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Well I have been thinking . . . .

Discussion in 'UHall' started by Jirel of Joiry, Sep 23, 2013.

  1. Jirel of Joiry

    Jirel of Joiry Certifiable
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    Very seriously about writing a letter to EA's new CEO and board of directors. Yes, yes I know thinking is dangerous for me and my head my explode or something. The point is this: they are about making money. Unfortunately all they know is x, y, and z are not making money. They do not and will never know the why because they are surrounded by "YES" people that hide the screw ups, flaws and 1001 way they piss off customers DAILY. I was thinking write a nice letter and send it registered mail to these people and tell them the mess Mythic is, the Mythic account management system is, and the steaming compost heap that the origin store has become. Not to mention the serious lack of communications across subsidiaries( i.e. Mythic, Bio Ware etc.) as well as EA departments. Also the pathetic customer service that we have all come to expect. I honest believe that these elements have been the cause of EA's continued revenue loss for the last 4 quarters, heck last 8 quarters. I may not be able to make them face reality, but I can at least try to bring it to their attention.

    What do ya'll think? Am I spitting in the wind? Thanks guys.
     
    Shakkara likes this.
  2. Kylie Kinslayer

    Kylie Kinslayer Grand Inquisitor
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    Spitting in the wind? Nah, you are trying to pee uphill with a wind coming downhill at 40mph. CEO's and the board of directors could care less about the complaints of customers, all they care about is the dollars. Keep in mind this is a company that has been voted as the worst company for customer service for the last 2 years running yet they still maintain a stranglehold on the market. Additionally all they care about in the end is the price of the stock, which you can see for yourself is climbing on the 1yr, 3yr and 5yr track. In short, they would not care one iota what any letters to them say. http://www.marketwatch.com/investing/stock/EA
     
  3. MalagAste

    MalagAste Belaern d'Zhaunil
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    Here I'll make it easier on you... Infact I encourage you to write. [email protected] is where I wrote to them. Basically telling them that UO is a Diamond in the Rough.... and all they need to do is put a bit of resource into it and see it pay off. Also told them what a stinking pile the Account Management System was.... and how they are losing dollars daily with it... as well as the Origin Store. Countless dollars are being lost because of them.

    I got a nice letter back from Kyle Cooper the customer service rep... but he didn't do much. Sent my message on to the "proper" department who sent me a note telling me the issue was closed.

    I even complained about being billed from the Netherlands locking up my credit card as they don't take charges from outside the US and think someone is trying to steal my identity when they do. So I wind up with my CC blocked all weekend... Can't say I'm happy about that. But the matter is closed so I'm told.
     
  4. Doubleplay

    Doubleplay Lore Keeper
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    You have about as much chance of getting a CEO to view your complaint as you have buying an item from the store. Your best chance of getting a statement through the morass of protective departments and divisions is to write to individual members of the board of directors. These people are the ones who are focused on the business and are the ones who may be critical of the way things are being done. They filter FOR problems, not filter them out.
     
  5. Viper09

    Viper09 Grand Poobah
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    Do whatever you want. Seriously...

    Just don't expect anything.
     
  6. Uvtha

    Uvtha Grand Poobah
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    Be sure to write it on toilet paper. :p
     
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  7. Ray_Martin

    Ray_Martin Journeyman

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    I think you're jaded. I think that almost every human being on this planet wakes up and thinks about how to do the best thing in their position for the people they serve. I think a nasty letter is counter productive. I think the best thing to do is not complain until you can suggest a feasible way on how to fix a very specific problem. I think UO is an old game and you'll just have to like it for it's flaws and support the dev team we've been given.

    I do not think CEOs are surrounded by Yes men. I think they are surrounded by people that know to keep their mouth shut if they can't be constructive. I think they are surrounded by people that are probably more constructive than the average person. I do not like EA either, but it's not because of a person. It's because of how they've structured and built themselves into a tight corner that requires too many resources to make it worth pulling UO out of it. Be happy they are still in the green and quit biting the hand that feeds you.

    Do you think there are CEOs out there rubbing their hands together thinking about ways to screw people over? Do you really think a CEO should invest money into a game that wouldn't have as high of a return as another game with the same amount of investment? If you want to control the money, stop playing UO and go make your own company. Then you can be loyal to people who play your decades old game until you go broke.

