Category Archives: Service plan

26 
Nov

Last Service Call for Christmas

Black Friday kickoff for Christmas countdown for Rational oven servicing

In the good old days, we used to all be aware of the number of shopping days till Christmas. But now every day is a shopping day. On-line and in the real world, we’re able to get most things within 24 hours of ordering them. Increasingly we have become reliant upon that.

Problems arise when that last-minute expectation cannot be met for perfectly valid reasons. Like a finite number of service engineers and everyone suddenly needing their expertise. This is the problem we face every year at AC Services Southern; when catering businesses suddenly realise in December they need their Rational oven servicing before peak Christmas use.

Black Friday Reminder

Black Friday sales seem to be launched earlier each year. One UK retailer started theirs in October this year! Black Friday is the Friday after Thanksgiving, which is the last Thursday in November. Thanksgiving is the big American turkey dinner with all the trimmings followed by pumpkin pie for the whole family; while Black Friday signifies the start of the countdown to Christmas not the biggest sales.

Indeed it’s called Black Friday from all the heavy and disruptive vehicle and pedestrian traffic. This caused gridlock on the streets of Philadelphia, as the whole family went shopping on their free day. It sounds a bit like a cross between a Boxing Day walk and the start of New Year sales!

For AC Services, it’s almost become a tradition that on the Tuesday nearest Thanksgiving, we blog our gentle reminder to Rational oven users in South West England and South Wales. This is to not delay and book your pre-Christmas Rational service today on 01454 322 222.

This way both of us can tick your equipment off our to do list early and concentrate on the real Christmas dramas later in December. We can guarantee that up until Christmas Eve, our engineers will be working flat out to cope with the inevitable panicked last-minute rush of breakdowns and servicing!

Buy On-line

Now is also a good time to check that you have all the cleaning products you need to ensure that your Rational ovens continue to function at their highest efficiency. Rational Self-Cooking-Centers have automatic cleaning programmes built into their software. When used with the right cleaning materials you get cosmetic and hygienic cleanliness.

Our on-line shop enables you to purchase these at whatever time of day you remember or have free in the forthcoming rush. But please be aware as these are delivered by delivery firms and they may be affected by their delays caused by volume of parcels and weather. Again earlier purchase enables greater peace of mind.

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Published Date: 26th November 2019
Category: Catering Business, Cleaning Products, News, Ovens, Rational, Self Cooking Centre, Service plan
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12 
Nov

Rational Cleaning Routine

Ensuring service through Rational oven cleaning products

It might be mid-November but it’s getting perilously close to Xmas. Which means you should start making lists of everything you need to make the season progress as smoothly as possible.

If you are in charge of catering, then remember to add Rational cleaning products to the list. They may not be as glamorous as some of your requests to Santa, but they are an oft-overlooked necessity.

Rational Cleaning Products Save Time

Your Rational oven needs to be cleaned regularly in order to perform to its optimal capacity. And you need to ensure that the correct cleaning products are used.

At AC Services, we supply all the assistance you need to service and maintain your oven, from Rational Grill Cleaner, Rational Rinse Aid, Rational Oven Cleaning Tablets for the SCC (SelfCooking Center®) range and for those with Care Control, Rational Care Control Tablets and accessories.

If you have more than one oven, then you may need different cleaning product combinations. As a reminder, we supply:

  • Rational Oven Cleaner Tab (x100): highly concentrated tablets specially developed with a complex set of active ingredients designed to guarantee maximum cleaning power.
  • Rational Oven Care Tablets (x150) with special scale-dissolving ingredients contained to prevent limescale building up. These give reliability without a water softener and the need for separate time-consuming descaling.
  • Rational Rinse Tablets (x50) highly effective care products ensuring active protection.
  • The Rational Grill Cleaner (10 litres) for use with a hand spray gun.
  • Rational Rinse Aid (10 litres).
  • For water filtration, the products are either the Brita Purity 1200 Quell ST Filter Cartridge or the Brita Purity 600 Quell ST Filter Cartridge.

