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Letter to the President of AMCAS

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by medical22, Aug 13, 2001.

  1. medical22

    medical22 Senior Member 7+ Year Member

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    Jul 15, 2001
    Would anyone like to help me write a letter to the president of AMCAS stating that we have had so many problems with the web application. I know that he is aware of that, but I just don't think it's been fair. I would have submitted my application a long time ago if I were able to do it on paper. But every time I try to work on it online, there's always a problem and this has delayed the process.

    So would you all want to sign it???
     
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  3. JenniferC15

    JenniferC15 Member 7+ Year Member

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    I would definitely sign it!
     
  4. E'01

    E'01 1K Member 7+ Year Member

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    I thought about that - I would definitely sign it :)
     
  5. medical22

    medical22 Senior Member 7+ Year Member

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    Great! Who will help in writing it? I am going to work on the lette after the MCAT. I'm too stressed about that right now, but those who are not taking the exam can start writing it. And how are we all going to sign it? Through forwarding it as an e-mail or can anyone think of a better way?
     
  6. medical22

    medical22 Senior Member 7+ Year Member

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    The more people that sign it, the better effect the letter will have so lets make it as long as we can.
     
  7. kornphan

    kornphan Senior Member 7+ Year Member

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    here
    i'll sign it too!
     
  8. Legend

    Legend Super Senior Member 10+ Year Member

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    I will sign 10 times.
     
  9. 6-8 Weeks

    6-8 Weeks Senior Member 7+ Year Member

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    We should just write a letter saying that we are going to do all this mean stuff to AMCAS, be general and leave them hangin'. Then at the bottom, we will tell them that we'll get back to them at our leisure in 4-6 weeks.
     
  10. Scooby Doo

    Scooby Doo IEatShavedPussyCats 10+ Year Member

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    I will sign a letter asking for a partial refund. We basically used AMCAS like we use MS Word/Power Point/Excel...To configure what we want to say...Print it up ourselves, and send out everything else to EVERY SINGLE damn college we applied to!!

    My total bill was $1200. Most programs run about $50 or so...I am feeling generous though..and I would be willing to pay $500 or so for the program that so graciously allowed me to stay up everynight until 5am for about 2 to 3 weeks straight...so that would mean I want a $700 refund check in the mail. Anyone else want to join me??? :D :D :D :D :D
     
  11. moo

    moo 1K Member 10+ Year Member

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    My total bill was bout 1000 bucks. I want at least half of that back. Just show me where to sign baby!
     
  12. medical22

    medical22 Senior Member 7+ Year Member

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    Besides getting a refund, we should also request that all the deadlines should be extended. Of course, medical schools will review the applications in the order they have been received. I don't think this is fair at all. Some who have not submitted their app yet or have submitted it later than others haven't been able to do so because of the many problems caused by the web application.
     
  13. kutastha

    kutastha 2K Member Physician 10+ Year Member

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    Since we'd be requesting a refund totalling $8 million dollars from AMCAS, can we also request that they give us all a position into the medical school of our choice, with a full scholarship, a brand new BMW and a trip for two to the Bahamas? Maybe we can ask them to provide colorful gnomes that will bounce around and sing songs about rainbows and butterflies while we're at it. ;)

    Andrew
     
  14. medical22

    medical22 Senior Member 7+ Year Member

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    ajr,

    BE SERIOUS!

    We don't have to ask for much, but I feel that we should still write a letter to the president.
     
  15. kutastha

    kutastha 2K Member Physician 10+ Year Member

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    I know - a letter would be nice, but it should be professional and not ask for anything. And it should be cc'ed to major newspapers and news outlets.

    Andrew
     
  16. E'01

    E'01 1K Member 7+ Year Member

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    Hey Medical 22 - I would love to help write the letter. I already emailed a letter to aamc asking for partial refund - of course I did not receive a response. Perhaps people can draft a letter - post it up for feedback and take it from there. In terms of signatures, perhaps someone can create a webpage (like the one Drako did for the list of med schools accepting paper apps and online secondaries) where people can put their signature on it (cut n paste from microsoft paint or something). I'm no computer expert so I don't know if that's possible. UNLESS everyone prints out a copy of the finalized letter from here, sign it and send it in themselves.
     
