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Dten

Potential employer lost my passport, where do I stand?

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I went to a group interview with a Merlin Entertainments establishment in December, and was asked to provide my passport for verification of my right to work in the UK. I did so willingly and they collected everyones in and took them away to copy. Later, in the middle of our session, they went round handing them back to the 'correct' people and it wasn't until I got home that I realised I had been given the wrong one. I tried contacting them by every way possible asking if they could just contact everybody else who was at the interview and ask them to check whether they had mine, but they were completely uncooperative. They said they couldn't do anything, said I should just buy a new one, and basically just ignored all further correspondence I tried to have with them. It was such a simple request that they could have helped me with and I feel like if they had done it, I would have got my passport back.

 

As it was in the end I had to buy another one at 130 pounds in order not to shatter my christmas plans, money I did not have as I was job seeking in the first place. I then contacted them again with a very polite, formal letter explaining everything and asking whether they would at least acknowledge the serious neglect that happened on their part, but again I have been absolutely ignored. My other worry is of course that someone has used my passport to gain a false identity, so it could be a very serious matter. I have followed up the letter with calls and emails, which have been passed on through different departments and again, ignored.

 

Could anyone tell me what the situation is here, I mean are they liable for anything at all? Is there someone else I should contact, or do they just get away it scott-free? It makes me so angry as I have been through so much hassle and none of it was my fault- I applied in good faith for a job I believed in and ended up forking out around 200 pounds in phone calls, transport and new passport. Anything anyone could suggest would be GREATLY appreciated!

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Hi Dten

 

Did you ask for advice from the passport office?

 

I think that's what I would have done in the first instance, there may be a chance that the person who has your passport has reported it to them.

 

Were there many people at the interview?

 

Have you tried to find any contact details for the person whose passport you were given in error? No doubt they will be panicking at their loss too!

 

I would also be writing to the CEO of Merlin to complain about the lack of assistance you have experienced since the interview.

 

P.S. Welcome to CAG! :-)

Edited by Dotty50

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Hi Dotty50

 

Thanks very much for the quick response.

 

Yeah, I spoke to the passport office several times and they said there were only two choices- wait for it to turn up, and not be able to leave the country, or register it as lost, which I did.

 

There were probably around 20 people at the interview. The first thing I did when I found out was ring the guy who's passport I had (his number was in the back). I hoped it would be a straight forward swap but he checked his bag and somehow found that not only did he not have my passport- he didn't have one at all! Which begs the question did they actually lose one of the group's completely, as how else did he end up with none, unless someone else got two back? The weird thing about this was that the guy was completely unfazed about his missing passport. I asked him if he would just message me his address details so I could post it on to him, and he's never got back to me to this day, so his is sitting in my room waiting! I tried to trace anyone else that I could from the day, but only managed to find one other person, who didn't have it.

 

I don't know what else I could have done.

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Hi

 

I am sure you will need to contact passport office to report that passport as missing and their advice on a replacement.

 

Also the individuals passport that you were given I would either hand into the local police station explaining whats happened or post to passport office.

 

Also report it lost/stolen using this link: https://www.gov.uk/report-a-lost-or-stolen-passport


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Thanks guys:-)

 

Yeah, I have reported it as lost, as if I'd reported it as only 'missing' they wouldn't have let me get a new one immediately, which I needed to go away. And I didn't see why I should miss out on my trip.

 

I have also written an extensive complaint letter to the head quarters of Merlin Entertainments, and have received absolutely no reply- hence why am trying to find out where I/they stand. Not only is the whole mix up pretty appalling, then there's their complete lack of any kind of assistance to help me locate it, and to add final insult to injury, they do not even apologise or respond to my letter to explain what might have happened. I am really shocked at their bad service!

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Well you seem to have done as much as possible, but how strange that the guy whose passport you were given hasn't come back to you!

 

You could try a call to trading standards about the appalling service you have received, or try and find an email address to Merlin then experiment with the email addresses by sending them to the CEO, Nick Varney or Andrew Carr, Chief Financial Officer (I've got these of wiki).

