Cancel Sprint CellPhone Contract Without Early Termination Fee

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If you are under a Sprint cell phone contract and want to get out, check your statements with a billing date in December. is reporting the the following verbage from Sprint:

Regulatory Charge/Ts&Cs Changes
Effective 1/1/10, the Regulatory Charge will increase to $0.40/line. Visit Sprint Ts&Cs or for details; also effective 1/1/10, the Sprint Terms & Conditions (Ts&Cs) are changing. Please review them carefully at or on request.

It would appear that the regulatory charge that Sprint is choosing to pass onto you is connected to the change in T&Cs. This is important because the law states that if a company makes a material change to the contract, then the consumer has the ability to exit the contract without an early termination fee (ETF) if they notify Sprint within 30 days of the notice.

You may terminate each line of Service materially affected without incurring an Early Termination Fee only if you: (a) call us within 30 days after the effective date of the change; and (b) specifically advise us that you wish to cancel Services because of a material change to the Agreement that we have made. If you do not cancel Service within 30 days of the change, an Early Termination Fee will apply if you terminate Services before the end of any applicable Term Commitment.

Since Sprint themselves state that this is a change in the Terms & Conditions, it should be possible to exit your contract without an ETF. They’ll probably make it difficult, and you might need to speak to a supervisor. I did this a few years ago with Verizon, and they canceled my number on the spot and I had to get a new one. But with the ease of number porting nowadays, you might be able to coordinate things so that you can keep your number after making sure you won’t be charged any penalties for canceling.

Added: As to whether this is a “material” change. The .20 increase is NOT some government fee that is passed straight to you. It is NOT required by law. Sprint could choose absorb it into their other costs, or only include it for new customers on new contracts, but they chose to increase it in this way. Think of it this way – 50 million customers times 20 cents per month = $10 million per month in additional revenue.

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  1. The FCC requires that they allow you to port your number out with the ETF waived. You can call in and request that the ETF be waived, simply notify the customer service rep that you plan to port your number out. You may need to call in a second time, after you port out, to confirm that the fee was credited properly.

  2. I’ve had the OOMA Hub & Scout for about 2months now and just love it. I haven’t noticed any difference in voice quality and the OOMA voice mail sure beats my old answering machine. I am a little concerned about how long the company can last, but my break even point is about 6-7 months and thought it was worth the risk given the potential for ZERO future expense.

  3. Wow, that’s great! My wife and I are under Sprint contracts and I was wondering if I could just get out of the contract but not cancel my Sprint service. I just want to be out of the contract so I can upgrade to better phones if they come out. Anybody knows if this is possible?

  4. omgimamother says

    Anyone heard if Verizon plans to make this change too? I’d LOVE to get out of my contract.

  5. Yes! I’ve been wanting to get out of our contract. I want to make sure I’m not missing it. I checked our latest bill today; on the top right corner of page 1 it says “Sprint is making changes to its policies. Please see the “Sprint News and Notices” box on page 2, the back of this page, for details.” But there is nothing about the fee changes. My bill period is Oct. 23 – Nov. 22, with a Bill Date of Nov. 26. I’m thinking the information will be on my next statement. Am I correct?

  6. As stated, Sprint will be making this difficult to accomplish. And you better believe when the executives start getting the number of cancellations in, they are going to make it even more difficult. I wouldn’t wait for your next bill. Go ahead and make the call in the next few days if possible.

  7. Yes, but there has to be a “material” change in the contract. When you call to cancel, they’re going to tell you that $0.40 is not “material” because it’s low enough to be insignificant

  8. Claire,

    Sprint did an almost identical thing a year ago, and the change was just a small if not smaller. We got out of our contract no problem :). You just have to ask.

  9. Yeah. Tmobile increased both the messaging as well as overgae charges and Is till could not get out of the contract without paying the ETF

  10. I did this with Sprint almost exactly two years ago. It was quite the headache and the initial customer service reps you get on the phone were of no help. I finally was forwarded to a supervisor and was able to cancel my contract with no ETF after I told them I was filing a complaint with the BBB.

    So in short….Yes, it will work, but be prepared for multiple phone calls.

  11. c’mon verizon…do it too!

  12. Any tips on T Mobile?

  13. I would definitely argue that this is a “material” change because it is completely voluntary on Sprint’s part and the fee is not required to be passed on to consumers by law.