  17. medical22

    medical22 Senior Member 7+ Year Member

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    E'01,
    I don't think you will get a reply to your e-mail from aamc. They haven't responded to any of my 10-15 e-mails I sent them. If you don't mind, would you post that e-mail and we can then add more to that or change it in any way we feel necessary.
    I'm not aware of the web page that Drako made, but we can always figure out how to get the signatures later. First lets work on writing it.
     
  18. C U in MD school

    C U in MD school Senior Member 7+ Year Member

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    I think this is a great idea!
    I would be more than happy to help write the letter.
    I think that we should all have one letter that we all sign and send out to the director.
    I also think that we should get more than just half our money back. think of all the phone calls.
    also, I think we should include the names of some of the specialist who have been rude or given us the wrong info.
     
  19. lorarp

    lorarp Member 7+ Year Member

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    I like the idea of generating a letter that people could print out, sign, and send to AAMC. That way they would hopefully be flooded with this letter, and they would get the point.

    Just to explain my frustration, I submitted July 6th but have not been processed yet and AMCAS attached an email with my social security number and amcas id number to one of their emails to some random girl at another school.

    Anyone who wants to get the attention of AAMC should send a registered letter. It worked for me when I couldn't get anyone to respond to my privacy violation.
     
  20. we should ask the president of AMCAS to resign...

    i personally, wnat his resignation for this AWFUL jbo that he has done!!!! shame on u shame :rolleyes:
     
  21. figure five

    figure five Member 7+ Year Member

    yeah, printing out a common letter, signing, and flooding amcas with our bitter correspondences is a fun idea. we might want to wait until after they finish processing everyone's crap before we give them 40,000 extra bits of mail to sort through, though. I'm thinking that'll be in march, april of next year
     
  22. Smoke This

    Smoke This Sweet cuppin' cakes! 10+ Year Member

    I'm for this. I'll sign just about anything, whether it's one common letter or a flood of mail like you proposed here.
     
  23. E'01

    E'01 1K Member 7+ Year Member

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    Well here is a first draft. I had trouble ending the letter so please feel free to give me your suggestions and/or to alter it yourself. :) By the way, the original email wasn't as um, nice - but there is no need to be rude or demanding and so I hope the letter came off sounding a little more mature and professional.

    Jordan J. Cohen, M.D.
    President
    Association of American Medical Colleges


    Dear Dr. Cohen:

    As a current medical school applicant who is utilizing the services provided by the AAMC, I am fully aware of the difficulties surrounding the web-based application. I understand that the current issues regarding the application process were unexpected and that when corrected, the electronic process will inevitably aid in the timely delivery of applications to medical schools. Yet for those of us who are applying for 2002 matriculation, it will unfortunately not be so and thus we have had to use alternative methods. I understand that you are completely empathetic to the situation and I would like to truly thank you and AMCAS for being supportive by continually reassuring us and working to improve the application process.

    Given the current technical difficulties and that the cost to apply to each school was increased this year - $150 for the first and $30 to subsequent schools - I am sure that you understand my need to request a partial refund. I believe that this is reasonable, considering that I - and other applicants - have had additional expenditures, particularly the costs associated with mailing additional transcripts with a photocopied AMCAS application to each school. Again I would like to reiterate my appreciation of the fact that AMCAS is working hard to solve the current application process, yet I would most like for the organization to highly consider the fairness of such a just act. Thank you for your time and consideration.

    Sincerely,
    Applicant's Name
     
  24. E'01

    E'01 1K Member 7+ Year Member

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    Ooops - sorry about the lack of effective transitioning between the 2 paragraphs - I'll have to work on that
     
  25. oh I noticed the paragraphs were not indented.....

    just blame the amcas software :D

    dr. cohen my ass....he should resign....his to blame for all these problems....
     
  26. Bruin4Life

    Bruin4Life Senior Member 7+ Year Member

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    E'01: You may also want to include the cost of the long distance calls many of us were forced to make. personally, my phone bill increased by $30 when I was trying to resolve an error I kept getting when trying to save my course work. They wouldn't reply to our emails and thus we were almost forced to make those calls.
     
  27. JenniferC15

    JenniferC15 Member 7+ Year Member

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    That letter sounds pretty good...I'll definitely sign it!
     