 

Email addresses usually have a similar format for the staff and management.

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I would do a letter before action explaining that they had a duty of care to look after your passport, breached that duty of care by failing to return it and failing to make any attempts to rectify the situation, and asking them to compensate you for the cost of a new passport and associated phone calls. If they fail to comply then small claims court it is.


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I would do a letter before action explaining that they had a duty of care to look after your passport, breached that duty of care by failing to return it and failing to make any attempts to rectify the situation, and asking them to compensate you for the cost of a new passport and associated phone calls. If they fail to comply then small claims court it is.

 

I agree with this - why should you be out of pocket? They assumed control of the passport and lost it, so it does sound like a potential small claim.

 

Not to mention in pretty sure it's a criminal offence to give you someone else's passport! They've been incredibly irresponsible.

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also the data protection act may have a bearing in this.


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Hi

 

I have to fully agree that companys employee had a duty of care over such a legal document which that company requested to hand over to get copied and had a duty of care to ensure that the legal document was returned safely to its original owner.

 

1. Due to their Employee taking those passports that company had a legal duty of care for it safe return to original owner.

 

2. The company has taken NO action to try to resolve the matter or trace the legal document therefore leaving you the original owner at risk of Identity Theft due to that companies negligence.

 

3. What legal purpose does that company require a copy of all passports, where is this information stored, (If you didnt get the job then request that all your personal data is removed from their systems)

 

4. The company has lost a legal document in its posession belonging to the original owner taking no responsibility for the serious nature of this Data Protection breach or action to try and recover said document nor has the company asked you to return the incorrect legal document given to you by their employee which in turn leave that other person open to Identity theft and another Data Protection breach. (contact the Information Commissioners Office ICO and see what they say).

 

5. Due to the negligence of this company you have had to report that missing legal document to police, passport office and had the extra costs of having to purchase a New Passport and costs of calls trying to resolve their error.

 

Go get these idiots.

 

Chief Executive Officer Nick Varney

Merlin Entertainments Ltd

3 Market Close

Poole

BH15 1NQ

 

Head Office Tel: 01202 666900

 

Sir John Sunderland - Chairman

 

Andrew Carr - Chief Financial Officer

 

Tea Colaianni - Group HR Director

Edited by stu007

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Hi everyone,

 

Thanks very much for all your good advice.

 

I am definitely going to investigate all these things and send some more letters out to all those head honchos at Merlin. I am glad that you all feel I have a case here, as I didn't want to get into some battle where I was being ridiculous, or might end up standing to lose even more. But it's right, I don't see why I should stay out of pocket for all the expenses I have incurred.

 

Wish me luck!!

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I'm having a second thought on this issue. In my view a passport should never be handed over but shown. If the employer has lost it while checking it, I think this could technically count as theft.


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Dont really think it comes under theft, theft is dishonestly taking somthing with the intention to permenently deprive, in this case the passport was handed over willingly and then appears to have been lost.


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Isn't this also an issue under Data Protection Act?

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Indeed. Complaint to the ICO and a Letter Before Action demanding repayment of the out of pocket expenses resulting from their negligence.


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I would also report them for copying the passport without your written consent. The Home Office makes it clear in its guidelines how this consent must be made and that a copy of the consent must be kept with the photocopy. They also limit what may be copied to prevent unautorised access to your passport. The bare bones of the matter is that it is illegal to actually copy a passport but the HO doesnt enforce this because we dont have identity cards in the UK but must obey various laws that require proof of identity.

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this is terrible!! i am astounded that they will not take the blame for this they should compensate you for a new passport!

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this is terrible!! i am astounded that they will not take the blame for this they should compensate you for a new passport!

 

because you know. Looking at what they hand you back would not have been sensible at all....


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because you know. Looking at what they hand you back would not have been sensible at all....

 

yeah so would handing back the passport to the correct person but hey ho!

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I personally never hand my passport over without losing sight. If they need to make a photocopy I want to see the whole process. In other European countries it is an offence just to hand over your passport to whoever is not a public official.


"Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for Poundland"

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