Cox & Kings, VisaHQ, and My Visa Nightmare

Cox & Kings and VisaHQ

Cox & Kings, VisaHQ, and My Visa Nightmare

Always one to try to keep positive and in happy spirits, I have been met with a dilemma: a visa nightmare. One that up until now, I’ve viewed as out of my hands, which in many ways it is, but this process has me at the greatest level of frustration.

About a month ago, I submitted three visa applications to VisaHQ. Normally, I like submitting applications on my own, but I just didn’t have the time, and I had so many visas to get for the summer. I thought VisaHQ would be the best way to go, and in some ways, it’s been fine.

This is until my visa was submitted to India. As of May 21st, India switched the company it was using to process their visas. This was thought to be a positive change, but it’s turning out to be quite a mess. But, since VisaHQ submitted my visa for me on June 5th, three weeks ago, I thought I would have no issues. Unfortunately, here I am three weeks later, with no visa and no idea of when my passport will be back in my hands.

Cox & Kings and VisaHQ

I kept checking my status on VisaHQ and waiting for an update on my visa, but all that ever changed was the time it would take to process. At first it was 10-15 business days, then 8 days, then 10 business days, now it’s 8 again. I can barely even follow it.

I reached out to VisaHQ about my concerns and the response was that it had to do with Cox & Kings and that there wasn’t much that could be done to ease my worries. I understood that it wasn’t their issue, but shouldn’t the company who is handling your visas at least try to ease your worries, and why did I have to reach out to them, instead of the other way around?

Still, at that point, my only concern was that VisaHQ wouldn’t have my passport back in time to get my Russian visa. I thought that I’d at least have my Indian visa by the date of my flight. A few days ago, it seemed that that wasn’t going to be the case.

Frustrated by VisaHQ, I tried to contact Cox & Kings on my own, which was a disaster in its own way. Every time I was able to speak to someone, they told me that they needed three more days and that maybe it would be best to change my flight date, even though they admitted that they had had my passport for three weeks.

Now, I sit in Starbucks, wasting an entire day before I leave, waiting for three o’clock when I’ll actually be able to get into the building to figure out where my visa is. I’ve heard plenty of horror stories of Cox & Kings losing people’s passports and VisaHQ has already informed me that mine was lost and had to be found last week.

Had this been an issue on my end, I would be understanding, but it’s not. According to VisaHQ, my application was submitted to Cox & Kings on Thursday, June 5th, which is three weeks ago today, leaving plenty of time for my visa to get processed and my passport to be returned.

At first, I was understanding. Cox & Kings has inherited a lot of its issues from the former company BLS, but the way they are handling this issue is completely unacceptable. Asking me to change my flights and each person telling me that they will expedite my passport, but not seeing a result is frustrating.

Now, instead of packing and seeing family and friends to say good-bye, I’m waiting to deal with an incompetent company, one that VisaHQ should be dealing with instead. I’ve also been spending all morning looking up new flights and realizing that my India trip, the one I’ve been dreaming about for years, is probably going to be cut short.

Cox & Kings and VisaHQ have not made this a pleasant process for me at all. I know, if I want to go back to India, I will have to deal with Cox & Kings again, but in the future, I will not be using VisaHQ again. I realize that there are many advantages to using a company to take care of visas for you, but it’s just not worth the money in my mind. I’ve paid their fees, and feel that the help I have been getting is sub par at best. I know that this is not entirely on their end, but I’m done trusting other people to do something I have had to wind up doing myself anyway.

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Comments (10)

  1. Craig Zabransky

    Wow, so sorry to hear / read this post…wishing you the best and safe passage to India soon.
    StayMakingDream(Trips)ComeTrue, Craig

  2. Mary Anne

    This is a very sad thing indeed! I am sad for you and disgusted with them. How dare they treat you poorly and hold your visa. I am sure you are going to take legal action for the fees and costs you’ve had to pay out.

  3. Traveling Ted

    Sad to see such horrid customer service and incompetance. I hope this gets resolved, and I will definitely never use this company.

  4. Aditya Singh (@aditya_tweets)

    This is the start of the ordeal, after all the disappointment in not getting the documents on time, you decide – Enough, let me go and collect and then what happens: http://caaditya.wordpress.com/2014/06/25/cox-and-kings-india-visa-processing/

    1. The World Wanderer

      My experience we quite similar though they didn’t let us in until 8:30pm. Writing about that experience now.

      1. Aditya Singh (@aditya_tweets)

        Once your post is up will email to the people running the External affairs ministry in India, have heard that they act, I am sure they wont be able to do anything overnight since its with a third party service providers but maybe few weeks from now the change will be felt,

  5. Lance | Trips By Lance

    I’m learning lessons from this ordeal. This company will never get my business. I hope this finds a resolution for you ASAP.

  6. Delayed, but Not Denied. | The World Wanderer

    […] work out, and not being able to reunite with my friend, Jade, in India at the beginning of this summer. Others are much smaller: missed connections, lost luggage, or weather delays, which can still […]

  7. Farha Khan

    Hi Erin,
    I would like to apologize on behalf of VisaHQ for the inconvenience you endured during the visa application process for your Indian visa. Unfortunately the period of the handover between the two outsourcing companies for the Govt. of India was rather chaotic and the travellers ended up bearing the brunt of it, though things have gotten much better under new management across the board. I would like an opportunity to rectify this and possibly hope for another chance that we can assist you with your future travel plans. Please feel free to contact me directly and I would love to speak with you and see if there is anything we can do to address this.
    Thank you,
    Farha

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