• Report: #768539

Complaint Review: Midway Services, Inc. Utility Billing Division

  • Submitted: Mon, August 22, 2011
  • Updated: Wed, December 12, 2012

  • Reported By: Sherry — Wilmington Delaware United States of America
Midway Services, Inc. Utility Billing Division
4677 118th Avenue North Clearwater, Florida United States of America

Midway Services, Inc. Utility Billing Division Hey, Midway, how does one person use $188 worth of water in one month? Clearwater, Florida

*Consumer Comment: Honestly...

*Consumer Comment: Midway Fraud Twist

*Consumer Suggestion: Donald is Wrong

*General Comment: Your Instincts Are Correct

*Consumer Comment: Sounds like Midway to me.

*Consumer Comment: Other usage?

*Consumer Comment: Re toilet

*Author of original report: FEEDBACK FROM MIDWAY & BBB-FL!!!

*Consumer Comment: If you can get a look at the meter, even with a mirror,

*Consumer Comment: Shared water line?

*Author of original report: Did BBB Complaint 8-24

*Consumer Comment: good grief

*Consumer Comment: It's ONLY an example, Flynrider,

*Consumer Comment: 12K gallons is too much.

*Consumer Comment: Not sure I have this right, but here goes...

*Author of original report: Thanks for the Advice. However...

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In May 2010, the owners of my apartment installed water meters & contracted for Midway Services Inc to monitor each tenant's use of water and bill us. What they did was like unlocking the bank vault to make it easier for the thieves.

I live alone. I never use my dishwasher. I probably use my washer as much or little as anyone else would. Here's what I've been charged per -month- just for water!!!  
$ 72.61  53.19   135.00  139.82   70.36   70.00  74.24   51.50  52.66   38.41     45.51     66.92    129.05    157.56   191.49

Look at how high these are! A friend of mine lives in a house in my county with his wife and daughter -- and he waters his lawn frequently. He said that he pays about $40 a month.  I've paid less than $40  a month -once- since this rip-off began!  (BTW, who knows why the amounts are so erratic. Maybe they throw darts at numbers on a wall.)

There's more. At the beginning the only way we could pay was by mail. A bill would be dated as   2-3-2011 for instance.  It wouldnt arrive here until about a week later. Meanwhile the payment would be due on 2-18.  Good luck getting that payment back to Florida on time. And if you're a day late, they slap you with a $7.00 overdue fee. If you're not late, not to worry-- There's that tidy little $2.79 "billing fee" you get to pay anyway.

I was often late with my payment, so I was glad when they "let us" pay online. Now, I'm no longer in danger of the $7.00 late fee, but I still get to pay the billing fee PLUS the $2.95 "Convenience Fee" for being allowed to pay online. As an extra added bonus their "security-free" site remembers both your name and password, whether you want it to or not. Anytime I bring up the site, there it is already for me to click "Enter".  No, I did not tell my computer to remember this information. I wouldn't be surprised if the site was an easy hack and people could collect credit card numbers any time they want.

I talked with a neighbor today and asked him about his bill. He seems to be paying less than I do each month and there's two people in his apartment. Lucky, but also weird. In the meantime, he told me that the guy across the hall from him received a bill for $250.00 this month. Wow! That makes my bills look like bargains!

I've tried talking to my state's Consumer Protection people but evidently there's a lovely loophole in the laws preventing them from dealing with thieves with utility meters.  Their hands are also tied with the "gas meter thieves" known as Conservice. (Lots about them at this site.)

Whatever you do, do not rent an apartment from owners who use either Midway Services Inc or Conservice for your utility bill! Check before you sign the lease. Check thoroughly. And if your apartment mentions they are going to start dealing with either of these thieves, begin looking for another place to live at once. Yeah, you may lose money breaking your lease but you'll lose more if you stay and have to shell out this kind of cash each month. I'm about to take my own advice and move out of here. Should have done it months ago before Midway conned me out of over $1300 for water in a year and a half!

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 08/22/2011 11:43 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Midway-Services-Inc-Utility-Billing-Division/Clearwater-Florida-33762/Midway-Services-Inc-Utility-Billing-Division-Hey-Midway-how-does-one-person-use-768539. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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#1 Consumer Comment


AUTHOR: FreetobeFree - ()

  So if I am reading this correctly, you are claiming this company is scamming you by overcharging you and manipulating rates, but you are aware that you had multiple leaks in your unit? That simply doesn't make sense. Leaks cause water bills to go up. This is not rocket science...

I am sick to death of people in this country pointing the finger at everyone else but themselves. Have some personal responsibility for crying out loud! Mistakes happen... heck I left town for a few weeks with my sink moderately dripping and the next month there was a $50 difference in my billing. Just for a slight drip over a few weeks.

But to accuse a person or company for your lack of awareness is deplorable and in my opinion you should apologize.

I find it unlikely that you will though sadly... But that is the mentality of the world we live in today... Everyone else is wrong except poor old me...


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#2 Consumer Comment

Midway Fraud Twist

AUTHOR: Donald - (United States of America)

Funny thing is that Midway provides no services to you. The water rights is probably owned by the county. The county hires a legitimate water servicing company to do WATER SERVICING and Deliver water to your location. A company can only do water servicing with a water PLANT. Midway has no such plant. And they do not own the water rights.

Midway pretends to be reading a meter. I bet if you took a look at it, the numbers do not match your bill. It may even have a different number of digits. Midway may also be pretending to have a wifi signal. An electrician can tell you that there is no wifi hooked onto that submeter. [Frankly, I doubt if a wifi can be picked up from out of state if the source is your apartment. Gas company has to park in front of the building to get a signal.] ... Plus, the electrical wiring may be unsafe. You can have it removed if an electrician is willing to say in writing that it is unsafe. Definitely not earthquake safe.

It's a total scam. You should be able to get your money back. Fraud is receiving money you should not receive, by deception, trickery, or some other wrongful way. It's totally fraud.
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#3 Consumer Suggestion

Donald is Wrong

AUTHOR: Meter Chicane - (United States of America)

I dont doubt Midway Services is over billing,  this happens all the time in Private Metering,  and it is perfectly legal

Taken With permission from: Meter Confessional
For most people your utility bill comes from a regulated public utility company, but for a small, but ever increasing, segment of the renting (or owner for condos and other multi-tenant buildings) population some or all of your utilities may be master metered by the public utility then sub-metered by the property owner/manager or condo association.  The public utility will then send a bill for the usage for the entire property or building to the owner/manager/coa so you the tenant/condo owner never get a bill from the actual utility company.  owner/manager/coa will use the usage data from the submeters (which are owned by the owner/manager/coa not the utility company) to create a bill for your share of the over all utility bill.  In most jurisdictions it is illegal for the owner/manager/coa to profit from the sale of these utilities (which means they have to sell them at cost to you) doing otherwise means they have to form their own regulated utility company which none of them want to do.

Most properties will subcontract the management of their utility billing to a 3rd party billing service or remote billing service (some times also reffered to as a read bill collect service) (RBC). These companies charge a various fees to the property and end consumer for their services,  these fees include metering reading fees, meter service fees, statement fees, customer service fees, payment processing feee, and more.  It is a HUGE business with almost no regulation governing how they operate.  There are hundreds of these companies nationwide,  some large sending tens of thousands of bills out every month,  some are very small sending out just a few bills a month

Private metering has really taken off the last few years due to the increase in utility costs, combined with the public utilities in many area (especially water utilities) refusing the individually meter multi-tenant properties.In years passed the costs for these utilities where just folded in to the rent or condo fees  this is no longer feasible so many properties are turning to submetering to bill their tenants for their actual usage.

Now laws do very from State to state state and city to city, but the "Water Rights" have nothing at all do with it. 

Now to the Original Posting. Toilets are a HUGE lack source, and is often undetectable.  to PROPERLY test a toliet you have to use INK TABLETS that stain the water in the upper chamber,  if the water in the bowl stays clear,  no leak,  if it turns colors,  LEAK.... 

Thousands and Thousands of gallons can flow from a leak.  a Small leak would be about .2 gpm ( faucet flows at 1.5-3gpm so this is very very slow leak.  at .2 GPM,  over the course of a month, that is 8640 Gallons of water.....  That is ALOT. 

THe Math, if you want to verify. 

24 hrs in a day x 60 mins in 1 hour = 1440 mins per day
1440 mins per day x 30 days per month = 43200 minutes per month
43200 mins x .2 gallons per min = 8,640 gallons.

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#4 General Comment

Your Instincts Are Correct

AUTHOR: Donald - (United States of America)

Midway Services Utilities is ripping people off. They are charging illegal rates. And they can not prove that you have that much usage. The talk about a broken toilet is just to throw you off. If you fix it, they will still charge you too much. They may on the one hand claim they are reading the meters electronically. When you learn that the numbers/digits are not matching, they will then claim they use estimates the entire time. They want to have it both ways. The meters also throw you off the trail: It's a fraud/swindle issue.

You may also learn that since they are not providing any water service (water treatment) and they have no real control they can not make themselves a reseller or contracto4 of the water servicing. The water rights probably belong to the county. The county hires a public utility company (not Midway). That public utility can not lawfully transfer any rights to Midway.

Why does someone sell a product they do not have? The water flows through the pipes but Midway have nothing to do that. They can not tell the real water utility to turn off your water. When a contractor or retailer resell a product or service, they have some kind of control over the product and delivers it to you. Midway has absolutely no lawful control on your water service. Oh, and the ussury fees (billing and late charges) are illegal too.

The landlord have water pipes. But since the pipes are tangible and attached the building, it is part of the real property (already in the rent payment). The pipes are tangible. The water servicing is intangible. But the landlord does not have a treatment plant to treat the water. And the water rights belongs to the county. The landlord does not water service.

For a landlord to install meters, they need permission from the real utility company; which they would never get. Before any permits are issued, there must be plans and blueprints drawn. Chances are that the landlord did not even use a license plumber to install the meters. And the meters are designed to throw you off. They are not reading those meters.

You should have a Public Service Commission in your county that enforces the Public Utility code. However, they may not want to do their job. This thing has gotten so big. Anyway, count on the landlord doing every trick to evict you once you begin to complain. So you would have to put the complain in writing, keep a copy after you give it to the city or state: And with that, hopefully their are laws against the landlord evicting a complainer (look up the landlord/tenant laws for landlord retaliation under the Real Property code).

Whenever, you make complaints I hope it's in writing. If you make calls to ask questions, hopefully you can record those calls. It's all very tricky. If you sue for fraud, try federal courts. And note that some lawyers do not want to be bothered going after the rich person in your town for fraud.

*The landlord receives kickback money from Midway. However, the landlord does not ever pay Midway. They are making enormous profits. And some tenants may have figured it out, and is not being charged because their lawyer fought for them. Also, check for the landlord having multiple business names.
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#5 Consumer Comment

Sounds like Midway to me.

AUTHOR: Central Scrutinizer - (United States of America)

Midway is the classic nickel-and-dime ripoff company that uses the massive scale of their operation to bilk consumers out of ridiculous amounts of money.  Sounds like in this case they are trying to upgrade their game to outright theft.

I too live in a one-bedroom apartment.  The bill I pay to Midway is the smallest regular bill I've ever had to pay in 27 years as a bill-paying adult....who has, to my knowledge, only been late with one payment, ever (it was to a credit card company).  Needless to say, Midway has caused me more hassle than any other utility or monthly-payment company I've ever dealt with.

First of all, they give less time than any other service from the time you receive the bill until the time you pay.  With most companies, it's about four weeks from the day you receive the bill until a late fee is charged.  With Midway, it's usually about 2-3 weeks.

Second, and this is the BIG one, IMO, they deliberately go out of their way to make that window of time as short as possible.  I've had "print dates" and "due dates" that fall on a weekend or a public holiday....all days which Midway is closed for business.  Think about this.  They can set the "print date" to a Friday or Saturday, then let it sit around until Monday before putting it in the mail....you just lost 48 to 72 hours of time to get your payment back in.....and then when your bill arrives at Midway on the Friday before a three-day weekend (with the due date on Sunday or the holiday Monday), they can leave it in the mailbox until they get back to work on Tuesday, then try to charge you a seven dollar late fee.  Your payment could actually arrive on Friday, on time, but they won't "count" it until the day they open and process it.

I've caught them doing this several times, and they never cop to it.  They just rip ten to fifteen minutes out of my life to call them up and get it straightened out, each and every time.  What gets me is they've easily spent over seven bucks in postage mailing me out wrongful late notices, and who knows how much having people man the phones to straighten out my account.

It's bad enough that their "service charge" is as much as, or in some cases more than, the cost of the water I use on a monthly basis.  It's also that their "late fee" is often in some cases more than fifty percent of the actual bill.

This is a malicious company that makes lots of money ripping off consumers.  Avoid them at all costs.  When I rent in the future, one of my questions to management will be "Do you do your water billing through Midway Services?"  If the answer is "yes", I'll be renting elsewhere.  Way, way too much trouble to deal with for the "service" they provide.
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#6 Consumer Comment

Other usage?

AUTHOR: Robert - (USA)

Did you ever check for possible other usages as I suggested previously?  It's worth doing.  In my 57 years, I've seen undisclosed "shared utilities" in a few places-usually electricity.

The toilettes may have been a problem but there may still be other taps on your metered water.  I would conduct the simple test I suggested to be sure.

Good luck.
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#7 Consumer Comment

Re toilet

AUTHOR: mr rik - (USA)

Toilets can be a source of alot of wasted water.  Oftentimes the flapper gets a coating of muck on it that prevents it from sealing completely.  You may think it has sealed after a flush, but it can still be seeping from time to time.  A good cleaning or a replacement should help.  Also the chain can sometimes get caught under the flapper after a flush which will keep it from sealing.  

I had a tricky flapper in an apartment once, and a roomate who stayed drunk all the time.  The flapper didn't seat after he flushed it, and no one was in the apartment for a couple days.  So of course we got an angry visit from the landlord when they got the bill.  Luckily they let it slide.

You can always turn off the valve to the toilet to see if this solves your problem.  A good idea for toilets you aren't frequently using, or if your gonna be away for some time.
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#8 Author of original report


AUTHOR: Wilm DE 19808 Resident - (United States of America)

As I wrote last time, I contacted BBB in FL about my various problems with Midway.  Between the BBB and Mr Anderson at Midway, we've made a lot of progress. (Thank God!)

Earlier, Midway suggested that the extremely high water usage their meter was recording might be due to a toilet with a leak.  They said that a toilet leak could run through a lot of water in a month. I conceded that I saw where it could; however, I saw no sign that my two toilets were leaking. Well, as it turned out, not that I would know what to look for.

Someone (at Midway? At BBB?) contacted the rental office and asked them to send a repairman around to check the plumbing for leaks. I wandered around with the man yesterday. We stopped first in the powder room. He lifted the lid of the toilet and pointed, saying something like, "You've got a leak in this one." I looked and couldn't see a thing. Well, evidently the surface of the water was rippling a tiny bit--such a little bit that I had to take his word for it. He poked around in the back to confirm that the toilet needed repair.

We moved on to the bathroom. Before he got to the second toilet, he glanced at the tap for the bathtub, and said that was leaking too. I saw no water coming out of the end of the tap, but he pointed to a stain running from the -base- of the tap down to the tub. That's the point from which the water was escaping evidently. He promised to come around and fix it tomorrow, meaning today.

A different man showed up this afternoon. He fixed the tub tap, then went in a looked at the powder room toilet.  He didn't seem to think there was a leak there, though he did replace the flapper. He said that he would be back tomorrow and take another look. I asked him to please take a second look at the bathroom toilet to see if the first man had been right, and he said he would.

In the midst of all this stuff, Mr Anderson called from Midway. He's the one who sent me the list of water usage by the month, which I posted earlier. We talked through all of the points I had made in my complaint to the BBB, as he tried to find out which had been settled and which not.  (At that point, I'd been promised a repairman arriving today but he hadn't come yet.)

Anderson suggested (to me but I don't believe to the rental office) that the apt owners should give me a refund for those huge bills, since they weren't maintaining the place as they should. I wanted to laugh but didn't. -This- apartment management and -these- owners? When the moon turns to green cheese.

Next, he said that he had ordered some kind of do-hicky that would allow me to read the meter without shifting the actual meter from where it is. (Didn't much understand this so I'm in a wait and see mode on this one.)

Since he didn't bring up my last point in the BBB complaint, I did for him. This involves what certainly looks like poor security as the company website on the page where customers pay online. I assume this because there's none of those little "assurances" I get like at my electric or credit card payment screens, saying that my transactions are secure because of such-and-so tech. This one has really had me worried but I've continued to pay online for fear of incurring late fees by just missing the billing due date.

Which reminds me--he had some explanation about the short period between the date that the bill was generated and when the payment was due. (usually two weeks, which doesn't allow much time for delivery back and forth, even if the tenant goes to the post office the day they get their bill) His explanation involves when the meters were read, plus the apt owners needing all our individual payments in a hurry directly afterwards so that they in turn could pay Artesian. You know, I don't really think this one is under Midway's control. However, I tend to think our apt owners are at fault. Do they have such little cash liquidity that they can't pay the water bill -before- they get the tenants' payments?

Oh, right. They don't.

This whole mess started when the owners got themselves months behind in their payments to Artesian, to the point that Artesian sent all tenants urgent notes that our water was about to be turned off. That's when the owners found a little loophole in our leases that allowed them to make us pay for our water for the first time.

Well, this month's meter read is already in (on the 20th) so I'll get another humungous bill in a couple of weeks. Now the one after that should prove interesting. Will it be considerably lower and will it stay that way? I'll be back to tell you about that--and any other developments. Thanks for the support!  S
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#9 Consumer Comment

If you can get a look at the meter, even with a mirror,


there should be several dials and hands, one should look like a little gear and will indicate ANY kind of water flow.  If you have everything turned off, it shouldn't move at all.  If it does, something is leaking or the meter is measuring more than just your water usage.

Wish you luck with your findings.
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#10 Consumer Comment

Shared water line?

AUTHOR: Robert - (USA)

Another possibility is that something outside of your apartment is ON YOUR METERED WATER LINE!!!

It could be something in an adjacent apartment or something outside as a hose outlet or sprinkler system.  Possibly laundry facilities.

The only sure way to check is to manually eyeball the water pipes starting at the meter.  Another way to check is to go visit friends for a weekend; read the meter before you go, make sure all water devices in your apartment are OFF, sinks, ice makers, toilettes, etc.   Go away for 2 days and when you return, the meter should be the same.  If it is NOT, then something else is on your water!!!

Good luck.
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#11 Author of original report

Did BBB Complaint 8-24

AUTHOR: Wilm DE 19808 Resident - (United States of America)

Thanks guys for the support and the suggestions!
I filed a complaint with the Best Business Bureau of FL on the 24th. I got a response from the GM of Midway a few hours ago---a cover letter and an Excel file attached with my water usage by month (in reverse chronological order). I hope this cut-and-paste is readable. (Let's consider this Midway's "rebuttal".      

Midway's response to my BBB FL  Complaint:    
Consumption (in 1,000 gallons)          

"The National average is up to 3,000 gallons per month per person.    

What can you do to verify our billing? ...take at least one meter read on the 20th of every month.  This way, , you can compare our billing consumption against the meter reads that you recorded.  Additionally, when the property maintenance staff check your unit, they can run 10 gallons of water in a bucket to verify that 10 gallons of water registers when 10 gallons of water is run in the unit.

