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incorrect bill from talktalk.


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Hi,
I had a talktalk contract back in 2014/2105.
I was contacted by fraudsters with my account number.
 
I asked talktalk to change my account number/phone number which, after a fight, they did via a change of ownership.
Despite them still harping on about this being a nuisance call and 'no evidence' of my account number being 'hacked' this is not my main issue.
 
the fact talktalks 3rd party employees were accessing and using the data means it's never going to admit how bad this was and no actual hacking from outside the company was needed so evidence of such would never be there.
( i have had browser warnings that my personal data has been found on a 'list' and that i should change a named list of website passwords etc. finding this list and determining if it was indeed related to talktalk accounts would be a nice thing!)

My account number change was actioned via a change of ownership and i was specifically told and communicated in writing as this having no charges for this action. - letter from ceo office clearly stating no change to contract etc

when i got my first bill with respect my changed account number i knew it was higher than expected but could not access both sets of bills to find out why. I ended up calling their head office to get this sorted after numerous failed efforts from customer service. They said it was a free call but failed to say only for the first hour - yes it took that long to figure out why my bill was not visible online and wrong and how to get access to them.

They had added a contract breakage fee despite no contract being broken or even terminated. and following the call above to try resolve access problems et al added a call cost for that too.

Despite a year of fighting them to get the bill correct they just closed my disputes and sold it to Lowell group, my last attempt being closed a day or two prior to being sold.
 
Lowell wrote off the debt as they could not get any information from talktalk regarding my dispute over the charges.
The 'internal' debt collectors BCW / now avarto ?
also sent the debt back to talktalk re my disputing the breakage free and call cost to resolve access.

talk talk however marked my credit file as query, 2 late payments, query ,defaulted over a 4 month period.#
then marked as settled several months later when they sold it to Lowell.
They have stated several times their marks are legit and and still refuse to remove them.
 
up until early 2020 they were still claiming the contract breakage fee was correct.
In fact in their final response to investigating pre deadlock claimed the total balance was all contract breakage fee.
- i should add the total balance ended up at  was approx £83.
£40 of which were late payments ,
£5 a contract breakage fee and
£4 for a call to restore access to bills.
the original was £43.

I had told them numerous times, while the account balance was with talktalk, that i was not refusing to pay, but was willing only to pay what I calculated as owed and was expecting a correct bill. when telling them i was willing to pay what i calculated as owed they still insisted i pay the full amount to avoid late payment charges and credit marks.
(my stating i was willing to pay what was actually owed supported by my DSAR along with their 'pay all of it or we will carry on late payments and credit mark responses) 

recently cisas adjudication found they had indeed broken their contract and failed in their duty of care by adding the contract breakage charges and closing my disputes but still insist talktalk were right in adding those marks as the incorrect part amounted to 'only a small part' of the balance.
There must be a value a bill needs to be incorrect by before they believe demanding its payed in full is unjust?

My argument is that had the bill been correct, or had they been willing to actual investigate my claims the bill was wrong and not just keep adding late payments and credit marks while the contract breakage fee was being disputed then this issue would never have arisen as payment would have been made.

My bill was offered to be paid in part (as in what was actually owed), minus those contract breakage charges and a call cost to their head office to sort out my account(s) but they refused to accept that payment and insisted on full payment to avoid any charges/credit marks. ( i take this as legalised extortion)
 
They however just kept adding late payment charges despite the dispute - the original bill was approx £43 containing the £5.03 contract breakage fee and a @£4 call cost to their head office. Both these charges were deemed worthy of 'a good will gesture' to remove but was never actioned (contained in my DSAR)

With cisas having agreed with the FACT that the contract breakage fee should never have been added,
I view this as talktalk refusing to investigate my balance at the time, or since
(their deadlock letter in march 2020 claimed the balance of £83 was all the CBF proving no real look at my account has ever been actioned.
 
