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655 Montgomery St Ste 600
San Francisco, California
United States - 94111-2627

Complaints & Reviews

charged when trip cancelled

We reserved a rental car online thru Hotwire.com ( Itineary # [protected]) and purchased car rental insurance...


Booked through the online service. And was suppose to have a 3 plus star stay in Calgary for two adults and two small children. Ha what a joke, They booked us into a low end and i mean low end holiday Inn. Its location is one of some question, then the room was in Basement, it had two tiny double beds that maybe one adult could sleep in husband and wife maybe but two kids ha not a chance. The hotel was suppose to be renovated yea the parking lot had no cars should of been a sign of things. So basically every thing they described about the hotel was false. Not one thing that was represented on their website about the level I was paying for was even close to what was stated. Reply from company you booked it sorry sucker. So buyer beware this is a con company with no idea of business. Their So poor at what they do. I travel lots so this is would have been the final night on road after two weeks with family and because of delay in Mountains we had to stay in Calgary or would have made it home. NEVER EV ER will I use this service they put us basically in the hood and to make matters worse when I checked in the guys in front paid way less than I did. Basically ripped off to high heaven and the companies answer was you booked it sorry. Will be contacting my lawyer on Monday and forwarding a complaint to the better business bureau. This is a con and advise to stay away. They do not represent what your paying for. Never used the room drove home the 7 hours and slept in own bed. Oh yea also a rat trap out side our room window. Nice really nice.

  • Mi
    Mitch Pleasants Apr 27, 2008
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    We recently used Hotwire.com to book a trip to Chattanooga. They claim "deep discounts" and also use a star rating to explain the condition/amenities of the hotel. After we booked the trip we discovered that our two star hotel was rated as 1&1/2 on hotels.com and travelocity. It was with a hotel chain that is considered an example of a one star chain by the explanation of the Hotwire ratings system. We also discovered that our "deep discount" was only about $5.00 per night and was for a smoking room. To top it all off you can only talk to anyone by email. It is answered by a different person each time but they all have the same canned message about how they value you as a customer and are confident of their ratings. It almost seemed computer generated. If we had used travelocity (or anyone else for that matter)we would have been able to pick the hotel, the type of room and been able to get a refund. It leads me to think that they only sell the rooms people don't want.

    I have no complaint against the hotel company. I just would have never chosen them because we wanted a better property than that. My problem is with Hotwire. I think they misrepresented the hotel and the discount. The gamble is just not worth it. We are out our money but have learned a lesson. I would never recommend them. I would recommed that you google "Hotwire complaints". You won't use them either.

    0 Votes
  • Pa
    Paula Elliott May 09, 2008
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    I searched for a hotel in Fort Worth, TX and was offered a 3-star anonymous hotel that supposedly retailed for $239 at a rate of $59. It was supposed to be "similar to" Doubletree, Hilton, etc. HA! After I gave my credit card information the hotel I had been given turned out to be a horrible dive, NOT in the downtown area, or at least not where it is save to travel. The hotel's own website rate was $69! No where could I find it advertised for more than $80. We were lied to on every point about this hotel. We had to pay for another hotel because I was afraid to even get out of the car at the dump Hotwire was selling us.

    0 Votes
  • Lo
    lol Sep 28, 2008
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    howire only uses whole star ratings so 1 2 3 4 5
    not 1 and 1/2 thats a 2

    0 Votes
  • Ba
    Badbusinessbureau Jun 14, 2010
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    How did things go with your lawyer?

    0 Votes

booked wrong filgt and dates

I booked a flight for my daughter from miami to punta cana, dominican republic. I booked a round trip flight on lan airlines leaving miami april 24 2010 and returning may 1 2010. The ticket they booked her a flight on lan airlines leaving miami march 21, 2010 and returning march 28, 2010. They told me their software never makes mistakes. I have been a software engineer for the past 30 years and guess what. All sofgtware makes mistakes/has glitches. Ask microsoft and any other software developer.
I had print keys of what I tried to book and what they booked. They said that didn't proove anything.
Are there any people out there who would like to help straighten them out. The only way to really get their attenion is to hit their pocket and ruin their reputation. Everyone write the consumers affiars department of your state and the state of ca. Hotwire's address is 655 montgomery st ste 600
San francisco, ca [protected]
Their president is clem bason. Another name they use is cimo, inc.
System would not let me upload my pictures. Goodness a glitche here to.

