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Old May 21, 2008, 11:21 AM   #1
Ranger55
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DO NOT BUY Ed Brown Custom

DO NOT BUY Ed Brown Custom products, unless you are comfortable doing business with arrogant people. I had a most unpleasant experience with them, and feel the rifle buying community should be warned before spending your hard earned money there.

So far this year, I have added 10 new rifles to my collection, including 3 recently purchased from Ed Brown Custom. A 7mm-08 and in planning for a safari to Africa, I looked on the Ed Brown Custom webpage and found two in stock that would do well. The first was a 375 and the second a 308 for plains game. I discussed my goals with the salesperson and paid over $8,000 for the two rifles. When they arrived I was confused as the 308 was a target model, and weighed at least 10 lbs.

I immediately called to make arrangements to receive the proper rifle. Renee was friendly and understanding and said there should be no problem getting the proper rifle out but should check with her manager first. I told her, that would be great and in addition to the proper 308 I ordered, I would like to order a 300 Mag.

A moment later, the manager said that there was no way he would take it back the rifle in exchange for the proper one. He said, “I should just sell it and order another one”. WOW!! Of course I politely asked questions of how this could happen and he said “it’s right there on the website”. Then he suggested for another $700 he could modify the target rifle for what I wanted. His tone during the conversation was condescending and patronizing, and it was obvious he wanted no part in talking to me at all, and with no intention of giving the rifle I ordered.

The website is confusing because it shows the rifle for sale listed on the inventory, and when you click on the link it takes you to a page with a photo. The specifications show the rifle weighs 8.5 lbs not 10. Perhaps someone who is extremely familiar with Ed Brown Custom code words, like RV barrel would know that it would be much heavier, despite what the website has as the rifle’s listed weight. Given the detailed conversation I had regarding the intended purpose of the rifle, it’s hard to imagine a “custom” shop would allow this to happen and not make good on their mistake.

It seems the only person who gets a custom rifle from ED BROWN CUSTOM is Ed Brown and his team. Needless to say I would never do business with people I cannot trust and will not spend that much money with people who have no interest in a partnership and will not correct their mistakes. What a shame! Save your money and spend it with a great company that works with both rifles and people. DO NOT BUY from Ed Brown Custom.
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Old May 21, 2008, 01:16 PM   #2
Don H
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Two points:

1) I tend to be wary of people who join a forum just to trash a company.

2) I tend to avoid making judgements based on just one side of a story.
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Old May 21, 2008, 02:33 PM   #3
Ranger55
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Do Not Buy Ed Brown

Don H

The purpose of my forum post was to use the power of the internet to express my frustration at the attitude Ed Brown's manager took towards me. Informing others of my bad experience may cause them to choose a different company to buy rifles from, or at least be extra specific and clear, and save themselves trouble and expense.

I did my best to repeat the conversation as carefully and fairly as possible.
No doubt I share some of the responsibilty because I was half of the transaction. I handle all of the burden of the expense and now have a $3500 target rifle that is useless to me instead of the hunting rifle I thought I was ordering.

There was a detailed discussion with the sales person about the intended use. And still I managed to get something I did not want. She felt that it would "be no problem to get the rifle I wanted instead, but just needed to check with the manager". I offered to buy an additional rifle on top of exchanging the incorrect one. She came back to say "sorry I cannot take it back" I asked to speak with manager personally. I pointed out the website had the weight incorrectly listed. As you read the original post, you know how it went from there.

It just seems bad business and I'm sorely disappointed to say the least.

The few friends I have in the sports writing community and shooting industry were not surprised at how things turned out either (they had colorful words and stories of their own) convincing me my experience is not unusual there.

There is a cost to poor service... a bad reputation. If someone at Ed Brown Custom wants to reply the other side, I'd be interested in hearing.

At most, my mistake was to misread the website. With a total of more than $14,000 invested in Ed Brown products, a few minutes of their time making sure we were discussing the same rifle is not too much to ask.

As for returning within a few days an unfired rifle for the proper one, there should be no issue. If there was a legal problem then ok. They didn't mention one.
But there is no cost to treating customers with respect even if they are not "experts".