Be Prepared

You may think you have plenty of time but it never hurts to be prepared. And that means BOOKING A SERVICE now if you haven’t already to avoid the inevitable last-minute panic rush. We would be delighted to come out and check your oven over and pre-empt any problems that might arise.

Otherwise to order your Rational cleaning products, simply go to our on-line shop. Or call us on 01454 322222 for more advice of how to keep on top of your Rational oven cleaning.

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Published Date: 12th November 2019
Category: Blog, Cleaning Products, News, Ovens, Rational, Self Cooking Centre, Service plan
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05 
Nov

Don’t Delay Service Today

Don't delay service today

We were rather hoping to bring good news this week, if not about Brexit then about the Rugby World Cup. Instead, we have a runners-up medal and a delay. But fear not, we also have a pre-Christmas general election to look forward to.

And unless you have taken a break from reality this weekend, you will notice that the Christmas and New Year countdown is beginning in earnest.

It’s time to start planning and where better than the annual service for your Rational appliances.

Spiralling Costs

There are two issues for all catering businesses to remember:

  1. you want to keep your oven in pristine condition for maximum and reliable performance.
  2. you don’t want to spend any more money over the festive period than you have already budgeted for.

The cost element can be far-reaching. It’s not just the expense in downtime if you have an oven failure, but also the cost of calling out an engineer if you don’t have a contract in place. Emergency call outs for one of AC Services’ engineers can be 1.5 times or double the normal rate if it has to be the weekend.

Not having a service contract is not cost efficient. Servicing is the key to optimum performance. Here at AC Services, we constantly reiterate this point. Simply put, don’t delay service today!

As an example, we had a customer last Friday with a problem. Unfortunately, the oven had not been serviced for a few years and as we couldn’t get to them on Friday, we dispatched an engineer on Saturday. The bill for an out-of-hours call out an unwelcome £500. A problem with the steam hose and subsequently the drain hose affected the cleanjet pump. This expensive crisis could have easily been averted with a service, which would have pinpointed any problem with the steam hose.

Don’t Delay Service Today

Helen Hagger, MD of ACS offers some friendly advice. “Even though some ovens may still be in warranty, you should still organise a twice-yearly service because we know from experience that a lot can go wrong in six months,” she explains. “We often see where one small thing goes wrong, if it is not put right, it has a knock-on effect. Don’t forget that our engineers have immediate access to the majority of parts which minimises any delay. It’s all about peace of mind and pre-empting potential problems.

For further details and a no obligation quote for your Rational oven maintenance contract telephone 01454 322222 or email us today on service@acservicessouthern.co.uk.

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Published Date: 5th November 2019
Category: Blog, News, Ovens, Rational, Service plan
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22 
Oct

Bowood Hotel, Spa and Golf Resort

Bowood Hotel, Spa and Golf Resort

Bowood Hotel, Spa and Golf Resort is located in the heart of Wiltshire nestled within the Bowood Estate. The luxurious hotel is surrounded by parkland landscaped by the famous Capability Brown.

It provides an idyllic retreat, whether for weekend breaks, golfing escapes, spa pampering, weddings or simply to savour the first-class cuisine. The Estate also contains Bowood House & Gardens, home of the Marquis and Marchioness of Lansdowne.

The hotel, itself, contains 43 beautifully furnished contemporary bedrooms and suites. Guests can enjoy the luxury spa with its infinity swimming pool, gym and pampering spa treatments. The golf course is particularly popular, with a full championship PGA 18-hole golf course.

Weddings, celebrations and conferences are fully catered for, with the backdrop of the surroundings adding to the ambience.

Dining Experience

The hotel is open all day for breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner and afternoon tea. It also caters for corporate events which means that the kitchens are always busy.

Replacing the old ovens over four years ago, Rational supplied two 201E SCC WE units for the main banqueting and conference kitchen, and a 101E SCC WE model for the brasserie. After the initial two-year warranty scheme, the hotel chose a maintenance contract package from AC Services (Southern) which, according to Steve Foster, Maintenance Manager at the hotel, is working perfectly.

