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Subject: Poor service from Boardgameguru rss

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Jeremy Linnell
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I am sorry to report I have had a very unpleasant experience with the site "Boardgameguru" the sole UK/EU supplier of Cave Evil. I ordered a copy last week and when it arrived it had been packed very poorly, with an improperly sealed box and no inner protection such as bubble wrap or packing peanuts. As a result the box had taken a bit of a beating during transport. The label was an old label reused and printed over, which caused it to become illegible during transport and causing issues with the post office. Considering the amount charged for postage the state of the package was rather shocking.

I contacted their customer service and expressed my disappointment with this in my typically polite, if somewhat curt, manner. I was told to return the game for a refund. I further inquired as this would be a refund of the return postage or the initial postage and whether I'd receive a replacement copy, this being my preferred option. I then received the most unpleasant customer service email I have gotten:

“As I said please return it to me if you are unhappy and I will reimburse any cost you have incurred postage wise. I will also refund the cost of the game - you expressed 'disappointment at my service' before giving me a chance to put things right. You also made the assumption that the damage to the game was caused by me not the post office. So I think we are both going to be happier if I don't have to serve you any more. So lets make this clear

Return the game to Paul ***details and address removed**.

I will then refund your purchase cost and total postage. I will also pay for the postage cost of sending the game back to me. “

In my reply to this I mentioned that I did offer them the opportunity that was me emailing initially and asking how they intend to rectify the situation. Saying hyperbolic things such as “happier if I don’t have to serve you anymore” does no one any good. I received no further replies. And so here we are.

In my opinion the type of response is completely unacceptable. I was never less than polite and the fact that you are the only supplier on the market does not give one the right to give poor customer service, especially when faced with criticism. Nor does it justify or warrant such an air of hostility. I would have been satisfied with a simple exchange and would have said no more on the matter and instead I find myself in the unfortunate position of having to warn potential customers. I would also urge the makers of Cave Evil to find a different supplier to handle their products in the EU in the future as Boardgameguru has placed themselves firmly at the bottom of the professional pile. I would suggest GamesLore, TotalWargamer, IGUK or Grimtree Games in the future. I have used all of them in the past and when I have not been 100% satisfied they have always risen to the occasion. They also package their goods professionally and are prompt and courteous with their customer service inquires. Unlike Boardgameguru who, although prompt, appeared to be staffed by easily upset amateurs.

I am not here to try and continue the discussion with Paul of Boardgameguru, he has my private email for that and I am happy to continue the dialogue should he choose to do so. If he does I am happy to retract any and all statements I have made. However as things currently stand I would like this to serve as a simple example of “buyer beware” to all those considering boardgameguru.

On the positive side although I've not opened the game yet (in case Paul decides he would like to change his mind) the damage appears to be only to the box. I am still happy to support independent designers who produce exciting, interesting products. However with the many, many options out there I will certainly not be supporting Boardgameguru again.

Happy gaming,
Jeremy Linnell
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nathan hayden
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Jeremy,

Sorry if the box is a bit mangled. I think we have a few empty ones left over. I can send you one. Often times the manufacturers make a little more boxes or less (we luckily had a little more madethis time).

I love Paul, and he was probably in a bind as he could not properly replace the box itself for you. I luckily have a couple left and can send a box which is far cheaper than sending the game. Get me your address off board and I can send away.
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Jeremy Linnell
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That's very kind, I will happily take you off on your offer. Very glad to be supporting Cave Evil. I'm sure Paul must have been having a bad day, everyone does but his attitude made me feel in a bind as he was the only one to buy from. t I'll PM you my address shortly, I'm just getting ready to head out for the evening.
 
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Geoff Hall
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As a counterpoint I've used boardgameguru many times in the past and never found Paul to be anything other than courteous, helpful and generally an all round stand up guy.
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Sergio Macias
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littleboy wrote:
(you don't include your own mail but instead show only Pauls "curt" reply)

Yes, that wasn't very respectful.
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sacha cauvin
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Happy it s sorted!
You want CE to be mint...

Reminds me when i pre-ordered war of the ring.
 
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Mike B
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Just wanted to post here that I've ordered several times from Boardgameguru, and that I've always been happy with the way Paul packs the games and communicates.

