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Old 03-04-2010, 01:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My daughter is signed up for an 8 week course ($160 for 8 sessions). She attended the first session, and then was sick for the next 3. Ar this point I haven't paid yet. I emailed the teacher and told her that because we missed so much, she won't be attending, and that I will pay her for the first class she attended, $20.

I got a reply that it is standard to pay in full and not to get any refund, if a child can't attend the sessions, and that she already bought materials.

I've never taken a course where I couldn't get a refund if it was only one class attended out of 8. Is it different for children's classes?

Thanks!

My kids are 8, 5 and 2!
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Old 03-04-2010, 01:30 PM
 
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Couldn't she use the materials for a future class? Have any materials been used on your DD? I'd ask to see a copy of this policy... that's a lot of money to have to be spending!

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Old 03-04-2010, 01:30 PM
 
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Wow, I am surprised you were not asked to pay up front.

I wouldn't expect anymoney back. I would expect to have to pay the full amount. They are loosing money when you don't pay for the spot you said you would use but didn't. They can't just recoup that money because they can't just let a kid replace the place they held for your daughter. It isn't just about the supplies, yes they can reuse but it is the hours they promised you and YOU didn't use.

IMO, you owe for the entire class.

I am surprised you having ran into this issue with adult courses.
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Old 03-04-2010, 01:35 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Wow, I am surprised you were not asked to pay up front.

I wouldn't expect anymoney back. I would expect to have to pay the full ammount. The are loosing money when you don't pay for the spot you said you would use but didn't. They can't just recoup that money because they can't just let a kid replace the place they held for your daughter.

IMO, you owe for the entire class.
I was supposed to pay at the second session, we we were too sick to go. The class is not full, only 3 people are taking it, while there is space for more, so she didn't take a space of anyone else, simply not much interest in this class.

Wow, the full amount? Is this really how it works with kids' classes? So strange to me. Thanks for your thoughts.

My kids are 8, 5 and 2!
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Old 03-04-2010, 01:41 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am surprised you having ran into this issue with adult courses.
Well, I only took university courses and continuing ed courses, and they always say (for continuing ed) that you are eligible for a full refund after one class attended, and then for a partial refund after a couple of classes.

I mean, if my child goes to the first class and doesn't like it, I am supposed to pay for the entire 8 sessions? This just seems odd to me. This would be a great way to make money, then. I can advertise for a class, have a poorly conducted first class, and keep the money, with the kids not wanting to come to me anymore.

My kids are 8, 5 and 2!
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Old 03-04-2010, 01:59 PM
 
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I mean, if my child goes to the first class and doesn't like it, I am supposed to pay for the entire 8 sessions? This just seems odd to me. This would be a great way to make money, then. I can advertise for a class, have a poorly conducted first class, and keep the money, with the kids not wanting to come to me anymore.
Is that how this class was advertised? Come, see if you like it, and if so pay at the second class? Around here we have to pay for kids' classes upon enrollment, with no refunds provided. I would think you'd be responsible for payment in full, but since they haven't collected your money yet, I'm not sure how they'd enforce the payment rule, short of taking you to small claims court.

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Old 03-04-2010, 02:14 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Is that how this class was advertised? Come, see if you like it, and if so pay at the second class? Around here we have to pay for kids' classes upon enrollment, with no refunds provided. I would think you'd be responsible for payment in full, but since they haven't collected your money yet, I'm not sure how they'd enforce the payment rule, short of taking you to small claims court.
it is a very informal class and an informal arrangement. the class has no formal policy or anything like that. it is just an individual running a studio, with occasional classes offered. i paid in advance before, but noticed other parents were a bit lax and were saying "oh, i'll pay later", and I sort of relaxed myself and thought i'd pay at the next class.

Here you always get a refund if you take classes via Parks & Recs, so I guess it didn't occur to me that this was not a standard practice.

Thanks.