    That's what I think. Thanks for asking.

    EDIT: At some point someone is going to read some of the stuff everyone posts. They're going to make a decision... Companies are now focusing on their reputations and brands. They have things to consider like Net Promoter scores. For companies like EA that are down in the pits as we all know... That means they need to be able to compete for investments with companies that are advertising strong brands and promotion scores. EA is going to want to increase these. If you really like the game, become a promoter of the brand and game and do not stick out like a sore (barely profitable) sore thumb that it's best to just cut off.
     
    #7 Ray_Martin, Sep 23, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2013
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  8. Kylie Kinslayer

    Kylie Kinslayer Grand Inquisitor
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    Just happened to think my post above, and the rest of the responses could make you feel discouraged and you decide not to write... sometimes in life, even when you know it will do no good you have to mount your steed, lower your lance and attack that windmill! Why? So in the end you get the satisfaction of knowing you at least tried.....
     
    #8 Kylie Kinslayer, Sep 24, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2013
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  9. Doubleplay

    Doubleplay Lore Keeper
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    The isolation of the CEO is not because he/she wants to screw people over. It is an accumulated result of people trying to paint a rosy picture of their divisions. If your little part of the company is having problems, are you going to go out of the way to point this fact out to the person at the top? No... You either try to take care of the problem at your level, most likely with the company's best interest at heart. The problem is that some people in an organization are not suitable for the positions they hold. This may include the CEO at times. That is why corporations have a board of directors to watch over the stockholder's interests. In a great organization, the CEO is acutely aware of the dangers of nepotism, lack of skill, and promotions to positions one above what a person can handle. Those CEO's make sure that all chatter from customers, stockholders and etc. make it to his desk.
    In the case of EA, the ongoing customer service problems are indicative of a problem that is protected from the top management. I doubt that the CEO has an inkling of what is going on. There is evidence (the ongoing problem) that communication has been thwarted somewhere up the chain. The letter to customer service may never make it through. Thus my suggestion to go through the board of directors with notification and documentation of a problem.
     
  10. Lord Frodo

    Lord Frodo Grand Poobah
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    Why do you care what we think? If you think it is the right thing to do then do it. If you use UOStratics as a fact based data collection system then you are pissing in the wind. Please understand that we are not, even close, to being a majority of the UO Player base. UOStratics could give you the numbers of total visitors/logged on people thet read UOStratics daily but just because they read or post does not mean that they agree with you. Yes there are a lot of UOStratics Posters that will agree with you that EA's Customer Service (me included) SUCKS but for every UOStratics Poster there are, I would hope, 100s of UO Players that could care less and log in and play UO without any trouble. I am guessing that there are about 100 UOStratic Readers/Posters daily and at a ratio of 1:100 then UO has a population of 10,000 players (God I hope there are more players than that). So UOStratics makes up like %1 of the UO Player Base. I would also keep your letter very professional. I have read a lot of your post and if you come across like most of your posts then by the time someone reads the first couple of lines your letter will just get filled in the trashcan.

    Do not let anybody stop you from doing something that you think is the right thing to do, just do it. You will find out that there are 3 types of people in the world. Blowhards, those are the one that say they are going to do it and never do. Fence Sitters, those are the people that just go about thier day and just accept things as they are. The DOERS, those are the people that do what they think is right no matter what others say and you will find out that DOERS don't ask others if it is OK or brag about what they did afterwords. DOERS are the people behind the scean that gets things done that you never hear about and rarely even get a pat on the back.

    Bottom line is do what you think is right and quit asking others for permission. I would also have an English Major read your letter, let them know what you are trying to do and why.
     
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  11. Uvtha

    Uvtha Grand Poobah
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    Myself personally... I see less virtue in making pointless gestures of frustration to a faceless corporate wall, than in saying "I won't support this", and stop giving them your money, and make a decision to use your gaming dollars to support an independent developer who very probably will listen to your concerns, and if not address them, at least take them into consideration. Better yet, take that energy and some friends and make your own UO they way you want it.

    EA is what it is. It won't change. It's foolish to think it will. I guarantee they get mad ranting letters and emails by the boatload on a daily basis.