I think the original mail should have been included in this post to form a real opinion. Since good reputations are hard to get and bad reputations can be created in an instant.
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Liam
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Moved from Cave Evil to Discussing Retailers.
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Brian Bailey
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I've purchased games from Paul in the past and have never had any problems whatsoever. We get right to the point in our correspondence as well, while being amicable. I just don't see him acting like an ass to you, unless he received a nasty email....

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Mark L
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I've ordered from Boardgameguru several times and never found them anything less than excellent. Everything always comes well-packaged with sufficient packing peanuts, etc. so your experience doesn't match at all with mine.

As Paul offered to refund all your money, it seems your only complaint is that he was unjustifiably rude to you. But you've only shown us his reply to you without showing us what he was replying to, so it's hardly a balanced view! He certainly seems to think you were blaming him for something that wasn't his fault.
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Jonathan Bailey-Jones
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I am only hearing one side of a story, I never make a decision based on one person's version of events, also very nice to advise that this is not a thread for Paul to continue the discussion and only post his reply of a private e-mail without including your own!!

In my numerous (Probably hundreds) of dealings with Paul (Boardgameguru) I have never had any issues, also in my experience I have had the best of service and on many occasions Paul has gone above my expectations.

Of the online retailers he is the first person I will go to first for a game, I tend to order a few and take advantage of the Interlink delivery which I highly recommend.

None of the games I have ordered have been damaged through the post so I would have to assume the parcel that has been delivered to you had been very roughly handled of which you cannot blame the person who sent it.

I have and will still continue to recommend Boardgameguru to friends/family and anyone who wants to buy a game.

I believe Paul has offered to recompense you and you would not be financially worse off.

In today's internet generation I think a scathing post like this is unwarranted, I hope the post is re-named or removed.

Jonathan
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Gareth
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I have ordered from Board Game Guru many times involving both domestic and international shipping. I have never been anything less than 100% happy with Paul's service.

On one occasion he even wound up absorbing an international shipping cost when it was clear that the items wouldn't arrive in the UK while I was there, even though this was due to factors out-with his control.

I would highly recommend Board Game Guru to anyone.
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Martin G
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Well this has turned into rather a good advert for Paul's services
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Bruce Murphy
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Capoeirista wrote:
I have ordered from Board Game Guru many times involving both domestic and international shipping. I have never been anything less than 100% happy with Paul's service.

On one occasion he even wound up absorbing an international shipping cost when it was clear that the items wouldn't arrive in the UK while I was there, even though this was due to factors out-with his control.

I would highly recommend Board Game Guru to anyone.

Likewise, except to add Paul is also super helpful and friendly in person, too.

B>
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James Boardgame
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Very glad to add my name to this impromptu call for testimonials to the first rate customer service of Boardgameguru! Many thanks to Mr Linnell for giving this opportunity. Boardgameguru are definitely in the very top rank of British board game vendors, and long may they remain so.
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Red Devil
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I think that BoardGameGuru is a great online store but they are not infaliable and I do wonder if the store is running on the reputation of previous stellar service that may no longer be applicable?

On the rare occasion when I or friends have had any problems the store has always responded above expectations. I've had the swiftest communication I've ever received from any store and I've never felt like I would end up being out of pocket. These are traits I like in a store and I personally don't feel the need for the communication to be sugar coated. I do appreciate that I'm in the minority and simply responding quickly and refunding monies on incomplete or damaged orders is not enough for some people.

The response of 'please take your business elsewhere' is refreshing, whilst shocking at the same time. It's not the most diplomatic of customer service responses I've ever seen and regardless of prior communications it's the kind of conclusion that in this day and age will create a negative wave. With social media as it is, I often feel sorry for retailers whose every decision is challenged in a public arena. I would love to see a similar setup for retailers to discuss customers and and for individuals to be blacklisted to the extent that no retailers would serve them anymore.

Whenever Boardgameguru is criticised on this forum there is a regular band of members who will jump to the stores defence. This is credit to the overall high quality the store delivers and should add significant counter weight to any doubts about using the store. I do ponder on the thought that perhaps this is an automatic defensive reaction as opposed to a reply that actual had thought put into it?

