A retired Elburton driving instructor was left without a physical copy of his driver’s license after confusion and “due to Covid” causing delays.
Andrew Cocker, a former driving instructor and examiner, received a letter to renew his license, which was due to expire on June 19.
Because the 76-year-old man’s passport had expired, his wife Rosalind said he was unable to renew his driver’s license on the website as he usually did, and instead sent it through the job.
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Mr Cocker received his new ID a few weeks later and the couple noticed the photo was “dark” and looked “a little strange”.
A few weeks passed and then Mr Cocker received a letter telling him that his license “should never have been issued” because the photo was “not correct”.
“He asked her to turn it over and send a different photo. Since I was worried it was a scam, I called them and asked them if it was genuine,” Ms. Cocker explained.
“I was told it was due to backlogs and another department issuing the licenses incorrectly, so we sent him back.
“My husband’s license was due to expire on June 19th, when it didn’t come back we started trying to find out why it hadn’t been fired. Endless emails all responded with a standard template are arrived again, blaming Covid for the delays. “
The 65-year-old continued, “It is now July and after writing to the DVLA Director General’s office and not getting a response, we have now had to ask for an investigation to be carried out through a procedure. independent complaint and wrote to Minister of Transport Grant Shapps.
“No response at this time. You cannot reach the DVLA on the phone, he says all operators are busy and cuts you off.
“My husband was a former driving school instructor and examiner and that’s why it bothers him so much because when he was an examiner everything had to be done, fill out his papers and stay on top of everything.
“It shows how bad things have turned out over the years.”
The couple are due to have their car serviced soon and fear they won’t be able to get a rental car.
“I’m disabled and my husband obviously drives me where I need to go. If our car breaks down we can’t rent a car unless he can show his license.
“We are now in a situation where our car needs to be serviced and we cannot have a rental car during the time it is serviced because it does not have a license.
“It’s a nightmare.
“I can’t walk at all unless I’m helped by my crutches, I have a spinal cord injury.
“I’m sick of hearing it’s because of Covid.
“If he’s been stopped by the police, they can go to the DVLA site and they have that information and that authorization. But if we’re going to have a rental car, they’ll want to see the license and it doesn’t. has not.
“I really think the country has been split into two sections, the section that has operated nonstop throughout the pandemic, like NHS workers, plumbers, gas engineers, sewer and drainage workers, administrative staff of colleges and schools, employees of supermarkets, etc.
“The list goes on and on, then those who have been on leave or have worked from home, and now things have to get back to normal, they give their notice like many hospitality staff do on leave or say that ‘they don’t want to go there back to the office to work.
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“Working from home is okay as long as it doesn’t impact the service customers deserve. When it isn’t working properly and customers are left behind, it needs to be looked into. “
A spokesperson for the DVLA said: “We are sorry for the inconvenience caused. We issued over eight million driver’s licenses last year and such errors are very rare.
“We are disappointed that the Public and Commercial Services Union is continuing its industrial action, targeting areas that will have the most impact on the public, including delays in processing paper applications.”
Since the agency was contacted, Rosalind says the couple received a phone call and Mr Cocker’s license is being sent today.
A recent BBC survey highlighted some of Ms Cocker’s concerns regarding customer service.
The number of complaints of poor service in the past six months was at its highest level since 2009, according to the institute’s survey of 10,000 people.
The most problematic sectors were transport, local utilities – a quarter of those polled said some organizations had used Covid as an excuse for poor service.
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