To look at the bright side, I paid $3500 for a business class... with a free target rifle thrown in.

Last edited by Ranger55; May 22, 2008 at 01:21 AM.
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Old May 22, 2008, 10:07 AM   #4
Phlebotomy
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You can't get 'custom' from a phone call from a company that won't even adjust LOP. Ed Brown's off the shelf are no more custom than the stuff on the shelf at Walmart. They're pretty and expensive, but still basically a metal tube for bullets to fly down.

I figure if I order a pair of 'custom' suit pants I'm going to have some-one's hand in my crotch. And when they're done I'll get the tailor in there to do some measurements.

A custom rifle should be the same way. Except the crotch part.
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Old May 25, 2008, 09:36 PM   #5
JP Sarte
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Good for you Ranger55

Ranger55:

I agree with you and I am happy you took the time to post your concerns where other gun owners / buyers could view them.

1. It doesn't matter to me why you joined this or any other forum. That is your business.
2. In my opinion, this is a great place to dicuss such issues.

If you had a bad experience why not share the information? You may save somebody a lot of trouble. In addition, if you are dropping $8000.00 on a couple of rifles the manager should act as though you are the King of England.

That kind of arrogance needs to be brought to the attention of as many people as possible. I for one won't buy from Ed Brown either. Why would would I? I might get the same treatment or worse.

This problem exists because not enough people take the time to share stories / information about bad experiences. If more people did, and less people bought from companies engaging in these practices, firms like Ed Brown would change their tune fast or face the possibility of going out of business.

Reputation does matter and it is built not by company propaganda or slick advertising but by these firms providing an exceptional product at a fair price.

JP
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Old May 25, 2008, 11:33 PM   #6
dipper
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+1 JP---and if the story isn't true ( I personally believe it is) the company can always press charges.
People need to know the GOOD and the BAD companies out there so we as a whole can support the good ones.

Dipper
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Old May 26, 2008, 12:43 AM   #7
Mondo
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<< Good for you Ranger55
Ranger55:

I agree with you and I am happy you took the time to post your concerns where other gun owners / buyers could view them.

1. It doesn't matter to me why you joined this or any other forum. That is your business.
2. In my opinion, this is a great place to dicuss such issues.

If you had a bad experience why not share the information? You may save somebody a lot of trouble. In addition, if you are dropping $8000.00 on a couple of rifles the manager should act as though you are the King of England.

That kind of arrogance needs to be brought to the attention of as many people as possible. I for one won't buy from Ed Brown either. Why would would I? I might get the same treatment or worse.
>>

+1

Based on his recount of the incidents, Ranger 55 seems to be an even keeled guy, kind, polite, and professional, who is just trying to solve an order fullfillment mistake as best as he could. Considering how much he has spent on the rifles he bought, I think he deserves some respect from Ed Brown.

But it seems that Ed Brown was disrespectful and arrogant. They don't seem to care about the customer. The minute you tell the customer "I don't care about you" the customer is completely within his right to respond in kind.

Ranger 55 did not act obnoxious nor loose his temper, after notifying Ed Brown of this order mistake, Ranger55 maintained his trust of the company and wanted to place another order for yet another high dollar gun. It is clear that Ranger55 was acting on good faith and is simply a victim of a erroneous order, a simple problem that most any decent, reputable company should immediate address to maintain their good name and reputation.

But it seems that Ed Brown is not that kind of company. I see them do a lot of advertisement in the trade rags and I have purchased their 1911 products before at shows and from dealers. But now I will think twice.

<<Reputation does matter and it is built not by company propaganda or slick advertising but by these firms providing an exceptional product at a fair price.