At the top of the thread I made reference to a potential recent downturn in the store. I personally don't care that the store is closed for periods of time in what feel like increased regularity. I am rarely in a situation where I need a game delivered immediately. I also appreciate that Paul needs to take time away from work and when you are dealing with a one man operation there is often no alternative but to close if you're away. However, in an environment where there are multiple stores looking for my boardgame £'s, it's too easy to find an alternative store.

The original issue was created due to a damaged box. I don't doubt Paul's integrity and I trust that he did not knowingly package and send the item in the condition that the op received. However, I do think that Paul's packaging methods are one of the worst I receive. I'm not talking about game stores, but in total online global retail. I personally receive at least 2 or 3 parcels a week and so I have a lot of other stores I can compare to. Regardless, my games normally arrive in perfect condition and the occasional damage is slight enough that it's doesn't warrant complaint. I buy online in the knowledge that I take on some risk in the delivery process and I loose the right to demand the perfection I would expect if I walked into a store. When I open a Boardgameguru parcel my heart often sinks when I see the packaging and I'm constantly amazed that there is never more damage. I am not surprised to see a complaint rooted from this packaging method.

I mentioned that Paul is second to none in regards to responding to customer complaints. On the occasion when I've emailed the store in regards to a specific purchase I've never had a reply. I've emailed the store on around half a dozen separate queries so to get no replies is pretty poor and the polar opposite of the above mentioned speed.

Apart from Blast City Games, I find that the store has moved away from supporting niche publishers and has just become an outlet for Esdevium. Maybe the market has changed with Kickstarter and more publishers selling directly? I used to love going through the stores import list and finding new and unusual games, but this list has become stagmented with little change.

In conclusion, I find myself using Boardgameguru less and less. It's not a specific event, it's just that the store has dropped standards in areas I require and other retailers have evolved. I no longer recommend Boardgameguru as a store to buy from if the topic ever rises in discussion. I just wanted to offer an opinion that differed from that of the 'Guru Disciples'.
 
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Martin G
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Additional context to the above: BoardGameGuru - Poor Decision.
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Paul Lister
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Red Devil wrote:
I think that BoardGameGuru is a great online store but they are not infaliable and I do wonder if the store is running on the reputation of previous stellar service that may no longer be applicable?

On the rare occasion when I or friends have had any problems the store has always responded above expectations. I've had the swiftest communication I've ever received from any store and I've never felt like I would end up being out of pocket. These are traits I like in a store and I personally don't feel the need for the communication to be sugar coated. I do appreciate that I'm in the minority and simply responding quickly and refunding monies on incomplete or damaged orders is not enough for some people.

The response of 'please take your business elsewhere' is refreshing, whilst shocking at the same time. It's not the most diplomatic of customer service responses I've ever seen and regardless of prior communications it's the kind of conclusion that in this day and age will create a negative wave. With social media as it is, I often feel sorry for retailers whose every decision is challenged in a public arena. I would love to see a similar setup for retailers to discuss customers and and for individuals to be blacklisted to the extent that no retailers would serve them anymore.

Whenever Boardgameguru is criticised on this forum there is a regular band of members who will jump to the stores defence. This is credit to the overall high quality the store delivers and should add significant counter weight to any doubts about using the store. I do ponder on the thought that perhaps this is an automatic defensive reaction as opposed to a reply that actual had thought put into it?

At the top of the thread I made reference to a potential recent downturn in the store. I personally don't care that the store is closed for periods of time in what feel like increased regularity. I am rarely in a situation where I need a game delivered immediately. I also appreciate that Paul needs to take time away from work and when you are dealing with a one man operation there is often no alternative but to close if you're away. However, in an environment where there are multiple stores looking for my boardgame £'s, it's too easy to find an alternative store.

The original issue was created due to a damaged box. I don't doubt Paul's integrity and I trust that he did not knowingly package and send the item in the condition that the op received. However, I do think that Paul's packaging methods are one of the worst I receive. I'm not talking about game stores, but in total online global retail. I personally receive at least 2 or 3 parcels a week and so I have a lot of other stores I can compare to. Regardless, my games normally arrive in perfect condition and the occasional damage is slight enough that it's doesn't warrant complaint. I buy online in the knowledge that I take on some risk in the delivery process and I loose the right to demand the perfection I would expect if I walked into a store. When I open a Boardgameguru parcel my heart often sinks when I see the packaging and I'm constantly amazed that there is never more damage. I am not surprised to see a complaint rooted from this packaging method.