My kids are 8, 5 and 2!
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Old 03-04-2010, 03:08 PM
 
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it is a very informal class and an informal arrangement. the class has no formal policy or anything like that. it is just an individual running a studio, with occasional classes offered. i paid in advance before, but noticed other parents were a bit lax and were saying "oh, i'll pay later", and I sort of relaxed myself and thought i'd pay at the next class.
Hmm, it sounds like she doesn't have a specific written policy in place, so I really don't know how she can force you to pay. If you had already paid I think she'd be within her rights to not issue a refund, but since she doesn't have your money yet, as I said before there's no easy way to force you to pay, you know? It sounds like you didn't sign an agreement or anything stating the payment policy.

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Old 03-04-2010, 03:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hmm, it sounds like she doesn't have a specific written policy in place, so I really don't know how she can force you to pay. If you had already paid I think she'd be within her rights to not issue a refund, but since she doesn't have your money yet, as I said before there's no easy way to force you to pay, you know? It sounds like you didn't sign an agreement or anything stating the payment policy.
No, we didn't sign anything, so I know that legally I'm not obligated to pay. There has been no official registration, no policies mentioned. I'd want to do the right thing, though. My daughter was in those classes to party support this particular person because of her situation, even though it was not our "first choice" of classes. I was willing to pay more than I would have paid for a similar class, again, because of wanting to support this person. However, I'm not exactly a rich person to simple give away money. Even if I might want to, I can't afford this.

However, I was taken aback by her rather stern email that I had to pay for the entire class. I'd be very happy to pay for her single session AND for the materials. I'd be even happy to pay 1/3 of the cost.

If it seems that it is indeed the standard not to get a refund, I will pay in full, but I would like to hear more opinions on this.

Sadly, this person doesn't realise that she is losing much more money long term. I will never sign my daughter into that class or advertise the class as positively as I've done in the past. Not only that, but if it wasn't for my daughter in this class, she wouldn't be getting anything from that spot, as there were simply no interested parties.

My kids are 8, 5 and 2!
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Old 03-04-2010, 03:45 PM
 
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I'd offer to pay for the first class ($20) and her cost for materials.
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Old 03-04-2010, 03:56 PM
 
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For some classes you are paying for a whole session because once you commit for that class/time they can't add anyone for those 8 weeks or however many the class is.

I did a pilates class that was like that because it could only hold 5. I had to pay every month whether I went or not and I usually did not. You also had to give 30 days notice when quitting. This was all made clear to me when I signed up though, and I did sign something.
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Old 03-04-2010, 04:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
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For some classes you are paying for a whole session because once you commit for that class/time they can't add anyone for those 8 weeks or however many the class is.

I did a pilates class that was like that because it could only hold 5. I had to pay every month whether I went or not and I usually did not. You also had to give 30 days notice when quitting. This was all made clear to me when I signed up though, and I did sign something.
So it seems that unrefundable classes would be those in which a participants would take someone else's spot? That would make sense. Except that my daughter didn't take anyone's spot, as the enrollment is at 50% at best.

My kids are 8, 5 and 2!
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Old 03-04-2010, 04:20 PM
 
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I was supposed to pay at the second session, we we were too sick to go. The class is not full, only 3 people are taking it, while there is space for more, so she didn't take a space of anyone else, simply not much interest in this class.
The fact that the class has only 3 children in it, makes it MORE important that you pay for the entire session. Many classes need a minimum number of participants to run, otherwise, it's not cost-effective for the instructor/organization. Without your daughter, she may even be LOSING money on the class if she has to pay for the space or has other costs involved. It's not fair to register for a class and then drop out, the instructor was COUNTING on that money to make the class worth her time, financially-speaking.

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but if it wasn't for my daughter in this class, she wouldn't be getting anything from that spot, as there were simply no interested part
If it weren't for your daughter in the class, she might not have run the class in the first place. When most people advertise a class, they have a minimum number of participants. I've seen classes cancelled due to lack of interest/not enough participants. It sounds as though they just barely made the minimum with your daughter.