  28. E'01

    E'01 1K Member 7+ Year Member

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    Thanks guys. Sure I'll put in the phone cost issue - that was a biggie
     
  29. kutastha

    kutastha 2K Member Physician 10+ Year Member

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    A little input:

    What you should do is outline the troubles and problems we all have had with the process, software and phone calls. Don't just tell them something they already know and then ask for your money back. It sounds cheap (at least on my end it does). This company will not refund our money. You should know that. And of course come at it from that angle. Mention all the problems, and then hit them with the cost of the application to the students. Let them know you're disappointed, especially after you've paid them for your services. Remember, this is a business - almost like a corporation - not your local 7-11 where you got a stale hot dog.

    Andrew
     
  30. E'01

    E'01 1K Member 7+ Year Member

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    Andrew - you are right, I thought about specifically outlining the issues instead of mentioning it in one sentence. Instead of being Do you have any in particular that come to mind? By the way, please keep in mind that this is a group effort - feel free to compose a letter/paragraph if you see mine as unfit as we've all shared different experiences with the situation. Thanks for the input!

    By the way if the company does not give us a partial refund,do you guys think that our credit card companies will? I know that if a merchant has charged you for a service, then you are allowed to dispute the amount (as long as it's over something like $50) if you have not received the designated service. Then I believe the company is contacted by the credit card company and charged a fee for not providing the service. Just another thought... I'll call to double check.
     
  31. E'01

    E'01 1K Member 7+ Year Member

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    Oops - disregard the "Instead of being"
     
  32. kutastha

    kutastha 2K Member Physician 10+ Year Member

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    Well, anything and everything should be mentioned. Here's what I could think of off the top of my head:


    The fact that we should have first been able to access the program on April 1st, then got pushed to May 1st then May 18th should have been their first clue there was a problem.

    Then, the single server episode trying to handle god knows how many people trying to access the site.

    The lack of paper or disk applications processes as an alternative to their beta testing something so important as a medical school application.

    Two hour wait periods for trying to speak to someone who should have been informed, but wasn't.

    Often getting disconnected after waiting so long.

    Having to pay for a call to their service, for what should be an 800 number.

    Bugs bugs bugs

    Submitting errors

    Double credit card charges

    People's names being wrong.

    People accessing their application, but getting into someone else's.

    Lost transcripts.

    Slow verification.

    The fact that it's August and only two schools have received some full applications.

    Having to go through alternate procedures put forward by other schools because we cannot use the service we paid to do this for us.

    I think this is just the tip of the iceberg, but these things should officially be brought to their attention by everyone.

    And I would highly advise against the credit card dispute. They will provide the service, albeit in a slow manner. If they don't and you don't get any of your applications in at all, then you have a case. But if they do get your applications in, and you try to take back the full amount, you're attempting to steal from them. I'm sure they wouldn't look to kindly upon that.

    Andrew

    (and the edit button is the little piece of paper with a pencil that appears above your post)
     
  33. SMW

    SMW Grand Member 7+ Year Member

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    anchorage, ak
    I think the letter could stand to be more specific and a lot more forceful. Lack of response to our e-mails, uninformed "specialists," disapperaing info when we're trying to send out paper apps, the fact that we even have to send out paper apps, the processing of applications in no particular order, the loss of transcripts, the infuriating amount of time we have all wasted
    trying to complete the application and now having to do AMCAS's work for them.

    I'd like to see your previous "not so nice" e-mail!
     
  34. SMW

    SMW Grand Member 7+ Year Member

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    anchorage, ak
    Is anyone still working on this letter?
     
  35. SMW

    SMW Grand Member 7+ Year Member

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    anchorage, ak
    Oops, medical22, just noticed you're taking the MCAT this Saturday! I can understand why you've back-burnered this! GOOD LUCK!
     
  36. Intrepidation

    Intrepidation I wear PASG underwear 7+ Year Member

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    I never thought I'd say this, but I think I've finally found an advantage to Texas: No AMCAS! :D
     
  37. medical22

    medical22 Senior Member 7+ Year Member

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    Now that the mcat is over, we can all start working on this letter again. Right now my brain is fried so I'll work on it tomm. I hope more people give their input on this.
     
