Return Postage from Italy

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blujay
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Return Postage from Italy

Postby blujay » 16 Dec 2008, 10:43

Hello,
I need to send several letters from the US requesting vital records from towns in Southern Italy. In addition to International Reply Coupons, do I need to send a return envelope as well?

Thanks,
blujay

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Re: Return Postage from Italy

Postby Italysearcher » 16 Dec 2008, 12:26

You should, that way you know the letter is correctly addressed. It also saves the town time and money.
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ANNOYING THE SAINTS - Stories of my Life in Italy. http://www.lulu.com/content/paperback-b ... ly/7731505

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Re: Return Postage from Italy

Postby PeterTimber » 16 Dec 2008, 15:46

no you do not need to send a return envelope but you might consider sending $5.;00 along with the request since the service is free and the poorly paid clerks research records at the end of their work day. =Peter=

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Re: Return Postage from Italy

Postby elba » 16 Dec 2008, 16:25

blujay wrote:Hello,
I need to send several letters from the US requesting vital records from towns in Southern Italy. In addition to International Reply Coupons, do I need to send a return envelope as well?

Thanks,
blujay


The majority of Comunes to not like - or accept - International Reply Coupons. And to change a $5 bill would probably cost more than it's value in charges. They would need to save up several to make it worth while and even then, 'technically' the money belongs to the Comune.

The cost of a letter weighing 'up tp 20g' from Italy to North/South America is €0.62c.

Flats (like a 'padded' envelope) weighing up to 50g cost €1.04c
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Re: Return Postage from Italy

Postby nuccia » 16 Dec 2008, 17:44

I agree that the International Reply Coupons are not very useful in Italy anymore (International Reply coupons now carry an expiry date and many comuni don't even know or want to be bothered with cashing them in)but return postage can be important to some comuni.. Besides, IRC coupons can cost the same price as three or four stamps.

Is there any way you could write to someone in Italy or send money through pay pal to purchase stamps for the return envelopes? That might make it easier
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Re: Return Postage from Italy

Postby PeterTimber » 16 Dec 2008, 19:08

Dear Bluejay the $5.00 I mentioned is nothing more than a tip to each comune's clerks who do the researching as an end of day duty. They are poorly paid. The $5.00 is not intended for anything else. =Peter=

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Re: Return Postage from Italy

Postby nuccia » 16 Dec 2008, 20:05

Oh Peter..

I'm sorry if you think we felt felt your suggestion wasn't valid. The one thing I can honestly say about you is that you are forever thinking of compensating the poor clerks for their time. For that alone you're suggestion far outweighs any of ours!

And truth be told..I think almost anyone would welcome a tip in these hard times so thank you for reminding us of that. It also may not hurt for future inquiry's ..people remember nice gestures, don't they?

Hugs
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Re: Return Postage from Italy

Postby PeterTimber » 16 Dec 2008, 21:27

Dear Nuccia Thank you very much for your observation. I always think that somehow people appreciate a tip, especially when your getting something free of charge. Not many places you can get something for nothing....and from a government office no less!!!! The most we can count on here in the USA and Canada are tax forms. Merry Christmas. =Peter=

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Re: Return Postage from Italy

Postby blujay » 17 Dec 2008, 00:28

Thank you for the comments.
I bought the IRC's a few days ago (it took me a few weeks to find them!) and I am still not sure whether to send the reply envelope. Folded, it would add bulk to the envelope and if I send money, I would not be able to ship First Class International Mail ($2.00 US). The next price bracket would be aprrox. $15.00 US or so (International Priority Mail). So it could cost me $15.00 US to send a $5.00 US note along with my letter to Italy excluding claims forms (#2976, #2976-A). Hence my dilemma.
I could email a few of the comunes but I cannot find a listing for all.
Thanks for everyone's advice and if someone out there has a solution, please do not hesitate to post it.

Regards,
blujay
:D

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Re: Return Postage from Italy

Postby PeterTimber » 17 Dec 2008, 04:10

Forget the coupons and just send the letters and the $5.00 bill in a return addressed envelope and thats all!!! ...and why not just send the request by normal airmail in a business envelope and costing about $1 to $2.00 at most.

Who told you that you had to send it International Priority Mail?? You will not get an answer for about 6-8 weeks so why the expense???

The service is FREE which includes the mailing from Italy to the USA by the Comune's. =Peter=

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Re: Return Postage from Italy

Postby blujay » 17 Dec 2008, 07:41

PeterTimber wrote:Forget the coupons and just send the letters and the $5.00 bill in a return addressed envelope and thats all!!! ...and why not just send the request by normal airmail in a business envelope and costing about $1 to $2.00 at most.

Who told you that you had to send it International Priority Mail?? You will not get an answer for about 6-8 weeks so why the expense???

The service is FREE which includes the mailing from Italy to the USA by the Comune's. =Peter=

Hi Peter,
The USPS's chapter on International Mail can be quite confusing for someone who has never mailed outside the US. Here are the restrictions to Italy according to the USPS:

Restrictions
Coins; bank notes; currency notes (paper money); traveler’s checks; jewelry; and other precious or valuable articles must be enclosed in an insured Priority Mail International parcel in order to be mailable to addressees in Italy.

Postage stamps for philatelic purposes are admitted in registered First-Class Mail International shipments on condition that the package bears a completed Form 2976 and the addressee complies with the Italian financial regulations.

The USPS link: http://pe.usps.com/text/imm/il_008.htm#ep1391182

look under Restrictions in bold print.

I realize you are trying to help and I thank you for doing so.

Regards,
blujay

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Re: Return Postage from Italy

Postby liviomoreno » 17 Dec 2008, 11:55

Blujay,

You should also consider that if the letter is addressed to the Comune or one of its department, the clerk is not entitled to take the enclosed bill. He must give it to the administration or he may be sued...

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Re: Return Postage from Italy

Postby PeterTimber » 17 Dec 2008, 13:32

Dear Bluejay there are rules,regulations,policy and procedures and then there are human beings who put $5.00 in envelopes and/or other currency which goes forward being entirely overlooked and not enforced for such small insignificant amounts. Many people would consider your recitation of the rules humorous. I always encourage people to send cash with their request for document letters as a tip. I would expect that whoever opens the mail in the Comune Ufficio would turn it over to the Italian equivalent of the offfice coffee fund. =Peter=

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Re: Return Postage from Italy

Postby nuccia » 17 Dec 2008, 15:01

Thanks for the input everyone.

I think everyone has brought up some wonderful points and suggestions so it's really up to bluejay now to decide what he would like to do. It now comes down to personal choice.

Good luck and let us know how it turns out. :)
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Re: Return Postage from Italy

Postby blujay » 17 Dec 2008, 15:44

nuccia wrote:Thanks for the input everyone.

I think everyone has brought up some wonderful points and suggestions so it's really up to bluejay now to decide what he would like to do. It now comes down to personal choice.

Good luck and let us know how it turns out. :)
I agree with Nuccia and thank everyone for their comments.
With the variety of answers I have received here, it is obvious that there is no clear standard way of sending my request to Italy. I would like to be able to reward the staff in Italy that does most if not all of the work but I fear the money will go somewhere else.
Since I have several letters, I will send them off differently and see which one produces the best result. Thanks again everyone for your time and concern.

Regards,
blujay
:)


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