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Author Topic: IRC scam?  (Read 5330 times)
K2ADK
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« on: August 13, 2012, 12:23:19 PM »

My understanding is that an IRC, as per International Postal Union rules, is good for letter postage in any signatory country.  Yet I see some DX stations asking for 3 (such as OV1CDX) or more.  The only time I ever did send more than one, which was to Paraguay, I never got a QSL back. 

I think this is a scam.  One IRC should be enough.
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W6GX
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« Reply #1 on: August 13, 2012, 12:28:23 PM »

I went to QRZ to read his QSL policy.  I think he said return postage costs $2.60 USD therefore he needs $3.00 for direct QSL, not three IRCs.  Nowhere on his page is IRC mentioned.  Someone with experience on IRCs please chime in.

73,
Jonathan W6GX
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W2LO
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« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2012, 01:33:08 PM »

 Some postal administrations simply do not honor IRCs or will redeem them only at specific post offices. To further add to the confusion some administrations require more than one IRC to prepay a first weight (lightest) letter to certain, usually more distant, locations despite UPU regulations.

 I realize that IRCs state that they are to be accepted in exchange for postage for a letter of the first weight to an overseas destination but if a specific administration has decided otherwise, that's that. IRCs have always been problematic in one way or another it seems.
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AF3Y
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« Reply #3 on: August 13, 2012, 02:16:12 PM »

OR........ the culprit wanting the THREE IRCs "Could" have a postal friend who takes three IRCs, posts the letter, cashes in the other two and the two split the $.  I doubt this happens, but hey, who knows Huh 73, Gene AF3Y
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K2ADK
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« Reply #4 on: August 13, 2012, 02:39:36 PM »

Quite right; my mistake.  "I need 3" is what misled me.  But I've sent QSLs to Denmark before, and I never had any problem with 1 IRC.  Furthermore, if you go to http://www.upu.int/en/activities/international-reply-coupons/about-irc.html you'll see the following:

Mandatory to exchange

The UPU's International Bureau processes several million coupons each year and deals with of all accounting aspects. The International Bureau does not sell IRCs directly to customers; they must buy them from their local post office. Although Posts are not obliged to sell IRCs, it is mandatory for Posts to exchange the coupons. If a Post does not sell IRCs, it is possible to purchase them in a post office located in a neighbouring country.

Not only that, but Denmark entered the UPU in 1875.  And a 50g letter to the USA is DKK13, which turns out to be $2.16.   There is no question but that something is amiss here.


I went to QRZ to read his QSL policy.  I think he said return postage costs $2.60 USD therefore he needs $3.00 for direct QSL, not three IRCs.  Nowhere on his page is IRC mentioned.  Someone with experience on IRCs please chime in.

73,
Jonathan W6GX
« Last Edit: August 13, 2012, 03:29:59 PM by KD2AIP » Logged
W2IRT
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« Reply #5 on: August 13, 2012, 04:30:53 PM »

Not only that, but Denmark entered the UPU in 1875.  And a 50g letter to the USA is DKK13, which turns out to be $2.16.   There is no question but that something is amiss here.

Something is rotten in the state of Denmark?
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WS3N
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« Reply #6 on: August 13, 2012, 05:19:36 PM »

Quite right; my mistake.  "I need 3" is what misled me.  But I've sent QSLs to Denmark before, and I never had any problem with 1 IRC.  Furthermore, if you go to http://www.upu.int/en/activities/international-reply-coupons/about-irc.html you'll see the following:

Mandatory to exchange

The UPU's International Bureau processes several million coupons each year and deals with of all accounting aspects. The International Bureau does not sell IRCs directly to customers; they must buy them from their local post office. Although Posts are not obliged to sell IRCs, it is mandatory for Posts to exchange the coupons. If a Post does not sell IRCs, it is possible to purchase them in a post office located in a neighbouring country.

Not only that, but Denmark entered the UPU in 1875.  And a 50g letter to the USA is DKK13, which turns out to be $2.16.   There is no question but that something is amiss here.


I went to QRZ to read his QSL policy.  I think he said return postage costs $2.60 USD therefore he needs $3.00 for direct QSL, not three IRCs.  Nowhere on his page is IRC mentioned.  Someone with experience on IRCs please chime in.