    UO is what it is. It's not going to radically change or somehow start drawing millions. People should be happy it's still running, and appears that it will keep going for years to come. If thats not good enough for people, they should just move on now.

    I guess by all means she should send her rant that will only be tossed on the fanatic pile (read: trashcan) if she thinks that will make her feel better... but I somehow doubt that it actually will.
     
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  12. Aurelius

    Aurelius Babbling Loonie
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    The EA response to being voted worst company in the world twice in a row is to say 'we don't deserve that and clearly our customers are wrong'.

    Against that level of outright denial, we won't make the slightest dent.....
     
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  13. MalagAste

    MalagAste Belaern d'Zhaunil
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    Exactly.

    Also if you do write to them be prepared they want EXACT details of what is going on. They want names, dates, and proof.

    You could go way back in stratics and link the 100's and 100's of posts generated by the I can't get my account restarted, I can't buy off of Origin, I can't update my CC, I lost my account, I never got my Code, I didn't get my Email Code, etc...
     
    #13 MalagAste, Sep 24, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2013
  14. Penderrin

    Penderrin Journeyman
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  15. Uriah Heep

    Uriah Heep Crazed Zealot
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    Pen! Don't be so talkative! :p
     
  16. SlobberKnocker

    SlobberKnocker Slightly Crazed

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    never underestimate the power of a well written letter. I would recommend sending it regular mail rather than email. there is a new ceo. this might be something that he looks to make an issue out of.

    you never know.
     
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  17. Risso

    Risso Babbling Loonie
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    Please don't remind them that UO still exists.
     
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  18. Bianca_CoD

    Bianca_CoD Sage
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    I think everyone's expectations are a little bit skewed here. UO works as well as any game would that was 16 years in age. Does it have issues? Yes. Does it drive us crazy? Yes. Are we going to continue to see issues crop up? Yes. Are we still going to pay for our beloved accounts that have beloved characters that own beloved housing? You betcha!

    But we need to understand that we were sold this product nearly 20 years ago and with that comes the long, tedious battle of "trying to keep up with technology and demand". I think our producer, Miss Mesanna, and her team do the absolute BEST JOB they can do while still maintaining a profit margin, running a business, paying employees, and all that other jazz. I don't know of any other game in the world that has had the sustaining power of Ultima Online. Do you? I think Dark Age of Camelot and EQ1/2 are still going, but just barely. And they just shut down Warhammer. I bet EQ1/2 are going to see a shut down soon when they release EQ3 (EQ Next). World of Warcraft is for sure going to be around for the next decade + --- its probably the only one to still be around alongside UO --- even with the rumored WoW2 that is said to be on the horizon.

    So with the negativity that is pouring out here, should come some praise and some credit to the fact they're still going decently strong after 16 years!

    ~ Sue.
     
  19. Felonious Monk

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    I admire the sentiment.
    I say go for it. I think you wont send a nastygram. I bet you have an idea of how to do it somewhat informatively and not snarky.
    When you get nothing in return you'll know you tried.
    If something good comes from it ........how cool would that be!
     
  20. Eaerendil

    Eaerendil Professional Mall Santa and Legendary Piglet
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    My experiences with letters like this are quite positive. However, I live in Germany and I don´t know whether you can compare the situations in our countries.

    IF there would be a serious attempt to write such a letter, it should be designed as follows:

    (1) It should be a letter written collectively by a large number of players, designed perhaps in a way wikipedia designs it´s texts: open-source and based on a discourse that takes in account many different points of view. It would take some time to write it and it should have a clear direction:

    (2) Content: UO is a diamond that needs some polishing. There is still so much deidcation in the playerbase and with some communication and innovation, there can be a new growth, I bet. There are still excellent Devs working for us. Many games have died, we are still here. There are ways to earn cash, just think about it... There would be many other points, they have to be collected in the way described in (1). More importantly, there should be an impressive list of suscribers, leading to my third point:

    (3) The letter should contain arguments for keeping UO alive and ideas for developing further. And this letter should be supported by all forums we know, all those people adiminstrating these forums and - of course - a large number of players. We could contact the players via GC, communicating an online way to suscribe it. Furthermore, we should try to find bloggers, journalists, magazine editors and so on from our field of IT-/Games-Media to suscribe, too... This would give a boost to the issue. It has to be created some sort of public pressure...

    Problem: This attempt could end in a very very pathetic result: IF there are only a couple of hundred players left (I really don´t know how large the playerbase is) and if only a very small number suscribes... This would be a total "blamage".

    If there will be some sort of communication towards EA, the way described above would be the only serious way. But another point is true, too: Don´t wake a sleeping dog... ;-)
     
  21. Goldberg-Chessy

    Goldberg-Chessy Crazed Zealot
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    Well said.

    $13 a month has been buying me a whole lot of fun and relaxation for almost 16 years now.
    That's 1/3 of what I spend on coffee each month. Or one decent vodka on the rocks with tip :)

    Good people are still working on the game and it occasionally gets updates. I am more then happy with the finished product and could care less about the actual number of employees or who got let go or what the CEO had for breakfast. The game has been going strong for 16 years and every one of those 16 years a lot of people predicted its immediate demise. Too funny.

    Is the account management site a pain in the ass sometimes? Yes. Is the store a total cluster**** most of the time? Yes.
    So what? It hasn't ever affected my actual gameplay so I deal with it and move on. I think that if I ever got so upset over not being able to buy a transfer token or theme pack that I threatened to quit or write a CEO I probably should just quit as the clinical term for that kind of behavior is addiction.

    And may I add that I am very curious where the OP gained the experience necessary to critique EA and its CEO?
    What billion dollar gaming company has she consulted for or run lately?
     
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  22. The Zog historian

    The Zog historian Babbling Loonie
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    Which is, sadly, not customers, but stockholders. Unless you're a big shareholder, you're not going to get meaningful attention. But good luck anyway.
     
  23. WildWobble

    WildWobble Sage
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    Write the letter!. If we want real change someone would start a gamer investment coaliion where 1000's of us would invest a coupple hundred bucks each into a nice chunk of their shares then get our voices heard! TIME FOR THE PINK SLIPS! fire the lot of them and rebuild! management needs to go first of course. if it happened i would not hesitate to drop a g note into it as long as it is properly setup to represent us.
     
    #23 WildWobble, Sep 26, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2013
  24. The Zog historian

    The Zog historian Babbling Loonie
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    As I've pointed out before, such an attempt would still fall very far short of getting enough power to garner attention. Let's say you can get 10,000 players to invest $200 each. That $2 million isn't even a drop in the proverbial bucket of EA's outstanding shares.

    The 10th largest holder of EA stock is a Prudential fund that recently initiated the investment. They don't even own 1%, but their block of 2.89 million shares is still worth $76 million.
     
  25. drcossack

    drcossack Babbling Loonie
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    This. At times, EVERYTHING is a pain in the ass. It's the same with sports - we complain (sometimes a lot), and we may THINK we can do a better job than the people actually in charge of our favorite team, but the truth is, we can't (though I can think of a very easy exception to the rule here...)

    Would I get mildly annoyed if I couldn't reactivate my account/buy Stygian Abyss/keep renewing? Of course. It would just mean I'd take another break from UO until I felt like playing again (well, not the "can't upgrade to SA" part, anyway)

    Honestly, it's not like the EA CEO said "he's getting paid, so we're going to keep letting him do his job" when the work said employee is putting out isn't all that great...in which case you SHOULD complain and/or want the CEO's head (real-life example: http://sulia.com/channel/philadelph...b-62b4-4e30-8441-455c5541973c/?source=twitter)
     
    #25 drcossack, Sep 26, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2013
  26. Shakkara

    Shakkara Slightly Crazed
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    They seriously need to this... many companies in the world should.
     
  27. Jirel of Joiry

    Jirel of Joiry Certifiable
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    Seriously, Goldberg, just seriously? You need to get that knot out of your knickers; the chafing and hemorrhoids are affecting your higher thought processes. I have worked in bookkeeping for the last 5 years. I am going to college to get my B.S. in Accounting. Forgive me, oh-great-expert-on-everything, but ignoring the issues with the Origin Store and the Mythic Account Manager amounts to “leaving money on the table". What does “leaving money on the table" mean? As we all know if you leave money on a table in a public place someone is going to come along and pick it up, it is human nature after all. Well if you toss you customers aside like so much rubbish, another company will happily scoop them up and carry them away.

