All Topics / General Property / sick of greedy plumbers & electricians

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  • Profile photo of Easy Beach ShowerEasy Beach Shower
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    NEWSFLASH for Tradies:

    1 – Read E-Myth Contractor – Yellow pocket book about $20 bucks.
    2 – Understand the cheaper your service the more complaints you get.

    I worked in Property Management, in a Banks doing Home Loans and I learnt something valuable about price and service.

    The best outcome for a client to tradesman partnerhip is to offer a premium service, premium product and a premium ongoing service guarantee.

    So when the work is finished there is a 30 day, 90 day, 6 mth and yearly contact points to reconnect with your client.

    If you do cheaper work, your client WILL complain more. The corners cut in the beginning to save money in the beginning will affect your reputation as the product will require a larger service commitment.

    When looking after your client you need to keep in contact and keep them informed about the valuable info on how to look after the product while you look after the service.

    Consider specialising as this will reduce service ambiguity and service guarantee confusion.

    eg: If you give a 12mth or 7 year guarantee make sure sure you are the best at it. If you work on taps do not do the guttering unless it is part of your guarantee.

    WHY?

    If the client is happy with your tap service guarantee but the guttering work you did is not of the same standard or price then a small leak in the gutter will represent the entire experience of your client.

    The client who arges on Price will always bother you for more service above and beyond reasonable clients who pay a fair price for excellent service.

    I welcome the opportunity of pricking the bloated bladder of lies with the poniard of truth. Winston Churchill (writer Aneurin Bevan)

    William

    PS: COST: You can call roofing franchises and get a roof respray quote for $10k or get your local guy with testimonials and pay $3500 – $5000.

    Profile photo of L.A AussieL.A Aussie
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    oneplumber wrote:
    NEWSFLASH for Tradies:

    1 – Read E-Myth Contractor – Yellow pocket book about $20 bucks.
    2 – Understand the cheaper your service the more complaints you get.

    I worked in Property Management, in a Banks doing Home Loans and I learnt something valuable about price and service.

    The best outcome for a client to tradesman partnerhip is to offer a premium service, premium product and a premium ongoing service guarantee.

    So when the work is finished there is a 30 day, 90 day, 6 mth and yearly contact points to reconnect with your client.

    If you do cheaper work, your client WILL complain more. The corners cut in the beginning to save money in the beginning will affect your reputation as the product will require a larger service commitment.

    When looking after your client you need to keep in contact and keep them informed about the valuable info on how to look after the product while you look after the service.

    Consider specialising as this will reduce service ambiguity and service guarantee confusion.

    eg: If you give a 12mth or 7 year guarantee make sure sure you are the best at it. If you work on taps do not do the guttering unless it is part of your guarantee.

    WHY?

    If the client is happy with your tap service guarantee but the guttering work you did is not of the same standard or price then a small leak in the gutter will represent the entire experience of your client.

    The client who arges on Price will always bother you for more service above and beyond reasonable clients who pay a fair price for excellent service.

    I welcome the opportunity of pricking the bloated bladder of lies with the poniard of truth. Winston Churchill (writer Aneurin Bevan)

    William

    PS: COST: You can call roofing franchises and get a roof respray quote for $10k or get your local guy with testimonials and pay $3500 – $5000.

    One Plumber,

    Now THAT'S what I'm talking about!

    Thankyou.

    Profile photo of mintrellmintrell
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    solomons_wealth wrote:

    In a Fair System approach, I believe you do a good job and charge a fair amount. The problem in this market there is more demand than supply.

    The answer is not to just import more people  to soften the market.
    I don't want to be offensive to anyone here, but I have seen some tradespeople that have come from other countries and if you think that there are some dodgy workmen here, you haven't seen anything yet.

    One problem is that no one wants to get their hands dirty anymore.
    in Perth last year only 75 tilers copleted their apprenticeship. 150 the year before, and 300 the year before that… I'm sure its the same for other trades. It was found that young people don't want to get dirty anymore.