73,
Jonathan W6GX

On 2011-05-03 the exchange rate was 5.0132 (13 DKK/2.6 USD = 5). Given the fluctuations in the rate, it is perfectly reasonable for him to quote that value.

Why do some people always feel that they're being taken advantage of?
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K2ADK
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« Reply #7 on: August 13, 2012, 05:39:47 PM »

Quite right; my mistake.  "I need 3" is what misled me.  But I've sent QSLs to Denmark before, and I never had any problem with 1 IRC.  Furthermore, if you go to http://www.upu.int/en/activities/international-reply-coupons/about-irc.html you'll see the following:

Mandatory to exchange

The UPU's International Bureau processes several million coupons each year and deals with of all accounting aspects. The International Bureau does not sell IRCs directly to customers; they must buy them from their local post office. Although Posts are not obliged to sell IRCs, it is mandatory for Posts to exchange the coupons. If a Post does not sell IRCs, it is possible to purchase them in a post office located in a neighbouring country.

Not only that, but Denmark entered the UPU in 1875.  And a 50g letter to the USA is DKK13, which turns out to be $2.16.   There is no question but that something is amiss here.


I went to QRZ to read his QSL policy.  I think he said return postage costs $2.60 USD therefore he needs $3.00 for direct QSL, not three IRCs.  Nowhere on his page is IRC mentioned.  Someone with experience on IRCs please chime in.

73,
Jonathan W6GX

On 2011-05-03 the exchange rate was 5.0132 (13 DKK/2.6 USD = 5). Given the fluctuations in the rate, it is perfectly reasonable for him to quote that value.

Why do some people always feel that they're being taken advantage of?

You might want to check your math.  5 DKK X 2.60 = 13DKK.  $2.60.  And it is of no matter that the currency fluctuates; that is why there is such a thing as an International Reply Coupon.  If the exchange is at a discount, I certainly would not ask for a rebate. 
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WS3N
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« Reply #8 on: August 13, 2012, 05:47:12 PM »

Quite right; my mistake.  "I need 3" is what misled me.  But I've sent QSLs to Denmark before, and I never had any problem with 1 IRC.  Furthermore, if you go to http://www.upu.int/en/activities/international-reply-coupons/about-irc.html you'll see the following:

Mandatory to exchange

The UPU's International Bureau processes several million coupons each year and deals with of all accounting aspects. The International Bureau does not sell IRCs directly to customers; they must buy them from their local post office. Although Posts are not obliged to sell IRCs, it is mandatory for Posts to exchange the coupons. If a Post does not sell IRCs, it is possible to purchase them in a post office located in a neighbouring country.

Not only that, but Denmark entered the UPU in 1875.  And a 50g letter to the USA is DKK13, which turns out to be $2.16.   There is no question but that something is amiss here.


I went to QRZ to read his QSL policy.  I think he said return postage costs $2.60 USD therefore he needs $3.00 for direct QSL, not three IRCs.  Nowhere on his page is IRC mentioned.  Someone with experience on IRCs please chime in.

73,
Jonathan W6GX

On 2011-05-03 the exchange rate was 5.0132 (13 DKK/2.6 USD = 5). Given the fluctuations in the rate, it is perfectly reasonable for him to quote that value.

Why do some people always feel that they're being taken advantage of?

You might want to check your math.  5 DKK X 2.60 = 13DKK.  $2.60.  And it is of no matter that the currency fluctuates; that is why there is such a thing as an International Reply Coupon.  If the exchange is at a discount, I certainly would not ask for a rebate. 

How is that not what I wrote?

From his page: "QSL only direct. SASE Danish Stamps cost 13 Danish Kr = 2.6 U.S. Therefore if QSL wanted I Need 3 US- sorry ."

Where does it say anything about IRCs?
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K2ADK
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« Reply #9 on: August 16, 2012, 05:57:15 PM »

An update.  I wrote to the Danish Post Office and the Paraguayan Post Office.  Both said that they sell and accept IRCs with no additional expense if the item is under 50g. 