They have recently informed Equifax and Lowell that the balance of £83 is 100% correct despite clear evidence it was not and even previously found to be wrong by cisas). Their use of late payment charges and credit marks to enforce payment of a clearly wrong bill and selling it while the customer is disputing (and without investigating) the balance is just wrong.

The argument of paying and then disputing is mute given the fact they still, after a full talktalk investigation and cisas adjudication,
claimed the contract breakage was correct (in fact claimed the entire balance was the breakage fee). And as such had i paid up in full to avoid their late payments/credit marks i'd still be fighting them for money they were not owed.
 
As mentioned my offer to pay what was owed while my dispute for the rest was actioned is also mute as they still refuse to accept no contract was broken and thus no contract breakage fee can be justified and clearly stated that unless full payment was made charges and credit marks would still result.

Advice on small court claims action please as there seems to be no regulations regarding a company incorrectly billing a customer and refusing to actually check correctly when a dispute (found to be correct) is raised with them. icon7.png
 
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is your credit file now clear 

and lowell accept there is no debt to chase?

 

dx

 

please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs

NO DCA has ANY legal powers whatsoever on ANY debt no matter what it's Type

and they

are NOT and can NEVER  be BAILIFFS. even if a debt has been to court..

If everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's Tomorrow, their industry would collapse overnight... 

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No the credit file is marked. reported by talktalk. Lowell said in 2018 they would write the debt off, twice. I agreed the second time if and only if all credit marks were removed. to which they agreed.

 

This last few weeks they kept telling me that no marks should be there as they said the marks should have transferred to their name and removed when they closed the debt. But now they hiding behind the 'we cant remove marks from other companies." 

they contacted talktalk who claim the marks were correct and Lowell said 'we can no longer access any calls that might have been recorded so you cant prove...'

 

email response was 

Further to my last email, our department contacted me back to say that on the screenshot it shows that the TalkTalk default is settled, as when TalkTalk sell the account to Lowell, the customer’s credit file is marked as settled and sold. This means that the default is being reported correctly.

 

They said that normally companies will xfer/remove marks when selling to Lowell but talktalk are one of only a few companies who do not.

 

My DSAR with Lowell group is late and the claimed response sent by post has had the claimed date of postage changed. An email response to it had a covering letter but zero docs. Under no illusion Lowell seem to be delaying to filter any response made. ICO complaint lodged 2 days ago.

 

However no organisation seems to want to take ownership of checking the reported balance was done so fairly or justly. Equifax .... investigation consisted of asking talktalk if the debt was just and accepting little more than a 'yes' from talktalk as their investigation complete.

 

there response is attached. It beggers belief that within the same email they reply with "For us to proceed with your dispute we'll need to get some information from you about the data you've mentioned that is factually incorrect." followed by "Based on my investigation, I have decided to not uphold your complaint. However i would like to apologise we have not been able to respond to your complaint within our regulatory timeframe and I would like to offer you a compensation amount of £60 in full and final settlement of your complaint."

equifax response.png

 

equifax 10-11-20.png

Edited by davejlhale
changed there to other.
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Send an SAR to TalkTalk.  Do it today

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SAR done and been with me for a while.

 

Clearly shows i tried endlessly to speak with them.

 

Clearly shows someone decided at one point the CBF and call charge 'could be removed as a gesture of goodwill' but never actioned.

 

Clearly shows I was told no change to my contract , costs et al with change of ownership to generate new account number.

 

Clearly shows them failing to contact me before closing disputes. Along with any contacts by phone despite clearly being told no phone and contact by post only

 

Also clearly shows i was accepting I owed some money and willing to pay and their refusal to hold late payments/credit marks while the CBF call charge were disputed

 

cisas adjudication was a joke and obviously no more than an 'argument mining' tool for the companies. the root casue of my dispute is blatantly the balance and unfair way they added late payments/credit marks yet they 'see' it as 'an assertion that there was a data protection breach on his account' - a FACT they dismiss ie calling me a lier despite my having reported this to action fraud after talktalk didn't care at the time of reporting to them.

