San Jose Mercury Newsannoying phone calls and repeat billings

M
This review was posted by
a verified customer
Verified customer
Review updated:

I ordered a one year subscription to the daily SJ Mercury for home delivery. The purchase was made from a high school student earning 'commissions' for college savings (I like to believe this is true). Anyway, the paper started arriving on schedule and then the bills started arriving. I paid the student and was told the payment was for a one year subscription. I am now receiving calls from out of area locations that are asking if I am a subscriber to the SJ Mercury. This is annoying and is making me increasingly uncomfortable. I have not paid any bills that arrived in the mail. Paper is still coming daily. Next call is to the subscription department.

Responses

  • Sa
    savino carrieri Mar 09, 2020

    no paper in driveway today mercury news has been good about delivery except today 3/3

    0 Votes
  • Ti
    Timbercove Jan 12, 2020
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    Company can't supply a simple receipt of payment. Call them and they lead you to a website. They have no ability to give you a receipt by email or fax. Now I can see why newspapers are disappearing.

    0 Votes
  • Dj
    Djaulman Nov 10, 2019

    I used to get my paper between 5:15-5:30 am. This enabled for me to read the paper while eating my breakfast. For the last of several months I have not received my paper until 5:40-6:00 am.

    Would you contact my driver to see if he can delivery my paper earlier. I would like appreciate it!

    Thanks,

    Danny Aulman

    0 Votes
  • Gr
    [email protected] May 02, 2019

    My paper is either not here or very late. Please figure out the problem. I'm tired of not getting my paper delivered on time.

    0 Votes
  • Gr
    [email protected] May 01, 2019

    My paper is either not here or very late. Please figure out the problem. I'm tired of not getting my paper delivered on time.

    0 Votes
  • Vi
    Vijay I Oct 19, 2018

    The scam is now a bit different. I received a call a year ago to subscribe for a year. I called in an cancelled before the term was over. The call went fine. The paper is still being delvered, and they now want me to pay for the whole year saying that I did not cancel in time.

    0 Votes
  • Ka
    Kathleen Verdoia Sep 19, 2018
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    On Thursday, August 16, I did not receive my paper at 1179 Audrey Ave, Campbell. In addition, could you please ask the delivery service to toss my paper as close to my porch as possible instead of dropping it at the end of the driveway? I love my paper!

    0 Votes
  • Ch
    charles weston Sep 10, 2018

    did not receive for Saturday paper, 450 west Dunne Morgan Hill

    0 Votes
  • Kr
    Kristen Carlisle Aug 20, 2018

    The paper arrives too late, often not until 6:30 or 6:40.
    Spar Ave. San Jose

    0 Votes
  • Ca
    Captcha27 Mar 28, 2018

    My heart goes out to the person who wrote the previous comment. These telemarketers really have no heart!! How can they prey on someone who has to deal with cancer?

    I have been dealing with the same problem. I got FOUR phone calls today from [protected]. I just got a phone call yesterday asking them to remove me from their list and countless times before that. I told him I'd report him to the FTC and he quickly hung up the phone. These phone calls have been going on for over a year.

    They have my name and address from being subscribed to San Jose Mercury after a boy came to my door to sell the SJ Mercury newspaper to pay for college. Boy did I learn my lesson. I never even got a subscription, but just a ton of phone calls.

    This probably isn't even the San Jose Mercury news, but a bunch of scammers. If it is San Jose Mercury, that's pretty embarrassing for them to stoop this low.

    0 Votes
  • Ih
    IHateTheSJMC Apr 15, 2015

    They will call you forever trying to get you to resubscribe. I have asked them so many times to remove me from their call list and leave me alone. I am a terminal cancer patient and frequently in bad shape and expecting calls from doctors / hospitals, and the many sales agencies hired by the SJMC keep calling me at all hours of the day and night. Sometimes they are polite and lie that they will remove me from their call list, sometimes they are extremely rude. Despite asking to not be called anymore, they keep waking me up and interrupting my life many times per week. This is not how I want to spend my last year alive.

