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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > BMW E90/E92/E93 3-series General Forums > General E90 Sedan / E91 Wagon / E92 Coupe / E93 Cabrio > Battery Registration (inserting foot in mouth now)



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      11-04-2010, 03:25 PM   #89
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Originally Posted by aesfah View Post
This is called fraud. High overhead? Charge higher hourly rates. Or better yet, a flat fee for simple procedures like this.
I suggest if you can't understand why dealers charge so much for servicing your car and you think you are being ripped off, then buy the proper tools, find a suitable facility, gain the knowledge, and DIY.

Here's a news flash: BMWs ARE EXPENSIVE TO MAINTAIN! They've just become expensive to maintain, they never were before. Never since they became mainstream in the 1980's were they expensive to maintain. Everyone should be suprised with this fact.
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      11-04-2010, 06:22 PM   #90
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Dealer overheads and service costs are irrelevant to this argument.

Claiming and charging a time requirement of 3 hours for a 5 min job is fraud. The dealer is free to pull an arbitarily high total cost out of the air and charge it as a flat rate to get the same total cost, but it is illegal to claim time was spent working on something when infact it was not.

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Originally Posted by ENINTY View Post
I suggest if you can't understand why dealers charge so much for servicing your car and you think you are being ripped off, then buy the proper tools, find a suitable facility, gain the knowledge, and DIY.

Here's a news flash: BMWs ARE EXPENSIVE TO MAINTAIN! They've just become expensive to maintain, they never were before. Never since they became mainstream in the 1980's were they expensive to maintain. Everyone should be suprised with this fact.
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      11-04-2010, 08:48 PM   #91
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Dealer overheads and service costs are irrelevant to this argument.

Claiming and charging a time requirement of 3 hours for a 5 min job is fraud. The dealer is free to pull an arbitarily high total cost out of the air and charge it as a flat rate to get the same total cost, but it is illegal to claim time was spent working on something when infact it was not.
Man you guys are thick. I'll type slower so maybe you can understand.

It is not a 5 minute job. There are several people that are involved with the servicing of your car when it is at the dealer. The dealer has operating costs that he has to recover when these people get involved with processing your car through the service department. Instead of giving you an itemized bill for the Service Advisor's time, the car jockey's time, the proportioned cost of the GT1 computer system used to register the battery, the proportioned cost for the heat (or air conditioning) used to keep the service bay at the proper temperature, the proportioned cost for the lighting of the service bay - the SA desk - the cashier's desk, the cashier's time to bill you out, the accountant's time to reconcile your bill and payment at the end of the month, he just bills you for a flat hourly rate of the Tech's time, which includes all of the costs mentioned above.

If you can't understand this simple concept of how a business works, it truly amazes me that you have the wherewithal to purchase, own, and operate a fine automobile such as a BMW.

Whether (you think) the dealer charges a fair price is debateable, but the fact that he has to cover all these costs in the manner described, is not.
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      11-04-2010, 09:14 PM   #92
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Originally Posted by ENINTY View Post
Man you guys are thick. I'll type slower so maybe you can understand.

It is not a 5 minute job. There are several people that are involved with the servicing of your car when it is at the dealer. The dealer has operating costs that he has to recover when these people get involved with processing your car through the service department. Instead of giving you an itemized bill for the Service Advisor's time, the car jockey's time, the proportioned cost of the GT1 computer system used to register the battery, the proportioned cost for the heat (or air conditioning) used to keep the service bay at the proper temperature, the proportioned cost for the lighting of the service bay - the SA desk - the cashier's desk, the cashier's time to bill you out, the accountant's time to reconcile your bill and payment at the end of the month, he just bills you for a flat hourly rate of the Tech's time, which includes all of the costs mentioned above.

If you can't understand this simple concept of how a business works, it truly amazes me that you have the wherewithal to purchase, own, and operate a fine automobile such as a BMW.

