Ceremony of the Keys at Tower of London

Sep 4th, 2008, 06:53 PM
  #21  
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 10
I am so grateful for the info that many of you supplied on IRC's. I spent countless time on the web trying to find answers. But once I posted this question here I had an instant answer.
The USPS locations told my husband that they were ordered to destroy IRC's because of the rate of the British pound. From what you have responded, I certainly question the validity of that.
We will persevere as janisj suggests!
Thanks!
NewHoper is offline  
Sep 4th, 2008, 08:39 PM
  #22  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 63,552
"they were ordered to destroy IRC's because of the rate of the British pound"

That seems ridiculous - since they are used for postage from lots of other countries besides the UK.

Here is the info from USPS' own website:

http://pe.usps.gov/text/pub51/pub51txt_021.htm

>>International Reply Coupons

International reply coupons (IRCs) provide foreign addressees with a prepaid means of responding to inquiries, solicitations, or other types of communications that are initiated by U.S. senders. IRCs are exchangeable for postage stamps by postal administrations in member countries of the Universal Postal Union (UPU). Each IRC is equivalent in value to the destination country’s minimum postage price for an unregistered airmail letter. The purchase price is $2.10 per coupon.

As of October 11, 2007, only international reply coupons printed by the Universal Postal Union can be redeemed at U.S. Post Offices. The valid version of the international reply coupons printed by the Universal Postal Union is approximately 3.75 inches by 6 inches, has a barcode on the back, and has an expiration date of December 31, 2009. This policy is for international reply coupons issued by the United States as well as for those issued by foreign postal administrations.<<
janisj is offline  
Sep 5th, 2008, 12:59 AM
  #23  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 746
In 2001 I applied for tickets for the Ceremony of the Keys for 10 people...my dh and 8 friends. I was turned down for something like not booking groups. So, if that still applies, if you are a group (or anyone reading this who might be)apply seperately or break up the numbers.
Shadow
Shadow is offline  
Sep 5th, 2008, 07:56 AM
  #24  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 63,552
They do limit a ticket request to 7 people. I've taken as many as 13 - but had to submit two different requests using different names/addresses. We could have ended up on different nights or even one request might have been accepted and the other shut out. We were lucky and all got in the same night.

They don't want commercial groups/tours so they limit the number per party
janisj is offline  
Sep 5th, 2008, 11:58 AM
  #25  
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 10
Just to follow-up, we were finally able to get the IRC's, but still was given misinformation by the PO employees. My husband stopped by a third PO, and they said "they were discontinued 2 years ago!"
He then called another PO and asked to speak to the supervisor and the supervisor said - yes - they had them. But when my husband went to pick them up, the clerk who waited on him said they DIDN'T have them! My husband had to explain that he already talked to the supervisor and was told that the PO did indeed have them. Only then, did he finally get them!

So, the moral of the story is to ask to speak to the Post Master or supervisor, just as janisj advises. The PO clerks are simply uninformed.

Thanks for the help, janisj!
NewHoper is offline  
Sep 5th, 2008, 12:03 PM
  #26  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 332
I use IRC's for business all the time. My branch post office near my office keeps a supply of them on hand but many smaller branches do not.....however, they can order them from one of the larger post offices. It takes a day or so to get them. The cost has gone up, but all they did was affix a postage stamp to each one and they worked fine for us.
jewela is offline  
Sep 8th, 2008, 12:59 PM
  #27  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 1,134
We got our tickets within 2 weeks of mailing the request. The hardest part was locating the international reply coupons. I tried all of the brances near me, without success. Most had never heard of them.

Frustrated with the branch-by-branch approach that wasn't working, I decided to go to the national Post Office website; they aren't available for purchase online. It's almost like a trick: The post office (both online and when you call customer service) will tell you they are available at post offices that have a need for them, but they will not identify which post offices have a need for them. I had the national post office customer service employee on the phone with me when I made about 10 more phone calls, with her conferenced in, to post office branches she was telling me to call. The employees at the brances were saying things like "Have you called the main branch? Oh, I see here I'm not allowed to give out the number for the main branch" and "John is the only one who knows about stuff like that and he just retired" and "Call over to the XXX branch; I transferred from there and I know we had three" -- then when I called that branch they insisted there were none.

FINALLY one nice woman took pity on me and said she would go drawer by the drawer to check in her branch, and she came up with my IRCs.

Interesting fact: In trying to track these down, I learned that IRCs were the subject of the original Ponzi scheme.

bakerstreet is offline  
Mar 26th, 2010, 07:49 PM
  #28  
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 246
Buying IRCs Stress-Free in US
Just a tip for folks who don't want to waste time & gas--you can buy IRCs on-line at USPS. The $1 in postage seems well worth saving the aggrevation, gas, parking fees, etc. of trying to find a post office that keeps these things in stock. I just ordered it & it says it will be shipped out in one business day.
HImom is offline  

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