 

I also do not accept this 'pay in full' then dispute argument. I offered to pay what was owed. Had I paid in full I would be here fighting to get money owed back...

 

"This new contract is separate from the initial contract – although it may not result in a new minimum commitment period. The company stated that a charge of £5.03 had been applied to the customer’s account in respect of a contract breakage fee. I do not consider that there is sufficient evidence that the customer entered into a new contract with a new commitment period and I, therefore, consider that this charge was wrongly applied to the customer’s account. In respect of the call charges, in the amount of £4.72, there is insufficient evidence to show that the customer was incorrectly charged for this amount. However, I do not consider that the addition of £5.03 in termination charges entitled the customer to stop paying the remainder of the outstanding charges. The correct approach would have been to make payment in full before disputing the additional charges or to make a partial payment. Nonetheless, I consider that the company was in breach of contract for applying a charge of £5.03 to the customer’s account."

CISAS decision 605356 (4).pdf

 

Cisas report also refers to me as SHE. apology was requested by me on the 8/12/2020 with no reply

 

Yahoo Mail - Complaint Reference Number 200208-0256840.pdf

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£10k compensation claim...!!

please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs

NO DCA has ANY legal powers whatsoever on ANY debt no matter what it's Type

and they

are NOT and can NEVER  be BAILIFFS. even if a debt has been to court..

If everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's Tomorrow, their industry would collapse overnight... 

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Do you have evidence that Lowell agreed to remove the credit file markers and then reneged?

 

I understand that you supplied SAR to Lowell. When was this? And when was the date that it should have been due?

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Also, you have posted some images but I'm afraid that we can't read them. They are far too small and that is even looking at them on quite a large screen. Anybody looking at a laptop screen would not be able to make them out at all.

Please can you repost your images and any other documents in PDF format

 

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I'm try to make sense of the story. Your opening post was a bit of a jumble – too much narrative.

Not help later on by unreadable images.

 

What I understand so far is this:

 

  1. Had TalkTalk account – 2015 (coincides with data breach – when many people not informed about the breach)
  2. Account number used by fraudsters
  3. You asked TalkTalk to change account number – which they eventually did only by using a change of ownership which meant that the original contract was terminated and a new one set up.
  4. You were informed that there will be no charges for this action – letter evidence from CEO office confirming no change to contract
  5. In breach of their promise they added a contract breakage fee
  6. You raised disputes which were then unilaterally closed and account sold to Lowell
  7. TalkTalk marked the credit file to late payments and default or
  8. They then marked it as settled when it was sold to Lowell
  9. They they have refused to remove any markers
  10. They continue to claim the contract breakage fee was correct until early 2020 (I'm not clear if they have now admitted that the contract breakage fee was incorrect)
  11. At one point someone claimed that all arrears were because of the contract breakage fee
  12. Adjudicator found that they had broken their contract and failed in their duty of care by adding contract breakage fees and unilaterally closing disputes.
  13. Adjudicator however said that credit file markers were correctly applied as they apply to only a small part of the balance (I don't really understand what's being said here)
  14. OP has offered to pay the legitimate part of the bill but not the incorrectly applied parts.
  15. TalkTalk has refused and wants all or nothing.
  16. TalkTalk was kept on adding late payment charges
  17. TalkTalk still insist that the contract breakage fee was correctly applied

 

Can you confirm this please and let me know any bits that might have been missed out. If there is anything to insert then please will you let us know at what line number – 2a, 3a, et cetera

Also I have managed to fit Lowell into this.

Also, does the SAR confirm all of this – in other words have you got written evidence of every step of this? And if not what is not evidenced?

 

 

 

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5 hours ago, dx100uk said:

£10k compensation claim...!!

I fully wasnt expecting this amount. But as a statement i would not be accepting the £100 eventually offered. I doubt anyone would accept such a figure for having unjust defaults remain on file for 5 years.

  The image that is unreadable was the equifax response contained later as a pdf.

 

The Lowell SAR was sue 26th November. eventually received about 10mins ago. 