The Rational ovens serve their purpose perfectly,” he comments. “They are not only reliable but robust and we have them serviced twice a year, once before the seasonal rush at Christmas.

Because we invested heavily in the ovens, we are determined to keep them maintained and extract the maximum amount of performance so apart from ensuring they are regularly and properly cleaned on our part, we can rely on AC Services to provide back-up at all times, not only with regular servicing but in case there are any problems. An engineer is sent out within 24-48 hours and the issue is always resolved with no disruption to our daily operation.”

This is vital to the chefs at the Bowood Hotel who provide the very best in cuisine using where possible, local suppliers. The hotel is dedicated to understanding and appreciating the importance of provenance, believing that the secret to crafting seasonally exceptional cuisine begins with the careful selection of only the freshest, sustainably reared meat, fish and fruit and vegetables.

Oven Ready

According to Steve, “the catering team is always striving to create both dynamic and contemporary menus for our guests to relish and savour during their stay no matter what the occasion might be.

This requires a reliable and capable oven, and the Rational ovens, supported by the maintenance package from AC Services, provide exactly what is required.

The Shelburne Restaurant serves daily delicious food from seasonal menus every day “prepared with passion and served with flair”. The Clubhouse Brasserie offers a menu ranging from traditional fish and chips to a Club sandwich. Weddings and conferences give the kitchen staff the creativity to provide the best cuisine possible, with the Rational ovens helping with this aim.

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Published Date: 22nd October 2019
Category: Blog, Case Study, News, Rational, Service plan
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11 
Dec

AC Services Christmas Opening Times

AC Services Christmas Opening Times 2018So the big day is not far away, for which the country stocks up on totally unnecessary items for the festive period just in case they are needed. It’s amazing what you find on your shelves in February.

But rejoice, it’s at least another year before we hear those dreaded words again – Black Friday – and to put it in a political context, it’s only two more Brexit ministers till Christmas.

Shops have initiated Operation Santa Claus Frenzy and kids are busy writing lists using the Argos catalogue as a template.

If you followed my advice, you will have ordered the necessary cleaning accessories and booked to have your oven checked over before the holidays begin. If you haven’t, then get on to it today. Put it on that list! For those who live by the chaos theory, although the offices are closed on the key dates, we will still have engineers on call on the days in between because we know that sometimes bad things happen at the worst possible time. But just in case you are in any doubt, see below for clarification of our Christmas working hours.

AC Services Christmas Opening Times 2018

Here are AC Services Christmas opening times for 2018:

  • Thursday 20th December – normal opening hours – 8.15 a.m. to 5.15 p.m
  • Friday 21st December – normal opening hours – 8.15 a.m. to 5.15 p.m
  • Saturday 22nd December – office closed – Engineer on call for emergencies
  • Sunday 23rd December – office closed – Engineer on call for emergencies
  • Monday 24th December – Christmas Eve – office open – 8.15am to 3 p.m
  • Tuesday 25th December – Christmas Day, CLOSED
  • Wednesday 26th December – Boxing Day, CLOSED
  • Thursday 27th December – office open 8.30 a.m. – 5 p.m. (engineers available)
  • Friday 28th December – office open 8.30 a.m. – 5 p.m. (engineers available)
  • Saturday 29th December – office closed – Engineer on call for emergencies
  • Sunday 30th December – office closed – Engineer on call for emergencies
  • Monday 31st December – office open – 8.30am to 3 p.m
  • Tuesday 1st January – CLOSED

It’s back to normal working hours on Wednesday 2nd January.

If you have an emergency with your appliance telephone 01454 322222 and press the appropriate option so we can help you as quickly as we can. If you have a non-urgent issue, leave a message for when the office is next open.

LAST CHANCE

Importantly, don’t forget to order stock parts and cleaning products. The VERY LAST DATE for guaranteed Christmas delivery for an order to be placed is Wednesday 19th December at 5 p.m. We recommend that you CHECK your stock now, to make sure that you have everything you need.