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Old 03-04-2010, 04:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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The fact that the class has only 3 children in it, makes it MORE important that you pay for the entire session. Many classes need a minimum number of participants to run, otherwise, it's not cost-effective for the instructor/organization. Without your daughter, she may even be LOSING money on the class if she has to pay for the space or has other costs involved. It's not fair to register for a class and then drop out, the instructor was COUNTING on that money to make the class worth her time, financially-speaking.



If it weren't for your daughter in the class, she might not have run the class in the first place. When most people advertise a class, they have a minimum number of participants. I've seen classes cancelled due to lack of interest/not enough participants. It sounds as though they just barely made the minimum with your daughter.

That's a good point about the minimum, thanks.

Though she runs it out of her house, there's no rental of fascilities involved. Without my daughter she'd be making about $25 per hour...and with her...about $35...So yeah, I can see the difference. But the class is not exactly at a loss either.

My kids are 8, 5 and 2!
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Old 03-04-2010, 04:50 PM
 
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Sounds normal to me. But I am also surprised that you hadn't already had to pay. Around here, all types of classes, camps, etc. are paid in full beforehand. I might hope for a 50% refund, but wouldn't be surprised if I got none.

My DS did a camp the week of Christmas. 4 days, 3 hours a day for $40. He attended two days and then got very sick. Paying $40 for two days sucked, but asking for a refund never crossed my mind.

Just a question. How many classes did your daughter miss? At first it sounded like a once a week thing for eight weeks. If that is the case, then she had only missed one class when you decided to stop going. She really wouldn't have been that far behind.

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Old 03-04-2010, 04:52 PM
 
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I think it's typical to expect full payment past a certain date, whether you attended the classes or not.

However, a lot of places like this will definitely apply your money to a future class set even if they won't refund the money. Even if you're not in love with the class or teacher any more, you could still get your money's worth AND do the right thing at the same time.

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Old 03-04-2010, 04:52 PM
 
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Well, I only took university courses and continuing ed courses, and they always say (for continuing ed) that you are eligible for a full refund after one class attended, and then for a partial refund after a couple of classes.

I mean, if my child goes to the first class and doesn't like it, I am supposed to pay for the entire 8 sessions? This just seems odd to me. This would be a great way to make money, then. I can advertise for a class, have a poorly conducted first class, and keep the money, with the kids not wanting to come to me anymore.
Depending on what it is, some places offer a free first class. I guess going in, you need to have a very good idea if your child would like the class or not.

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Old 03-04-2010, 04:53 PM
 
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hopefully she'll learn from this to have a written policy in place so that the next time it happens to her she won't have to be out money. and, to have people pay up front vs allowing them to decide when to pay.

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Old 03-04-2010, 04:54 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Sounds normal to me. But I am also surprised that you hadn't already had to pay. Around here, all types of classes, camps, etc. are paid in full beforehand. I might hope for a 50% refund, but wouldn't be surprised if I got none.

My DS did a camp the week of Christmas. 4 days, 3 hours a day for $40. He attended two days and then got very sick. Paying $40 for two days sucked, but asking for a refund never crossed my mind.

Just a question. How many classes did your daughter miss? At first it sounded like a once a week thing for eight weeks. If that is the case, then she had only missed one class when you decided to stop going. She really wouldn't have been that far behind.
She attended on class, and missed 3 (well, she hasn't missed the third one yet, but she is sick, and she won't be able to make the third either.)

My kids are 8, 5 and 2!
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Old 03-04-2010, 04:57 PM
 
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Could you reschedule for a future class?
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Old 03-04-2010, 05:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Could you reschedule for a future class?
The classes are not a great fit for my daughter. She's okay to go, but not excited about them and would be as happy to stop going. At this point I'm thinking to just pay her and ask for a tax receit. We haven't gotten any receits so far, but now I feel I should get at least something back.