    If it’s not “material” then why are they charging their 50 MILLION customers another 20 cents per month? That’s $10M per month in additional revenue. Give it to me then!

  14. I also did this with Sprint two year ago and it was a mess. The rep i talked to said that yes i could cancel without ETF since there was a change in T&C so I went ahead and cancelled. Later when my bill came, I was still charged a $200 ETF! I called them back and spoke to several people but they insisted the initial rep gave me the wrong advice and there’s nothing they can do and will not remove the ETF. so yah, it didn’t work out for me. But it seems like others have done it successfully so good for them.

  15. I tried this today. They bullshit you a little bit, but if you stand your ground, you’ll get out of your contract no problem. Worked for me today, and I signed my latest contract in FEB2009. This is essentially what I said over the phone… (typed it up as a script if anyone else wants to try it)

    “Hello. I’m calling about my current contract with Sprint and the new 40 cents per line regulatory charge that Sprint will be introducing this January. The latest Terms & Conditions contract I signed with Sprint was in [year], and under that contract, it specifically states that as a Sprint customer, I have the right to terminate my contract without paying an early termination fee in the event that Sprint makes a material change to its agreement with me, and so long as I notify Sprint of my desire to do so within 30 days of such a change. This new 40 cent per line regulatory charge constitutes a material change to the Terms & Conditions agreement I signed, and therefore, I would like to exercise my right under the agreement to terminate my contract without any early termination fee.”

    20 minutes and one Account Services supervisor later, I was out of my contract. =P

  16. Nice going, Stephan. Remember, the .20 increase is NOT some government fee that is passed straight to you. It is NOT required by law. Sprint could absorb it into their other costs, or only increase it for new customers on new contracts, but they chose to increase it in this way. If it doesn’t matter to you that’s fine, but it is definitely a change in the contract. A change is a change, they wouldn’t do it if it didn’t benefit them.

    Again, 50 million customers times 20 cents per month = $10 million per month in additional revenue.

  17. Dude.. thank you guys so much.. I want the iphone so bad but those bastards said since i joined in 06 the reduction for ETF does not apply so its 200 bucks no matter how close to when my contract ends to cancel.

    I called today read the script that Stephan wrote and it was like magic.. she didn’t argue just said.. ok sir.. but you will need to wait to cancel till Jan 1st 2010 and forward me to her managers voicemail to state thats what I want to do.

    After I recieve information whether i can keep my phone number or not I will go down and buy my Iphone today! Other wise ill wait till Jan so I can import my number.

    Thanks again guys!

  18. I read Stephen’s message to the representative and got no hassle in terminating. She promised to send me an email reflecting the Jan. 1 termination date and no ETF. Thanks!

  19. Called Sprint @ 8:24 AM central time to close the acct. on my second phone line and talked to a Lady named Jackie, ID work # JA247565, was very nice and was tolded to call 1 Jan. 2010 and at that time they’ll close the acct. on the 2nd line and there will be no ETF on the bill! Didn’t even have to go to a supervisor!!!! THANKS FOR THE HELP Stephan.

  20. Upon canceling, are you then on a month-to-month basis with Sprint (but with no long-term contract/ETF)? Or does one need to have another carrier immediately lined-up to transfer the account to?

  21. I am wondering the same thing as dan, do you have to cancel service right away?

  22. I hope all of the above is correct as I just ordered two Iphones from At&t with plans. At&t is giving me temporary phone numbers until January 1, 2010. At that time, I will call Sprint, perform the above, and have At&t port over my numbers.

    If successful, I’ll come back and give props to this site. If not, I’ll expect the ETF wired into my account immediately (joke..).

    Merry Christmas!

  23. This works! Just called Sprint but you can’t officially cancel until the change is in effect. So you can cancel after your are billed for January.


  24. Just wondering if a person cancels their contract utilizing the above mentioned reason, will they be required to return their phone?

  25. When I canceled my contract over 3 years ago, I did have to end my usage of Verizon completely. I have read reports that people have asked and successfully managed to remain with Sprint on a month-to-month basis, but I have no personal experience.

    You definitely don’t have to return the phone.

