I am sorry to say that many operators are so impatient to receive their cards that, rather than follow the simple rules, they resort to some quite bizarre practices.
The most irritating of these, and one which I consider to be another example of indiscriminate QSL-ing, is the practice of sending a second request direct at the same time as a number of other cards for stations that I manage, having already sent an initial request via the bureau some time previously.
I have no problem in processing multiple applications providing that adequate return postage is enclosed. However, upon checking, my records often show that the particular QSO(s) have already been confirmed via the bureau system. Presumably, the applicant has not yet received his card due to the delays in the bureau system.
On average, bureau cards take around two years to reach me from the date of the QSO. I receive bureau cards in large quantities (in parcels weighing 10 Kg or more), normally only once or twice per year. These thousands of cards then take me around a year to process and return to the bureau.
Logic would then dictate a further two year wait before the reply reaches the applicant. That is an average of five years. Obviously, some cards take longer, others arrive sooner.
I have only a limited number of cards available for any DX station and for that reason I am very reluctant to issue duplicate cards via the bureau before at least six years have elapsed since the QSO took place.
It is my practice to place a rubber stamp on such applications stating "PREVIOUSLY CONFIRMED" and return the applicant's card with an explanatory note and suggesting that, if he is convinced that his original card has been lost in the system and wishes for a duplicate card, he re-send his application with a separate self addressed envelope (SAE) and adequate return postage for each callsign, upon receipt of which I will be happy to forward a suitably endorsed, duplicate card.
I also suggest that, if he is at all serious about obtaining a particular QSL, he should have sent direct with adequate return postage and a SAE shortly after making the QSO.
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