Flexibility on car rental

I rented an auto through Hotwire for a period of one week.I paid the total amount with my credit card.The day of my flight to Baltimore 18 Feb, I got very sick and had to postpone my flight.The rental agreement I had was from 19 Feb to 26 Feb.I contacted Hotwire and explained the situation and that I would be picking up the car on the 23 Feb and had no problem paying for the ful week, They explained that the car could not be held more than 24 hours after the origional date of the 19 and there was no obligation that the rental company have a car available. I was told if I faxed a doctors note saying I was sick they may give me a refund..Maybe I am wrong in thinking since I paid for the week, any part of that week that car should be mine

  • Sr
    srini11 Feb 20, 2010

    hi sir,
    did get back your money??

    I have same problem.


    0 Votes
  • Ki
    King1970 Mar 31, 2010

    with hotwire you bid by the day not the week...second when u got sik and had to change ur airline ticket did the airline charge u a change fee ??? They did...and third if u had a reservation for a car and it wasn't available beacuse someone who suppose to return it did not wouldn't u raise hell and ask for extra discount and all ht other crap because ur car is not there ...is the car rental company or hotwire suppose to cover that discount for the other customer who have a reservation and no car now...pay for the car and stop ###.

    0 Votes

unreasonable hotel radiuses and hotwire refused to work out the problem

Beware of Hotwire especially in the Lake Tahoe/Truckee area! Their areas are so large that I booked a hotel thinking it was in the Squaw Valley North Lake area (since I have a ski pass there) and they gave me a hotel in Nevada which is about 45 minutes away. If you put down Truckee, you could end up also getting a hotel in Reno, Nevada!!! This is crazy! I called Hotwire right away and asked if they could work with me especially since I want to book a hotel at the end of the month in San Francisco. I even spoke to a manager and they would not credit me in any way even if I was going to book a room today for Feb. 28th in San Francisco. I will definitely NOT be using Hotwire in the future and there area maps are misleading. The bubbles on the maps are not just hotels but are also restaurants and other misc. points of interest. I thought they were hotels since the first ones I clicked on near Squaw Valley were hotels. Apparently, the hotels can be anywhere on the shaded map area...in this case...up to 1.5 hours away from one shaded side to another. I can drive home in less than 1.5 hours!!! I really tried to work with Hotwire but they chose not to work with me back.

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misrepresented hotel class

Be very careful - hotwire systematically misrepresents the star level of the hotels they sell. Today I booked what I thought was a 3 star hotel on hotwire for a one night stay. When the name of the hotel was revealed, I was shocked. Expedia, hotels.com, and tripadvisor all called it a 2.5 star hotel. When I called their customer service, I was told that orbitz.com called it a 3 star hotel, and therefore they were justified in calling it a 3 star hotel.

Hotwire is owned by expedia and hotels.com. But they do not accept their star ratings of their parent company as legitimate and selectively upgrade the ratings.

I until today had been a very frequent user of hotwire. Never again!!!

scam or legitimate service?

I have used Hotwire a few times before when travelling in the states, and been happy that I 'got what it said on the tin'.

However, when recently booking a hotel in central London, I ended up paying MORE than if I'd booked the hotel direct.

I wasn't initially worried as I believed that the 'double the difference' refund guarantee would resolve the problem.

Did it? Well - read the whole story here:


dishonest, bait and switch

hotwire.com should be investigated for deceptive practices. Apparently what happened to me is a common complaint against them. Why are they allowed to get away with duping the public and suffer no consequences for their bad business behavior?
I had never used their services before and will never use them again. I specifically typed in a zip code and address for downtown/bricktown Oklahoma and was given the option of 2 hotels within what I assumed what the zip code and address area. I chose the most expensive option and was confident that I would be staying within a few blocks of the Cox Convention Center.
Instead, I was placed in a hotel in the suburbs not even considered Oklahoma City.
I called the hotwire.com customer service line immediately and explained that there must have been a mistake. I was then given a condescending canned response by both a rep and a supervisor basically trying to tell me that it was my fault.
NO, this was not my fault. They were using smoke and mirrors tactics to explain how I ended up far away from my intended area. I stayed on the line for over 45 minutes, I explained that I would still use their service and book at even a higher rate but I needed to be placed in a downtown hotel.
Their smug answer was, no refunds, you signed the agreement, we have your money, take it or leave it. They would not provide a corporate office number and I guess they are used to people giving up.
It's time to take a stand against this company with no scruples. I will report them to the highest levels possible. I strongly suggest those you are reading this to do the same.
What has happened to our Country? We are living in an era of deception and fraud by these companies with no morals. The banking system, credit card companies and insurance companies are exactly the same.
I am shocked and saddened for humanity.

