to Eastridge mall USPS early in the morning on Saturday around 9am (It opens at 10pm). There was a long line. We waited in the long line with my little daughter for an hour and then were told that the only lady that handles passport applications there was sick and not coming in.

    Cursing USPS we drove to next closest PO and reached there at 10.30am (This post office opens at 10am) We were told that they cannot handle this overflow and will not be handling more people. Go Home.

    This post office has 4 people working. 4 people working and they cannot handle overflow? What is wrong with this country?

    Luckily my wife had taken an appointment for Wednesday at Sunnyvale Mary post office. On Monday my wife had a doubt. While taking the appointment she said "I need an appointment" and did not say "Me, My hubby and little daughter".
    So she called the PO and found that she needs to make appointment for all of us and since she had not done that she would need to reschedule. Now I understand that it takes 10 minutes for one person and 20 minutes for maybe three but
    USPS would not extend the courtesy of another 10 minutes to us.

    My wife cancelled the appointment and rescheduled it at Campbell post office today. On Wednesday she got a call from Sunnyvale post office asking her why she did not show up. Hello! We cancelled. Remember?

    I am keeping my fingers crossed today. Me and my wife both have to take half a day off and my daughter has to miss school. So I hope it will be worth this appointment.

    In India, Mumbai a city of 10 million people there is one passport office and it takes half an hour to apply through an agent and 15 days to receive a passport at home with a paltry sum. For God's sake they hand write the names on the passport.
    And in the greatest country in the world I have to run around to make an appointment. Something is wrong with this whole system.

    I think I will break a coconut and offer some bribe to Indian gods. Hopefully they will have to come to my rescue and save me from this USPS stupidity.
     
  6. desibartender

    desibartender Registered Users (C)

    People, Make your appointment in advance if you know the date of your Oath ceremony. Make the appointment as soon as you get the Oath letter.
    Don't trust the timing on the USPS website. Keep calling the USPS to find out about the REAL times. And don't give up when nobody picks up the phone.
    It takes 12 to 15 times for you to call until the people there pick up the phone. Keep calling. If you have kids you only have Saturday unless you want to waste a weekday.
    If you plan to go without appointment go an hour early before opening time and stand in line. Ask your wife and kid to come during opening time later.
    Its horrible for the kids to stand in line for hours.
     
  7. brokenarrow

    brokenarrow Registered Users (C)

    That is realy sad. Don't the libraries accept passport application there. They are much better option then the usps. In my town, the library is open from 9 - 9 everyday and it acepts pp applications during that time everyday. No appointment needed and they are so friendly too. When applying for my kids passport, I went in here to confirm that the photos are acceptable and they took time to look at it; my younger ones need a bit of correction and they showed me a couple of photos submitted that day and guided me. Library rocks anyday over usps in my area.
     
  8. desibartender

    desibartender Registered Users (C)

    Hmmm Library. Now I didn't know they have that service there.
     
  9. brokenarrow

    brokenarrow Registered Users (C)

    Not sure if you looked at this already. Plug in your zip code and the desired radius and you will get a list. It clearly syas whether appointment is needed or not ...

    http://iafdb.travel.state.gov/
     
  10. desibartender

    desibartender Registered Users (C)

    Finally, The applications were mailed. we went to the Campbell, CA post office and a very nice lady took care of our application in exactly 20 minutes.

    Now we wait for the passports to come.

    On to OCI.
     
  11. tobias2801

    tobias2801 Registered Users (C)

    I made my PP appointment as soon as I had my oath letter and had a similar experience - the hours on the website for my local Post Office don't match their actual hours, so I called back when I was told they were open. Then they were not ready to take calls because their official hours had just started. So I called back another hour later and finally talked to somebody who took my appointment for the day I needed it. He was taking the appointment at typical PO speed but we got it done. Since I was early in calling for a march appointment I even got the exact time I needed.
    My oath is this Thursday and I'll be heading to the PO for my PP on Friday - when I got my son's PP a few months ago it took about 30 minutes because the guy was sending txt messages on his phone 6 or 7 times while he validated the application so I will try to be very patient for this last act in my journey towards USC.
    This could be a much nicer experience if they would just try to show some enthusiasm and drive...and we pay them well! $25 acceptance fee for a few minutes of work. That is not a bad rate!
     
  12. Bobsmyth

    Bobsmyth Volunteer Moderator

    The Santa Clara county office and Milpitas city clerk office both accept passport applications.
     
  13. gvaknin

    gvaknin Registered Users (C)

    Is this an issue on in CA? I applied on 2/18 (no PP yet) in MI and just walked it and did it, not issues. Since my wife will finish hers in a month or so, I wonder if it's going to be an issue as well?

    G.
     
  14. tobias2801

    tobias2801 Registered Users (C)

    Since I complained before I wanted to give a quick update on my PP application experience. I got the Post Office 15 minutes before my scheduled appointment and was helped 10 minutes ahead of schedule. Since I had all my docs ready, I was out the door within 5 minutes. Could not have asked for more efficient service. My only gripe is that I paid $25 to the USPS for 5 minutes of service. I wish I would be able to make money like that! But I got my application sent off and assuming nothing gets lost along the way i should have my PP in a few days.
     

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