  38. SMW

    SMW Grand Member 7+ Year Member

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    anchorage, ak
    bump
     
  39. E'01

    E'01 1K Member 7+ Year Member

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    Alrightey - this is a second draft. Feel free to comment/change.


    Jordan J. Cohen, M.D.
    President
    Association of American Medical Colleges


    Dear Dr. Cohen:

    I write to you on behalf of many pre-medical students who are unsatisfied with the services provided by AMCAS. As current medical school applicants who are utilizing the services provided by the AAMC, we are fully aware of the difficulties surrounding the web-based application. We understand that the current issues regarding the application process were unexpected and that when corrected, the electronic process will inevitably aid in the timely delivery of applications to medical schools. Yet since we are applying for 2002 matriculation, it will unfortunately not be so and thus we have had to use alternative methods. We understand that you are completely empathetic to the situation and would like to truly thank you and AMCAS for being supportive by continually reassuring us and working to improve the application process.

    Given the current technical difficulties and that the cost to apply to each school was increased this year - $150 for the first and $30 to subsequent schools – we are sure that you understand our need to request a partial refund. After paying a large sum for the services provided by AMCAS, we would like to receive a portion back considering that we have had additional expenditures whether it be time and/or money spent. Some of them are listed below:


    1. Excessive time spent online completing the AMCAS application.

    2. Photocopying additional transcripts and AMCAS application for schools.

    3. Postage spent on mailing transcripts and the photocopied AMCAS application to schools (a service that AMCAS is solely responsible for).

    4. Long-distance phone calls to AMCAS where the majority of the time was spent being on hold only to be sometimes later disconnected.

    5. Unreturned emails or emails received in an untimely manner.

    6. Inability to receive information in a timely manner that referred to transcript verification, electronic receipt of application, and application transmittal.

    7. The lack of an electronic system as promised by AMCAS, in which one can verify and monitor one's own application process.

    8. Phone calls and emails to schools verifying whether they have received the AMCAS summary page and application.

    9. Extended wait periods given the fact that it is nearing September and only a minimal amount of applications have been successfully transmitted.

    10. Multiple programming flaws in the electronic system that prohibit an accurate completion of the AMCAS application.

    Again, we would like to reiterate our appreciation of the fact that AMCAS is working hard to solve the current application process, yet we would most like for the organization to highly consider the fairness of providing a necessary partial refund in light of the many issues surrounding the application process. Thank you for your time and consideration.

    Sincerely,
    X
     
  40. E'01

    E'01 1K Member 7+ Year Member

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    bump
     
  41. SMW

    SMW Grand Member 7+ Year Member

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    anchorage, ak
    Perhaps we should add the fact that AMCAS has apparently given up on verifying apps until fall, whenever that might be! And the fact that apps submitted after 8/10 are going out to schools ahead of apps submitted before that, thus creating a penalty for early submission!
     
  42. Amy B

    Amy B I miss my son so much Moderator Emeritus Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

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    I think you should add the fact that there are lots of people who submitted their application before everyone else and yet their applications have been ignored and the people who submitted after July 10 have been processed before the people who submitted in June. How they try to say the delays are due to not having transcripts in even though they have had the transcripts for months.

    This shows AMCAS is illegally playing favorites as to who gets processed and sent to the schools and who gets their application ignored to just sit in their stupid computer sata base.
     
  43. medla

    medla New Member

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    I thought you might want to add that because they are not doing their job of verifying applications in a timely manner medical schools are forced to send out secondary applications to everyone. So, we paid AMCAS $150 + $30 for them to respond that they are not verifying applications until next fall and to receive secondary's from all the schools we applied to. The schools are sending out secondary apps only because that is the only method they could get our data because of the inefficiency of AMCAS. As a result we are paying an average of $75 extra and spending time answering the stupid questions to get denied later on.

    I am extremely angry and I hope the post makes sense and is understandable. :mad: :confused: :eek:
     
  44. SMW

    SMW Grand Member 7+ Year Member

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    Amy Beth, is it July 10, or Aug. 10? Somehow I got the idea that it was the latter, and now I can't find the post about it.
     