I mentioned that Paul is second to none in regards to responding to customer complaints. On the occasion when I've emailed the store in regards to a specific purchase I've never had a reply. I've emailed the store on around half a dozen separate queries so to get no replies is pretty poor and the polar opposite of the above mentioned speed.

Apart from Blast City Games, I find that the store has moved away from supporting niche publishers and has just become an outlet for Esdevium. Maybe the market has changed with Kickstarter and more publishers selling directly? I used to love going through the stores import list and finding new and unusual games, but this list has become stagmented with little change.

In conclusion, I find myself using Boardgameguru less and less. It's not a specific event, it's just that the store has dropped standards in areas I require and other retailers have evolved. I no longer recommend Boardgameguru as a store to buy from if the topic ever rises in discussion. I just wanted to offer an opinion that differed from that of the 'Guru Disciples'.

Sorry I have to reply to this (the original post is really not worth dignifying with a response) - this is just full of out and out lies (for a start you are not even a customer of mine and the rest is pure fabrication). You can see in the post above a link to the posters thread about my shop.

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Owain B
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Red Devil wrote:
I mentioned that Paul is second to none in regards to responding to customer complaints. On the occasion when I've emailed the store in regards to a specific purchase I've never had a reply. I've emailed the store on around half a dozen separate queries so to get no replies is pretty poor and the polar opposite of the above mentioned speed.
I know Paul doesn't need any more voices jumping to his support, but I've always, always had a reply from him, usually within minutes. The longest it's ever taken him is one day, which was while his shop was closed for Christmas. I wasn't expecting a reply for a week - I'd simply fired it off while a particular game was in my mind - but he still replied and gave me really useful information on the ETA of a game I was after.

He then emailed me a couple of weeks later (without any prompting) to tell me the game was coming in to stock and was now available to order on his site. Money spent, game arrives a couple of days later (packed beautifully, I feel I should add) and I'm a happy gamer.
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Mark L
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Red Devil wrote:
Whenever Boardgameguru is criticised on this forum there is a regular band of members who will jump to the stores defence. This is credit to the overall high quality the store delivers and should add significant counter weight to any doubts about using the store. I do ponder on the thought that perhaps this is an automatic defensive reaction as opposed to a reply that actual had thought put into it?
Well, you're entitled to your opinion, but I'm certainly not experiencing some automatic defence mechanism. I attempted to be balanced and measured in my first post, but since you're stirring up trouble I'll go further.

As I noted above, I have used BoardGameGuru several times. I chose that word deliberately; I'm not a long-time customer or any kind of "disciple". But it's always one of the shops I check first and is IMO extremely competitive on price. I've never had any complaints about anything, including packaging, and have therefore never experienced Paul's customer service as such.

But Jeremy only quoted Paul's message to him, without quoting the message it was a reply to. That's a red flag to me. You cannot say Paul's response is "shocking" when we haven't seen what it was in response to. And it's worth asking why Jeremy thought it was appropriate to quote Paul's response in full while merely characterising his message as "polite, if somewhat curt".

I actually thought Paul's response seemed reasonable enough for a shop that's decided not to do business with a troublesome customer, and if that's "the most unpleasant customer service email" Jeremy has ever received, he's clearly never seen genuinely bad service.
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Jonathan Bailey-Jones
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I personally do not believe I am a 'Guru Disciple' but I do believe in giving praise where praise is due.

Jonathan


Red Devil wrote:
I think that BoardGameGuru is a great online store but they are not infaliable and I do wonder if the store is running on the reputation of previous stellar service that may no longer be applicable?

On the rare occasion when I or friends have had any problems the store has always responded above expectations. I've had the swiftest communication I've ever received from any store and I've never felt like I would end up being out of pocket. These are traits I like in a store and I personally don't feel the need for the communication to be sugar coated. I do appreciate that I'm in the minority and simply responding quickly and refunding monies on incomplete or damaged orders is not enough for some people.