  • Re
    Really? Dec 20, 2009

    If location was so important to you, why didn't you use a service that allows you to pick the hotel rather than allowing Hotwire to pick it for you?

    Hotwire is not a scam, it's actually one of the top travel websites on the internet. You should have read the terms and conditions that you agreed to when purchasing.

    It's not fair for you to slander a company because you don't pay attention.

    0 Votes
  • Mm
    Mmyle Mar 18, 2015

    Hotwire is a scam. I did the search and the ad said the big discount for 3.5 star hotel in the Old Montreal. The ad stated the normal rate is 170$ and it goes down to 97$. I booked base on the big discount and I got the Holiday Inn which have the normal rate is 112$ to 117$. No one should believe in their advertising.
    Stay away from it

    0 Votes

ticket exchange policy fraud

I purchased tickets on 10/7/09, using Hotwire.com., for $478.40. In early November we learned our travel dates had changed. Our tickets are advertised as exchangeable so I called to change our tickets to an earlier date. I was told that to change our tickets I would incur an additional $150 change fee per ticket plus any difference in the fare between my old ticket and new ticket. I was told the new price was $510.00, but that Hotwire was unable to issue the change immediately; I would have to wait up to 72 hours for a phone call from the change department. I was also told this was the only way to change my ticket. I waited 72 hours and was eventually called back. However, the ticket prices went up to $786 between the time I was quoted and the time I was allowed to change the ticket. I told the representative that it would be cheaper to just buy new tickets, which at the time would have cost me $630. I let the representative for hotwire know that I would wait to re-ticket in the hopes that the ticket prices would go back down, and then I put a fare-watch on the flights and dates I wanted. The prices did go down, so I recontacted Hotwire and started the whole process all over again. They informed me to change my ticket it would now cost $586.00 but that once again I had to wait for the phone call back from a representative in the change department. I asked again, if there was any way to transfer me directly or any other option to change me ticket for fear that once again the prices would go back up. The representative for Hotwire again informed me that this was THE ONLY way to make changes to an existing reservation but that she would try to have us called back ASAP in hopes of getting the best rate. Once again 72 hours passed before we received a phone call back from Hotwire. I missed the call so it went into voicemail. On the voicemail (which is saved) I was informed the flights had now gone back up to $746.00. I had to call them back A THIRD TIME on 11/25/2009 to try and change the ticket AGAIN which starts the whole process ALL OVER! I had also asked the representative I spoke to if I could email anyone to get some customer service assistance with this issue. She informed me I could go online to the "Help" link and email a customer service representative. I sent an email to Hotwire on 11/25/2009 explaining the situation, in hopes that someone might be able to help me streamline this process. I received an email back from a Priscilla D, a Hotwire Customer Care Supervisor who stated that there was NO OTHER WAY TO CHANGE MY FLIGHTS. In the email she stated she, "would forward my suggestions to the Tech Department to analyze as a possible site enhancement to better assist their customers." It is now 20 days since I initially tried to resolve this issue. The last phone call I received from hotwire on 11/27/09 (which is saved) informed me that the rates had gone down again to $686 and to call them back if I am still interested in making this change. Interestingly though, in this message the representative informed me that I can ALSO CONTACT THE AIRLINE DIRECTLY TO MAKE THIS CHANGE, WHICH WAS NEVER DISCLOSED TO ME BEFORE. Had I made the change directly with the airline when I originally wanted to change my flight it would have cost $510.00. Once again, I called Hotwire back; this time I was quoted $686 and told I would receive a phone call in 72 hours. I asked them if I could call the airlines directly (per the last message I received) and they said I could. I asked why I had not been advised of this before and the representative had no idea why I was never told this option. I did contact American Airlines directly on 11/27/2009 and the fare I was quoted with them was $606.00 a difference of $80. I re-ticketed directly with the airline to avoid another run-around from Hotwire, but feel like policy of a 72-hr wait is a scam to get more $$$ out of consumers like myself. PLEASE DO NOT BOOK WITH HOTWIRE.COM! I have used Expedia and Travelocity and both company's are superior in customer service and products and services received.