    Let me throw some fact and figures at you since numbers are what I do best. Okay according to Origin’s message board:
    http://answers.ea.com/t5/Origin/INVOICE-FAILED/m-p/1445566#U1445566
    621 people have had the INVOICE FAILED error which basically means that customer cannot buy ANYTHING from the Origin Store. Okay let’s say the average customer spends $25 per month in the Origin Store. Okay, this is just a ballpark guess at the median of what a customer might spend. I did look around and there are items that range from $1.99 to 59.99 or more so for this model I am going use $25. Okay this problem has been going on since 8/23/2013. So you take 621 * $25 = $15, 525. That is $15,525 dollars that EA lost last month! I know that to a multi-BILLION DOLLAR company like EA that is just peanuts. However, think about this: how many more people is there that didn’t say anything? If for example 1 in 3 customers complain then for that 621 there are approximately 1,242 people who just went somewhere else. So when you add those with the complainers that makes 1,863 customers. Then multiply at $25 per customer, now you are looking at a loss of $46,575. That is still not a big deal to EA. Well if EA continues to stick their collective heads in the sand and let it remain broken for say, six months. Now you are looking at a loss of $279,450 that is enough to get the attention of at least 99.9% of us tightwad accounts, especially when a company has posted a loss for FOUR STRAIGHT QUARTERS!

    Okay the Mythic Account Management nightmare, how many UO and DAOC players have given up out frustration over this pile of compost? I have no knowledge of DAOC or its players so I’m going have to just stick with UO for now. Okay so let’s say for the last year UO has lost say 100 players due to the Mythic account manager. Okay let say for the sake of argument that the typical UO player has at least three accounts. So that is 300 accounts at $12.99 per month. That is 300 * $12.99 = 3897 * 12 months =$46,764 loss. Really, this is money in the bank.
    When you are posting a loss every quarter, it is like a ship full of holes. You either plug up the holes or sink… i.e. bankruptcy. Don’t believe me go ask oh, GM, Chrysler, or American Airlines. These companies all ended up in bankruptcy because they kept making the same mistakes over and over again. Now I SERIOUSLY doubt that President Obama is going run out and bail out EA the way he did GM and Chrysler. No EA will end up in the same predicament as AA, the you-made-the-bed-now-lie-in-it variety.

    These numbers are mostly hypothetical; I mean it’s not as if EA would even think of supplying us with the real numbers. Okay I’m done so as the Human Torch says…..FLAME ON! LOL
     
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  28. hen

    hen Certifiable
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    As long as they are making so much money from Madden and FIFA they won't even need to think about customer service for the likes of us. Sucks, but that's the way they run things.
     
  29. Goldberg-Chessy

    Goldberg-Chessy Crazed Zealot
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    Get a clue. Seriously.

    EA is a very large and very profitable company. The amount of customer service issues it fields daily/weekly is no more then any other company its size handles. It is simply the cost of doing business. More business=more issues.

    You keep posting numbers and dollar amounts as if you actually have a clue. Why?
    Are you getting these numbers from EA sales reports that none of us are able to see? Or are you pulling these numbers out of your arse then coming here and talking like a fool because you have nothing better to do?

    Btw, how is that in game stalking thing going? According to you awhile back you had multiple stalkers where again? On Origin?
    Hope you are safe and everything worked out ok :)
     
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  30. Lord Frodo

    Lord Frodo Grand Poobah
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    It took her 10 days to come up with that, LOL. Wonders how that letter to EA is coming or as per norm is she just b;owing hot air up you know what.
     
  31. The Zog historian

    The Zog historian Babbling Loonie
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    Jirel, if you thought through your numbers, you'd have found they're overestimated. Did you go through each of the 621 messages to filter out duplicates? Do you really think everyone of those unique players would have spent that much?

    You might consider the dollars significant, but do you really think EA will care about $50K from UO subscriptions when they have half a billion dollars in quarterly revenue, and losses in the nine figures? They're not going to look at one small stitch in the whole outfit, but the overall macro strategy of making new games that will sell hotly. That's why they delayed the 2015 edition of Tiger Woods PGA in favor of other things.
     
  32. Uriah Heep

    Uriah Heep Crazed Zealot
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    This will be my quote of the month for people who annoy me in RL :p

    Thank you :D
     
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