Whether (you think) the dealer charges a fair price is debateable, but the fact that he has to cover all these costs in the manner described, is not.
I think you are a little dense. Your argument of overhead cost to justify charging $200-$300 for a 5 minute job makes no sense. If that’s the case, then an oil change at the dealer should cost the same, no?. All garage shops (at least in CA) are required to post their hourly rate. An independent shop is normally ½ of the dealer’s rate. So yes, dealers charge a higher hourly rate because of their higher overhead cost. But that does not mean that they can charge 3 hours of labor for something that takes 5-10 minutes. So stop spewing the BS and stick to the issue- fraud.
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      11-04-2010, 09:56 PM   #93
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I think we all understand this, but none of that justifies the dealer jacking up the time for a job. Your info does somewhat justify the high hourly rates the dealers charge compared to an indy shop.

So you are saying if the normal book time for a water pump R&R is two hours, it is okay for the dealer to charge for three hours because of the overhead you described. Not going to fly.
Does anyone know the book time to perform a battery registration? If the book time is 1 hour and they do it in 5 minutes because of their skill, they can still charge for the hour. This is not fraud.
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      11-05-2010, 01:41 AM   #94
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The extra cost of owning a 21st Century BMW
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      11-05-2010, 02:19 AM   #95
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My car seems to be working fine without having it registered. I'm going to see if this BMW shop near me does it. If they do I'm sure it will not cost as much as a dealership. It would be nice if dealers had a flat fee for registering a battery. Also the dealer near me told me websites like this are BS and I should not listen to any advice given.
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      11-05-2010, 04:59 AM   #96
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      11-05-2010, 07:26 AM   #97
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Bzzzzztt.

This is illegal. People get prosecuted for doing this.

Everyone understands there are overhead costs. Artificially inflating the time required to bump the total cost is still illegal.



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Originally Posted by ENINTY View Post
Man you guys are thick. I'll type slower so maybe you can understand.

It is not a 5 minute job. There are several people that are involved with the servicing of your car when it is at the dealer. The dealer has operating costs that he has to recover when these people get involved with processing your car through the service department. Instead of giving you an itemized bill for the Service Advisor's time, the car jockey's time, the proportioned cost of the GT1 computer system used to register the battery, the proportioned cost for the heat (or air conditioning) used to keep the service bay at the proper temperature, the proportioned cost for the lighting of the service bay - the SA desk - the cashier's desk, the cashier's time to bill you out, the accountant's time to reconcile your bill and payment at the end of the month, he just bills you for a flat hourly rate of the Tech's time, which includes all of the costs mentioned above.

If you can't understand this simple concept of how a business works, it truly amazes me that you have the wherewithal to purchase, own, and operate a fine automobile such as a BMW.

Whether (you think) the dealer charges a fair price is debateable, but the fact that he has to cover all these costs in the manner described, is not.
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      11-05-2010, 07:58 AM   #98
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      11-05-2010, 08:34 AM   #99
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I think you are a little dense. Your argument of overhead cost to justify charging $200-$300 for a 5 minute job makes no sense. If that’s the case, then an oil change at the dealer should cost the same, no?. All garage shops (at least in CA) are required to post their hourly rate. An independent shop is normally ½ of the dealer’s rate. So yes, dealers charge a higher hourly rate because of their higher overhead cost. But that does not mean that they can charge 3 hours of labor for something that takes 5-10 minutes. So stop spewing the BS and stick to the issue- fraud.
I guess I didn't type slowly enough. You are looking at it from the actual time it takes to have the GT1 process the registration change, which is not how auto dealer's operate. With the BT Scan tool it probably takes 5 minutes. But the actual cost to the dealer (or independent BMW repair shop) is more than just the Tech's time. And the Tech probably needs a half hour to do the work anyway to account for setup, clean up, etc. So if the Tech bills out to you at $100 you are expecting it to cost you $8.33 for 5 minutes of work, which is just not realistic.

The original post I responded to said he was quoted 1.7 hours. It seems a bit excessive, but 1 hour doesn't (and the poster probably should have negotiated for 1 hour of time). The dealer also has to warranty his work incase the Tech screws something up during the procedure. And it is not illegal, and not fraud, it is what the Dealer thinks his customers are willing to pay for the service. That is based on several factors, such as the customer's trust of the service department, the competition of other BMW repair facilities in the area, and the ability or inability of the customer having the knowledge and tools to do the procedure himself. If you wanted to do it yourself you'd have to have a $800 lap top, $300 BT scan tool, and the time and knowledge to perform the procedure. Do you think the better deal is for the dealer to charge $170 for the service, or you to spend $1,100 to get the equipment to do it yourself - at the risk of screwing up the ECU module by not properly performing the procedure?