  26. So, I just got my Sprint bill for December and it listed the changes to the Terms & Conditions. I called and it took about 20 minutes, and two reps (the first rep was not in the correct department) most of which was waiting for a rep.

    Long story short, it worked beautifully. The rep I got was very helpful. I explained why I wanted to leave and that I wanted to port my numbers to another carrier. She offered me a few options to stay, but they weren’t attractive enough to stay (took maybe 1 minute). It took a few minutes, but she manually changed my contract end date to a date in the past. That way when I port the numbers there will be no additional fees or billing issues to resolve later. And I also requested a 1800 number to call sprint in case there were problems (since I wouldn’t be able to use *2 to reach them with my new carrier). I also requested a confirmation number for the call so that I could reference it if there were any future problems. I got the number and she also offered to have a supervisor verify the changes. I passed on speaking with the supervisor, later when I got home and logged on to my account I verified that contract had ended.

    Much easier than I thought it would be.

  27. I just called and got my contract canceled. An interesting point that the account services rep stated is that ATT will no longer be offering the IPhone after June 2010. Not sure if that means that ATT will no longer be the only service associated with the IPhone or if Apple is planning on signing a contract with a different carrier…thought I’d pass it along.

  28. Just got off the phone with the sprint folks myself.

    First I tried via chat — rather unhelpful as ultimately they pointed me at the customer service department.

    Called customer service, got a rep that wouldn’t even let me complete a sentence, when I asked for a supervisor he very curtly transferred me to someone’s voicemail. Unfortunately, I didn’t write down his name.

    Called customer service again, spoke with a rep very briefly (basically just asked for a supervisor). After a few minutes, spoke with a supervisor and I’m out of my contract.

    In regards to the first customer rep I spoke with, apparently Sprint C/S doesn’t automatically link the rep you talk with to your account. So the first rep won’t even get a slap on the wrist because they don’t know who it was. Sigh.

  29. Thanks so much Stephan. I’ve had a one and a half year battle with sprint trying to get out of my contract and had no luck. Everytime it was $180 per line to cancel. Then my wife by luck finds this and I try it. Only took 7 minutes and both of my lines were cancelled with no ETF. The lady tried to sucker me in to staying but i wasn’t trying to hear that. So once again thanks. You’re a money saver

  30. The beauty of information on the Internet! I ordered two Iphones with At&t last week and placed my call today with Sprint. The call took maybe 35 seconds. All I mentioned was “I want to terminate my contract and port both of my numbers to another carrier because of the 2010 regulatory charge”. The sprint rep said “you’re certainly entitled to do that sir”. Then, he gave me a confirmation number which waived the EFTS on both lines. The end.

    I already ported one Iphone today, working great. Tomorrow, I”ll port my wife’s line. Great site!


  31. Just got my contract terminated:)
    It took 4 reps and about 20 minutes
    The first rep I talked to told me that even though my current bill notified me of the 40 cent regulatory charge, the charge was not applied on my bill for the month, it was just a notification that it was coming, and so I could not terminate until it showed up as a charge. I thanked him, hung up, and called back.
    I gave the spiel that Stephan scripted out above, and it worked like a charm:) I was put on hold for about 10 minutes and when the rep came back on the line she told me that I was set up to terminate on January 26th. (This is because my billing cycle starts and ends on the 26th. They cannot prorate, they set the termination at the end of your current billing cycle so keep this in mind.)
    Another thing to remember is that they will ask you multiple times WHY you are canceling. Mention no other reasons other than the 40 cent charge. Do not even say that you have been trying to get out of it for awhile and now’s your chance. The 40 cent charge is the only valid reason that can cancel you without the ETF.
    Good luck!:):):)

  32. I am pretty clueless when it comes to stuff like this so please bare with me.

    I just talked to several at Sprint and they stated that they cannot tell if the change will affect me. I already have been paying a .40 regulatory charge. The rep stated it was a .20 cent new charge..??? And that I couldn’t do anything til the new billing period ended on Jan 27 and I’d only be able to opt out if the new charge affected me. How can they not already tell if we’re being affected? Makes no sense. If I keep calling as some of you have, will I eventually get a rep that will cancel my acct, waive the fee and port my # without paying extra?

    I am already pretty ticked off with Sprint. They billed me an extra $40 by mistake on this last bill.