airline refund scam

Do not book anything through hotwire!! I made the mistake of booking two airline tickets through hotwire. About 2 weeks after confirming my reservations and charging my credit card (Immediately upon booking), I received a call from hotwire telling me that one leg of my confirmed booking had been cancelled. After repeated calls to hotwire (Talking to a different person each time who explained the same thing over and over), I was given the option of either accepting an unreasonable flight change or getting a refund, I chose the refund. Little did I know what I was in for. According to hotwire, the refund will take up to two months to be credited to my credit card. They claim that the airline is responsible for the credit. Yet, when I talked to the airline, they said that hotwire has the ability to issue the refund immediately. Needless to say, I haven't received my refund yet. Hotwire's customer service is a joke and their policies are very uncustomer friendly. Unless you want to lose your money, go elsewhere.

horrible customer service

I booked a hotel for 3 nights with Hotwire.com a couple of weeks before my trip. I also booked 2 other rooms to sleep in on the way there and back with a different service. Upon reviewing my reservations the day before leaving for the trip I realized that the start date and end date where off by one day. I booked Tuesday through Friday instead of Monday through Thursday by accident.

I contacted the hotel directly who informed me that all changes must go through Hotwire (subsidiary of Expedia) since I booked it through them. I then contacted a representative at Hotwire who explained that they have a contract with their partner hotels disallowing cancelations or changes so that neither party loses money. I get this.

My point was that I just needed to shift the dates, two nights would remain the same (Tuesday and Wednesday) so no one would lose money here. She repeated the policy then went on to pour salt in the wound. She told me that if I had contacted them sooner they would have been able to make the change.

The hotel did not have a problem with the change, they had openings but they said it had to go through Hotwire. So, it seems that Hotwire is just being difficult for the sake of being difficult... let's not believe for a moment they will lose money.

I hung up abruptly as the representatives tone became more harsh it was obvious that she was not there to "service" customers. I called back a little while later and immediately asked to speak with a supervisor, of course the representative needed to know why to transfer the call so I gave a synopsis. She then reviewed the notes and told me that a supervisor would tell me the same thing to which I replied, "that's fine, just transfer my call." she then repeated to more times that a supervisor would say the same thing and that is the policy.

After being placed on hold for what seemed like longer than necessary I finally spoke with the supervisor who began with a rude/harsh tone. Went went around and around about the "policy" for awhile and I tried to understand WHY they would not accommodate this adjustment. I then went on to explain that if they did not work with me on this request I would NEVER use Hotwire again (and I had previously used it to book all of my trips, but never had to alter one).

She stuck to her "policy" and I told her that I would have to book an additional room, not through Hotwire, and clarified that I would never use Hotwire again. She then stated that they did not want me as a customer then. To which I assured her that this would not go away, they will remember this conversation and regret it because I will share this experience with everyone that I possibly can, and provide this valuable advice... DO NOT USE HOTWIRE.COM!

*The supervisor's tone was enough to keep me away, not working with me made it worse but the final straw was in telling me that they did not want me as a customer!

Note for JD Power & Associates: Are you serious?

non-refundable plane ticket

I have booked a trip to Vegas and had to cancel. The trip cost was $177. I called Hotwire and they told me that the ticket is non-refundable. That is o.k and I completely understand, but when I asked them if I can use the credit for a future trip they said: "Yes, you can! You need to pay $150 upfront and we'll give you the $177 credit!" That is the most RIDICULOUS thing I have ever heard! I've traveled overseas so many times and I've NEVER EVER ran into something like this! Horrible experience...I won't even access them from now on and if I have to pay more somewhere else, at least I'll know the service is worth it! I will gladly throw a couple of hundred extra somewhere else than use Hotwire.

