BRITISH CONSULATE: WE’RE NOT DIRECTORY ENQUIRIES
Recent enquiries received by Foreign Office staff in Spain include a request for Phil Collins’ telephone number, whilst a man asked staff to contact his dominatrix after she had left him stranded at the airport.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office is today reminding British travellers of the role of its global network of Embassies, High Commissions and Consulates as staff continue to be approached for weather forecasts and ticket bookings.
Other enquiries received by Foreign Office staff include:
- A man rang the Consulate in Sydney to find out what clothes he should pack for his holiday
- A Brit in Sofia asked the Consulate if they could sell his house for him
- A man called the Consulate in Florida to report that there were ants in his holiday villa and asked for advice on what he should do
- A lady complained to the Embassy in Moscow about a loud buzzing noise in her apartment – she wanted someone to visit her flat and advise the authorities to stop the noise
- A caller in Spain wondered what shoe size Prince Charles wears so they could send him a pair of shoes as a present
- A man asked a Consulate in Greece for information on how to go about putting a chicken coop in his garden
- A man asked Consular staff in Dubai to meet his dog on arrival at customs and help the dog through the customs process, as he would be on holiday when the dog arrived
- A caller asked staff in Malaga in mid-September where she could get a Christmas lunch as everywhere she had phoned was already booked up
- Staff in Greece were asked for tips on the best fishing spots and where to purchase good bait
The FCO can:
The FCO can’t:
For insight into the range of Consular incidents across the globe over a real 24 hour period visit: http://www.youtube.com/embed/nbO-k0zJkqE
- Enquiries are based on anecdotal evidence from Foreign and Commonwealth Office staff around the world
- FCO staff handle around 2 million Consular enquiries a year
- In 2010/11 FCO staff handled 19,228 Consular assistance cases (including arrests, deaths, hospitalisations, supporting victims of forced marriage and assisting in incidents of parental child abduction)
- For up-to-the-minute travel advice sign up to Facebook and Twitter feeds: www.facebook.com/fcotravel or twitter.com/fcotravel
Embassy, High Commission or Consulate?
FCO offices abroad are known by a variety of names: