Barbizon Modeling School Reviews

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BARBIZON MODELING AND ACTING SCOOL IS A SCAM

I have just read the most recent complaints against the Barbizon Agency and I was absolutely horrified to read the exact same horrific experience that my daughter and I have experienced with Barbizon. Word for word the experiences are identical leading me to realize the the Barbizon employees use a script when attempting to recruit new students..which is the true reason they hold their "auditions" and "seminars" they purposely mislead people....they hold their "auditions" and "seminars" for one reason only and that is to acquire new students for their tuition based program...Negative reviews from victims are all over the internet and I am disappointed in myself for not checking the reviews before handing over $1000 yesterday to Barbizon. Initially my 17 year old daughter was contacted by Sarah from Barbizon Modeling Agency in Manhattan after my daughter had responded to an internet ad stating that they were looking for actresses and models.. Sarah contacted me and asked my daughter and and I to come in for an 'AUDITION" that was being held yesterday 10/2/16 in Manhattan... We first, along with about 100 other participants and their parents were told a little about the industry and how children just like our children were being paid $20,000 per commercial after attending Barbizon..my daughter and I then were asked to step into Sarahs office and my daughter was asked by Sarah to audition for her by reading a script and walking down an imaginary runway . Sarah then informed us based on her observation that my daughter had that "something" that would appeal to the public particularly in advertising..she repeatedly emphasized that out of the hundreds who audition only 5 or 6 would be chosen..this statement was very powerful and created a feeling of urgency in decision making..my daughter and I were so excited we were crying..she then said she needed to speak to her talent manager to discuss if my daughter would be "accepted" into their "program" We were so excited. After what seemed an eternity Sarah returned with what we thought was the most exciting and blessed news we had ever heard...She said that the agency was interested in working with my daughter...and that they would like to sign her that same day and have her start immediately because we lived 150 miles away and had traveled so far.. we again were so very excited..she then showed me a contract agreement ..and for the FIRST TIME SINCE THE BEGINNING OF THIS ENTIRE EXPERIENCE WEEKS EARLIER, MENTIONED TUITION....The tuitions was $4790 for 12 classes ..she again emphasized what an honor this was and congratulated us on being "accepted" into the Barbizon ..she told us how many successful actors and actresses had been in their program...and intentionally mislead us into believing that my daughter would be doing commercials..print ads...acting if she worked with Barbizon...she said she herself was a graduate of their program and pulled out 5 professional ads that she was in...she again reminded us of how only 5 or 6 of those children auditioning would be accepted and they couldn't possibly accept everyone into the program..there was a constant sense of urgency...and a constant sense of "my daughter being special"very very high pressure ... I do not consider myself to be a naive person...but these people are VERY PROFICIENT at what they do...this is a smooth polished ***... We were not given any attendance schedule or further information..My daughter was so happy and excited..I read in the contract that i would be refunded in full with no penalty if I wanted to withdraw from the contract within 3 Business days which is the law in NY State..so I signed the contract...and I paid them $1000 cash and I was required to give them my debit card information so that they could take out the remaining balance of $$3790 on Tuesday 10/4/16....at that time she said she wanted my daughter to attend another meeting that night (SHE DID NOT REFER TO IT AS A CLASS) and they wanted to give her a make over and take some photos so we could get the ball rolling immediately...again very high pressure...I had to change our train reservation to return home until later that night....We were then escorted into another part of the building..where some other parents and children were...I was surprised confused by how many (applicants) remained and were moving onto the next phase of acceptance.. ..there were probably 80 of them and they were all discussing how high the tuition was...they had ALL BEEN ACCEPTED....I felt my first tinge of terror...basically everyone who agreed to pay the thousands of dollars had been "accepted into Barbizon..this was very upsetting because I realized I had been lied to ...but my daughter was still so excited and I figured I had 3 days to back out...we were at that time (after signing the contract) told that she needed to attend 12 biweekly classes BEGINNING SATURDAY 10/5/16 at 9 am..and that I wouldnt be permitted to wait for her in the building..I was expected to wander around New York City for 6 hours each time....Had I known that, I would never had signed the contract...that would mean that we would have to leave Albany every other Saturday at 5:30 am to arrive in Manhattan by 9am for the next 6 months..they also never bothered to tell me that there was actually a Barbizon in my own home town....I also would have NEVER SIGNED THE CONTRACT IF I KNEW THAT THEY WERE LYING ABOUT SELECTING ONLY 5-6 APPLICANTS...this was all heartbreaking....I was asked to leave after that and could not sit in on anything that was happening...3 hours later I returned to pick up my daughter...her make over consisted of them putting blush on her ...her existing make up and hair had not been touched..they told me they would post 2 photos of her on their Face Book page on Tuesday...hardly the "professional photo shoot and head shots that were promised" On the train home I began reading horrific reviews all over the internet concerning Barbizon and this scam...today I broke the news to my absolutely devastated 17 year old girl..She is still crying..I called Barbizon and told them that I would like to exercise my legal right to with draw from the program...The employee immediately changed her tone of voice and attitude..she said I would not be receiving any of my $1000 payment back because my daughter had already attended her 1st class (only now they were referring to the "meeting" last night as a class) and the employee stated that our registration fee of $990 was NON REFUNDABLE) this fact is ABSOLUTELY not stated in the contract;;she was very rude. I have no doubt that this has happened to 100's of victims...and they count on the fact that most people do not know how to go about filing the proper complaints with the Attorney General of the BBB...Victims do go to the internet however, and their heartbreaking stories are on page after page of review sites. I am a single mother..I am not wealthy...As difficult as it would have been I was willing to do what I could to help my daughter reach her dreams... , but this is wrong..they have carelessly harmed my child ..that is not acceptable.. I am requesting a full refund of my $1000 due to the fact that I was given purposely false and misleading information concerning the entire program beginning with the very misleading "audition"
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5 comments
#1509536

WOW. This is NOT the experience we had at our Barbizon at all.

I am sooooo sorry you had that experience. That is absolutely heartbreaking. This is NOT the case at all Barbizons as I know the one we attended (Barbizon of PA) certainly didn't do any of that.Even in our first "audition", it was laid out there that this was an opportunity to either learn the basics of the business and prep you for entering it and/or it was a super opportunity to develop your child's self esteem - the latter being an invaluable opportunity for some parents.I have seen several success stories of very shy children graduating completely blossomed and confident - you can't put a price on that. My child was never shy, but my heart exploded everytime I saw the ones that started off shy and watched them work the room with their charming personalities!

That's priceless and life-changing.If it is your child's dream to be in modeling or acting, you DO need training and polishing. There's no way around that. Barbizon is a school with (at least ours) the agency part being mainly modeling and not as consistent as an actual agency. BUT they do offer opps to get their feet wet and in some cases, pretty decent gigs considering how green the grads are.Just as any school, they can't promise you your child will get jobs once you graduate.

This is a market (which can be looking for the most beautiful being ever created OR the quirky "imperfections" like a mole under the right eye) and the people doing the hiring (casting directors, etc.) will be the ones that have that job. THEY are the ones that bring that small list of possibilities (or THE person) in to the boss and confirm who books that job.Also, if you have a child actor/model, it's going to be a lot of work on your part. This isn't an industry that comes knocking on YOUR door. You have to get their info out there PROPERLY, make sure they're represented PROFESSIONALLY, keep watch for castings and submit the proper requirements PROMPTLY and make sure if they're cast that they are AVAILABLE, able to get there ON TIME and ready to roll with all proper items in hand and the actor/model A-game in place....lots of work...trust me.My child graduated from Barbizon of PA at the beginning of 2017.

She is a working model and actress. She started with a few unpaid jobs (as most artists do to gain experience, credits, reputation and networking). She then got a national booking for the most popular girls' store in the nation (paid). Then we continued her industry education with professional classes at casting companies, etc while keeping her regular acting camps, school productions in our schedule.

Then she moved on to auditioning (and booking some) industrial videos, commercials and even a major feature film. So, this ALL may not have been directly through Barbizon (the modeling booking was), but it was certainly launched by them as they give them the beginners' diving board, show them how to use it and let them do with it what they will...working their way up to the next level and the next - on their own - with a cheering squad and support behind them.That's a more fair account of Barbizon and its role in children's (and adults') lives. No matter where you are, there will be bad apples that make you wonder how they sleep at night. Choose wisely and be discerning.

If they promise work, RUN. If they aren't upfront on the reality of the industry, RUN. The person auditioning could very well fit the LOOK of the trending market needs, but you need the SKILLS to book the job (they're a bit more loose with the young ones, it'd be crazy to think a 10 yr old should have an extensive resume'). I wasn't about to place my child into the industry unless my child was mature enough, trained to age-appropriate levels, able to understand it's not personal when the job isn't booked and actually ENJOYED doing it.

Also, that I myself was ready to take on that job of "Momager" to get it all going - it's WORK.Keep in mind that every career and education does cost something, but don't go broke in the process. It may take longer, but stay diligent in using your resources and pacing your outgoing cash flow. Plan ahead for expenses (you NEED proper headshots, continued training, etc.) Success is not unreachable as long as you are willing to put in the work and enjoy doing so.Hopefully, this will clear up some things as well as shed some light on the reality of starting out in this industry.

Most importantly, for the parents of children that need that esteem boost, you consider this type of school as a valid option - do your homework and listen to the reps at the school regarding self-esteem...don't go with one that isn't sincere in the desire to help that type of child. As some restaurants are terrible while others under the same name are awesome, Barbizon is NOT a scam if you find the right one that fits YOUR needs.Wishing any parent reading my post ALL the best :)

#1484023

very helpful. I thought is was a scam from the beginning.

#1679459
@PissedConsumer1484023

Yes it is a scam....All they want is your money ....Everything is Scripted and instructors or teachers are not qualified it’s a big scam. I know because I worked there...

#1461949

You should write help me Howard on channel 11 news. Record everything on YouTube to help the next person that may become a victim ...

#1254651

So did you get your money. Back I am seriously thinking about getting legal help

View more comments (4)
ID
#930502 Review #930502 is a subjective opinion of poster.
Location
Manhattan, New York
Reason of review
Return, Exchange or Cancellation Policy
Loss
$1000
Preferred solution
Full refund
New Reviewer

She Dreamed and It Is Happening

Barbizon Modeling School - She Dreamed and It Is Happening
We received a call inviting my daughter to an audition for Barbizon. We attended the audition and she was accepted. At the time we received the call, my daughter was currently the reigning 2016 Little Miss Juneteenth as well as the 2017 March of Dimes Ambassador for San Antonio, she was already making appearances on local television media, featured in San Antonio Woman magazine and a local television commercial airing. We found out that she was accepted on her 9th birthday. Upon accepting the invite to attend, the process was easy concerning the payments for the classes and I could fit them in our budget. After attending 3 classes, one of her instructors put her name in for an audition for Passport to Discovery. We went, she auditioned and SHE GOT IT!!! The cost was high but she and I had ideas to raise the money. While waiting to attend Passport to Discovery, she was sent an invitation to audition for the 2018 Annual Competition in Dallas. She auditioned and SHE GOT IT!!! We went to the competition in July and she walked away winning over-all for Monolog and 27 call-backs...she signed with Dino May Management out of LA and she is doing great. I said all of that to say...Barbizon is AWESOME and Shelby, my 11 year daughter, is living proof of what can happen if you dream and believe. Lisa
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Testimonial
ID
#1491520 Review #1491520 is a subjective opinion of poster.
Location
New Braunfels, Texas
Service
Barbizon Modeling School Modeling Classes
Pros
  • Family is totally satisfied with barbizon
Reason of review
Satisfied Customer
Barbizon Modeling School's reply to:

Payment processed this Friday want to cancel please

Thank you for reaching out and we apologize for any inconvenience. We have reached out to the local Barbizon in your area and they said that they have already spoken with you and requested a refund to be issued. If you have any other questions, please reach out to us directly at barbizon@barbizonmodeling.com and we would be happy to assist you.
ID
#1425023 Review #1425023 is a subjective opinion of poster.
New Reviewer

I have sent various texts to the lady that signed us up, we want all future payments to be stopped we don’t have funds for it and my daughter no loger is interested, please contact me at 404-573-**** thanks, I am getting ignored on all texts about this account

New Reviewer

Amarillo Classes Very Unprofessional

When I attended the first meeting/tryouts for Barbizon, the speaker filled everyone’s head up with all of these great things. For example, she said that in the full payment of $2,000 your models supplies and modeling gigs will be paid for. I applied and put down the payment. After attending my first class, I witnessed how sketchy the course was and how unprofessional the instructors were dressed. During that class I was informed that my $2,000 was for a bag, cheap bottle of makeup and some small makeup kit and that if I wanted to do a modeling gig, I would indeed have to pay for it myself. All this class was going to teach me was how to walk. After this class I made the decision to withdraw. I made SEVERAL calls to the corporate office to learn the steps of withdrawing. I was eventually put on a “callback list” and I was never contacted back. Finally 3 days before the next class I was contacted back. But of course, because of the timing I was ineligible of a refund. It’s a scam for a money hungry company.
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ID
#1387014 Review #1387014 is a subjective opinion of poster.
Location
Tampa, Florida
Service
Barbizon Modeling School Modeling Classes
Barbizon Modeling School's reply to:

No accredided instructors-- no refund

Hi Nancy, We are sorry to hear about your daughter’s experience. Acceptance to many Barbizon locations varies based on class size and demand of the program in that area at the time. Your local Barbizon will be able to assist in providing you with information regarding the qualifications required to be an instructor of their program, what the course covers and would be happy to answer any specific questions about their program that you have. Additionally they can assist in providing you with specific information regarding their refund policy and what is needed to cancel your contract with their location. They can be reached at 1-800-556-6335.
ID
#1347614 Review #1347614 is a subjective opinion of poster.
Service
Barbizon Modeling School Classes
Cons
  • Manipulation
  • Poor quality
  • Refusal to just refund my money
Reason of review
Return, Exchange or Cancellation Policy
Loss
$990
Preferred solution
Full refund
New Reviewer

My 15 year old daughter who suffers from depression got so excited when the talent agent Kelly came back in the room after meeting with the decision makers about if she passed her audition that I didn't have the heart to say no, so we signed her up for acting and voice lessons. I asked twice if the instructors used were actual instructors and was told twice they were. Turns out "every one gets accepted" as long as you pay. They spend so much time building up and getting kids excited, it is morally wrong to lie and say they are one of a kind, and were chosen...we were told that if we didn't make the decision then that her spot would be taken. Its is manipulation at it's finest.

We were then asked to come for a "makeover" day to get her first set of headshots- these were not done by a professional photographer and the hair and makeup was done by staff and not done well at all. I could have taken better photos. My daughter was so upset after they had built her up and then to have them simply brush her hair all to the side...

The first day of class and the instructor for both acting and voice was the same. And had zero accreditation for teaching. Her Idea of voice was to have my daughter sing a country song and tell her to sing from her diaphragm, of which my daughter told her she did not know that that meant and it was still not explained to her.

We cancelled that night based on the first day experience and have yet to be refunded anything. I was sent an email offering a scholarship for the rest of the classes but did not accept as the classes are inadequate at best.

What you make out of it....but yeah, expensive

I was a Barbizon student when I was a kid. I don't work for the company, and I am not a famous model or actor, this is just an honest review of my experience, and a touch of my own speculation. I was very expensive (for my parents..who to this day will not discuss how much exactly was spent). They do provide training, coaching, management, etc. The quality of those classes? Well, if you compare them to an underfunded public school's acting "classes" then they are pretty good. It WAS a lot of fun, and I DID get a lot of confidence... but at the end of the day, I was signed on for a while with a smaller, local (Chicago) Talent Agency, and the only gigs that I managed to land while spending a week at IMTA would have required me to live in a different state. There's a TON of networking possibilities, and overall it probably is a great way to gain confidence and improve self image---but that is largely due to how immersive the program is. IT IS NOT A GUARANTEE and it's VERY expensive. I don't think we can justify calling it a scam, per se, as it does provide knowledge and training (that you admittedly could gain from any acting classes, or ya know, a passionate teacher) but it's up to you as an individual to do something with that knowledge. Think about this, it's "school" and just like college, you will pay heavily, you will gain knowledge and experience, and although you'll have all the tools you may need to "be discovered", college does not hold your hand and guarantee you that it will help you find a job, and neither does Barbizon. Do with it what you will.
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Testimonial
ID
#1107050 Review #1107050 is a subjective opinion of poster.
Service
Barbizon Modeling School Modeling Classes
Reason of review
Good quality

Barbara Jean has been good to my daughter.

My daughter filled out a form in a mall in Texas. We had no idea that she had signed up. My wife got a call from a lady explaining that my daughter had filled out a form and was interested in modeling. They invited us to the initial meeting and we decided to check it out. As parents we were able to watch everything they did and they seem very professional. We went through the entire program that day and when it was done they had the students split up and go to different agent. The CEO of Barbizon chose my daughter to come to her table. They explain the cost two of us and at that time we were not financially able to pay it. The lady told us that she intentionally chose my daughter because she did so well and gave her a full scholarship where we paid nothing. They chose her out of almost 100 Kids to go to their placement program in Dallas. They stay in contact and are very professional and very nice people. Do not be worried about your daughter with Barbizon.
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Testimonial
ID
#1088380 Review #1088380 is a subjective opinion of poster.
Service
Barbizon Modeling School Modeling Classes
Reason of review
Good quality
New Reviewer

GREAT EXPERIENCE

My 17 year old daughter was selected for an audition with Barbizon Modeling and Acting School. We were very impressed. It is definitely a lifetime experience and we can't wait to see where this takes us. Ms Pat was amazing and it was such a great opportunity to meet her. She has helped us out tremendously, she worked with us financially and was so down to earth. So far my daughter has been to one class and learned so much and had a good time! Very well put together organization. Ms. Pat is a class act, she is not a show, a true to heart person cannot say enough. I own my own business, people really need to think before they post reviews because people post bad reviews, which can be seriously damaging just because someone during the moment is upset. We plan on a further great experience with Barbizon. She will have the self confidence to carry her through life with grace and a lot of poise no matter the outcome. Thanks Barbizon, especially Ms. Pat & staff. Looking forward to fantastic things!
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Testimonial
ID
#1061713 Review #1061713 is a subjective opinion of poster.
Location
Wilmington, Delaware
Service
Barbizon Modeling School Customer Care
Pros
  • Teachers
Reason of review
Good quality
New Reviewer

It is exactly what my daughter (and I) is looking for.

I was getting compliments on my daughters eyes since she was 2 years old. Many strangers approached me with question: why don't you try modeling with her? My daughter is very active and tall 9 yo. She attends rhythmic gymnastics 9 hours a week, play softball in local little league, plays piano and love skiing in the winter. I contacted couple of agents known by friends of ours. No success due to lack of experience in the industry. I understand that no agent / company wants to waste their time to teach my child how to walk, how to pose etc... I spoke to several mothers who went through the Barbizon with their children and stated: "it's great program but you can't be money driven". I met mom who was signing up her third daughter into the program. That must be something good about it then. I have spent $4,000 for swimming classes - both of my girls can swim, $5,000 on the piano classes that my kids can play an instrument, $15,000 for gymnastics etc...The point is; we (parents) choose activities for our children hoping that they will gain the experience necessary in life, however we never know which one will turn into job/ carrier/ hobby of the lifetime. Don't be fooled by a story of a girl who was just found on the street or the ba. How often does it happened? As Albert Einstein failed several times in elementary school, it doesn't mean that the path of each physicist is the same. I actually know more scientist who were excellent in the school before they become successful scientists. I hope my child will learn something in the program regardless of her later job placement. In conclusion, the prices for the lessons are rising in each sport or performing art.
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Testimonial
ID
#1053298 Review #1053298 is a subjective opinion of poster.
Location
New York, New York
Service
Barbizon Modeling School Modeling Classes
Reason of review
Good customer service
New Reviewer

Barbizon Modeling School Review

Omg. Love the call. She was bot in but left a voice mail. Very pleased.
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ID
#1025731 Review #1025731 is a subjective opinion of poster.
Reason of review
Good customer service

Barbizon Modeling School - Review in Education category

My grandaughters both attend barbizon for 2 different reasons ..one is a performer wants to persue this and its an amazing platform so much is offered I didnt know where to begin.they guided me My other girl is super shy and is learning how to come out of her shell Thanks to Barbizon.
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Testimonial
ID
#1014358 Review #1014358 is a subjective opinion of poster.
Service
Barbizon Modeling School Classes
Reason of review
Good quality
New Reviewer

Barbizon Modeling School - Review in Education category

Barbizon Modeling School - Review in Education category
I apply for Barlizon school to try again. Thank you, Rachel Cragen
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ID
#1002894 Review #1002894 is a subjective opinion of poster.

Audition is a scam.

The audition is a scam. They just want us to send our kids to trainings to make money (over $2,000.) It does not matter if our kids have potential or not to be selected. It is depend on if parents agree to pay it, and afford it. One of the information we had to provide on the form was actually parents occupation. When someone called before the audition, they said that we would not have to pay for any training even without any modeling experience if they are selected for placement. They also said on the phone that the company is also a staffing company, so they can start working as a model right away if they are selected. However, at the audition, the information was completely different. Don't waste your time to go to the audition.
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ID
#924990 Review #924990 is a subjective opinion of poster.
Location
Plymouth, Michigan
Service
Barbizon Modeling School Customer Care
Reason of review
scam
Preferred solution
Let the company propose a solution

Please allow me to say how much I appreciated your support

Dear [Barbizon], I hope you are doing very well. I couldn't forget something about you while I was busy getting four kids ready for their first day of school. Please allow me to say how much I appreciated your support and faith in Brianna's full potential of being a fashion model, regardless of her deafness. You made it possible for me to bring her to the Barbizon competition. As well, you made my dedication to both daughters, Amella and Brianna, realistic and successful. Without your guideline, nothing would happen to her or me. Truly, I would love for us to continue and thrive the relationship in the future. You were, and are still the best thing that ever happened to Brianna and Amella. Forever, I am grateful for that. Sincerely, Serafima M
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Testimonial
ID
#915028 Review #915028 is a subjective opinion of poster.
Service
Barbizon Modeling School Customer Care
Reason of review
Good customer service
Barbizon Modeling School's reply to:

Barbizon Modeling School - Teacher Review from Orlando, Florida

Hi Selena,

We are sorry you did not enjoy your Barbizon experience. Our mission is to help all of our students develop a positive self confidence and are very sorry you did not feel more confident when you left our program. - Barbizon Modeling and Acting Centers
ID
#907538 Review #907538 is a subjective opinion of poster.
Service
Barbizon Modeling School Teacher
Reason of review
Bad quality

I attended this school probably when I was around 11 or 12. It was the worst mistake ever. They nitpick at everything you do and wear which tears down your confidence. and the teachers don't even try to help boost your confidence up.

The girls are nasty. The teachers are nasty. and the whole program is a joke. My parents forked out $1000 and I wanted to quit after the 2nd class bc it's nothing but ridicule.

And then I didn't even get no kind of notification of me graduating, wasn't invited or given specifics on the last fashion show, and NEVER received a call back from the "bigger agencies located around".

I did all I could to be successful but they are just money-grubbing.

Barbizon Modeling School's reply to:

Barbizon Modeling School Program Review from Lake Jackson, Texas

Thank you for attending an audition. Have you spoken with the talent director your daughter auditioned with? There may be different payment plans available for those selected for the training program. If you contact your local school directly they will be able to let you know what opportunities are available.
ID
#882642 Review #882642 is a subjective opinion of poster.

My daughther got chose and the only thing is i cant afford it i hate to dissapoint my daughter but im a single parent and i just cant afford i wish you guys would just take payments after they start booking jobs ..

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