    Luke

    Dear Luke,

    I believe import more tradies is the key to turn the balance of suppy in favour of demand. All my tradies are from China, they do not speak a complete English sentence, but they do great jobs, totally competent . I used them until they get more and more Aussie and charge more and more.

    So, I have to move on to find new and young overeseas ones, I hope they will keep coming from overseas.

    All yound generation from every developed countries like US, Japan, Europe and Australia do not want to get their hands dirty, nor do your/invester's kids, why not bring in more tradies from third world countries like China, Mexico or even Korea who are hunger and desparate for our work.  I know majority of tradies in Japan and US are from these overseas, and their living standard have improved dramatically. Even in develping countries like China and India, the living standard of middle and higher classes are been kept high due to all those jobs are been done by migrant worker from regional areas cheaply. I laughed my friend worth over A$10 mil is still doing concrete or painting jobs himself, I know he will not lift a finger for this in China!!!!!

    He's not along, I lived in Malvern (Vic) and see many highly paid executives, doctors and professionals are doing these odd jobs too, it's really a waste of human resource, it must be a structural prolbem in our society!
     
    For all our poor property investers and average homeowners who strugglling with tradies job, I plea to open our floodgate to let those precious overseas tradies into our society, we will see our investing experience and living standard greatly improved and will never see this topic been discussed here again!!!

    Michael

    Profile photo of L.A AussieL.A Aussie
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    "Thank you LA Aussie

    Golf a sport that destroys the environment, gets land for peanuts in 3rd world countries and redevelops it and flogs it off for a motza!"

    Sorry OnePlumber,

    I enjoy your posts, but you are totally off base there.

    Look at almost all land where golf courses are built and you will see mostly useless land that is not being used for much at all. That is the main reason why golf courses pop up; it is cheap (no-one wants it) and provides a business opportunity. It is one of my goals to own one or two.

    Granted, some of it is natural land already, where birds live and animals roam, but when a golf course is built, you get a beautiful place that encourages bird life, wildlife, and provides many, many jobs for people into the bargain, as well as a great outdoors activity that provides exercise for people and enjoyment for people of all ages and all walks of life.

    Just last week I was playing golf with 3 people from 3 different countries. A male nurse from Pittsburgh, a retired police officer from Malta, a UK army computer programmer and a retired Aussie golfer (me).

    The weather was beautiful, the company was excellent, and we saw hawks, crows, sparrows, ibis, fish, herons, squirrels, ground squirrels, woodpeckers, rabbits and even saw a family of otters in one water hazard. We even saw some moles, a rattlesnake, as well as fox tracks in the dew and about 100 different types of trees and plants. Not bad for an environment destroying waste land.

    The golf course we played on was once a swamp, and still has some of the original swamp around, and there are over 100 employees there. About 40 on the groundstaff, another 15 in the proshop and about 45 or so in the restaurant.

    Oh yeah; there is a time-share resort right across the road which is part of the golf complex. It employs around 200 staff as well. And there is a housing estate across the road that has, oh; I don't know; about 300 houses that many tradesmen made some money from during the construction – all provided by that evil, evil golf course.

    In fact, on the same day, I saw one house across from the 18th fairway with no less than 8 trades people working on it. 6 landscape gardners and 2 plumbers up on the roof. Shall I continue 'cause there's more.

    Those same golf courses in 3rd world countries provide much needed jobs for the local people, who, without the golf courses, may have a much poorer lifestyle. Agreed; the bulk of the profits go to a select few, but I can say that this is the case for almost the entire USA these days, and most of the world no doubt.

    It is one of about 100 golf courses dotted in amongst the enormous Sonoma County Wine region; known as the Napa Valley. Now, lets talk about environment destroying land use. I love wine by the way, but we are talking about MILLIONS and MILLIONS of acres of land used for humans to get drunk on.

    This is off the track though; you are attacking the sport, while I was talking about the image of the people who service the golfing industry. You have twisted the topic away from the real issue and that is poor form (now we both have poor form).