    There are more than a hundred complaints of false advertising, questionable or illegal sales practices, and more listed on the BBB and on yelp, yet the BBB has them still accredited. I recommend complaining to the BBB that their accreditation is apparently meaningless when one of the BBB accreditation requirements is "Advertise Honestly", yet with over 100 complaints of this company using false advertising and sales techniques, they are still accredited?
    File a complaint with the BBB.
    Leave them a review on yelp.
    Tell everyone you know in the bay area to avoid the mercury news at all costs.
    If they come to your house, get their name, and call the police immediately.
    If anyone reading this is a lawyer who would be interested in suing them, I'm sure there are hundreds of us who would gladly give you tons of money to get any sort of retribution against this company...

    0 Votes
  • No
    NoMoreSJMNSales Jan 08, 2015
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    Please complain directly to San Jose Mercury News. SJMN claims they contract out door-to-door sales to a third party, but SJMN manages the third parties closely and they are well aware of these aggressive sales tactics. The sales people even exclusively sell SJMN. So, SJMN is liable for these people trespassing (ignoring no solicitation signs and refusing to leave the property when told) and questionable sales tactics.

    I have a contact at SJMN that you can complain to directly. Please call and complain to Bart. He needs to here it!

    L. Bart Beaulieu
    Circulation Sales & Marketing Manager
    Bay Area News Group
    [protected]
    [email protected]

    0 Votes
  • Hs
    H.S. Teacher Dec 21, 2012

    I had some "students" approach me this evening. Thing is, I'm a teacher at the school they claimed to be from. Since I know for a fact they lied about their school, I was unwilling to help them. I did offer to take the girl's name, and look her up at school so we could talk over better alternatives for college fundraising. She then refused to give me her name, and started to argue that this wasn't a scam. Her response and tone gave me the impression that these are paid employees claiming to be high school students.

    0 Votes
  • Li
    ligop Jan 31, 2012

    Are any of your issues regarding collections still ongoing? http://sanjose.bbb.org/business-reviews/Newspaper-Publishers/San-Jose-Mercury-News-in-San-Jose-CA-197037 now shows a different story that denbois' post a year and a half ago?

    0 Votes
  • Kr
    Krishpisu Aug 19, 2011

    Some student came to my door asking me to subscribe so that he can get some commission towards his studies. I signed up for 16 Sunday deliveries for $20. That guy didn't tell me that I need to explicitly cancel the subscription otherwise it will keep extending. I signed the form without observing this fine text below the application form (which is hard to observe).

    Then I never got a single issue. No paper was delivered. Not even a single issue. Around four months later, I received a call from them asking for payment. I said I never received any and then they told me that I should have informed them if I have never got the paper delivered. And also they told me that the bill is due as it got extended after the completion of 16 weeks. Then I got surprised and really felt that I got deceived.

    As no issue was delivered and I never gave my credit card details, I forgot about the subscription also. Is there any way to sue them? Is it the consumer's responsibility to let them know if the issue is NOT delivered? I mean is the consumer legally bound to inform them?

    0 Votes
  • Ka
    Katsee Dec 29, 2010

    So let me get this straight. You have time to blog and express your alleged feelings but you don't have time to write a letter of dispute?. GET A LIFE and stop being a dead beat with bills that we all know that you owe. You are nothing and will always be a waste of space here on earth!

    0 Votes
  • El
    Eliz W Dec 15, 2010

    I had one of these "college kids" come to my door tonight, and I too fell for the scam. He even offered to pay the $20 subscription fee if I signed up for the paper and told the people who called that I had paid it myself. Immediately afterward I felt uneasy so I searched Google and found this site.

    After reading over all of the comments I felt terribly worried, so I decided to see if I could find him still going door to door. I caught up with him, explained my findings and asked if I could please be given my subscription paper back. He looked embarrassed and gave it back to me immediately.

    Thank you all so much for your postings, it did avert one of their scams. I hope you are all able to have your issues resolved, SJMN should not be able to continue to practice in this manner.

    -1 Votes
  • La
    Latia Dec 04, 2010

    I cannot believe how much this business has upset me with their false claims and harassing phone calls. How do these people even sleep at night. They can never be happy with what they are doing. Cheap, low life scare tactics that's going to cost them big time very soon.

