Although ARRL believes it’s important to maintain the long-standing tradition of the ARRL Outgoing QSL Service as a membership benefit, increased administration costs will require an increase in rates, in order to keep the Service available and viable.
“The Service has been a member benefit for decades,” an ARRL statement said. “Since its official formation in November 1976, tens of millions of QSL cards have been shipped from ARRL Headquarters to Amateur Radio QSL bureaus of other national societies worldwide. At one time, this benefit offered a safe, reliable, and inexpensive way to exchange QSL cards for a fraction of the cost of the postal service. What Amateurs saved in financial cost, however, was made up for in time; it could take months, or even years, to send and receive a QSL through the bureau.”
Effective November 1, the rate for 1 ounce of outgoing QSLs via the Service will increase to match the 1 ounce USPS international postage rate. As of September 2016, this rate is $1.15 per ounce — about 10 cards. An additional service fee of $7 will be charged per individual transaction, to cover administrative costs.
ARRL said QSLing is very different now, and, while postal services are generally more reliable than in years past, international shipping costs have risen significantly. “With the advent of the Internet and online QSL confirmation services such as ARRL’s Logbook of The World, fewer and fewer paper cards are being exchanged,” the ARRL statement observed.
Calling the Outgoing QSL Service “a significant tradition in the world of Amateur Radio,” the League said it’s committed to keeping that tradition and service alive for members who enjoy using it. “We are committed to ensuring our members will be able to send their QSL cards through the Service for decades to come,” the ARRL statement concluded.