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Published Date: 11th December 2018
Category: Blog, Cleaning Products, News, Ovens, Rational, Service plan
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13 
Nov

Christmas Catastrophe or Planned Perfection

AC Services keeping chefs using Rational ovens happyThe countdown is on. We’ve had Halloween and Armistice Day, not to mention a mid-term election in America plus a spate of excellent TV dramas, so now thoughts turn to the Christmas season.

When does the party season start for you? And when does it finish? New Year’s Day? What’s on all the menus? Turkey? Goose? Beef? Vegan platters? These are all pressing decisions! And let’s not forget the most important one – is your Rational oven Christmas-ready?

For those in catering, the oven is the most important gift over the festive season. If it breaks down, no amount of batteries or prayers will put it right. And few will be willing to sacrifice their own Christmas spirit to rush over to fix it.

There you have it, best case scenario – Christmas dinner ruined. Worst case scenario – frustrated and angry diners, potential court cases and an establishment with a very bad reputation. For restaurants and eateries who are planning to serve sumptuous banquets on and before the day, this could be catastrophic.

There is a solution: get your oven serviced now. Don’t wait for December, call AC Services (Southern) and avoid any last minute rush. We can guarantee that up until Christmas Eve, our engineers will be working flat out to cope with the inevitable panicked last minute rush!

Moreover, why not consider setting up a regular contract so that you can have peace of mind that your oven is looked after all year round? We have a number of options that suit both budget and business.

Value for money

What will you get for your money? Typically engineers will sort any of those annoying little faults that can compromise performance, if left unchecked. We keep our vans fully stocked so we can deliver a fix on the first visit in more than 95% of call-outs whilst we are with you.

Servicing comprises:

  • function testing and commissioning of elements
  • checking the operational mode of water, gas and electrical connections
  • testing electrical components, gas specific parts and steam generation.

You don’t even have to fret about forgetting the date of your scheduled Rational oven service. Every customer who gets their oven serviced will be issued with a reminder the month before it is due next year. So there’s no reason for you to conveniently forget!

Order Now

Finally, make sure that you have plenty of oven cleaning materials in stock. Rational Self-Cooking-Centers have automatic cleaning programmes built into their software. When used with the right cleaning materials you get cosmetic and hygienic cleanliness.

Be prepared and make sure your Rational oven is in working order for Christmas service. Call us now and we can calmly talk you through the options available on 01454 322 222. Then you’ll have peace of mind that the Christmas season will go ahead as planned.

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Published Date: 13th November 2018
Category: Blog, Catering Business, Cleaning, Ovens, Rational, Self Cooking Centre, Service plan
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16 
Jan

Seize the Day! Enjoy 2018

Rational Oven Service and RepairFirstly we would like to wish all of our customers the greetings of the season. Let’s hope that 2018 is prosperous and profitable for all.

We are now back at work having had a busy but successful Christmas period. Although we had plenty of call-outs, no client had to take the drastic step of cancelling bookings due to an inoperable oven!

However, there were numerous calls to us regarding last minute breakdowns preceding and following Christmas. The majority of these calls were for replacement parts: luckily all of our engineers carry the necessary parts so the majority of ovens were fixed quickly and efficiently.

New Year New Start

The message this week is simple – New Year, new start so get your ovens serviced now. Although we obviously coped with the inevitable last minute rush before the end of last year, it makes better sense to arrange a service package with us. Customers that do find it suits everyone’s calendars and budgets.

A Rational Oven service starts from £185 plus VAT depending on model and age. During the visit we will sort any of those annoying little faults that, left unchecked can compromise performance. Remember that our policy is to keep our vans fully stocked so we can deliver a fix on the first visit in more than 95% of call-outs whilst we are with you.

Servicing comprises:

  • function testing and commissioning of elements, 
  • checking the operational mode of water, gas and electrical connections,
  • testing electrical components, gas specific parts and steam generation.