    0 Votes
  • Ni
    nimr70 Oct 30, 2010
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    Over the past couple of years "poor high school students" have come to my door about six or so times. Saying 'no', 'no, thank you', or 'no, thank you, I'm not interested' does not mean 'no' to these guys. It just means 'try harder'. It's not unreasonable to say that they harass people for money. The last time it happened it got to the point where the salesperson was starting to get threatening. And as he walked away, he hurled a racial slur at me. In any case, I'm going to visit the local police station tomorrow morning and will also try filling out the BBB complaint form. Maybe that will help...

    -1 Votes
  • Jo
    jojo v Jul 24, 2010
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    wow i cant believe how many people have had the same experience. Just an hour ago, I was scammed by this "Aaron" guy aka 655... I was so particular about helping him out with 'college saving, ' I even told him "I don't wanna subscribe but I rather donate." So, I ended up paying $20 (with a bright smile on my face) for subscription to his tutor place. Thank god I did not give any information nor sign anything. This is so cruel... I thought the sales guy was so friendly and polite and everything. I guess only heartless and sad people can do these kindda thing.

    Now, I don't care much about the money, it's just $20 worth of bad luck. But I can't believe I was that* excited and happy to donate to a cheater.

    0 Votes
  • Sl
    slens Jun 21, 2010

    I just received a bill for newspaper that I never ordered ... no student scam or trial order. One day out of the blue SJM newspapers started showing up on the driveway.

    After reading all the comments posted here I realize this is a bigger issue than I thought of. The fact that SJM is "stealing" my personal information to send me newspapers and a bill is very disturbing.

    I will call SJM and demand from them to stop sending their newspapers. I will follow up with a letter to the BBB with my experience.

    0 Votes
  • La
    lavsu Jun 16, 2010

    I gave 20$, after 30 minutes of wasting my time, when i am about to go somewhere. But i didnt write my name as i gave cash. I hope i dont get any newspaper

    0 Votes
  • Ja
    jayneeeee Jun 15, 2010

    I'm a very easy target but just didn't feel right about the soliciting by "recent high school graduates". I couldn't say no but knew I would hate myself for saying yes. So I took the form and told the kid to come back later. He pushed to come back in an hour so I said okay.
    I looked up the information online and saw all these reviews, plus some from other websites. All negative. I guess it is not necessarily a scam but a very unpleasant experience.
    When the kid came back, I tried to show him some of the reviews I printed out, to explain that I will not subscribe.
    He didn't care to look and was very aggressive. "What does that have to do with me?" I was too nice just standing there trying to explain why I do not want to subscribe. Finally he asked just for a donation that he can put into a savings account for college expenses. I said no and he got angry and basically walked away. And I saved $20, which will go towards paying off MY student loans.

    0 Votes
  • De
    denbois Jun 01, 2010

    Hey Josh thanks for creating that Facebook Group. I have just joined ... anybody else been fooled by the SJ Mercury News and then reported to the Coast to Coast collections, please joing Josh's group here http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/group.php?gid=120658821296926

    Denis

    0 Votes
  • Jd
    jddeetz May 10, 2010

    Please, I urge everyone to join my group on Facebook: Bad Business Practices of San Jose Mercury. I was a vicitim to a "free" newspaper scam, for which I received a bill later.

    By ourselves, we can do nothing about this scam. But if we all group together, we can seek justice and compensation for the turmoil the San Jose Mercury News has caused, and we can prevent others from being victimized in the future.

    If you fall prey to their scam, please take the time to report them to the Better Business Bureau. It really does make a difference, and can trigger an automatic investigation if enough people report fraudulent practices.

    0 Votes
  • De
    denbois Mar 26, 2010

    Wow!!! ... from the SJ BBB website:

    Company Rating F
    Our opinion of what this rating means:
    We strongly question the company’s reliability for reasons such as that they have failed to respond to complaints, their advertising is grossly misleading, they are not in compliance with the law’s licensing or registration requirements, their complaints contain especially serious allegations, or the company’s industry is known for its fraudulent business practices.