JP>>

Agreed, trust is earned, not given. Good reputation only comes from hard work and commitment to excellence and customer service. You always have to know where your next sale is coming from.
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Old May 26, 2008, 01:31 AM   #8
johnwilliamson062
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Quote:
In addition, if you are dropping $8000.00 on a couple of rifles the manager should act as though you are the King of England.
If you had just ordered it off the net I would not be surprised you had this problem and would tell you to grow up, but having talked to the sales person I would expect them to set you up with whatever they had closest to your needs and to get it right, irrespective of the cost of the rifle, or whether it is really custom. Considering the expense of the rifle I would expect them to throw in some extras for wasting your time.
I had a shipping problem with sierra trading post that originated from my mistake then was magnified by one of theirs. The CSR, once realizing what had happened, told me she was sorry and she would have a manager call me back. I ended up with better products than I had ordered at the original price, free expedited shipping, a gift certificate, and a number of sincere apologies. It was a $150 order and Sierra trading post operates on a relatively low margin model.
Needless to say I am going to check with them first on every outdoors item until I die or they go out of business. I will be avoiding Ed Brown.
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Old May 26, 2008, 12:45 PM   #9
Phlebotomy
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It's surprising the attitude some manufacturers develop over time. They forget that at one time they were just some guy working in his garage and hoping to make a buck. If nothing else it would be nice if they at least considered that there's a thousand other people out there doing the exact same thing, just as well, and probably for a buck less.
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Old May 26, 2008, 12:55 PM   #10
Wildalaska
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So let me understand, you bought a gun out of stock without checking the specs and are upset because they wouldnt take it back?

WildthatsallthatithinkisimportantAlaska ™
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Old May 26, 2008, 01:07 PM   #11
dipper
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Wild,
I read the post as the OP saying that the rifle he wanted WAS IN STOCK and he ordered THAT one and they sent him a different one and told him to sell it and order another one.
BS to me---if you don't get what you ordered, thats on the dealer not on the buyer.
You'd think they would make it right since it was their fault and the customer spent good money with them.

Dipper
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Old May 26, 2008, 01:15 PM   #12
Wildalaska
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Not how I read it, but hey, I got no bone in this kennel.

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PS...I share Don H's views..
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Old May 26, 2008, 04:11 PM   #13
Joseywales3
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Two short stories

I've bought 2 customs pistols so far:

1 - Custom 9mm 1911. The pieces were built by a known custom maker and asmebled by a known machinist who supplies many of the frames and slides used for custom guns. Outcome? $1,200 gun had a safety issue on the first trip to the range, because the safety was not fitted properly. Sent back for full refund, all parties very cordial.

2 - Custom Acusport 45 Colt revolver bought from one of the industry's most famous SA gunsmiths. You wouldn't believe it if I told you. Now I don't know much, but I know that the only weapon more simplified than a SA revolver is a spear. Well, my $1,400 Ruger would not even cycle when I first took it from the box. After breaking a nut trying to get the basepin out, I reassembled and took it to the range. After painstakingly getting it to shoot 15 rounds, I bailed. The famous maker had an attitude, as if somehow it was my fault that the cylinder on his "custom" revolver wouldn't turn. He didn't have to kiss my a$$, but how bout cordial at least??? I worked with him trying to diagnose the problem, after that he agreed to take it back. Of course, I'm out $100 in shipping and still no bang! I bought a used one with reamed cylinders for $475. Big bang, big smile!

Some of you mentioned the forums and guess what, that is where I got the answer to what was wrong with the gun. After talking with some less famous smiths online and even some shooters, I don't think it could have been anything other than an ill-fitted basepin. I just can't imagine what else would allow the revolver to function fine, then lock, then function fine, etc. The famous maker would never own up to that. The truth is, he probably didn't even perform the work himself, in fact, I'm starting to wonder how many smiths actually do. However, he sells it under his name, which I still don't necessarily have a problem with, as long as he oversees the more important aspects of the work and inspects the final product. I believe I paid for that much. Quality control, at least on my gun, was crap! I'm sure he got it back in hand, spent 3 minutes, and now it's a fine weapon for somone.

I've been in a service-oriented business for over 25 years and can tell you that the best opportunity one has to win a lifetime customer is when something has gone wrong. A lot of folks can get it right the first time, it's when things go bad that the character of the person/business come through.

My next customer revolver is on its way to me. A popular SA smith, but not the "fame", or cost, of the one listed above. For some reason, I'm much more confident that he builds each gun himself.

Just one man's story, which is exactly what these forums are for. It's up to each reader to determine, objectively, what their own course of action should be.