 

Notepad Entries for 26/03/18 ------------------------------ dpa done ci serror cusomer advised account letter recieved. accoutn default query leter confirms wil be removed,

 

is the only entry here. back in 2018 i wasn't recording calls. But the sar also shows i refused the offer to close the account once so I'm happy the above coupled with that is certainly evidence I would not be accepting defaults remaining. 

 

The sar does show talktalk changing their mind over the balance and how it arose. So i'm also happy to say lowell's commercial decision to close the debt was due to this and talktalks failure to supply and respond with details. IMO their duty of care extends to not leaving customers with unjust credit marks and with the debt clearly in dispute at the time it was sold to Lowell they should have sent it back to talktalk not leave the customer  with less options to dispute the bill/marks

 

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I'm trying to understand if the post you have just made is a response to my site team colleague or a response to my summary.

 

Also I see that you have posted a PDF – privacy request and it is protected by password. That is very cautious of you but not very helpful to us if you want us to read it

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10. no they still insist it was correct.

 

No proof of this past march 2020 and side stepped in cisas adjudication.

 

Lowell asked talktalk to remove them this month but state(on phone sorry) talktalk still state the marks are valid (ie balance was correct). They have also told equifax the balance was correct. this was from financial ombudsman on them asking equifax about the investigation they did. 

 

11. deadlock letter from talktalk is where they state the £83 is contract breakage fee

 

13. adjudicator clear that the CBF was wrong. But state as it is only a small part of the bill its ok to add defaults. Unsure what %value of a bill needs to be incorrect before that is not the case.

 

and yes to my talktalk sar having evidence the CBF was wrong.

that the 'gesture of goodwill' over that and the call charges to try resolve bill access should be waived.

Their refusal to stop late payments and credit marks unless i paid in full when offering to pay what was owed.

And well yes to it all.

 

Their deadlock letter from 02/2020 shows how even then they could not get the facts right about the charges on my bill. This after a supposed full investigation.

 

Your services were ceased on the 15th of April 2015 along with a contract breakage fee of £83.37 charged to your account.

(wrong value and obvious from SAR)

 

However, we did offer to renumber your service in a bid of halting any further scam calls to your number, this offer was declined by yourself.

(wrong and obvious from sar)

 

TalkTalk offered to cease your current account and placed a new line order. This would result in you entering into a new contract with TalkTalk along with receiving a new TalkTalk account number.

This was agreed to by yourself and your new TalkTalk account activated on the 6th of April 2015, on a 12 month contract.

(wrong sar proves i rejected this option)

 

Furthermore on the 8th of May 2015, you called TalkTalk to advise us you would like your TalkTalk services to be terminated and you would be paying no further bills to TalkTalk.

(wrong Sar clearly shows i said i was willing to pay what was owed but refusing to pay certain charges - sar labels this as paper bill costs which would have been stated by me as online account visibility was not possible, but certainly included the CBF and call cost to try resolve bill visibility issues. No paper billing costs have ever been on the bill)

 

This cancellation was processed for yourself and the TalkTalk account was ceased on the 15th of May 2015. A contract breakage fee of £83.37 was applied to this account as the services were ceased during the contractual period.

(wrong no CBF was added at this time, and never for £83.37. £5.03 was added as a CBF on change of ownership)

 

In resolution you have requested that TalkTalk remove all negative markers associated to your credit file, offer you a considerable amount of compensation for the Right to be Forgotten not being processed and all third party charges caused by the negative credit markers to be refunded to yourself.