  • Ti
    Timothy Banh Jan 02, 2011

    I completely agree with whoever just made the complaint about Hotwire company. Because I just got the exact same case. They told me I can cancel my flight and they don't charge cancellation fee, but I have to pay $150 for changing anything... Hotwire is ter-ri-ble!!!

    0 Votes
  • Lo
    Lou Anne Worthington Jun 03, 2016

    Never ever use Hotwire to purchase anything!!! I purchased a car rental through this company for a business trip. Because my business required that I changed my travel plans, I called to cancel the car rental. There was NO indication on any of my paperwork that this car rental was non-refundable. I lost almost $200 due to this company's deceptive practices. The ought to be put out of business!!!

    0 Votes

no honoring a booking

A confirmed booking is NOT a confirmed booking! Ten weeks ago I purchased a hotel/air package deal for 5 people to Hawaii through Hotwire - in that instance they disclose the hotel up-front. They just called me to say the hotel was no longer available and they would (gladly) give me a hotel refund only (they won't refund the airfare). The agents and their supervisors are trained to act like this is doing me a favor. They accept absolutely no responsibility and do NOT stand behind their deals - their credibility is TOTALLY non-existent. They didn't even offer ANY compensation for their cancellation - just the partial refund. Do NOT trust your bookings to them!

customer service

Here is my email to Hotwire that details what happened: Up until this evening, I have had no complaints about Hotwire. I have been happy with the services that I have paid for through Hotwire and have received what I have requested and paid for until today. After making a hotel reservation for near the Detroit Airport by selecting DTW, but being placed in downtown Detroit, I called customer service, not to receive a refund, but to be relocated to a hotel near the airport as I had selected because I do not have the transportation to get downtown. I had 2 customer service reps suggest that I take a taxi. When I told them that not only was the issue one of transportation to the downtown hotel, but also financially I could not afford to pay a cab to the hotel 18 miles from the airport which is why I selected DTW, their response was that my circumstances did not merit your company to honor my request for a change in hotel. I believe that not honoring what I requested is having no merit. I again was not asking for a refund, but to simply honor what I had requested. I know you have rules, regulations, and policies to abide by and I respect that, but I also know that sometimes there can be extenuating circumstances that allows for those policies to be over ruled as in with most businesses. This was a situation that your management could have made a judgment call that allowed a family impacted by the economy an opportunity to have one less stressor, not by refunding any money, but by simply providing what I paid for which is a hotel closer to the Detroit Airport so that I would not have to spend extra money taking a taxi 18 miles further which will cost me about what I will pay for the hotel you routed me. Thank you for the forum to voice my comments not that I am looking for anything to come of it, but that when your representatives and management speak of merit, they should talk from a place from which they show it. I will post this comment on every website that I found that has launched other complaints about your service and email, face book, and twitter everyone I know and ask them to pass along my story. I hate that I had this experience, but I will not make the mistake of using your services again.

  • Cr
    crazyknarf Sep 05, 2009

    Buyer Beware: They are trying to get the best deal for themselves and the hotel that pays them the most will get more for them to get to that hotel. That is way the Hotwire will not show the hotel name or address until it is paid.

    I believe that is an Illegal thing to do in New Jersey. The company MUST show the HOTEL Name, Address, Telephone number and location with map before you buy.

    Check with your State. This I believe is called "Blind" shopping.

    0 Votes
  • Ze
    Zeus3 Dec 06, 2012

    Ok so made 4 bookings on hotwire a week before I traveled to Seattle with friends, was a road trip, well hotwire decided the day of to cancel all my bookings due to risk management, when I tried explaining it was me they wouldn't speak to me but gave me a phone number of risk management to call (is a voice mail number) since they can't speak to me about my accounts, nor can transfer me to a supervisor. Well I had to book the hotel rooms directly from the hotel, and will never use hotwire again worst customer service give no answers, and their risk management team makes no calls back. And a week later when I tried they still give no feedback, would hope to get an explanation or something but nothing. What if I was in say south america traveling and this happened or some remote place, sort of makes you wonder if saving the 40$ is worth the risk.

