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Author Topic: IRCs and GS, etc. etc.  (Read 3385 times)

Posts: 4424

« on: January 01, 2010, 05:06:14 AM »

I know this is a dead horse, but since the forums are kinda slow, I thought perhaps I would post this little comment I found on QRZ, when looking up info to send a card to a ham in Wales. Here is how HE feels about IRCs:

(from his QRZ page) "IRC's. I do not like IRC's. They are a pain in the ass and it takes up time to change them at the Post Office. If you MUST send IRC's, TWO IRC's are required for QSLing. One IRC is NOT ENOUGH."

I guess what he REALLY means is: 1. One IRC is not enough for HIM. One IRC IS enough for airmail postage to the US, at his Post office, according to the International Postal Union, of which Wales IS a member.  2. HE is the pain in the butt, not IRCs.

I tore up the card I had prepared and trashed it. I already have Wales confirmed on several bands/modes, but it was an 80m CW contact.I needed it, But not that bad. It's not the 2GS requirement that bugs me, (It's less than an IRC, of course) It's his asinine comment. I would have just as soon never worked him.
Happy New Year!  Gene

Posts: 4424

« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2010, 05:15:02 AM »

I should have mentioned, he says he WILL accept $2 US OR 2 IRCs. Gene

Posts: 2493

« Reply #2 on: January 01, 2010, 07:30:02 AM »

Hey Gene,
 Doesn't 1 IRC cost more than $2.00? I was wondering why someone would send an IRC instead of 2 green stanps to a fairly post safe country. I think the Germans need 3 Green stamps which would make it economical to send an IRC.

2 IRCs? I guess he wants to make sure he doesn't get any.

Happy New Year!!!

and 73,
 Larry NU4B

Posts: 72

« Reply #3 on: January 01, 2010, 08:15:54 AM »

Hello, Gene -

Actually UK is one of the cheaper postal systems.  An airmail letter costs a GBP 0.62 stamp, which is almost exactly one G.S.  Therefore, it is a bit of a waste to buy an IRC which costs more.

I'd ease up a bit on the Welsh Ham.  It really is more a question of the pain in the B*tt factor.  In the UK anyone can print postage on their home computers and G.S. are mostly just recycled.  Post offices can be few and far between compared with the U.S. (especially in the countryside in Wales, I imagine!)

Mni 73 es HNY de David, AB0Z

Posts: 700

« Reply #4 on: January 01, 2010, 08:39:18 PM »

I refuse to send IRCs and don't like receiving them either. Why? My local postal staffers freak out when asked anything abut IRCs because they see them so seldom it sends them to their operation manuals for info.

I do send green stamps and have had good results in using them.

73, N4KZ

Posts: 514

« Reply #5 on: January 02, 2010, 07:47:33 AM »

Print out this cheat sheet next time you go:

1. Stamps & Mdse [merchandise]
2. Exchange
3. Redeem Foreign IRCs... See More
4. Enter .98 (cost of the stamp)
5. Scan and sell one international .98 stamp
6. the balance owed will show zero

These are the steps they should take for redeeming IRCs.  I found this in another forum some time back but printed it out and take it with me for any IRC transactions and have had postal clerks thank me for bringing it along.

Posts: 610


« Reply #6 on: January 04, 2010, 03:25:52 AM »

As far as I can see, here's the math:

IRC: I have to go to the Post Office, wait in line, educate the lady behind the counter what an IRC is, pay $2.10 per IRC. The DX station has to go to the Post Office, wait in line, educate the lady behind the counter what an IRC is, turn IRC into postage.

GS: I reach in my wallet, put GS in envelope. DX station opens envelope, puts $2 in his wallet, mails my QSL back.

The IRC costs me more, is more hassle for both of us. The only time I can see sending an IRC is when the DX station is wanting $3 vs. one IRC.

The DXpedition trend I like is the $3 PayPal payment. To send a real QSL plus GS or IRC essentially costs me about $3.50, so a $3 Paypal payment is less hassle, faster, *and* costs less.

John K3TN

John K3TN

Posts: 4283


« Reply #7 on: January 05, 2010, 07:31:25 AM »

IRCs are a pain in the gazonga and his comments on right on.

GS are best and you ought to take his comments to heart.

Posts: 4424

« Reply #8 on: January 05, 2010, 11:28:08 AM »

"IRCs are a pain in the gazonga and his comments on right on."

Maybe.... Perhaps where he lives and does postal business.  But - Not here where I live.  When I retired and moved here from Florida,six years ago, I went into our local post office (The only one, for our little town of 1200 or so), and told them I wanted to buy some IRCs. I did not get a roll of the eyes, or any kind of weird look. They simply asked me what they were, and I explained. Within a week, they had ordered and furnished me with 50 IRCs. Now, they keep a supply on hand for me.