Every part of the oven is tested and checked for total peace of mind and should any faults be detected, then they will be dealt with as a priority.

And don’t worry about forgetting the date of your scheduled Rational oven service. Every customer who gets their oven serviced will get a reminder the month before it is due next year. We prefer not to give you any excuse to forget!

Coming Up Fast

The next three months will see some significant annual events loved by the catering industry. Valentine’s Day is the major event of February followed swiftly by Mother’s Day then Easter. Before we know it, silly season including the FIFA World Cup will be upon us.

So take advantage of the down season and book a service with us today. Don’t procrastinate!

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Published Date: 16th January 2018
Category: Blog, News, Service plan
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05 
Dec

Christmas 2017 Opening Hours

AC Services Christmas 2017 Opening HoursWe are now into December and coming to the end of an astonishing year in history. Changes are afoot which will affect us all but before anything is finalised, we have Christmas to look forward to.

Hopefully, you will have ordered the necessary cleaning accessories and have had your oven checked over before the holidays begin.

But rest assured that although we are closed on the key dates, we will have engineers on call on the days in between.

There are a few simple tips to help you look after your oven and ensure that it is running to its maximum capacity. Have a look here for a list of useful tips for cleaning and maintenance.

AC Services Christmas 2017 Opening Times

Here are AC Services Christmas 2017 opening times:

  • Thursday 21st December – normal opening hours – 8.30 a.m. to 5.15 p.m.
  • Friday 22nd December – 8.30 a.m. – 4.30 p.m.
  • Saturday 23rd December – office closed – Engineer on call for emergencies
  • Sunday 24th December – office closed – Engineer on call for emergencies
  • Monday 25th December – office closed
  • Tuesday 26th December – office closed (can’t face any more turkey)
  • Wednesday 27th December – office open 8.30 a.m. – 5 p.m. (engineers available)
  • Thursday 28th December – office open 8.30 a.m. – 5 p.m. (engineers available)
  • Friday 29th December – office open 8.30 a.m. – 5 p.m. (engineers available)
  • Saturday 30th December – office closed – Engineer on call for emergencies
  • Sunday 31st December – office closed – Engineer on call for emergencies
  • Monday 1st January – office closed.

It’s back to normal working hours on Tuesday 2nd January.

If you have an emergency with your appliance telephone 01454 322222 and press the appropriate option so we can help you as quickly as we can. If you have a non-urgent issue, leave a message for when the office is next open.

REMEMBER

Leave nothing to chance. We understand that you will have a lot to remember for the festive season but don’t forget to order stock parts and cleaning products.

The last date for guaranteed Christmas delivery for an order to be placed is Wednesday 20th December at 5 p.m. We recommend that you CHECK your stock now, to make sure that you have everything you need.

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Published Date: 5th December 2017
Category: Blog, Cleaning Products, News, Rational, Service plan
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03 
Oct

When Should Preparing for Christmas Start?

AC Services preparing for Christmas with catering businessesA question that has often puzzled me is when should preparing for Christmas really start? If we were in the USA then we would already be in the throes of Happy Holidays marketing. But in the UK there is the automatic groan when the first Christmas advert appears. Or the C-word is mentioned at a networking meeting.

An enforced watching of daytime television last week, revealed that already it is not only DFS encouraging you to order now in time for Christmas, but there is an advert for Christmas 2018. Clearly it is never too early to start planning!

Christmas Traditions

All families and most businesses have traditions around Christmas and New Year. Whether that is the day off for Mum with Christmas dinner in a restaurant or the Boxing Day walk and trip to the pub.

For businesses it’s party season. Or the insistence that Christmas Eve is a half day even though no work is done. Of course this year as the 24th is a Sunday that tradition does not apply!

In some ways the Americans are right. The last week of December and turn of the year is all about partying, feasting and holidaying. Of course the early Christian Romans beat the Americans to it when they chose the 25th December as the day to celebrate. As this was the time of the pagan revelry of Saturnalia and the festival of Sol Invicta (the Unconquered Sun), it was an easy transfer.