    0 Votes

tax scam

the hotwire 'scam' works like this (and this is also the reason they will not honor their low price guarnatee as I found out)

They have a ridiculous low pre tax rate of say $40 then they add say $16 of 'tax and recovery' (what that consists of is anyones guess but it definitely includes their booking fee) bringing it to a $56 total

The actual hotel will have a pre tax rate of say $48 and actual real 'sales tax' of $6 bringing it to $54

So, when anyone says 'You charged me more than the actual hotel' they can say 'No. Our pre tax rate was $8 lower' because they've added a load of non existent made up 'tax' to the actual total price.

It's insane, and they're *still* mailing me stuff today like 'I can assure you, you were not overcharged' which is barking mad. The basic facts of my booking with them are this

Hotwire - $56.25
Actual hotel - $54

Let them advertise that on TV and say at the end 'we can assure you we are not overcharging you'

  • Ma
    Mario1 Jul 28, 2014

    The low price guarantee is probably for the base rate. Remember, the " other hotel" would have charged taxes and fees too.

    0 Votes

would not change reservation

I booked a car rental for my 73 year mother who is travelling to Chicago for a wedding...I mistakenly booked the rental at O'Hare airport and not Midway...called 2 days after realzing the mistake and theywould not change the pick up location...called and pleaded and they would not accomodate the change...my mother had to pay for a service she did not use and and make a different reservation...this was a financial hardship...they did nothing...they would not account for human error and said, "we can't do it." Beware of internet reservations with hotwire...they are not considerate or forgiving and taking $ 200 for services not rendered from a 73 year old woman is unconscionable

terrible service

This is the worst cable tv company. I called the customer service agents because my cable is not working...

overrated hotel room / put me in a smoking room

for our anniversary I booked a hotel thru hotwire in Niagara Falls. Once we checked in to our room and went in, it reeked of smoke. I went back to the front desk to change rooms, but she said Hotwire booked me in a smoking room, which I definately would NOT have, because the smell gives me a headache. The hotel was full, so we had no other option. The staff said they have had this same problem AT LEAST FOUR TIMES with customers that used hotwire, where hotwire booked them in a smoking room. I called hotwire to try to at least get switched to a different hotel in the area that they worked with, and they kept stating "That would be breaking our policy and we can't do that". They said "we don't have a place to select smoking or non-smoking rooms, so if it was really important to you, you should've picked a hotel that was completely non-smoking". I have used their service in the past and never ran into this issue, so how was I to know until I had to deal with it and have it ruin my vacation that I should've know beter and selected a completely non-smoking hotel????
They rated the hotel as a 2 star hotel, but it was AWFUL!! There was water damage on a bunch of the walls. The room didn't seem like it had been cleaned, there was even a bag from Burger King with leftover food in it on the floor, and it didn't look like it had been vacuumed in quite a while. The sheets had hair on them and tiny blood spots. My husband had to kill at least 4 spiders and a fisher or centipede, not sure exactly what that huge bug was. The alarm had been set before we came in the room and went off at midnight. All night we could hear the pipes going. The people in the room above us sounded like they were jumping off the bed after midnight. It was a night from hell.
I will never use hotwire again and will tell everyone I know about their awful customer service

  • Dl
    dlakers Jul 28, 2009

    I work in a hotel and Hotwire or the hotel will always put you in a smoking room if they can as no one wants these rooms. There are no guarantees on room types (smoking or non) on these sites. Thats part of the "'deal". Pay the normal rate and not have to worry about this.

    0 Votes
  • Si
    sick of nambypambys Oct 29, 2010

    this is totaly bogus. hotwire does not select your hotel room. the hotel provides the select inventory. i have to laugh however, a two star hotel and it was not the best room? bahahahaha... really? so for what like 39.00 a night you expected the four star of your dreams? get real.

    0 Votes

faultly service and lack of response

I don't know who's worse - Hotwire Communications or DISH Network... Each time my cable goes out (which is daily at best) and I try to call the number indicated on my TV error message, DISH Network informs me that they cannot help since my apartment building account is through Hotwire Communications. I've called Hotwire several times to "discuss" my bill but I'm usually met with a response of "someone will call you back." It's a good thing I wasn't holding my breath because I have yet to get a call.


I am still pissed as of July 7th 2009. First mistake, I went to their website and started making arrangement...

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