(wrong - any compensation requests are due to failing to bill correctly but more for failing to accept the CBF was added wrongly and continuing to mis handle my dispute as outlined by me in the email thread linked)

 

the contract extract they supplied was also from 2018. When asking for one that was valid for my account period i was told this was the one that had to go by and he could not locate one from my account period. Their CEDR defence quoted 2015 (by typing it only) as the contact quotes date. My account was from 2014 and no change in contract et al was applied due change of ownership

deadlock.pdf

 

Customer By CSS Email (David Hale) (10/03/2020 11.28 AM)
Just spoken to CISAS. They state the terms and conditions are talktalk's and not theirs and find it odd you can't supply the relevant documentation despite having quoted them. I agree with them in that.
They stated they don't have, nore can supply evidence to a case and that it would be the responsibility of myself or talktalk to do so. So please provide a copy of the terms and conditions that are relevant to my account and that you have quoted in a previous email to me.
Kind regards
Dave Hale


On Tuesday, 10 March 2020, 11:09:30 GMT, dave hale wrote:


But still don't apply to my account which was settled in 2015. regards Dave Hale

On Tuesday, 10 March 2020, 10:07:49 GMT, TalkTalk CEO wrote:
Customer By CSS Email (David Hale) (10/03/2020 11.09 AM)
But still don't apply to my account which was settled in 2015.
regards
Dave Hale
Response By Email (Thomas) (10/03/2020 10.07 AM)
Dear Mr Hale,

Here are the Terms & Conditions which I quoted to you:

http://www.talktalk.co.uk/media/pdf/legal/TalkTalk_Customer_Terms_and_Conditions_v20181213.pdf

These are our most recent Terms & Conditions which I currently have to abide by.

Yours sincerely,

Tom Hairsine
CEO Case Manager
Talk Talk
Customer By CSS Email (David Hale) (09/03/2020 01.55 PM)
Hi,
you quoted 13.2 from some terms and conditions in a previous email to me, yet can't locate those terms and conditions that applied to my account period? Without locating the terms and conditions relevant to my account period anything quoted from them is an assumption or speculation ?
regards
Dave Hale
Response By Email (Thomas) (09/03/2020 11.58 AM)
Dear Mr Hale,

Thank you for your email and I apologise for my delay responding. I have been on annual leave and have just returned to the office.

In regards to the email on the 28/02/20, this will have to be referred to CISAS as TalkTalk are no longer able to look into this case due to the deadlock being issued.

I can confirm I have sent a copy of your deadlock letter via letter as well. This should be with you shortly.

In relation to the Terms and Conditions, I have attempted to locate these for you from the dates you have requested however, I am unable to locate these. I apologise for this inconvenience however, CISAS may have a copy of these.

Yours sincerely,

Tom Hairsine
CEO Case Manager
Talk Talk
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Not sure if readable but the letter from chief exec office stating contract and phone number will remain the same after changing account number. 03/04/2015 so written before i started disputing the contract breakage fee. For me, there was no excuse for TalkTalk to continually state the CBF was valid, and demand its payment to avoid late payments and credit marks.

 

The first late payment was added in june that year, so after the blindingly obvious bill was disputed

 

 

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I ask you to post documents in PDF format and yet you are still posting up photographed images.

We help you completely free of charge here and we can help you get a very good result – I think £10,000 is rather optimistic – but there can be some kind of settlement and your credit file cleaned up. However, we need you to post documents in a way which is easier for us to work with and this means scanned PDF files. Multipage single file.

Presented in the right order, the right way round – and frankly in the way that you would like them presented to you if you are trying to help somebody else free of charge.

Just because were not charging £300 an hour for our advice doesn't mean that we can't be taken seriously.

 

We need careful methodical explanations and am afraid trying to wade through what you are posting here and then to produce summaries on your behalf is taking up a lot of time and there are other people to help as well.

Please will you help us and then we will have an easier time helping you.

 

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i apologise for my organisation skills , coupled with the lack of pdf skills it is an issue for me. the pass worded one i just didn't think, sorry. I have ADHD, not being used as an excuse, but my thoughts jump about a lot and as such so does my organisation, planning, written/spoken processes. My ADHD renders me near functionless, as being demonstrated, when i find myself reliving, near daily, the injustices by companies such as expecting customers to pay for the companies errors.

 

I know you are not implying I pay you £300 an hour and could not afford to :( So I am grateful to have found a site where people actually know what they are doing.