As I thought.  And I still haven't heard from anyone to whom I've sent more than 1 IRC (that is, 3 DX stations.)

KD2AIP
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AF3Y
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« Reply #10 on: August 17, 2012, 06:57:59 AM »

An update.  I wrote to the Danish Post Office and the Paraguayan Post Office.  Both said that they sell and accept IRCs with no additional expense if the item is under 50g.  

As I thought.  And I still haven't heard from anyone to whom I've sent more than 1 IRC (that is, 3 DX stations.)

KD2AIP

THANKS!  I am glad you took time to do that. MOST of These guys who say their post office wont accept IRCs, or want 2 or 3 to return a card are not completely truthful.
The exchange rate means nothing, as far as IRCs. They are good for postage, regardless of what amount they are purchased for. They are redeemed for 1 unit of airmail postage, not for funds. I'll leave it at that.  73, Gene AF3Y
« Last Edit: August 17, 2012, 07:03:19 AM by AF3Y » Logged
N2RJ
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Posts: 1204




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« Reply #11 on: August 17, 2012, 07:41:52 AM »

IRCs are always a hit or miss.

Also, many hams send secondhand IRCs which may not be redeemed for sufficient postage because of the country of origin. I have heard that the post offices exchange IRCs for less postage if they are in the same continent (eg. European stamped IRCs in Europe will get less postage upon exchange than IRCs stamped in USA.)
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NU1O
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« Reply #12 on: August 17, 2012, 08:03:27 AM »


Why do some people always feel that they're being taken advantage of?

I'm sure there are some people who do feel that way (maybe they have a touch of paranoia), but with QSLing there is often justification because many hams do try to make some extra money on the side with their QSL operation.

For example, I can't believe how many US hams are now charging $2 for an overseas card. The cost of an overseas stamp is $1.05. For the vast majority of US hams the extra cost is De minimis. You really have to either be a big contest station or go on an expedition before the extra 5 cents per card adds up to a significant amount of money.

I'm not singling out US hams, either. I receive many direct cards from all over the world (just like most everybody in this forum) and many times the postage cost the foreign ham less than a buck, but I can't think of any overseas QSLs I've mailed out since I got back on the air where I did not put at least $2 in the envelope.

For those of us who are just swapping cards, envelope and QSL costs should not be factored in.  Both sides have to include an envelope and QSL.  When it does count is with the expeditions who are just mailing out cards and not on the receiving end.

73,

Chris/NU1O
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N2RJ
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« Reply #13 on: August 17, 2012, 08:35:57 AM »

For example, I can't believe how many US hams are now charging $2 for an overseas card. The cost of an overseas stamp is $1.05. For the vast majority of US hams the extra cost is De minimis. You really have to either be a big contest station or go on an expedition before the extra 5 cents per card adds up to a significant amount of money.

At 5 cents, 100 cards is $5. 1000 cards is $50.

I am a QSL manager. I get that many cards, direct. I do not want to eat that cost since I already pay for printing of QSL cards among other things.

$50 is a tank of gas for me, or a trip to the grocery store. It might be "de minimis" to you but it's not to me!

I also don't really expect everyone to send $2. However, if one person sends $2 that covers me for 19 that only sent $1. So if a few people send $2 that is "good enough." But if everyone starts sending $1 and it puts me out of pocket, I can't keep paying return postage.

If people can send me a SASE with a US$1.05 stamp that works as well.

And I always send out to the bureau for FREE.

I also do LoTW and eQSL for FREE. In fact I prefer those methods.

For my own call? If I only get a few cards direct I don't mind paying postage cost. But I get more than a few cards and most send SASEs.

However most of my DX cards are via the bureau which is fine. I just reply to those cards via the bureau which is low cost.
« Last Edit: August 17, 2012, 08:54:56 AM by N2RJ » Logged
SV1XV
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« Reply #14 on: August 17, 2012, 09:02:38 AM »

Yet I see some DX stations asking for 3 (such as OV1CDX) or more. 
Unless it was a QSO on 160 m or 6 m, don't bother. There is a lot of regular HF activity from Denmark on all bands. You may also find danish stations in all major contests.
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