When BMW was selling the Z8 and dealers were charging $20K over MSRP, was that fraud? If he charged you for the service and did not perform the service, then that would be fraud.

For the 90% of BMW owners, who are well off and uninterested in having deep involvement the actual maintenance of their BMW, just pay the dealer to install the battery. The dealer is going to operate his business in a manner that satisfies highest percentage of his customers.
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      11-05-2010, 11:30 AM   #100
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I don't think everyone does understand it. The poster I replied to basically said he thought it was outright fraud for the dealer to charge an hour or so of time against what he thought was a 5 minute exercise. I was trying to point out that the book rate (you speak of) is what it is is to accommodate for all of the costs the dealer has to cover when working on a car in the service department. It is quite true that the dealer is out to make the best profit as possible and will try to charge the customer what the dealer thinks is reasonable or tolerable. But the dealer usually is willing to negotiate a price.
You need to reread what he said. He was upset over the dealer trying to charge 1.7 hours. Sounded like he even would have been okay with the dealer rounding up to a full hour.
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      11-05-2010, 11:39 AM   #101
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Man you guys are thick. I'll type slower so maybe you can understand.
Now you are just being rude.
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      11-05-2010, 11:46 AM   #102
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LOL at this whole thread, good read. I didn't mean to start a war but thanks to the guys who understood what I was trying to say. I'm surprised no one threw in a off topic or thread jack icon.
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      11-05-2010, 01:40 PM   #103
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And it is not illegal, and not fraud, it is what the Dealer thinks his customers are willing to pay for the service. .
Let's break this down - maybe an analogy would help. Let's say I'm an attorney. I spent $150,000 to go to law school and have 6-figure overhead fees for state bars, office expenses, front desk receptionist, paralegals, technology, etc. I work on a client's case for 1 hour, but bill for 3 because of my high overhead and expenses. I can assure you, if the client found out, I'd be reported to the state bar and my license would likely be revoked. Why? Because this is fraud. I can't bill for more time than I worked. Simple, really.

If, on the other hand, if my hourly rate reflected my high overhead costs, then I can bill 1 hour for 1 hour of work. Clients can then decide if my rate is reasonable. If its not, they'll go elsewhere. Either way, I can only bill for time spent, regardless of overhead or high expenses.

And ENINTY - what's up with the personal attacks? Chill bro.
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      11-06-2010, 07:26 AM   #104
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Let's break this down - maybe an analogy would help. Let's say I'm an attorney. I spent $150,000 to go to law school and have 6-figure overhead fees for state bars, office expenses, front desk receptionist, paralegals, technology, etc. I work on a client's case for 1 hour, but bill for 3 because of my high overhead and expenses. I can assure you, if the client found out, I'd be reported to the state bar and my license would likely be revoked. Why? Because this is fraud. I can't bill for more time than I worked. Simple, really.

If, on the other hand, if my hourly rate reflected my high overhead costs, then I can bill 1 hour for 1 hour of work. Clients can then decide if my rate is reasonable. If its not, they'll go elsewhere. Either way, I can only bill for time spent, regardless of overhead or high expenses.

And ENINTY - what's up with the personal attacks? Chill bro.
Your analogy is not valid in this case. You are using an example of labor-hour contract where it is agreed that the Lawyer bills by the hour. Lawyers bill by the hour because in most cases they do not know exactly what they are getting into as the case progresses. The price for the battery registration is quoted from the dealer as the price for the job. The dealer gave the basis of the price by telling the customer the labor to do the work was 1.7 hours. It's called a "basis of estimate". The price of the job is determined by multiplying the 1.7 hours times the shop rate posted on the wall of the service department. The argument has been that the 1.7 hours was deemed too much because jsublime thinks knows the actual time for the battery registration to be completed is around 5 minutes (he does know it is less than 1.7 hours –which is a valid point). What I pointed out was that the job is not just 5 minutes for the tech to do the work, and the dealer as other labor costs outside of the Tech's effort that has to be covered either in the number of hours charged for the job, in the labor rate charged, or a combination of both.

In the auto repair business the book-rate for a particular repair is ALWAYS over estimated. Every professional auto mechanic tries to (and usually does) beat the book hour estimate because he gets paid by the job, not hourly, and the more jobs he can do in a day makes him more money. The reason for this is because not every repair goes as planned and the car may need to come back in for additional (repair-warranty) work on the repair job that the mechanic then has to do for free (because he was already paid for the job). There is no way you’d ever go to a mechanic and agree to pay him by the hour to make a repair on your car; it is why professional auto repair facilities quote you an estimated price for the job. It is why the auto insurance industry instilled the “book rate” concept for repairs, because the insurance company can’t control the cost of the repair if the mechanic is charging by the hour.

I'm not saying the dealer is not probably making a good deal of profit on the battery registration, because he is. I'm not trying to justify it either; I'm mererly trying to explain it. One of the vary reasons I bought my BT scan tool was so I could register the battery in my car when the time comes to replace it.
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      11-06-2010, 10:06 AM   #105
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Your analogy is not valid in this case. You are using an example of labor-hour contract where it is agreed that the Lawyer bills by the hour. Lawyers bill by the hour because in most cases they do not know exactly what they are getting into as the case progresses. The price for the battery registration is quoted from the dealer as the price for the job. The dealer gave the basis of the price by telling the customer the labor to do the work was 1.7 hours. It's called a "basis of estimate". The price of the job is determined by multiplying the 1.7 hours times the shop rate posted on the wall of the service department. The argument has been that the 1.7 hours was deemed too much because jsublime thinks knows the actual time for the battery registration to be completed is around 5 minutes (he does know it is less than 1.7 hours –which is a valid point). What I pointed out was that the job is not just 5 minutes for the tech to do the work, and the dealer as other labor costs outside of the Tech's effort that has to be covered either in the number of hours charged for the job, in the labor rate charged, or a combination of both.

In the auto repair business the book-rate for a particular repair is ALWAYS over estimated. Every professional auto mechanic tries to (and usually does) beat the book hour estimate because he gets paid by the job, not hourly, and the more jobs he can do in a day makes him more money. The reason for this is because not every repair goes as planned and the car may need to come back in for additional (repair-warranty) work on the repair job that the mechanic then has to do for free (because he was already paid for the job). There is no way you’d ever go to a mechanic and agree to pay him by the hour to make a repair on your car; it is why professional auto repair facilities quote you an estimated price for the job. It is why the auto insurance industry instilled the “book rate” concept for repairs, because the insurance company can’t control the cost of the repair if the mechanic is charging by the hour.

I'm not saying the dealer is not probably making a good deal of profit on the battery registration, because he is. I'm not trying to justify it either; I'm mererly trying to explain it. One of the vary reasons I bought my BT scan tool was so I could register the battery in my car when the time comes to replace it.
That is technically incorrect. The mechanic gets paid by the hour - the shop gets paid by the job.

The problem is that many shops are just plain stupid or don't explain the pricing properly.

If the dealer tells me that a repair will cost me $170 then I can decide if that is worth it to me. If they tell me that it'll cost 1.7 hours @$100 an hour then I can understand that too.

I understand the book rate too, but it is hard to justify a 1.7 hour book rate when they hand the car back to you 15 minutes later.
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      11-07-2010, 07:47 AM   #106
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That is technically incorrect. The mechanic gets paid by the hour - the shop gets paid by the job.

The problem is that many shops are just plain stupid or don't explain the pricing properly.

If the dealer tells me that a repair will cost me $170 then I can decide if that is worth it to me. If they tell me that it'll cost 1.7 hours @$100 an hour then I can understand that too.

I understand the book rate too, but it is hard to justify a 1.7 hour book rate when they hand the car back to you 15 minutes later.
I'm not going to argue this. I know you're a stickler for Posters having to cite specific instances such as the US Code of Federal Regulations, case law, etc. to debunk "internet BS", but what I previously posted about professional mechanics at dealerships is technically correct. My Sister, who has a CPA from Georgetown University and who spent 5 years auditing automotive dealerships in the D.C. area, and who was the Comptroller for a Jeep dealership in Montgomery County for 8 years explained to me how dealerships make revenue and specifically how the service department works, which is where dealerships make the most revenue and profit. She introduced me to their top mechanic, whose earnings were over $100,000 a year at the time (this was over 15 years ago) doing exactly what I described in my post. His ability to make such a decent salary was because he was fast, efficient, and accurate and had very little return work for faulty repairs.
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      11-07-2010, 10:00 AM   #107
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I'm not going to argue this. I know you're a stickler for Posters having to cite specific instances such as the US Code of Federal Regulations, case law, etc. to debunk "internet BS", but what I previously posted about professional mechanics at dealerships is technically correct. My Sister, who has a CPA from Georgetown University and who spent 5 years auditing automotive dealerships in the D.C. area, and who was the Comptroller for a Jeep dealership in Montgomery County for 8 years explained to me how dealerships make revenue and specifically how the service department works, which is where dealerships make the most revenue and profit. She introduced me to their top mechanic, whose earnings were over $100,000 a year at the time (this was over 15 years ago) doing exactly what I described in my post. His ability to make such a decent salary was because he was fast, efficient, and accurate and had very little return work for faulty repairs.
I guess we'll have to agree to disagree on this point.

While a mechanic may get a bonus for doing jobs under book time they certainly don't get paid book time or a fixed percentage of book time.
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      11-07-2010, 05:07 PM   #108
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I guess we'll have to agree to disagree on this point.

While a mechanic may get a bonus for doing jobs under book time they certainly don't get paid book time or a fixed percentage of book time.
I don't want to get in the middle of this but, believe me techs do get paid "book time" of their hourly wage, at least they do here in Canada, I own a shop and I'm a tech and if one of my guys does a job that pays 2.0hr (book time) in 15 minutes or 4 days he gets paid 2.0hr x hourly wage, which say is $30.00 equalling $60.00. The shop billed those 2 hours out at $100, making them $200.00 minus the techs wage. Its called flat rate, this is not new.
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      11-07-2010, 07:03 PM   #109
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battery registration

The discussion of the economics of what a dealer should charge is a waste of time. preaching, or whining, about it is not going to change it one iota. The solution is simple, if you don't like it, don't pay it. Find an indie mechanic, diy, or get an Acura as someone stated. To get any info from this thread requires skipping over a lot of those BS comments. But there is still some good info in this thread.
Back to the original issue, as I understand from the gems of actual info pertaining to the subject on this thread, registration appears to be just that. A recording of the event. The dealer may also clear faults but doing so is a separate event. It seems logical that operating with a dying battery may cause the recording of faults? As for the dead battery of the contributor from Tucson, my experience with living in the Sonoran Desert (Phx), is that the extreme weather kills batteries quickly. I thought the cold weather of the upper Midwest was hard on batteries, but it is nothing like the desert's extreme heat. I am glad my car's battery is not under the hood with the heat from the turbos. I learned here that my 335 has an AGM battery, but there appears to be conflicting info as to whether this is an advantage or disadvantage in the heat. My car passed its fourth BD in July so it will be interesting to see how long the battery lasts. The SLA battery in our 2004 Acura TL lasted just over four years. When a new battery is needed I will replace it with an AGM, from the dealer or otherwise. I may even register it. By the then I may have the tool to do so.
A couple of anecdotes of my own. I agree that my 335 is over engineered and over complicated, but it is SO MUCH MORE FUN than the TL, I plan to keep it as long as I can. I had to get my car towed to the tire shop when one of the run flats chose to no longer run. From what the tire guy says the run flats do not care for the heat either. And the tow truck driver regaled me with his experiences picking up big BMWs and Benzs with electronic emergency brakes. He said when those batteries fail, they lock the brakes. The tow truck has to drag it out of where it is parked and on to the truck.
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      11-07-2010, 07:50 PM   #110
SCA
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Originally Posted by Chriztofor View Post
If the book time is 1 hour and they do it in 5 minutes because of their skill, they can still charge for the hour. This is not fraud.

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Originally Posted by J02 335i View Post
I don't want to get in the middle of this but, believe me techs do get paid "book time" of their hourly wage, at least they do here in Canada, I own a shop and I'm a tech and if one of my guys does a job that pays 2.0hr (book time) in 15 minutes or 4 days he gets paid 2.0hr x hourly wage, which say is $30.00 equalling $60.00. The shop billed those 2 hours out at $100, making them $200.00 minus the techs wage. Its called flat rate, this is not new.


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