We have been battling UK Immigration since our Residence Permits [BRP] were stolen in May 2017.
Whilst we got ‘the right’ answer from UK Immigration, i.e. our new BRP cards, that part was never in question and was a simple, or should have been, a simple process. At issue is wrong information we were given by them on their fee-for-service phones.
We originally wrote a letter of complaint, for which they offered no apology and a less than generous offer of a small refund for part of their overall fees. In the UK the department is actually operated for profit basis, something not allowed in Canada and fees are steep.
In September we requested a review of their initial decision. Having heard nothing from them we then re-contacted them about the review process, and received a terse, don’t contact us again – you will be ignored.
We then contacted them again because they had simply referred us to their website which of course was simply incorrect, as they do have a complaints procedure.
This time we received an ambiguous answer, saying basically if a complaint fits the criteria upon which complaints can be based we will hear from them, if not we will not. It is ambiguous because:
a. they could have looked at the nature of the complaint and said it is ‘in process’
b. They could have said it is outside of the scope for complaints
The issue of ambiguity is that we are not complaining about the decision. Rather we are complaining about wrong information we were given that caused us to embark on a costly process that was unnecessary. They could say you can only complain about a decision. Hence the ambiguity.
Given the ambiguity of their answer on this second reply, we decided it is simply not possible to deal with them effectively. Their communication tends to be what I would call ‘sloppy’ in that it is apparent they did not look at the submission and look for the easiest way to get pieces of paper of their desks.
We will now proceed with lodging a complaint with the ombudsman. So over the next two weeks I will put our case together for submission.
The bad news is the Ombudsman has so many complaints it will take more than year to receive a response from them. The good news is that they uphold about 75% – 80% of complaints filed against UK Immigration. A sad commentary on the state of UK Immigration and how they manage the application of the law.
By the way — ‘Ombudsman’…of course should be ‘Ombudsperson’…but in the UK they have not yet made their terminology gender neutral .
We will post our submission.