 

This is more the principal than the compensation to me although due to their hard balling I do want them to pay. To whom is not really a concern. If I could find a local solicitor, with even half the knowledge of the people on this site, who was willing to fight this on a compensation as fee agreement it would be over. I feel strongly that companies just refuse to be fair due to the fact most people will just pay what is demand and shut up due the costs of fighting back and threats of damaged credit files. Customers should not be expected, or feel as if they are expected, to pay incorrect bills under the threat of late payments and credit marks or for companies to be allowed to side step any responsibility by simply selling a disputed debt onwards. This just puts the onus on customers to pay or become 'legal professionals' to prove the companies acted unfairly as opposed to them having to justify their billing practises. To me, a company has a duty of care to their customers and this type of action on their part surely goes against that principle.

 

I will take your timeline from the previous post and try compile a pdf matched sar response of each point.

 

As for the 10K, it was a statement that i would not be going away with a meaningless letter of apology and a token gesture after them spending 5 years refusing to admit, or even check if, there was an error in my bill.

 

I originally only asked TalkTalk to bill me correctly, and stop their late payments and credit marks while the bill was in dispute with a payment of what I calculated as owed. Then on and off for 3-4 years to remove the credit marks due to the incorrect bill and their handling of it. Any monetary compensation is simply down to their refusal to be fair in their handling of something blatantly arising from not just their data breaches but from their error in billing and handling the dispute.

 

 

 

An example of when my ADHD frustration boils over, my SAR states their data breach was in October 2015 and as such my report of illicit contact using my account number could not possibly be true due to my report being from March 2015. The much publicised data leeks of early 2015 are obviously a figment of imagination.

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Thanks for the apologies – I suppose I was getting a bit exasperated. However I'd like to work through your story carefully and understand what has happened.

There is no greater urgency about this because it's been going on for some time and also where had a chaotic time in terms of Christmas and the New Year.

Let's try and work through it carefully. If you can post up your documents in PDF format as requested please – multipage PDF then that might give us a start.

I do have a sense that you have been going out this like a bull in the china shop though. We need to come down and see realistically what we can achieve and what might be achievable in terms of compensation.

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oh bull in china shop for sure. the exasperation is 100%! Even the claim cisas are independent destroys me when logic dictates they simply can not be. Allowing a company to chose who independently adjudicates their disputes means the very fact competing services are 'bidding' for the contract introduces an element of market forces aka satisfying the company.

 

My exasperation started from day one with them basically calling me a liar when reporting the fact someone had just contacted me using my account number to convince me they were from talktalk. Indecently this was about a week after reporting network issues to them (wipro?) and my sar entry by them from the day of first reporting even claims I accepted I had not been contacted...

 

On checking the internet 'gossip' later that day to find out there were hundreds reporting the exact issue i had reported made me boil. Not due the contact but from talktalks' blatant dismissal of it.

 

I wasn't to fussed about the original contact as hackers and dodgy employees are near impossible to avoid and because I realised the second they asked me to look at my MS event logs. I would have been happy with a simple 'sorry, yes sure we will change your account and phone number' yet even this was too much for them without a fight.

 

I believe everything following that is simply born out of talktalk trying desperately to avoid taking responsibility for their breeches and errors. I doubt I will ever be able to understand why a company would stand behind the claim a contract breakage fee is correct for 5 years when it is as clear as can be no contract was broken, terminated, changed et al. My guess is when someone with half a brain realised their mistake they decided that 99 out of 100 they were more likely not to have to rectify it if they just kept refusing to acknowledge it.

 

To much ego and pride to allow a customer to 'win' 

 

I will update this thread after xmas and hope you have a good one! It will be a reason to get my brain to finally adopt pdf's! I also start ADHD meds early Jan so might be able to focus my mind for the first time in 45 years! I might have trained as a lawyer by Feb ;) Although being ex-army would much prefer I was allowed to take on companies like talktalk with skills i learnt back then. Much better for society if I was allowed my way.

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