Update: It is understood by your complaint that the meters are attached in a high place and difficult to read with the meter faces pointing towards the ceiling. I will speak to my boss about a resolution to this situation.

The National average for consumption is up to 3,000 gallons per month per person.  . .. As you can attest, there are many months in which the consumption is really high. ... while we are retrieving transmitter reads on your unit, we cannot explain the consumption.  In a typical scenario of high consumption the toilet is the major offender.  A leaking/running toilet can waste up to 40,000 gallons (or more) per month.  Even an intermittent toilet issue can be a source of concern."
(End of Midway response)

 And back to me:
I might agree re the two toilets acting up--except why would the rate go up and down so drastically from month to month? Does a running toilet "heal itself" & then go into a "relapse"?
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#12 Consumer Comment

good grief

AUTHOR: Stacey - (U.S.A.)

I live in a house (2690 square feet) and my water bill is never above $150.00 even with watering the lawn every two days.  There is something very wrong with your bill.  Take the advice of some people and contact the water department asap.  Hope you are not paying for a leak in the building.
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#13 Consumer Comment

It's ONLY an example, Flynrider,


The OP can  use the example to check her own usage/billing. 
My wife and I use 12K-13k in the winter,(no lawn watering).

My point was, and so was hers, that the rates are pretty high, overall.
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#14 Consumer Comment

12K gallons is too much.

AUTHOR: Flynrider - (USA)

    The OP is a single person living in an apartment.  No lawn to water or pool to fill.  12K gallons would be a ridiculously high water usage (400 gallons every day).

    I live in a 3B/2B house and my water usage has been between 1,600 and 2,400 gallons per month for the last year (according to this bill I'm looking at).  
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#15 Consumer Comment

Not sure I have this right, but here goes...


Let's assume a monthly water usage of 12K gallons.

The first 5200 gallons appears to be billed at $3.08/1,000 or $16.01

The next 6800 gallons appears to be billed at $6.19/1,000 or 42.09

The sewer rate appears to be billed by the water usage, in this case 12K gallons @ $5.32/1,000 or $63.84

The total in this example would be $121.94. 

In any case, that's some pretty expensive water and sewer service.

Last month, where I live, I paid $113.54 for 31K gallons of water,

A flat "storm water" fee of $6.69 and a sewer fee based on winter usage of 13K gallons in the amount of $24.57...total bill $144.71.

I hope this helps understand what's happening, sorry your rates are so high. :(
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#16 Author of original report

Thanks for the Advice. However...

AUTHOR: Wilm DE 19808 Resident - (United States of America)

I have some data from Midway, which I solicited by email when they began charging us for sewage as well as water. As I pointed out at the time, I knew we had no meters for sewage.
Unfortunately, I have no idea how to "translate" it:

The meter reads water coming into the unit. Therefore it has to be disposed.  Thats the sewer charge on your invoice.

Below are the rates for water and sewer.

Water flat rate - $3.08

$3.08 per 1k gallons cutoff 5,208 gallons
$6.19 per 1k gallons

Sewer- $5.32 per 1k gallons
I hope that you find this information helpful.


As far as examining the meter is concerned, it's impossible. They installed the meter on a pipe well over my head and its "face" is pointing toward the ceiling--which is not far above it. To my mind, it is positioned in a way to prevent anyone from seeing any information on its dial. 

No meter readers ever come here. It would do them no good to come, unless they brought a step ladder and had a double-jointed neck or maybe a mirror with them.  The idea, I guess, is that the water usage is reported electronically to some place or other? (Uh, from the tenants' units to the rental office, tenant to owners, from tenants in Delaware to Florida?)

Thanks for the email. If you know how to decipher those quotes rates, I'd be beholden to you for curiosity's sake alone. But no matter water the rates mean, it wouldn't explain the wild variations between one month and the next when I know--and the other tenants know that they use virtually the same amount of water every month. (I'm still a great believer in darts being thrown against a wall)

Thank again!
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