Sunday, August 10, 2008

More QSL followup

Last week, I received a really amazing card from VP6DX. As I mentioned in a post last March, the primary way that cards were to be requested was via an online system where the postage was paid for via PayPal. This worked out very well, and one of the nice things was that I got confirmation via Logbook of The World several months ago. But as nice as that was, it paled in comparison to receiving the QSL book from VP6DX. Calling it a card really doesn't make sense. This publication is a total of 36 (thirty-six!) pages (eighteen pages printed on two sides), and in addition to all the pictures, there's a lot of information about the dxpedition itself, about the equipment they used, what life was like on the island, and so on. The contacts with VP6DX were not the only ones I'd had with Ducie Island, and I initialy debated whether to actually sent for the card, since I knew that eventually I'd get confirmation via LoTW, but I'm really glad that I got the actual card for this.

While looking back at the post I mentioned, I saw that I'd given an update on the QSLing that I'd done at the end of December 2007. I thought that it might be a good time to do another update.

Unfortunately, things have changed very little. In March, I reported that I had received 67% of the cards back, which translated to 74 cards. Now, after about 32 weeks, I've received back 72%, or 80 cards. I haven't receive anything from that batch since the beginning of July. I did receive a few cards that had notes apologizing for the delay (one person had moved, one found a batch of cards behind a desk, etc.) and I never expected an instantaneous response.

However, as I mentioned previously, it's really disappointing to not get at least the domestic cards back, since I'd send an SASE with those, and generally the mail in the US is pretty reliable. What I decided to do was to write a note to those folks who I sent cards to but never received anything back, asking if they'd received my card and if so, would they mind taking a minute to just send me a return. I tried to be as nice as possible, mentioning that there are all kinds of good reasons why they might have never received or had a chance to respond to my card. I wasn't able to send emails to everyone, since probably 20% didn't have any email address that I could find, and of the ones that did, I got immediate email bounces from a few, and expect to get a few others back as well. I hope that by this time next week, I will have heard back from at least the majority of those, and I'll provide an update.


  1. Anonymous11:00 AM

    I need to check my logs to see how I'm fairing in the domestic mailing area where I provided a SASE. That includes both US based contacts as well as DX contacts with a US based QSL manager. It's mindless simple for me to check when i get home on the US based QSOs but much more difficult on the DX ones.

  2. Anonymous1:48 PM

    I connected to home from work and ran some quick queries against the logbook. The results are at:

  3. I think the replies that I get back via US managers are probably a lot better than the general US population. This sort of makes sense, as presumably if someone has volunteered to be a manager, you'd certainly hope that they would be responsive. Incidentally, since I posted this, I haven't gotten anything else back.

  4. I worked a special event station in WV DECEMBER 2006 and sent them a SASE the week after.......never hard from them!! The event was listed in QST so I thought it was ok. If I work them again I'm going to insist they send my a card without a SASE or else!!!

  5. While I understand your frustration, I'm not sure that threatening with an "or else" will do much good.

    Although I didn't discuss it in my blog postings, I've had excellent luck with special events. However, the one time that I can recall when I didn't get a response in a reasonable amount of time I found the information for the event organizer and emailed him. He did respond promptly and the issue was resolved.

  6. I worked a special event out of West Virginia last December and sent them a SASE the week after.....almost a year later and I'm still waiting! I e-mailed them, no reply. Not the e-mail bounced, no reply. While I want to support these special events, this leaves a foul taste in my mouth, especially because I still need WV on 20M PSK!