I suppose it's just a personal thing. I really dont like sending cash through the mail. I will do it, when its a card I need and the ham only takes cash. Plus, I have never failed to get a card back, using an IRC or postage stamps for the particular country. However, I have had several hams which collected my cash, (or someone along the way did) and never sent a card. (some on more than one occasion...) I could name them, but most are already wellknown and common knowledge among DXers.

My gripe is someone demanding TWO IRCs, when one will do the trick. Some jerkoffs even ask for three. Some say that one IRC is "not enough" for postage in their country. That is total BS and a lie, if they belong to the International Postal Union. I dont think I need to explain the purpose and workings of IRCs, but ONE IRC is what is required, etc. etc.  No one expects cards back in a week or two (would be nice, though), and surely everyone goes to the post office once a month or so?  So, I dont see the problem with redeeming or buying IRCs. I like using them... They work for me. Just my opinion.

Posts: 1258

« Reply #9 on: January 11, 2010, 08:09:25 PM »

Let me put in a plug for Bill Plum. I've been using his stamps and snugly-fitting nested envelopes with great success. All the DX op has to do is put his card in your SASE and drop it in the post. Less effort on his part means you're more likely to get the card you want, and there's no GS that might never pay for your intended return postage.

73 Jack

Posts: 2832

« Reply #10 on: January 12, 2010, 10:07:14 AM »

AF3Y says "They work for me. Just my opinion."

Your opinion might be very different if you were rare DX and got QSL requests from thousands of hams..

Personaly, I look for confirmations only for the DXCC awards. I have shoe boxes full of QSL cards. I do not need any more. I have not initiated a QSL card request for 20 years. I do reply to received cards but at a slow pace. I would MUCH rather get a LOTW confirmation. Easy and painless and does not require any time, green stamps or IRC. Much Faster Too.

LOTW has been getting more and more popular the last year or so. I find I am getting over 50% of my QSO's being confirmed Via LOTW. It used to be around 30%.

Stan K9IUQ

« Reply #11 on: January 12, 2010, 10:24:59 AM »

Except for all time new one's, I'd much rather go the LOTW route. At 1540 band mode slots on the DXCC challenge and 323 all time new one's confirmed, plus 8BDXCC, I'll take a credit over a card any day.

I keep the all time new one's in a nice archival binder, and occasionally print one of the really nice credit reports off of LOTW. That tells the whole story and doesn't take much space in the house.

I did give all of the international stamps to a local kid - but have a big box of cards that I have never had the guts to throw into the recycle bin.

Posts: 1209


« Reply #12 on: January 13, 2010, 03:31:15 PM »

"... My local postal staffers freak out when asked anything abut IRCs because they see them so seldom ..."

I seldom see a flat tire but I know how to change one when I do see one. Just because they seldom see them is NO excuse for not doing something that is clearly spelled out in U.S. Postal Regulations as well as International Postal Union regs, of which the U.S. postal Service is a member.

The reason I mention this is that I get the same reaction when I ask about IRCs here too. I just quote page and paragraph from the U.S. Postal Regs and make'em look it up in their copy. The PO is required to have a copy so if they don't, the Postmaster needs to be called on the carpet for that screwup. Make sure you know which IRCs are currently valid and don't accept an outdated one. I had my PO clerk pull out outdated ones to sell me and I had to tell them those aren't valid no more to which I get more puzzled (and angry) looks. It's ok for me as I bowl on a league with the Postmaster and he is good friend.

Gene W5DQ
Ridgecrest, CA - DM15dp

Posts: 225

« Reply #13 on: January 13, 2010, 08:49:01 PM »

Unfortunately, if you want or need the card you will have to play by the DX's rules.

I've used Bill Plum's service with much success and will continue to, however, I've run across DX that does NOT want postage or IRC's sent to them, only green stamps. While that is pretty messed up, especially considering all they have to do is put on the stamps and drop it in the mail, if you want their card you have to play by their rules. It sucks but it is what it is.

Posts: 1

« Reply #14 on: February 02, 2010, 07:51:51 AM »

Hi Gene,

I felt the same way, I worked this guy on 160 M  a week ago. I was all set to send a QSL until I read the QRZ info. All the fun and thrill of working across the pond to a new entity was gone instantly.

The QSO was made using my antique Boat Anchor station Valiant/SP600, and a new INV "L" antenna I just put up. Only 3 QSOs on 160 M to Europe so far, so this was a pretty exciting contact.

I had not written the card yet, so I did not waste one. His wording about how to QSL is quite specific, but it is not particulary friendly.

Not going to spend I figure $3.35 or so for a card from this guy.

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