    No. of Cmpl Type of Response
    3 Making a full refund, as the consumer requested
    2 Making a partial refund
    51 Agreeing to perform according to their contract
    4 Refusing to make an adjustment
    1 Refuse to adjust, relying on terms of agreement
    18 Unanswered
    21 Unassigned
    100 Total

    0 Votes
  • De
    denbois Mar 26, 2010

    Carmina:

    From my experience I was told by someone at Coast to Coast that they did not report to credit agencys for issues pertaining to newspaper subscriptions. I think they are simply aplying scare tactics knowing that 90% of people will pay out of fear; hence the reason I view this as extortion. I recently moved to a new appartment and told the manager about this incident before them running a credit check on me, and they said to me that there was nothing negative on my credit report.

    But this is a personal decision Carmina. You have to do what is right for you. I personally would not pay extortion money especially knowing how sneakily this was done.

    Re where to go from here:
    1 - File a complaint with BBB here http://sanjose.bbb.org/ComplaintInformation.aspx
    2 - Get ur free credit report from the free Govt website here http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/credit/cre34.shtm
    3 - Contact and complaint to DA office here:
    District Attorney Dolores A. Carr
    Office of the District Attorney
    County of Santa Clara
    70 West Hedding Street
    San Jose, CA, 95110, [protected]

    4 - We should consider a group of us meeting this summer at Starbucks and signing a common complaint with 10, 20 30 or more signatures. If anyone is interested in this let me know.

    Cheers

    Denis ([email protected])

    0 Votes
  • Ca
    carminagrande Mar 25, 2010

    The same exact thing happened to me last night! After writing the check i had a VERY bad feeling about it...so I researched and found this! I panicked and called my bank (Wells Farg0), told them about my situation and asked them to stop payment on the check. After hearing my story, the banker felt bad for me and waived the fee for stop payments.

    Because I absolutely do NOT want this to become a horror story (as some of yours), I called Consumer Protection Agency and explained my situation. He said stopping payments and calling SJMercury News to unsubscribe would be the best and ONLY steps I could do right now. I have done both.

    I called SJMN TWICE to explain my situation and cancel subscription. The 1st time I called, the a customer service person by the name of Anne said my information wasn't uploaded into the system and probably won't be available for 3-5 days. I'm a very persistent person, so after a few hours I called back and talked to Christine, Explained my situation and she ALSO said my information wasn't in the system, but she took my name, address, and phone # and promised to "forward it to collections to unsubscribe me." I plan on calling again on Friday and/or Monday to confirm that i've been off the list.

    Is there anything else I should/could do in the meantime? Or did I do everything I could and I should just wait and see if anything happens? I'm a nervous wreck because I don't it to affect my credit score :(

    BTW - can collection agencies really report you and mess with your credit score based on SJMN's pathetic scam?

    Hope to get some answers from you all!
    -- Carmina
    ([email protected])

    0 Votes
  • Sa
    sannnn Mar 20, 2010

    I just received bill from San Jose Mercury news, and guess that I will receive call from coast to coast soon.

    I had no idea about this trap until today my neighbor told me about his past experience.

    Curse this evil company!

    0 Votes
  • Ch
    cheif Mar 17, 2010

    I've:
    * filed several complains at the BBB website mentioned earlier in this thread (one complaint to each listing for the San Jose Mercury News)
    * contacted both San Jose Mercury News, and Coast to Coast customer service by phone to tell them that this is a problem that I want to be out of.

    I haven't gotten a response indicating closure from anyone, though I've been assured that my complaint has been escalated to the proper billing department...

    My guess is that SJMN/C2C just don't have their act together in dealing with this kind of customer service problem. I haven't seen or heard anything from any of them since the customer service complaints, and the BBB complaints.

    I'm sorry I missed the court date on March 15th in San Jose. Does anyone know what happened there? Or if there will be another court date and when (including hour of the day)?

    0 Votes
  • Sc
    scub Mar 16, 2010

    The exact same thing happened to me. I'm basically livid .. so glad I found that I'm in PLENTY of good company.

    I will file a complaint to the BBB -- I think I will call them and give them an earful for not putting my tax dollars to work. What a bunch of deadbeats.

    So is there a petition I can sign? Class action lawsuit I can join?

    -scub

    0 Votes
  • Mi
    michael-c Mar 15, 2010

    Hi folks,

    I landed myself in the same situation without using common sense, e.g. Googling, plus a crazy schedule for the past few months to really take care of supposedly self-terminating trial newspaper subscriptions.