Last edited by Joseywales3; May 26, 2008 at 04:14 PM. Reason: Spell check
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Old May 26, 2008, 04:32 PM   #14
SOCOMII
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Quote:
and found two in stock that would do well.
Seems pretty obvious the rifle was not OOS.

Quote:
PS...I share Don H's views..
I don't. Everyone has to have a first post.

For someone to take the time to find a forum, register, validate, and write about their experience, also taking the time to spell check, punctuate, and capitalize, and erase all the bitter hate language they really want to write but would only diminish their argument, takes alot more time that whipping out $.02 for every "what caliber is best for SD" thread.

i am less wary of 1 post company bashers than several thousand post $.02'ers.
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Old May 26, 2008, 04:59 PM   #15
Joseywales3
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Agreed. Which reminds me, steer clear of Gypsum Valley Outdors Sports in KS. He sold me a Ruger Super Blackhawk Hunter - NIB. The rear sight had been painted! He told me that the gun is NIB and refused to take it back - I'll admit it was a few weeks later because we moved. But he knew the gun was used! It was returned to him by one of his customers and since the guy never shot it (I guess God told him that, since I don't anyone else who could verify it whether a Ruger tank has 3 rounds or 30 through it) it was ok to be sold as NIB.

NIB means new, never sold, transferred, registered, etc. Am I wrong about that? I took a bunch of crap from a member on another forum, because he said I was being picky. Which brings me to another point. Everyone has a different level of tolerance, or what I like to call, level of give a $hit : )

Ok, last one, I promise. Welsh Subaru, in PA sold me a brand new Outback in 1999. After a couple days, I started noticing window trim that looked "off" and white resiude stains under the fender. Yes...the kind that are left from wetsanding. The car had over $1,000 of body work completed before he sold it as "new". He later admitted that 9 of his cars were damaged before being sold as new, but refused to make any consideration. Subaru of America was not very happy about that and forced him to take the vehicle back and provide me with a new vehicle. All I asked for was an extended warranty - would have been much for both of us in the end.
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Old May 26, 2008, 05:04 PM   #16
dipper
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Great Post Josey and I'll bet you a GOOD steak dinner that I can name the Smith you mentioned in one try--but I won't.
+1 to you too Socom.

Dipper
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Old May 26, 2008, 05:08 PM   #17
Joseywales3
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Oh come on...PM it to me. I won't tell..
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Old May 26, 2008, 05:14 PM   #18
PT111
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Quote:
Two points:

1) I tend to be wary of people who join a forum just to trash a company.

2) I tend to avoid making judgements based on just one side of a story
I tend to agree especially when it involves someone oredering A "custom" something unseen over the Internet and admits that the website is confusing.

I have been a hunter all my life but I do not hunt and kill what I do not plan to eat and although there may be something I don't know what one would be hunting on an African Safari that they would eat.

Ranger 55, I have no idea who you are or what kind of person you are and am not judging you but you sure come across in your first post as a spoiled brat.
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Old May 26, 2008, 05:36 PM   #19
dipper
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Phlebotomy wrote:

"You can't get 'custom' from a phone call from a company that won't even adjust LOP. Ed Brown's off the shelf are no more custom than the stuff on the shelf at Walmart. They're pretty and expensive, but still basically a metal tube for bullets to fly down."

I couldn't agree more.

For sake of argument, lets say that a guy that just spent $8,000.00 for a couple of rifles from you MADE A MISTAKE when he placed his order.
I would think it would be good business to take back one of the two you sold him and replace it with what he wanted---BUT, I don't believe that is what happened anyway.

Ranger, if you wanted true customs and nice rifles, you should have spent your money on one or all three of these.
http://gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewIte...Item=100202605

They "LOOK" to be top shelf!!

Dipper
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Old May 26, 2008, 06:18 PM   #20
JP Sarte
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After reading a few more posts on this topic I must posit the question where does it end? Bad service, lying, bait and switch, poor products, damaged goods, etc, etc, etc.

I can speak for nobody but me.

Only my opinion, but one of the reasons that this culture of poor service and bad products exist is because the majority of people simply settle and say things like "I'll just take it, I don't wan't to make trouble, it's too much hassle" etc.