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Old 03-04-2010, 05:23 PM
 
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Well..sorry to tell you, but... Around here, you would have had to pay in full prior to the class, and not gotten a refund for missing classes due to sickness. That's just standard. Sometimes, the teacher/organization is willing to be a tad flexible, but usually not. Kids are sick a lot, and it woudl be a nightmare logistically and financially to give someone a free pass when they are sick.
I think she will definitely want to make a more formal written policy for this kind of thing, if she is running it as a business.
For cancelling after the first class, I would not expect to pay any less than 50% of the full class cost, even if teh teacher were being generous, sorry.

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Old 03-04-2010, 05:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Well..sorry to tell you, but... Around here, you would have had to pay in full prior to the class, and not gotten a refund for missing classes due to sickness. That's just standard. Sometimes, the teacher/organization is willing to be a tad flexible, but usually not. Kids are sick a lot, and it woudl be a nightmare logistically and financially to give someone a free pass when they are sick.
I think she will definitely want to make a more formal written policy for this kind of thing, if she is running it as a business.
For cancelling after the first class, I would not expect to pay any less than 50% of the full class cost, even if teh teacher were being generous, sorry.
I'm willing to pay 50% of the full cost.

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Old 03-04-2010, 08:30 PM
 
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It sounds like a rather informal arrangement of classes and that there isn't a set policy for the classes, but that she is trying to enforce a "this is the standard--everyone knows how these policies work" kind of situation, when she didn't actually provide any kind of written notification or contract. So there isn't really a standard here.

I think you should know up front when I sign your child up for a class what the policy is. I don't really think she can enforce it after the fact, and just because in some places they require full tuition doesn't mean that paying her the full tuition is the right thing to do. I mean at the Little Gym you can pay for a full semester up front or you can pay by the month, and if you pay up front you don't get a refund, but you get a very liberal make-up schedule. And if you pay by the month, which costs more, you can pull your child out after a month and not have to pay anything else. With a 6 week science class I had to pay for the entire thing up front, there were no make-ups or refunds past the first, but I knew that going into it.

With my daughter's flute lessons, I can pay by the lesson or by the month. I choose to pay her at the beginning of each month, and I basically expect to get the lesson one way or another. So if one of us has to postpone it for a reason, I always get what I pay for. Just last week she called and said she couldn't come that day, and she could do two 45 minute lessons to make up for it.

I guess what I'm saying is the teacher's expectation of what the right thing is is not necessarily the only valid way to do things, it's just what she wants and what benefits her the most. It may be standard in some classes, but it isn't in others. Don't let her try and shame you into paying, talk to her about what is fair for both of you. Just because some people have NEVER taken a class where they didn't have to pay for the entire thing regardless of attendance doesn't mean that that is the standard or what is warranted in this situation.
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Old 03-04-2010, 09:14 PM - Thread Starter
 
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It sounds like a rather informal arrangement of classes and that there isn't a set policy for the classes, but that she is trying to enforce a "this is the standard--everyone knows how these policies work" kind of situation, when she didn't actually provide any kind of written notification or contract. So there isn't really a standard here.

I think you should know up front when I sign your child up for a class what the policy is. I don't really think she can enforce it after the fact, and just because in some places they require full tuition doesn't mean that paying her the full tuition is the right thing to do. I mean at the Little Gym you can pay for a full semester up front or you can pay by the month, and if you pay up front you don't get a refund, but you get a very liberal make-up schedule. And if you pay by the month, which costs more, you can pull your child out after a month and not have to pay anything else. With a 6 week science class I had to pay for the entire thing up front, there were no make-ups or refunds past the first, but I knew that going into it.

With my daughter's flute lessons, I can pay by the lesson or by the month. I choose to pay her at the beginning of each month, and I basically expect to get the lesson one way or another. So if one of us has to postpone it for a reason, I always get what I pay for. Just last week she called and said she couldn't come that day, and she could do two 45 minute lessons to make up for it.