    Ive also noticed after viewing my last 4 bills that the price of my bill has differed, also the sprint charges and the govt ones. My bill seems to reall flunctuate.

    Can someone please help me understand all this better?

    Thanks- Cathy

  33. I was able to get out of my contract after my 4th call. Do not believe that it has to show on your bill before you can do this as the change actually takes place Jan 1st. Also, if they tell you to port out your # 1st then call and cancel its bull. The last CSR was chatty but said it couldnt be done and there was no way to go month to month. I asked to speak to her supervisor and the new lady came on and the 1st thing she said was, “let me take care of this for you”. She was polite and never tried to sway me to stay. Instead she marked my contract as fulfilled as of 6-9-09 which was actually the day we got new phones and another 2 yr contract. =-)

    Keep calling. Don’t stop til you get what you want. It will eventually work.

    I am happy with my new iphone, and believe it or not, our service is indeed cheaper now with AT&T.

  34. Very interesting. I saw this loophole and called in 2 times. The 2nd time I asked to speak with a manager – they said he will tell me the same thing they did (have to wait for the charge to show on the bill). I advised that I was looking right at the notice and it said we just need to notify sprint within 30 days of the NOTICE – so after being on hold for several minutes the manager said he was ‘trying to find something’ that states we have to wait for it to show up on our bill – finally he came back and said “I’ll just take care of this for you now”. Within 30 minutes both of my lines showed a “Contract fullfillment date of 1/4/09”. He confirmed on the phone no early termination fees. I got his employee id#. Being that he is a supervisor that should eliminate any issues with them saying I was informed wrongly by customer service. He is the manager of customer service.

  35. I contacted Sprint to cancel one of the lines via chat but the representative referred me to call a rep over the phone so I did and canceled one of my lines using the script.

    It took a couple of minutes for the rep to see the regulatory charges on the account. I confirmed with him over the phone that I will not have to pay the early termination fee on that line. I asked for a confirmation number but he said that I could use his employee’s ID as a confirmation number. My billing cycle starts on the 1st of every month so the service on that line is going to end by January 31st, 2010.

  36. Worked like a charm. I called in and said that I wanted to cancel because of the new changes to my terms and conditions. Not many questions were even asked. I spoke with 2 reps, One in CS and another in Cancellations and she offered me a credit on my bill to stay but when I said that wouldn’t work she went ahead with the cancellation. I should note that I had to pay for the rest of this month’s service regardless of when I choose to port my number into another carrier. She said that they would send me a final bill with the ETF on it and then that I would have to call in and have it credited which was written on the notes under my account. I asked for an Email confirming that I wouldn’t have to pay the ETF and she sent one… Overall, Pretty easy! I’ve been waiting for Sprint to do just such a a thing so that I could get out!

  37. What if you have two lines on the same bill. Would this get both lines cancelled? My wife and I are also interested in both getting iphones. I’m just wanting to make sure both of us can get out.

    Anyone have any problems with this scenario?

  38. Matt, we had two lines (my line and my daughter’s). Both were marked “contract fulfilled 1/4/09”. This change automatically put my account into a month to month no contract plan. I am getting out though altogether as the monthly amount is just too high. Looks like Boost prepaid has a plan with our needs that is a good $50 cheaper a month.

  39. thanks so much!!!!!!!!! i had a data card on my second line. it broke and i was going to have to JUMP thru hoops to get rid of that piece of shit because i never bought insurance for it. 60 extra bucks a month was hurting. well, i just got off the phone and i now just have one line. thanks again.

  40. Matt, I have three lines. So far, I have been successful in canceling one line. All lines have different contract dates.
    I called yesterday to cancel one line to see how it would work out. I called back today to confirm the cancellation and the retention rep that I got had a very strong attitude. He said that one of my lines is being canceled as of Jan 31st but reminded me that I have to pay the ETF to which I replied, the other rep confirmed me that I did not have to. I asked for an e-mail confirmation and then he went on to say that I am calling him a liar and that I am a liar for calling him a liar because I did not believe him and was asking for the e-mail confirmation.

