ARRL Announces New DXCC Fee Structure
The DX Century Club (DXCC) is the premier Amateur Radio operating award. Available to hams around the world, tens of thousands of awards have been issued since 1945 under the modern award program. In 2012, the DXCC program is not only still thriving, but it is growing, both in participation and in numbers of award options. The addition of Logbook of the World (LoTW) and soon, the addition of an Online DXCC Application utility, will continue to help the program grow. Effective Monday, April 2, the way DXCC fees are assessed will change. These changes will include both rate increases and rate decreases.
The ARRL continues to add new and exciting twists to the DXCC platform, including a special 75th anniversary Diamond DXCC Challenge award for 2012. The DXCC Challenge -- which counts total entities confirmed on 160-6 meters -- has proven to be extremely popular as a competitive supplement for everyone, complementing the lifetime achievement of the DXCC Honor Roll. The ARRL website continues to add to the fun with many pages of award statistics and information, including DXCC standings for each award that are updated daily. Inside Logbook of The World, each user can see which records are stored in the DXCC system for all of his or her entities on each band and mode. In 2011, the DXCC Desk processed more than 11,450 DXCC applications and endorsements.
As a direct result of the terrific popularity of the DXCC program, our customer service has lagged a bit. DXCC participants know that when the end-of-year deadline is reached, the load on the staff is quite heavy and the turnaround time increases to more than 10 weeks. Our staff want to provide better service and will continue to try to do so. The old fee structure is one of the culprits that increased the workload. Most participants submitted one or two applications each year, with each of those applications loaded with at least 120 QSOs and included a Logbook application component, as well.
One of the reasons these applications have been so large is that for many years, DXCC charged extra fees for second and subsequent applications each year. Additionally, application fees were waived for LoTW applications if they were tied to a paper application, adding a large amount of work for the staff as they matched applications. Frequently, there were hundreds of applications on both the paper application side and on the LoTW side, waiting for their “hybrid match” to arrive, delaying processing and setting the whole operation back.
For applications received on April 2, 2012 and after, we are changing the fee structure for several reasons:
- Promoting more frequent applications
- Removing the “hybrid application” problem
- Simplifying the price structure for DXCC
- Raising the rates slightly to help offset ARRL’s increased costs
- Improving customer service
The rates for DXCC have not changed since 2003. While the rates are going up for some single applications, for those who continue to submit multiple applications each year, the costs will be less. Accompanying the end of the “hybrid application” is a lower per-QSO fee for using credits in LoTW and the addition of a small application fee. “We want participants to use LoTW as often as they can and like” explained Membership and Volunteer Programs Department Manager Dave Patton, NN1N. “LoTW applications are easier for everyone to process and remain the ‘way of the future’ to participate in awards programs. The costs of using LoTW are far less than traditional QSLing, when one considers the costs of obtaining QSLs which then need to be stored, recorded and carried to a card checker or sent to HQ.” As in the past, US participants must be ARRL members to receive a DXCC award. See the link below for an explanation of the new fees.
As indicated earlier, ARRL HQ will very soon launch an Online DXCC Application. This new tool will allow the client to supply the data from traditional paper QSLs in a digital form, so that DXCC staff will not have to perform the data entry.
The way the Online Application works is that the participant can select the cards that he or she would like to have checked by a card checker and, at his or her convenience, type that data into a form (which can be saved and retrieved at any time until submitted) and make an application for DXCC. When the application is finished, the participant will be able to print the list of cards and take the list and the cards (in the same order that they are entered into the form) to a card checker who will check the cards, note any changes and send the form to ARRL HQ. The card checker’s job is exactly the same as before, except he or she does not need to collect a payment (unless the participant has worked that out with the card checker), as the client can pay online. At ARRL HQ, DXCC staff will be able to access the file submitted by the client, quickly make any changes noted by the card checker and process the application. The Online DXCC Application will have rates that are half those of a traditional paper QSL application that is sent to ARRL HQ.
On and after April 2, 2012, here is how the DXCC fee system will change:
- No more hybrid applications. Each DXCC application -- be it paper QSLs, LoTW or Online DXCC -- will be considered separate applications with separate application fees.
- There are no limits on the number of applications that can be submitted. There will be no more surcharges added to the second or subsequent applications.
- A traditional, paper QSL application will have an application fee of $15 for ARRL members, and $25 for non-members. These applications will be allowed to include up to 101 QSOs. Additional QSOs in this sort of application will continue to cost 15 cents each.
- A DXCC application submitted using LoTW will have an application fee of $5 for ARRL members and $10 for non-members. There are no limits on the number of QSOs that can be included as part of a LoTW application. Each QSO used in LoTW for an award will cost 12 cents, down from a minimum of 15 cents in 2011. We will no longer sell LoTW “credits” in bulk. If you have credits stored, you will still be able to use them.
- DXCC staff will not mail any paperwork for LoTW applications (credit matrix or application summary), as all application information will be available online in the LoTW User account.
- An Online DXCC Application will have an application fee of $7.50 for ARRL members and $12.50 for non-members and will be allowed to include up to 101 QSOs. Additional QSOs will cost 8 cents. This application is primarily intended to be used in conjunction with field checkers, but can be used by applicants who do not have access to a card checker and are willing to ship cards to ARRL HQ.
- Certificates will still cost $14 delivered in the USA, and $16.50 delivered outside the USA. Pins will continue to cost $7 delivered anywhere.
- The fee for an initial DXCC award will now be the same as for any DXCC application.
- The free DXCC Yearbook that was sent to ARRL members will now be made available electronically, and it will appear in an edition of Digital QST. For those who want a League-printed Yearbook, it will still be available at a modest cost.
Questions? Please send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.