Coercion you say……

Posted: April 30, 2014 in Uncategorized


I often see the term coercion used by hams when they don’t like or agree with the QSL policy of a particular Dxpedition. Coercion as defined means “the practice of forcing another party to act in an involuntary manner by use of intimidation or threats or some other form of pressure or force. It involves a set of various types of forceful actions that violate the free will of an individual to induce a desired response”

After EA5RM and I organized the 2011 ST0R Dxpedition to the new country of South Sudan, we were rewarded for our efforts with claims of coercion by a famous UK ham who disliked our LoTW policy. We did immediate uploads to LoTW for all donors to the Dxpedition and all OQRS users. That’s right, anyone who donated $5.00 or more got an immediate LoTW upload. We announced that an upload for all non donors/non OQRS users would take place one year after the Dxpedition.

Even though none of the UK Clubs or Associations supported our Dxpedition, we were met with claims of coercion by some vocal critics in the UK. What’s wrong with this picture?  Your Countrymen chose not to support a Dxpedition in any manner, yet you bitterly complain when they don’t give you a LoTW upload right away?

I was recently contacted by a W6 ham who was complaining to me about the QSL policy of the Italian Dxpedition Team’s activation of 9J. This W6 ham was complaining that the 9J2T team was asking for $1.50 donation via OQRS for an immediate LoTW upload. He said that a monetary demand for an electronic confirmation just rubs him the wrong way.

Here is my take on that:

As a person that has organized or been involved in seven DXpeditions in four years at considerable personal expense. For example, I spent $11,500 to go to Yemen to be a part of 7O6T.

I just got a letter from the IRS stating that I must send them an additional $1,500 for taxes owed by the ST0R DXpedition.   This money will come from my own pocket. That’s right, DXpeditions pay taxes in the USA!

I recently sent FT5ZM $150 and I typically give DXpeditions $25-$50 to help them defray their costs.  

After every DXpedition, we get thousands of bureau cards, which costs the DXpedition thousands of dollars to reply to. I’ve written about this problem on my blog:

Now then, as you suggest, LoTW costs nothing, but is it coercion or extortion for them to seek $1.50 to support their mission?  Absolutely not.  Everything has a cost. You worked them, you had fun doing so. They went there on their own and were there to work you and they gave you those contacts and you had fun.  Is $1.50 too much too pay them for confirming your contacts? In my mind it’s too little.

I’m actually glad to see the Italians finding new ways to cover their costs. They could not do this with the Clublog OQRS feature.  This is the future, we all need to find ways to cover our costs. Anyone that thinks there are profits is out of touch.

Be happy that they went to Zambia. Be happy that you worked them and had fun. Be happy that you can confirm those contacts for a paltry $1.50. That’s the best deal in town!

If you are still bothered by the $1.50, maybe you should try a different hobby.

What do you think?


  1. Rowlakd K4XD says:

    People who complain about this are living in a dream world. DXpeditions cost a lot of money and I for one am super appreciative of the people who put them on. I usually try to send at least $10 to $30 to help with costs for ones I need, and then don’t mind paying the OQRS / QSL’ing fees. As far as I can tell, most DXpeditions run in the red and we are just helping them to be less in the red – I haven’t heard of many that even covered their costs.

    I suppose people who think getting a LoTW upload faster if you donate a small amount also think Fedex next day delivery should cost the same as super-saver you’ll get it next week some time…

  2. n6pse says:

    Rowland, this hobby needs more guys like you! Thanks for your reply,

    Paul N6PSE

  3. ON5ZO says:

    What do I think?
    I think you’re right.

  4. K0YQ says:

    When I read that the 14 members of the FT5ZM team paid 51% of that trip’s total costs I think something is wrong. Why should HALF of the costs be paid by such a small percentage of the stakeholders that benefitted from and enjoyed the trip? I despise subsidies and think the system should be changed to make the costs of these trips more evenly distributed. Heck yea charge for LOTW.

  5. Al Toothaker says:

    I don’t get why someone that works the DXpedition can complain at all if they can get a free confirmation by waiting. You don’t get something for nothing: want it faster, pay a token. This is not coercion using my definition.

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