Passport Canada Surprise

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We dealt with Passport Canada twice today, about two different passports and two different issues.

We were very surprised.

First, a real live human called us to verify the correct spelling of my daughter’s name. Her Birth Certificate has the Portuguese spelling, my wife wrote the English spelling on the application form for her passport renewal. 30 second phone call and it was straightened out.

Next, they left a voicemail on my phone about a problem with my son’s passport application. They left a callback number and a name to ask for. So I called, expecting the usual Federal Government phone menu hell. A real live person answered after just one ring. I was speechless for a second, but then asked for the person who left the voicemail. Again, 30 seconds later a simple issue (1 number not transcribed properly) was fixed, over the phone, by another helpful person.

A couple of observations:

  • Contrast that with our other experience with Passport Canada: There was a problem with my son’s passport application 5 years ago. They didn’t call us, or write us, or anything. If we hadn’t called and inquired, they would have just sat on the application forever.
  • A live human answered the phone. On a Saturday. And didn’t redirect us to voicemail or anything like that. Just said “hold on a second and I’ll get her.”

Maybe the Passport Office is doing this stuff to improve their image, and I think they’re succeeding.