Cox & Kings, the Visa Outsourcing Agency discusses community concerns with GOPIO officials

NEW YORK CITY (TIP): Under pressure of public criticism of inefficient services being provided by the Visa Outsourcing Agency, Cox & Kings Ltd., its worried officials reached out to GOPIO officials to explain their position. There has been wide criticism of services being provided by Cox & Kings Ltd. after they took over from the earlier agency, BLS International.

At an earlier GOPIO-CT community interaction meeting in July with Indian Consul General Dnyaneshwar Mulay who was accompanied by his fellow Consuls Mr. Ajay Purswani (Passport/Visa) and Mr. Dhirendra Singh (OCI/PIO and Community Affairs), many issues and problems were brought to their attention. These included complaints with previous outsourcing agency BLS International and the new agency Cox and Kings. One main complaint was, Cox and Kings can’t be reached over the phone and their tracking system did not work well.

Other complaints included the outsourcing agencies losing passports, not sending the documents back by mail or Fedex even though it was paid for, unusual waiting time at their offices, waiting in the street for hours to get into the office, discourteous security, etc. People in attendance requested the consuls to streamline these processes at Cox and Kings. Cox and Kings Ltd. held meetings with GOPIO officials in New York and Washington DC.

The officials present at the New York meeting on September 13th included its Associate VP for Corporate Communications Thomas Thottathil from Mumbai, US Operations head John Nair and New York Regional Head Sumit Sharma. GOPIO was represented by its Founder President Dr. Thomas Abraham, GOPIO-CT Immediate Past President Shailesh Naik, GOPIO-CT Vice President Varghese Ninan, GOPIO-CT Treasurer Viresh Sharma and GOPIO Founding Life Member Ramesh Kalicharan. The discussions were cordial and Cox and Kings agreed with GOPIO officials that there were problems after the take over from BLS because of the backlog of over 18,000 passports in New York alone and similar numbers in other centers.

They have sorted out many of the issues, changed security guards and now want to work with the community to remedy these problems. They said that the long lines are no more there and that Cox and Kings have streamlined many of the issues. Cox & Kings delegation also met GOPIOMetro Washington Chapter officials Dr. Zafar Iqbal (President), Mr. Ajay Singh (Vice-President), Board Members Dr. Satish Mishra and Mr. Anand Poojary, and Dr. Renuka Misra, International Coordinator, GOPIO on September 6th. Issues raised included apathy towards customers, untraceable documents, customer unfriendly website, non-responsive telephone service, and most importantly illinformed staff.

The delegation members presented their views acknowledging community’s grievances and informed us that their company had a vast experience and their continued business for over 250 years was basically due to customers’ satisfaction. According to them, they inherited the responsibilities from the previous vendor in a disarrayed condition.

In the short period of 3-4 months, most of the backlog has been cleaned up and major complaints have been rectified. They also promised to implement the suggestions given by GOPIO for extended hours and opening of offices on weekends, hiring more professionals, training of staff, answering telephone calls, making their website more friendly to applicants, and arranging town hall type meetings with the community. GOPIO will monitor services provided by Cox and Kings and will work with them to sort out any remaining issues. GOPIO has appointed its Associate Secretary Jaswant Mody to receive any complaints from the community at with a copy to

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