    Now I realize I had been careless in not noticing the fine print "For your information ... your newspaper will continue to be delivered unless we hear from you." on the Mercury News bills. However, I do remember the (poor?) kid said it would only be a trial subscription, i.e. 7 weekends. The way I understood it was that if I don't opt to continue, the subscription should stop. In retrospect, this looks more like a dirty trick. Can anyone confirm if my memory's serving me right?

    Thanks,
    Michael

    0 Votes
  • De
    denbois Mar 15, 2010

    FOLKS, I have taken this up a notch by writing to the District Attorney and am seeking compensation from both the SJ Mercury and The San Mateo County Times, for wasting my time and misleading me in this matter which has now cost me close to 10 hours to try and correct.

    If others feel the same, I suspect that the DA would be interested in hearing your stories.

    Cheers!


    March 15th, 2010

    District Attorney Dolores A. Carr
    Office of the District Attorney
    County of Santa Clara
    70 West Hedding Street
    San Jose, CA, 95110
    [protected]


    SUBJECT: Misleading ‘Starving Student’ SCAM being perpetrated by the San Jose Mercury News to Entice and Mislead People into Newspaper Subscriptions.


    District Attorney Carr:

    Please find attached my completed Complaint Form. I am very concerned by what I am seeing and the number of persons being affected by this apparent SCAM to mislead people into taking newspaper subscriptions. Once the people are mislead and agree to donate or support the student, they are then hounded by collection agency Coast to Coast Financial Solutions for payment OR ELSE be reported to Credit Bureaus!!! This is tantamount to extorsion.

    As was my case, the arrangement or agreement is not what was communicated to me by the ‘apparent’ student knocking on my door. There is a big gap between what I was told verbally and what the San Jose Mercury are now pursuing me for. I clearly stated to Aaron (ID 609) that I did not want the newspaper, that I don’t have time to read it, but I will give him a 20 USD donation towards his studies. Seven months later I am being pursued by a collection Agency as are dozens and dozens (if not hundreds) of misled consumers and charitable citizens in the Bay area.

    Amazing and this has been going on for at least 1 year if not more and my attached download from the internet shows that dozens of dozens of people are affected and have taken the time to write about this SCAM on the internet. If dozens of persons have taken the time to write about this negative experience on the internet, then their certainly are hundreds of people overall that are affected by this operation.

    My experience is as follows:

    I live in Foster City and last Jan 2009, I was approached by a student Aaron (ID 609) who knocked at more door and pleaded that it was for a good cause and that the donation would help him enter college and would entitle to get the SJ Mercury News for a few weeks. I told him I don’t read the newspaper and will give him a donation of 20 USD for his cause as I didn't want it and don't have time to read it.

    Now 7 months later I am being hounded by collection agency (Coast to Coast Financial Solutions), and they are threatening to affect my credit unless I pay $32. This is extortion and unethical to the max. I told Ms Q Herrara of Coast to Coast Financials my side of the story and she insisted I write in a letter of explanation. I don't have time to write her and mail her a letter when I feel that the whole problem is being caused by them and by their less than above the table practices!

    I then called San Jose Mercury News and spoke with John in customer service on July 17th 2009 and explained to him what had transpired and the fact that I have a receipt stating that it was $20 that I gave in donation and that’s it. I have no written or verbal contract with the SJ Mercury News for subscription - I don't want the newspaper and have never read it.

    I told them that I would like an apology from the newspaper for my wasted time clarifying this matter and again communicated how unethical this behaviour is. Well the best that John can do is fwd my comments to their financial department!

    This is scary, when people extort you into paying money or taking subscriptions that you don't want and then threaten your credit score via collections, then that is a sad reflection on them and their business ethics.


    District Attorney Carr, it now appears that I am on some list (possibly generated by the SJ Mercury News) as now I am receiving similar notices to renew subscriptions from the San Mateo County Times AND I NEVER EVER subscribed to this newspaper and have never even once received it! I also called Jason of their subscription department on 02-09-10 to be removed from their list and Jason proceeded to argue with me that I was receiving their paper and that I must pay them.

    You have no idea how infuriating it is to deceived in this manner and to have your time wasted and to sent to collections for being misled by the newspapers and their less than ethical sales practices. Please review the attached listing provided which summarizes complaints from dozens and dozens of other people that have also been misled by the San Jose Mercury News. Please help put a stop to this ASAP.