  45. SMW

    SMW Grand Member 7+ Year Member

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    I found the post. It was Olsen's on "Current news from AMCAS," and the date is 8/10. That's the submission date after which paper apps are being sent right out to schools without verification, but those who submitted before are still in the verification process, as I understand it, thus creating a penalty for early submission.
     
  46. spacecadet

    spacecadet Senior Member 7+ Year Member

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    Don't forget AMCAS's blame in this for failing to have any kind of a backup system. That was really irresponsible. It seem that even if the problems were unexpected, it only makes sense to have a backup available in case of unforseen problems with a totally new system. I think you're letting them off too easy.

    Otherwise, I think it's a great letter and I'll be happy to sign it. I also had to take time off of work to do my application because it was so slow and I (stupidly) thought that I needed to get it in early.

    I feel like I paid $150 for nothing, since I had to do all the work myself and the one AMCAS school I applied to (Baylor) is handing out interviews without verified AMCAS applications.

    Pam
     
  47. SMW

    SMW Grand Member 7+ Year Member

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    I don't think there's any way they're going to give us a refund, although I'm not opposed to asking for one. I think perhaps a few additional points not relating to time and money spent could be made. I think the failure to have a back-up plan is an extremely good point. I would also like to see something in there about our extreme dissatisfaction with the entire process from rudeness, ineptitude and lying on the part of their "specialists," to the fact that there is now a penalty for early submission.
     
  48. medical22

    medical22 Senior Member 7+ Year Member

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    E'01, you write very well. You have done a wonderful job of putting everything together. I have a few suggestions:

    -First of all, I wasn't aware that the cost to apply to each school was increased this year. Just make sure that is true. By the way, how much did it increase by?

    -In the first para, I would eliminate the word "truly." I think we have stressed our appreciation enough

    -In the second para, instead of "we are sure," I think we should write something like "we hope" that you understand….

    -Last line of para 2, instead of ‘some of "them,"' we should be more clear and write ‘some of "the problems we have faced" are listed below' or "the following are some of the problems we have faced"

    -I don't think we should number the problems. Bullets or dashes would be fine

    -The first thing I would like to mention on the list is:
    No paper application made available to applicants. (There are many applicants who do not have access to a computer or the internet and many others prefer to fill out the app on paper). All of the problems could have been avoided with paper applications

    -after #1, I would add:
    Frustration caused by poor application performance
    encountered error messages; information inputted could not be saved, information deleted or lost at times

    -I would like to change around the order of the list. I think first we should list the problems we faced with the web app, then list what we need to do because of that i.e. alternate methods put forward by other schools. So I think # 2 and 3 should go after

    -#4: should we say that there is no toll free number

    -#5: Instead of "unreturned," I think we should write "lack of response to e-mails sent with appropriate subject lines" or e-mails received….
    (They really stressed that the subject lines be correct and even after putting the correct subject lines, I did not receive a reply to any of my e-mails.)

    -#9, we can only write "nearing Sept" if we are going to send the letters asap

    -in the last para, instead of ‘working "hard,"' I would write ‘working "around the clock."' Those exact words were written by the pres to us.

    You may change according to what you feel is better.
     
  49. medical22

    medical22 Senior Member 7+ Year Member

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    Any other suggestions? If not, lets finalize this letter and start sending it out.
     
  50. kobe8

    kobe8 Member 7+ Year Member

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    Staples Center
    The letter is very well written, however, I suggest being a little more forceful. While we must remain professional, we must also get our point across. It is therefore important that the AMCAS understands the tremendous burden which their mistakes have placed on us. Words such as "truly" and "completely epathetic" are rather submissive and weaken the integrity of our frustration. Perhaps the last sentence of the first paragraph can be replaced with "and we appreciate yourself and AMCAS for working to improve the application process", but no more.
    In addition, I do not suggest including monetary values (i.e. $150 and $30)to the letter, instead we should simply state how we are paying more money this year only to run into more problems.
    Lastly, we should include the lost wages of those who had to turn down work shifts in order to complete the application.
     
  51. hi guys

    do u guys want the email address of Jeff Cohen, whose really RESPONSIBLE FO THIS WHOLE THING AND WHO WAS IN CHARGE...

    I think I got it from one of the "specialists"....I think I hvae his email address as well as his phone number! let me know...I think it would be awesome if we all email them :D
     

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