    I stopped him abruptly and said, “Sir, I am not calling you a liar. I appreciate that you noted on the account that I don’t have to pay the ETF but I just don’t trust the system that sometimes has its glitch”

    He calmed down. I was thinking about switching over to Verizon because they seem to have the 10 pick for about the same price. This guy boasted about how he knows other companies really well.
    That Sprint has better plans and that the rep who gave “waived” my ETF was not supposed to waive the ETF on one line unless I canceled on all of the lines.

    Sprint rep: You also have a 15% military discount. What more can you ask for?

    Me: That is offered to many participating companies and other wireless companies do that too.

    Sprint rep: Other companies do not offer 15% off like Sprint does.

    Me: Just so you know, the other company that I am looking into does offer 15% military discount.

    Anyways, I am going to stop right here. Basically, I am learning that every Sprint rep does what they feel like. This guy even opened the door for me to leave if I chose to, which I don’t have a problem with. When he thought that I called him a liar, he was ready to transfer me over to another rep because he did not feel like dealing with me. I sympathized with him on that he must get a lot of ugly phone calls but that’s not what I am trying to do.

  41. Thanks for the info!

    I contacted Sprint today and told them I wanted to opt out. CS sent me to a supervisor and he got me a confirmation number for no ETF. I told him to email me the confirmation but he has not done it and it’s now been 12 hours. I got his direct line phone number and will be calling for that email before I go pick up our new iphones. Im not going to do anything until I get written confirmation.

  42. All I can say is WOW. I called today and told the person that answered the phone that I wanted to cancel 3 of my 5 lines. He immediately transferred me to the cancellation department and I was on hold for a minute or two. A very nice lady answered and I told her what I wanted to do. She asked me if I would take a $25 credit, which would more than cover the fee’s until the contracts were up and I nicely said no. She then offered me a $20 per month discount if I kept all 5 lines and extended the 1 main line for 2 more years, which I declined. She said she understood and appreciated my patience. She told me that she would cancel the 3 lines and that there would be NO ETF. I did not have to fight, argue, nothing. She put me on hold while she processed it and came back and gave me a confirmation number. She stated that she would also email me the information right away(which has not come yet, but it has only been 3 minutes). She thanked me for being a sprint customer and that was that. I was on the phone for 16 minutes total, not bad. Good luck!

  43. I already paid my bill for January but I did not recieve notice my bill is paid online I recieved no email nothing like that when I paid does it Still refer to me?

  44. Today is Jan. 13th – I checked my bill online and it does have the language about the increase to $.40 per line. My bill is due Jan. 16th – new minutes start on the 24th.
    I would love an iphone too – can this work for me or am I too late?

  45. @jennifer I checked my december phone bill and found that I did have a notice in a little box on the left side of page two that described the increase. I called and talked first to billing then to a account manager agent and then to his supervisor.

    All these contacts knew exactly what I was talking about. The first (Billing agent) read a script to me describing how this charge was for my benefit. When pressed he agreed with me and transferred me to the account manger agent. This one tried to pass it off as the first and when pressed agreed with me and asked if they could work something out. I told him that I would like out of my contract and maintain my service on a month to month. He said he would need to consult with his supervisor. The next thing I knew I was talking to the supervisor.

    The supervisor tried to shrug of the charge like the others and then when pressed he quickly changed to a “Suck it up and pay the extra fee per month and maintain my contract” or “Cancel the ETF/Contract and they terminate my service as of the last day of my billing cycle”.

    The last shocked me. I couldn’t believe what he suggested and I reiterated to him that I was understanding correctly that if I cancelled my contact sprint would kill my service and he validated that sprint did not want me as a customer if I exercised my contract right in reaction to their price change.

    Needless to say that left me with a really sour taste in my mouth.

  46. I want out! Where is Stephen’s script? I’m reading everybody’s comments thanking him, I want to be one of those people thanking him too.

  47. Stephan…just got off the phone with Sprint. It worked without any pushback whatsoever. Very smooth and easy. Thanks a million.

  48. This method worked great. I called Sprint this morning and told them that I wanted to cancel my service due to the material charge. They gave me no hassle and I only had to speak with two representatives. Both reps were very nice and understanding. They did try to throw some offers at me. I told them that I was moving back home and could not get a great signal on my phone and that we already had a plan with another company. The phone call took about 20 minutes but I was able to terminate my contract with Early Cancellation fee or transfer fee for my 2 phone numbers.

