I wrote this message yesterday and the computer lost it- I nearly screamed! Fingers crossed for more luck today...
Apologies for the length of it, Im not very good at short and sweet!
I have had some concerns about my migration agency (1st Contact) for much of the time I've been working with them, but never been quite sure if I'm being oversensitive! So here are my issues, would really be helpful to hear what people think.
* when i first made contact with the agency (early summer 06) i was advised that it would be worth me waiting til october to apply, as this would mean i met the '3 out of the past 4 years' specification, and would not then need to apply for state sponsorship. However when it got near October it turned out I still did not meet that requirement because of a 14 month gap in my employment whilst travelling. I didn't complain because I felt I also could have picked up on this, but it dented my confidence in them, I had assumed I could rely on them to pick up on stuff like this!
* in autumn last year I emailed my agent to ask if it was worth me getting my medicals and police checks done before getting allocated my case officer, so that they'd be ready once requested. I was told no, which I reluctantly assumed must have some logic to it. My case officer was allocated in November and I applied for these things. However my police check only arrived earlier this month, so is the last thing to be submitted. Other people I have seen on a similar timescale to me have been granted already, and I can't help but think I might have my visa had got the checks done earlier.
* in general i have felt something of a lack of faith in my agent, partly from these experiences and also just from small things. then around the time my case officer was assigned, i got an email from a different worker in the agency to say i should from then on communicate with her with regards my visa, rather than my previous agent. No explanation, which just reinforced that maybe the last one was no good!
I rang the agency early this week to ask if my police check had reached them (I had put a note with it asking for confirmation of this). My original agent answered the phone (so hasnt been sacked, as I had wondered!), and said my more recent worker was off sick. But she said she'd seen a police check on the other workers desk. It had been opened, but noone had contacted me, and had I not rung Ive no idea if they would have called me, or even posted it on for me!
So Im fed up with them, I have lost a lot of faith in them, and the service theyre offering. I feel like I could be booking flights now potentially, if I'd had different advice. But another reason I'd been hesitant to complain is I don't have evidence of the things that happened, annoyingly I deleted the emails, and some of it was phone conversations.
Anyway, rant over, sorry! Look forward to your thoughts ;)