    COMPENSATION SOUGHT:
    I am asking that the San Jose Mercury News and the San Mateo County Times compensate me for $500 each in lost time and wages taken to clarify these problems that were caused in the case of the SJ Mercury News by unethical and misleading sales tactics and in the San Mateo County times case by completely incorrect claims that I was subscribed to their paper. Additionally I will be checking my credit report the coming month and if they reported on my credit then I will sue in court.

    I thank you for your time reading my letter. Should you require any additional information, please do not hesitate to contact me.

    Sincerely,

    1 Votes
  • So
    sonofabell Mar 04, 2010

    hey everybody, this exact thing just happened to me as well.

    what are the most effective steps i can take at this point?

    0 Votes
  • Sj
    sjmercurynews-suffer Mar 02, 2010

    Same thing happened to me as well. Hope nobody pays these guys.

    0 Votes
  • Ch
    cheif Feb 21, 2010

    Same thing happened to me.

    I just got my bill and debt-collection-letter this month. I've called the Mercury News, and had my claim 'escalated' to the 'billing department'.

    Coast to Coast's printed number [protected]) does not appear to work... I've tried it for two weeks. Going to call their Toll Free number that I found on their website in the morning [protected]).

    I feel better knowing I'm not alone here.

    0 Votes
  • De
    denbois Feb 05, 2010

    BETTER BUSINESS BUREAU of San Jose:

    The please "help put a poor student thru college subscription" scams from San Jose Mercury news continue to rise. I complained last year and dozens of people keep on getting hit by this same unethical business practice, (see San Jose Mercury News — annoying phone calls and repeat billings and see Sanjose Mercury News — abusive, unethical and misleading sales practices)

    This is highly unethical and immoral to then coerce people to pay for somthing they did not want or knew they were getting in to not counting possibly having your credit score dinged.

    Why does the BBB not escalate this problem to the consumer protection agency?? How many more people must be misled and have their credit potentionally dinged and get harrassing calls from the Coast to Coast collection agency as a result of this scam.

    Last year the San Jose Mercury News has reached 74+ complaints and now approximately 6 months later they are up to 95 WITH AN F rating!

    I would really like to know what the BBB will do about this issue; is this not a matter that can be escalated to the consumer protection agency and have them closed down. Must we as victims start small claim court proceedings against them?

    Look fwd to your response.

    Denis

    (PS I OFFER TO DRAFT A COMMON LETTER OF COMPLAINT SURROUNDING THIS ISSUE AND HAVE PEOPLE SIGN IT BEFORE SENDING IT TO THE CONSUMER PROTECTION AGENCY. JUST PROVIDE ME YOUR FAX OR EMAIL AND THEN SIGN IT AND EITHER FAX IT OR PDF IT BACK TO ME AND I WILL SENT IT TO THE CONSUMER PROTECTION AGENCY. EMAIL ME AT " [email protected]" IF WANTING TO SIGN. LETS GET THIS UNETHICAL AND MISLEADING POOR STUDENT SCAM SHUT DOWN ASAP. ALSO CHECK UR CREDIT SCORES AT http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/credit/cre34.shtm at no cost (this is the free govt website) and see if you have been dinged ... IF SO THEN WE MIGHT CONSIDER COMMON SUIT IN COURT)

    0 Votes
  • Fu
    fusj Jan 28, 2010

    Same thing for me.. I got harrassing phone calls from San Jose Mercury News and now from some coast-to-coast debt collections..
    I never even received the newspaper..
    What a crock of ###

    0 Votes
  • same thing happened to me for 22.51. ###ers. i hope they die a horrible death.

    0 Votes
  • Vi
    Vidas2 Jan 15, 2010

    I had the same experience. I ordered SJMN from high school student for $20 and had no intention to renew it. Then I received an invoice for another $30 or so. I called them, and they said that I renewed my subscription. This was a lie - no one in my family renewed it. Probably we renewed just by picking papers up from my driveway and disposing them into recycle can?? I canceled subscription on that call but I had no time and energy to fight for $30; and this is what they count on. This must be a class action suite matter. I hope it will drive SJMN out of business.

    Vidas
    [email protected]

    0 Votes

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