    The issue I and others have been discussing is greedy plumbers and electricians. But let me point out; if it wasn't an issue, then why was it brought up?

    Profile photo of fliptoplidfliptoplid
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    Dear ttman,

    I understand your frustration. This happened to me once when I could not afford it and I vowed and declared it would not happen again. It has not happened to me again. I just may be very lucky though.

    I always do the following:

    • I insist that only my list of tradespeople be employed. I will not pay any bills that are provided by tradespeople who are not on my approved list. I get the real estate person to initial this. This stops them getting any back handers etc. Incidentally if you suspect your real estate agent has done this contact their representative group (REIQ) is Qld's.
    • I talk to all tradespeople about their costs and charges before I even invest in that area. I want to know what the call out fee's are and anything else. I find this is possible by investing in an area you know. You may have lived near the area in the past, went to school etc in that suburb, the list is endless. This does not mean that I invest where I live. I have never done this. Some areas just have a chronic shortage of tradespeople. More means competition is healthy. If you think businesses are colluding tell "Fair Trading" in your state.
    • I have never allowed a real estate person to tell me "what you ought to do is……". I listen to them consider what they say, I think further on and then make my decision.
    • I make an extremely detailed list of everything that I can see that needs to be changed, fixed, installed etc, before I make an offer.
    • When I do purchase the first things I do are change all light bulbs, batteries in smoke alarms and I change all the washers in the taps myself. I have found that the call out fees for the little but essential things are the deadliest to my bottom line. Preempt everything as far as you are able.
    • I interview all real estate agents in the area. Then I choose the one who listens to me. It's surprising how many people in this industry do not listen to others.
    • All of the agents I've dealt with all have someone who is licensed by the state building authority to do any building repairs and maintenance. In Qld this means that tradesperson can change light bulbs, reseat taps and washers, fix a bit of plaster/plaint whatever. A householder can do this themselves but they cannot always attend to investments themselves. This way you have the legal backup of using a licensed tradesperson and in general these people do not have the overly exorbitant fees. They still have insurance.
    • Stand up and speak to the person who authorized a bill to be sent to you. Ask them how they have arrived at that figure. If it is not a logical response and your getting nowhere with them don't engage with them. They can turn nasty. Move away and ever forward. Also ask your agent to talk to them if you are not confident. That is what you are paying them for. Let them know you are not a happy customer and that you want the situation remedied. You may also be able to contact their representative group or authority like BSA (Building Services Authority, in Qld) make a complaint that's why the industry has the regulations. If all else fails contact ACA or TT shake their cage by all means but don't engage with them personally.

    Sure, get mad but don't waste time and money getting even. LEARN LEARN LEARN.
    Sure, there's shonky dealers out there. Don't waste time on them. Keep pushing on. Keep working towards your goal and only worry about the people that are locked in your house with you at night. You know what you are doing so stick to it.

    Last of all NEVER LOOSE YOUR COOL with morons.

    Keep smiling and keep going. I can assure you there are very reputable and trustworthy trades people and real estate agents out there.

    Regards
    fliptoplid

    Profile photo of millionsmillions
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    Excellent post fliptolid.  My thoughts also.  As a property owner YOU need to take control.  Don't leave it up to a PM to choose tradesman, do your own research.   If you come across shonky workmanship or outragous fees for services deal with it on an individual basis and get over it.   Most tradies are good, and when you're happy with their services keep them as part of your team.