I guess what I'm saying is the teacher's expectation of what the right thing is is not necessarily the only valid way to do things, it's just what she wants and what benefits her the most. It may be standard in some classes, but it isn't in others. Don't let her try and shame you into paying, talk to her about what is fair for both of you. Just because some people have NEVER taken a class where they didn't have to pay for the entire thing regardless of attendance doesn't mean that that is the standard or what is warranted in this situation.
Thanks for your thoughts. Yes, I assumed it was a rather informal, "support each other" arrangement. There was no formal registration, no receipts. So I was taken aback by the sudden "standards". Maybe I was wrong to assume a refund, but I was never told otherwise.

I'm also not clear on the material fee. If she wants me to refund her money for the materials, how come she gets to keep the materials?

I'm thinking of offering her half of the cost, which I already think is too much. But I'm trying to compose a kind letter, as I dont' want to upset the instructor, but I **** don't think it is reasonable for me to pay $160 for 1.5 hours and and a few sheets of paper.

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Old 03-04-2010, 10:43 PM
 
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I'm thinking of offering her half of the cost, which I already think is too much.
But technically you got half the classes. Just because your daughter didn't attend it's not the teacher's fault. You waited until halfway through the session of 8 classes to drop. This isn't a matter of you attended 1 and then chose to drop out. You "attended" 4 out of 8, even if she was sick and didn't actually go, those other classes still count.

If I went to the community college and attended 1 class of a session and then decided it wasn't going to work for me, I'd probably get charged a processing fee. If I waited until halfway through the series, I'd be out the money. I really think you're nickle-and-diming this woman. You knew after the first class that it wasn't a good fit, and could have dealt with this then, and if you had, you may have gotten a different answer on the fee.

Regardless, I'd look at this as a learning experience. Find out these things and get written policies in hand BEFORE attending any classes in the future, and you'll all be happier.

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Old 03-04-2010, 10:58 PM
 
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If I wasn't sure if it would be a good fit for my child, I'd ask for a trial class first. If my child missed classes due to illness, I'd expect for make-up classes to be available. The instructors for the classes that I usually sign my kids up for are generally very flexible and understanding.

In your case, I would offer to pay for the class my child attended, then ask when (not if) my child could make up the missed classes. If that wasn't an option, then I'd apologize for my child being unable to continue with the class. If the teacher wanted me to pay for materials, I'd want to be able to take the materials home. I wouldn't reward an inflexible, uncommunicative teacher with unearned money.

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Old 03-05-2010, 12:21 AM
 
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I think that if you waited until after the fouth class to notify the teacher, you should pay for the four classes. Assuming she set aside time and materials with the expectation that your daughter would be there, you should pay for those classes - at minimum. It certainly is not the teacher's fault that you felt it was a bad fit or that you changed your mind after the 4th class meeting. And as for it being "not fair" to pay the full amount for the 1 class - you could attend the remaining 4 classes, nothing is stopping you.

Many classes in this area do not offer 'trial' classes and do not offer refunds.
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Old 03-05-2010, 12:25 AM - Thread Starter
 
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thank you, everyone, for the perspectives!

My kids are 8, 5 and 2!
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Old 03-05-2010, 12:36 AM
 
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My mother would have had me go, even if I didn't like the class. Her philosophy was that we signed up, the instructor was expecting us to continue to the end of the session, and was counting on us (our funds) for that time period. Moreover, her message was that you don't commit to something and quit just because you didn't like it. If you didn't like it, you just didn't repeat the experience.

We just signed ds up for baseball for the summer, with the expectation that he'll go until the end, like it or not. If he ends up not liking it, he doesn't have to do it next year.

And yeah, around here, you'd have had to pay up-front, in full, with no refund.

Jennifer, Naturopath and mom

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