However, I must assure anyone reading this that if I spend $4000.00 on a rifle I better be 1000% satisfied. Period. I am not picking up some $500.00 SPS off the rack at Cabela's. Unless your a physician or attorney or some other fellow with more money than he could possibly spend, this is serious money for a hunting rifle and the "custom" maker should know that and act accordingly.

If I am spoiled or demanding it's because I have earned the right to be that way by virtue of me spending my money with you. I am the customer. You say if I don't like it go elsewhere? Love to. Just happily refund my four grand and I will do just that.

JP

P.S. Any of you guys out there willing to accept bad service and inferior products ought to contact me for a little Florida real estate. Wonderful beach front and great views. Called the Everglades I think? Selling lots now!
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Old May 26, 2008, 06:27 PM   #21
Joseywales3
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My wife will sometimes say, "things always get screwed up for us" - meaning big purchases, etc. The truth is, we notice more than most and care more.
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Old May 26, 2008, 06:58 PM   #22
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I feel compelled to respond to some comments made on this thread.
Quote:
I have been a hunter all my life but I do not hunt and kill what I do not plan to eat and although there may be something I don't know what one would be hunting on an African Safari that they would eat.
First of all, if there could be a more irrelevant comment made, I'm not sure what it would be.

Second, the meat on African hunts is not wasted. Far from it! What is not eaten by the hunting party is given to people who need it far more than anyone reading this forum is likely to have ever needed a meal.
Quote:
...you sure come across in your first post as a spoiled brat.
I guess I qualify as a "spoiled brat" too. If the website says it weighs 8.5lbs** then it better weigh 8.5lbs whether I pay $500 or $5000 for it. And let's just say I'd be less than enthused at the seller's suggestion that I pay him $700 to fix a problem generated by the errors on his website.

**It does, I checked. In fact, Ed Brown doesn't stock a hunting rifle that weighs more than 9 lbs if you believe their website--which doesn't appear to be particularly advisable.
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Old May 26, 2008, 07:29 PM   #23
PT111
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I have not been to Ed Brown's web site and don't really have any intention of going there but the OP was the one who brought up the fact that the web site was confusing and I was going from his post.

If you can afford to spend $4,000 on a gun sighf unseen or not being absolutely sure what you are getting, and I again refer to the original posters comments about confusion on the website, then more power to you. The only people I know of that spend that kind of money for something they don't know what they are getting are those that really don't know what a gun is supposed to weigh and sure wouldn't get on the Internet complaining about it. They would either fly out to Ed Brown's place and show him what he could do wiht his rifle or have his lawyers do it if they thought they needed to.

My idea of custom is specially fitted for me and cannot be bought off the rack from existing stock. That is like going into Sears and buying a suit and saying it is tailored. Yep someone with the title tailor may have made it but it is not a tailored suit.
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Old May 26, 2008, 10:16 PM   #24
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The guy who pays my salary gets my undivided attention to everything I deliver to him. Imagine how your boss/customer would feel if I get a assignment at 10 minutes to five, and I pack up and am out the door at five on the dot.

If I were the boss, I'd tell that louse not to bother to come back tomorrow!

Same thing applies here. Especially if a guy is paying 8K for a gun. He deserves to get what he paid for.
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Old May 27, 2008, 02:50 AM   #25
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Quote:
I immediately called to make arrangements to receive the proper rifle. Renee was friendly and understanding and said there should be no problem getting the proper rifle out but should check with her manager first. I told her, that would be great and in addition to the proper 308 I ordered, I would like to order a 300 Mag.

A moment later, the manager said that there was no way he would take it back the rifle in exchange for the proper one. He said, “I should just sell it and order another one”. WOW!! Of course I politely asked questions of how this could happen and he said “it’s right there on the website”. Then he suggested for another $700 he could modify the target rifle for what I wanted. His tone during the conversation was condescending and patronizing, and it was obvious he wanted no part in talking to me at all, and with no intention of giving the rifle I ordered.
From this, the entire complication should be made right so the customer can come away with what he needs to purchase. If Ed Brown really wanted to keep the reputation they have, they could have taken the rifle back and exchanged it. Sure, work out the details so you don't lose an arm and a leg, but I don't understand why there is refusal to satisfy the customer. What am I missing?
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