    Profile photo of JayroJayro
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    Bringing in MORE overseas workers is NOT the answer. Maybe if tradies were not (in the past and still to some extent)  made to feel lower class then maybe more young kids today would head down the path of getting into a trade. I love how ACA or today tonight can run a show saying that we (tradies) are all the new big $$$ earners and its no longer the white collar guys and girls and before you know it clients think we all earn $100k plus. Reality check. Sure some good tradies who do work hard and do put in the hrs do earn well over $100k.  In my trade now If I was still working for someone else in sydney I would be earning around $35-$40/hr. Obviously ontop is super, O/T, holidays, sick leave a car etc. And if I wanted to work the 6 days a week $100k plus is on offer. I now live on NSW lake macquarie and only earn around $70k per yr give or take a little. Again plus the extras. As you can see it is FAR from being a big money earner. Dispite what some of you think, ALL trades are not too easy at all. Sure the basics may be but being good at them is totally different. Some people just think ok he is an AIr con/ fridge guy. And sure if your keeping a lady's fridge cold so her meats dont go off then you may only get to charge $50/ hr as a company. However I have and have had clients that if an air con goes down they loose upto $1million every hour. Hense the company was charging upto $150/hr. To just generalise tradies is crazy. You cant just compare DR's for example. Im sure my local GP doesnt get the same $$$ as the leading heart surgeon.

    I dont do all my repairs on my IP as my time is more important than saving a few $$$. My property needed a new power point and light socket earlier this week. I asked the PM for a quote to see if I should bother going to sydney to do it myself. There sparky wanted $99 including labour, parts and gst. I found that price more than reasonable and I was more than happy to pay it.

    Sure there are plenty of crap tradies but I tell you what there are plenty of crap workers in all ocupations these days. Just because you may have had a bad experience with a certain tradeperson doesnt give you the right to jump on here mouthing off about tradies. You need to get a grip buddy. Id love to see the state of our nation without tradies and to have unqualified clowns  doing things themselves. There would be buildings falling down and burning down all around us and all with blocked drains and toilets pouring crap everywhere. Ah would certainly be a sight to see. But anyway at the end of the day, like you say its soo easy anyone can do it so you just stick to that line of thought mate. Next time you need a trady you just keep doing the repairs yourself. No need to call us, no need to start this crap thread ( god knows why the admin have not canned it yet)  just fix it yourself and save your dollars.

    Jayro

    I did have a laugh yesterday actually. I started to think about this thread after I called my local GP. they were closed and the after hrs call out fee if I wanted him to come here was $150. I then looked at my work phone and though funny if he wanted me to go to his house today it would cost him $300. Ah well, glad im just  tradesmen ;)

    Profile photo of L.A AussieL.A Aussie
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    "I did have a laugh yesterday actually. I started to think about this thread after I called my local GP. they were closed and the after hrs call out fee if I wanted him to come here was $150. I then looked at my work phone and though funny if he wanted me to go to his house today it would cost him $300. Ah well, glad im just  tradesmen ;)"

    Oh, for god's sake; so what's funny about that?

    Is it funny that the Uni educated poser doctor charges less than you; the apprenticeship trained supposedly lower-class tradie? That'd be it I reckon.

    Yeah; I guess you win; he's been to uni for all those years, got the wanker title , and here you are earning more for a call out than him. Way to go.

    who cares?

    You both deserve to earn a squillion cause you've both bothered to get off you backside and get a qualification. Get over it, do a good job and look after your customers, make a fortune and stop comparing yourself to the white collar boys.

    See; another case of the chip on the shoulder, "I stuck it up you – you're no better than me" attitude.

    Endless.

    Profile photo of blogsblogs
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    There certainly does seem to be a re occuring theme of the tradies being very 'sensitive' and overly defenssive. On one side there is an argument about sub standard work being provided and people being ripped off, and yet the tradies who all reply seem to ignore this totally and reply in defense of their self worth and right to make a living and that they are not second class citizens etc-seems to be some deep seated issues there fellas……therapy anyone??

    Profile photo of JayroJayro
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    your the man Aussie, Keep it up champ your doing well :)

    Profile photo of crashycrashy
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    L.A Aussie wrote:
    See; another case of the chip on the shoulder, "I stuck it up you – you're no better than me" attitude.

    Endless.

    as opposed to your “Im so busy pointing out everyone elses flaws I dont realise what a jerk I really am” attitude?

    careful up there on that pedastool, you might fall off one day and be forced to mingle with the rest of us, god that would be aweful for you huh?

    the internet is full of people who believe they can appear better by making others look bad. its quite sad.

