International Reply Coupons

Hello, I tried to buy IRCs as I only had a few 2013 expiry left.

The local main Post Office said they no longer have them on their purchase database but did not know why so I complained and here is the reply 8-(

Dear Mr Morrissey
Thank you for your email.
Please accept my apologies for any inconvenience that you have been caused. However, I can confirm that Royal Mail have discontinued International Reply Coupons. Any enquiries regarding this would have to be taken up with Royal Mail customer services on: 08457 740 740.
If we can be of any further assistance please do not hesitate to contact us again. Please reply via as a reply sent to any other email address will not receive a response.
Kind Regards
Kevin Storr
Customer Service Advisor.
Telephone: 08457 22 33 44
Textphone : 08457 22 33 55 (For the Deaf and Hard of Hearing)

In reply to G6TUH:
I bought a batch of IRC’s from a local sub-office here in Edinburgh a few weeks ago, and the lady behind the counter said she would be ordering up some more that day. No indication of any problems with the supply!
Look at this link:

Great Britain is a member of the International Postal Union, and the idea that one can no longer buy IRCs stamped GB, appears a bit strange to say the least.
The Royal Mail is not obliged to sell IRCs, but they must redeem IRCs for the appropriate amount of postage to any country which is a member of the IPU. At least that is how I have had the rules explained to me by a local ‘postie’.

73 and Merry Christmas eveyone !

In reply to GM0AXY:

Merry Christmas to you Ken and everyone. It is very strange. This morning I drove to Lewes and visted the main office and bought the remaining 10 they had but again they said they could not re-order. I will write to Royal Mail and see if they can explain the north - south difference!!!


In reply to G6TUH:

Thanks for publishing this information, Mike.

I have been trying for over a year to obtain IRCs, and all my local Post Office branches told me they are no longer available, and they cannot re-order them.

I have twice queried this through the national Customer Service (so-called) web site, but have never been able to elicit a reply.

So now we know.

Quite a number of DX stations indicate on their page that they need an IRC … not US Dollars … to pay for return postage. What are we supposed to do now?

Walt (G3NYY)

In reply to G3NYY:

Quite a number of DX stations indicate on their page that they
need an IRC … not US Dollars … to pay for return postage. What
are we supposed to do now?

With postage costs these days Walt, it’s almost cheaper to deliver them by hand :wink:

73 Mike

In reply to G3NYY:

You can still buy them in the US. And I’ll guarantee that the Post Office in countries that actually want to do business and be successful at it like Switzerland and Austria will also sell them. Given that you can exchange an IRC anywhere for postage you don’t need British ones.

Now I know you’re down in Gloucestershire not the US etc. but I’m sure you must know a ham in the US or HB9 who will buy you some IRCs and send them to you. An enterpising person could make a small profit providing IRCs to UK amateurs.


In reply to G3NYY:

Hello Walt, well since my last post I rang Royal Mail ‘Customer Services’; the operator did not know why the IRC sales have ended and then she went off to speak to a manager who also did not know and suggested I contact the Post Office. I told her that it was the Post Office that suggested I contact them? She said sorry and that was the end of the call. Where to go to next? I am told by my wife who works for Ofcom that they now have responsibility for the P.O. I think I will enlist her to find out more about this mystery :sunglasses:


I hate IRCs. I have received a fair few in my time and have never been able to use them. Only one of our local post offices has ever admitted they knew what they were and to get anywhere you have to catch the head guy on the day. None of his staff will cash them as they “Have never seen them before!” Usually after three failures to use them I throw them in the bin and pay cash for the stamps. I thought about sending them back but that increases the cost of postage to me.

The last lot were from UPS so our PO said I needed to contact them. UPS told me I needed to go in person to their depot which would cost me more in fuel than their value.

If you must have the damn thing you can probably get them from UPS as well.

Dollars make more sense as there are quite a few places you can get those including the Post Office.

Steve GW7AAV

In reply to GW7AAV:


If you contacted UPS no wonder you had trouble! :wink:


In reply to GW7AAV:

UPS = ???

In reply to EI2CL:

UPS = ???

Ha ha! UPS is United Parcel Service. They have nothing to do with IRCs.

Actually, the solution to the problem of getting IRCs is to find a QSL Manager in the UK who handles cards for a DX station or large DX-pedition. He will be pleased to sell you any number of “second-hand” but unused IRCs! I have now located two such suppliers. :slight_smile:

Don’t ask!

Walt (G3NYY)

In reply to G3NYY:

Good idea ~~~ hopefully not expired ones :wink:


In reply to G6TUH:

Frankly, I find the idea of sending cash (or even cash equivalents == IRCs) through the post to be a crazy idea…

And given the “exchange” losses on IRCs I’d much rather use PayPal or similar, and know the funds arrive at the recipients - although actually getting the card in return is another issue.

In reply to M6ADB:

And given the “exchange” losses on IRCs I’d much rather use
PayPal or similar, and know the funds arrive at the recipients -
although actually getting the card in return is another issue.

I agree in part. 98% of my cards go through the bureau but sometimes impatience creeps in, eg. Afghanistan - I worked a US soldier stationed in Kabul on SSB. The probability for me to work that country some other time on SSB is low with my setup. A vertical and an inverted V hanging from a tree 8-)~~ I got the card. I have seen dxpeditions using Paypal as a method so perhaps this may become more common?



In reply to G6TUH:
Did anyone else get a letter from the rsgb about the qsl bureau changing its policies, i.e. charge for non members to use the service and sending out cards quarterly to service users. Got it yesterday with a few cards from my sub manager.


In reply to MM0TAI:

Hi Adrian

It is all explained on Page 51 of the January 2012 Radcom


I have my batch of letters to send out Adrian when the next delivery of cards arrive from the bureau which I have to send to the series G0RAA/G0RZZ.
I am qsl sub manager for that series.
All members will receive one including the non members who have envelopes deposited with the sub manager for their series.
Owt for nowt no more. 73 Don.

In reply to G0RQL:
Snip>>>>>>>>>>RSGB News.

RSGB QSL Receive Service
If you are not a member of the RSGB but would like to receive QSL via the RSGB Bureau there is a charge for doing so. The subscription will cover all UK callsigns you hold but these are restricted to a single UK address for receipt and the callsign must be registered to you (if your details are withheld in the RSGB Yearbook, we may request a copy of your licence for any additional callsigns). If you would like to sign up for the service you may select a fixed term of 1, 2 or 3 years for the service and make a payment by credit or debit card.

Pay by DD and SAVE
If you choose to pay by annual direct debit you can save £4.00 OFF the one year price of the service. If you would like an application form to return to us please click here or alternatively ring the RSGB sales office on +44 (0) 1234 832700, during office hours, to complete the application over the phone. This form can also be used if you would prefer to Join the RSGB and gain all the other benefits of membership including the ability to send cards via the bureau and our great monthly magazine RadCom.

NOTE: All RSGB QSL Receive Service subscriptions processed before the 1st April 2012 will begin on that date. All subsequent subscriptions will begin on the 1st day of the next quarter. All credit and debit card payments will be processed immediately and Direct Debit payments will be debited around the 1st day of each quarter that the subscription becomes due.

QSL Recieve Service1 Year @ £11.99
2 Years @ £19.99
3 Years @ £27.99