So what’s this to do with Rational, Frima and AC Services?

Sol Invicta celebrated that the winter solstice had passed. By 25th December, it is usually possible to see the days once again drawing out. By January 1st it is clear this is happening, so we can look forward to future harvests and eat and drink what we have.

AC Services Southern has fallen into the tradition of highlighting to owners of Rational ovens and Frima vario-cooking centres that early October is the time to prepare for the feasting season before it’s too late. Whether that’s because the autumn equinox has passed and the days are clearly shorter, we don’t know!

But now is the time to plan to have your ovens serviced to avoid disasters on the big days. Remember, remember preventative maintenance is almost always cheaper than breakdown catering disaster.

Prepare for Celebrations, Act Now

So there is no better time to book a service for your Rational oven in time for Christmas! Why not also order your cleaning products now and avoid the impending price increases?

AC Services (Southern) are more than happy to help. We offer a range of packages to suit any budget for service. Our aim is to help you take some of the stress out of December. If you own a Rational oven in South, South West England and South Wales, we are the local cost effective provider of all your Rational oven and Frima vario-cooking centre service needs.

So, if you’re preparing for Christmas, please talk to one of the team on 01454 322222.

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Published Date: 3rd October 2017
Category: Blog, Catering Business, News, Service plan
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25 
Jul

Save Money by Servicing and On-line Shopping

AC Services keeping chefs using Rational ovens happyClients often ask AC Services Southern why we recommend a full annual service on their Rational appliances. Surely regular cleaning and standard maintenance practices are enough to maintain the performance of the ovens?

The truth is that however much and however meticulously you clean your oven, like your own car, there is still the need for a regular Rational service to optimise or replace the parts which wear.

So for the diligent as well as those absent-minded oven owners out there, we have a solution. We have been using a new system since April. We now log when ovens are serviced and sending a timely reminder when the next service is due.

Service Essentials

At AC Services we like to give back to our loyal customers so read on to see how you can SAVE £10 on online orders. We are the Rational Service Partner for South West England and South Wales. Our team of engineers only repair and maintain Rational ovens and Frima Vario Cooking Centres. That places us in the very safe position of knowing exactly what we are looking for and what we are doing.

Our engineers have over 40 years’ experience between them and as we only work on two pieces of equipment, all the engineers have a van full of Rational original parts. What this means is that in the majority of cases (more than 95%), our engineers will have any parts that may be required so we will be able to quote you the price and fit them there and then, if given the go ahead.

So what happens in a service and how long does it take? Ideally, our engineers will spend at least 1½ hours and often two hours fully checking the appliance. Why so long? Check out the key points on our service checklist.

  • Installation,
  • Door function tests
  • Interior cabinet tests
  • Control panel function check
  • Exhaust/vent hood function test/commissioning
  • Electrical safety test
  • Water-drain function test
  • Steam generator electrical components
  • Gas specific parts
  • Gas analysis
  • Software update 

Cost Efficiency

The second question is cost. Is it cost effective in the long term?

The cost of a full Rational service carried out by one of our fully qualified Rational Engineers starts from £165 plus VAT (depending on age and size of the oven) plus the cost of any parts required, which are discussed and costed before fitting. Any extra hours are charged at £44 plus VAT, in increments of 15 minutes.

A breakdown or repair callout costs £121 plus VAT inclusive of the callout and one hour’s labour, with further labour charged at £44 per hour in increments of 15 minutes. For those who feel this is too much of a layout, just add up the costs of loss of business, of reputation, of loyal customers and of the profit margin should you be unable to use your oven to provide food for customers.

Customer Discounts

Finally, we love offering our customers discounts. So save £10 per shop on our range of Rational Cleaning, Rinse and Care Tablets for the relevant ovens and Rational Grill Cleaner using the code JUL10 in our on-line store before 12th August 2017.

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Published Date: 25th July 2017
Category: Blog, Cleaning, News, Service plan
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