    Profile photo of L.A AussieL.A Aussie
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    crashy wrote:
    L.A Aussie wrote:
    See; another case of the chip on the shoulder, "I stuck it up you – you're no better than me" attitude.

    Endless.

    as opposed to your "Im so busy pointing out everyone elses flaws I dont realise what a jerk I really am" attitude? careful up there on that pedastool, you might fall off one day and be forced to mingle with the rest of us, god that would be aweful for you huh? the internet is full of people who believe they can appear better by making others look bad. its quite sad.

    Hey crashy; where ya been? I've been expecting you.

    It's pedastal; not pedastool, and i'm not on one.

    Just like others; I never went to Uni, and still managed to come out o.k – I just don't whine on and on about it, or think I've had a big win and shout HA! HA! when I find out I've been able to earn a bigger paycheck than someone who has.

    Last time I looked, it wasn't a competition.

    Profile photo of AdministratorAdministrator
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    Dear Investors,

    I have a tradesman that does everything for $20 per hour, if you phone around enough you will find someone willing to do an honest days work.

    However, when he is not available I am also confronted with tradesmen who act like cowboys and expect to get paid $100 for what sometimes takes them 15 minutes. A lot of people don't realise that doctors in public hospitals get paid as little as $23 per hour, the blue collar worker is the new white collar worker.

    Kind Regards,
    Mark Leith
    Property Advocate
    Global Buyers Agent
    http://www.buyersagent.com.au

    Profile photo of JayroJayro
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    I dont understand what is wrong with expecting $100 even if you are there for 15minutes. You need to included company cars as these guys come to you remember so include travel time in there which needs to be covered, loaded with tools and generally spare parts. All costs money. If you were to call my current company out to look at your air conditioner for example it will cost you $143 even if im there for one minute to reset something after a power failure for example. Thats not ripping anyone off. Thats fixing what we were called there to fix and expecting to be paid accordingly. We may be there 20minutes and have to inform the client that a major part is faulty and quote to repair. Again $143 for that service. Mind you we are a professional outfit that do turn up on time, will do same day service if requested and will do a good, reliable job. Now rememeber the trady is only getting $30-$40/hr for his wages (some as low as $24) and thats the way it is with most of the half decent mid-large companies. If you look hard you will find smaller one man bands that will do alot cheaper with no overheads etc. Some still do a great job, others too busy I guess and cant provide the service they should.

    Dont get me wrong I totally agree that there are plenty of crap trademen out there as with all professions. I just dont agree with coments taking shots at "tradies" in general. Like I previously pointed out, we just had some very minor electrical work done on our sydney IP and it cost bugger all and was done very quickly. Great service. However we are currently renovating a property here on Lake macquarie NSW and have needed a couple of other trades for a few things I didnt want to do myself. This has been a nightmare. Yesterday for example I aranged for my mum to come to my house to meet a door guy who was to be here at 8am to supply and install 3 new internal doors. Long story short many calls later he finally turns up at 10am. I get a call at 12 telling me my doorways are not square and 2 of the 3 doors are ok but the 3rd is not. There boss tells me my 2 options are 1) pay him 2/3 the quoted price and he can just do the 2 doors or pay an extra $150 for a larger door to be cut down to size. I then point out option 3) which is where he can get his builder to remove the doors and get off my property and I wont pay a cent. He didnt like my option and ended up doing the 3 doors, very nicely. Then gives me no invoice and asks for his CASH. Hence I sent him on his way and said when the invoice hits my letter box the cheque will hit his. Now I then find a large dent in my front door and when I questioned the installer he said "yeh sorry mate im just in a rush, ill hit it with no more gaps in a sec" Now sorry but iv just spent near 10k getting my outside looking nice and no more gaps dont cut it. So anyway we finally get that all fixed which iv now got to repaint. Now if we were doing a job at a clients place and damaged anything we would make the client aware of it and get the correct trade out to fix it until the client was happy and obviously at our expense. So NO not all tradies are the same.