  49. Unfortunately I really liked Sprint and I had been with them for over 10 years, but my husband got me an iPhone for my birthday and so I had to switch. I mentioned the change to the terms and conditions and the rep tried various offers to get me to stay. She processed the cancellation without the ETF without a hassle. I was only on the phone for about 5 minutes! Woo hooo!

  50. I just hang up the phone after canceling 2 lines with Sprint. The easiest thing I ever did. Sadly, I didn’t even know about this recent change until I was told that my contract is too old to qualify for the prorated ETF that started in Nov 2008. The person I speak to understood my issue and was able to cancel my service with no ETF. He then proceeded to set up my numbers to port to another company (Boost in my case) and my phones will stay on until I port the numbers or the end of my billing cycle, whichever comes first. Way to go Sprint, they actually made it easy for me.

    P.S. I used the verbiage from the original blog text. Cut and dry and too the point.

  51. Awesome — worked like a charm! Two five minute phone calls saved us $400. Thanks so much!

  52. Okay, so I just called and the rep told me that because I am porting my number that he can’t just waive the ETF. That I will be billed the ETF and that I then have to call to get it waived due to the material change.

    I did get a confirmation number and his employee id number but honestly, this makes me nervous. I’d almost rather just get a new number elsewhere vs risk having to pay the ETF.

  53. I just found out this site. I really want to get out of contract with Sprint which I signed Jan 2009. Can I still cancel my Sprint with no ETF and number portability? Please advice.

  54. I already paid the whole month charge, they do not refund the overpayment to me after I terminated the contract.

  55. If you want to get out of a cell phone contract you can always find one of those contract transfer websites. I don’t want to name any specific websites but that’s helped me and family members a lot.

  56. GET OUT OF SPRINT NOW with the new admin fee coming 9/9/2011. Just got out of my contract a few minutes ago without any hesitation. I almost thought it was too good to be true when they sent me to retentions. They even let me keep my phone on till the end of the month so I can port my number out. NOW IS THE TIME TO GET OUT.

  57. @MikeEboy:

    Soooo…I tried this and they came back with the fact that there was a notice in the terms and conditions that indicated that administrative fees could be increased up to $1.99 per line…I was able to find this with my original contract…does this mean that they are within their rights and essentially not making a material change that would nullify their ETF? I honestly didn’t have a response to this…any help would be greatly appreciated. Did they not bring up this fact when you called in? Am I not talking to the right reps? Help! :p

  58. You are all crazy! sprint is the only unlimited service, best customer service, and cheapest plans. Also, the best phones. Sprints the best!

  59. When I called they told me the same thing. I asked them to provide me a signed copy , that is when they sent me to the retentions department to cancel with no etf.

  60. I called in and was told my ETF would be waived. Then I got the statement and had $300 early termination fees included. This makes me mad! What to do?

  61. I’m on hold with Sprint now. The first rep told me that yes the change was a material change in the contract and I could get out of my contract. She transferred me to retention, who of course tried to change my mind. I said I’m not interested in anything, I just want my service cancelled. Asked about porting my number and she said that it it was $190 fee to cancel my contract. I said no, you guys are changing the T&S, she said that as long as the change is under $1.99 I am liable for the ETF. The change is $1.50, which isn’t really why I want out, but the service is not good at all and I’m just done. I’m waiting for her supervisor to get on the phone. Any help appreciated!

  62. To add to my post, this is what they are saying allows them to change the admin fees without allowing customers to get out of ETF:

    “**Monthly charges exclude taxes, Sprint Surcharges [incl. USF charge of up to 14.4% (varies quarterly), Administrative Charge (up to $1.99/line/mo.), Regulatory Charge ($0.40/line/mo.) & state/local fees by area (approx. 5-20%)]. Sprint Surcharges are not taxes or gov’t-required charges and are subject to change. Details:”

    When I read this, it doesn’t translate to me to say “We can change the admin fees up to $1.99 without you being able to get out of ETF.” It seems more like an advisory on what monthly charges are NOT. Anybody else read it that way?

  63. CheapDude says

    I want to get out of Sprint. I am in the 17th month of a 24 month contract. I am not sure how much the ETF will be.

    I remember it being some kind of pro rata fee that decreases a lot after a year.

    I would love to get out of Sprint and switch to MetroPCS rhapsody.

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