    And by the way he FINALLY left my house at 6.30pm last night. How long would this clown take to build a bloody house?

    Anyway I guess thats all iv got to say on this topic. How you think we are the new white collar work puzzles me but anyway if thats how some look at it then so be it I guess.

    Jayro

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    Note: Married to a tradie….

    I don't think the tradies are being defensive or sensitive as suggested, I think they are trying to explain how being self employed works and the reasons for their prices. Many have gone into great detail about the running of a business when you are self employed and all the work, and expenses, on the side that are not seen by the end consumer.

    Personally, I think it is impossible to understand unless you've done it yourself.

    It's a little like being a property investor.
    Consider the hours you put in searching for property on the net and the papers. Looking at properties. Managing that property, organising tradies for repairs, deciding on color schemes, planning renovations, doing the work yourself or organising others.
    Finding tenants, dealing with tenants or property managers.
    Organising finance, arranging insurances, meetings with solicitors.
    Doing the bookwork, ensuring the rent has been paid and the money is there for the repayments.
    The list goes on and on,
    All those hours,
    And that's just one property……
    It's a little like being self employed

    Profile photo of millionsmillions
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    Good post diclem, that's what I wanted to say but couldn't find the words or energy to do so!

    Profile photo of Easy Beach ShowerEasy Beach Shower
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    I love being a Plumber.

    I do not have an issue with overseas workers in a political sense, but this year I was fitting out a government building built for investors on the University campus.

    We had the choice of using Australian or Korean teams of tilers all for a few thousand bucks. The 541 VISA I think!

    When the job was handed over for the final inspection for students to move in, we had been able to finish the building 4 months ahead of schedule using the Korean tilers.

    TIME is Money!

    On the final inspection we turned on all our showers and tested the bathroom fixtures. The Korean tilers had done well to use a cheap tile and get the work done whatever the demands, HOWEVER……

    Every single bathroom had water running away from the floor drainage and out the door, down the hallway and out into the unit living areas.

    Simple leveling is a basic and fundamental law of trade skills.

    My example: Plumbers are here to Plumb the work so the hydraulic system of plumbing works!

    This means there are correct levels, falls and directions all trades need to understand.

    William

    PS: Pricing work involves your service guarantee of quality and client satisfaction.

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    Got a 2nd quote on the guttering replacement, this time $1500… I'm going for it.  The guy has done a good job previously for my parents, too.   The first quote was $2800… quite a difference.

    Profile photo of The SnorklerThe Snorkler
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    Great topic, great place to rant and I can see Im not the only one who has been daylight robbed by the tradies. $150 to re-attach a cupboard. $250 to plane a door and replace a lock. $kkk to replace an AC unit!!! I hate being robbed.

    I wish I could do it myself but Im overseas and have my house rented out.

    Nothing against trades in general – most of the good, useful tradies are out there building mining plants, oil platforms and spaceships. My issue is with the torpid home repairs cruisers who are doing the low-skilled, low stress work yet charging an arm and a leg. Howz that?

    The key must be – as suggested in the book – to incentivise your tennants to help out with repairs. Maybe we should have a talk about ways to do that rather than let the crooks waste more of our energy.
    <br /:-D” title=”>:-D” class=”bbcode_smiley” />
    Snorks

    Profile photo of The SnorklerThe Snorkler
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    GlobalMark wrote:

    However, when he is not available I am also confronted with tradesmen who act like cowboys and expect to get paid $100 for what sometimes takes them 15 minutes. A lot of people don't realise that doctors in public hospitals get paid as little as $23 per hour, the blue collar worker is the new white collar worker.

    Kind Regards,
    Mark Leith

    Exactly Mark – the trade profession covers a vast scale of complexity. I would put the home repairs mob at the lower end of difficulty yet they are up near the top for renumeration!

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