The response of 'please take your business elsewhere' is refreshing, whilst shocking at the same time. It's not the most diplomatic of customer service responses I've ever seen and regardless of prior communications it's the kind of conclusion that in this day and age will create a negative wave. With social media as it is, I often feel sorry for retailers whose every decision is challenged in a public arena. I would love to see a similar setup for retailers to discuss customers and and for individuals to be blacklisted to the extent that no retailers would serve them anymore.

Whenever Boardgameguru is criticised on this forum there is a regular band of members who will jump to the stores defence. This is credit to the overall high quality the store delivers and should add significant counter weight to any doubts about using the store. I do ponder on the thought that perhaps this is an automatic defensive reaction as opposed to a reply that actual had thought put into it?

At the top of the thread I made reference to a potential recent downturn in the store. I personally don't care that the store is closed for periods of time in what feel like increased regularity. I am rarely in a situation where I need a game delivered immediately. I also appreciate that Paul needs to take time away from work and when you are dealing with a one man operation there is often no alternative but to close if you're away. However, in an environment where there are multiple stores looking for my boardgame £'s, it's too easy to find an alternative store.

The original issue was created due to a damaged box. I don't doubt Paul's integrity and I trust that he did not knowingly package and send the item in the condition that the op received. However, I do think that Paul's packaging methods are one of the worst I receive. I'm not talking about game stores, but in total online global retail. I personally receive at least 2 or 3 parcels a week and so I have a lot of other stores I can compare to. Regardless, my games normally arrive in perfect condition and the occasional damage is slight enough that it's doesn't warrant complaint. I buy online in the knowledge that I take on some risk in the delivery process and I loose the right to demand the perfection I would expect if I walked into a store. When I open a Boardgameguru parcel my heart often sinks when I see the packaging and I'm constantly amazed that there is never more damage. I am not surprised to see a complaint rooted from this packaging method.

I mentioned that Paul is second to none in regards to responding to customer complaints. On the occasion when I've emailed the store in regards to a specific purchase I've never had a reply. I've emailed the store on around half a dozen separate queries so to get no replies is pretty poor and the polar opposite of the above mentioned speed.

Apart from Blast City Games, I find that the store has moved away from supporting niche publishers and has just become an outlet for Esdevium. Maybe the market has changed with Kickstarter and more publishers selling directly? I used to love going through the stores import list and finding new and unusual games, but this list has become stagmented with little change.

In conclusion, I find myself using Boardgameguru less and less. It's not a specific event, it's just that the store has dropped standards in areas I require and other retailers have evolved. I no longer recommend Boardgameguru as a store to buy from if the topic ever rises in discussion. I just wanted to offer an opinion that differed from that of the 'Guru Disciples'.
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Henrik Havighorst
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The fact alone that this is blatantly dragged into the open in a public discussion forum alone speaks volumes about the credibility of this whole affair. I am sure that neither BoardGameGuru or any other store on this planet is immune against the odd mishap, but I can say for myself that I only had the best experience(s) with Boardgameguru and Paul
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Jeez - some chill-pills need to be sent with every order, I think. This was a UK sale to a UK buyer - we have plenty of ways of resolving a problem if the retailer doesn't. Which in this case he seems to ahve been happy to do.

Boardgameguru? Used 'em and have had no problems. Other retailers, used many and have had very few problems, all resolved - albeit sometimes you do have to 'remind' front-line staff of their responsibilities but that tends to be with large and impersonal companies. Even Amazon have finally come to recognise their responsibilities in law and have a very effective returns service (which I have only had to use once).

If I have a problem it's easy enough to sort out - the EU "Distance Selling Regulations", the UK "Sale of Goods Act", Paypal and Credit/Debit card chargebacks all provide plenty of consumer protection. The only issue is one of timing, which is why one should always deal with damages/shortages/whatever promptly,

All retailers (should) know it is their responsibility to get goods to destination intact, and I know Paul indeed does.

It really has to be assumed that the OP might just have been a little intemperate in his communication with BoardGameGuru - and I have no problem at all with the OP being told to take his business elsewhere.

The customer is always right (he'll get his money back) but s/he's not always wanted
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Bruce Murphy
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enoon wrote:
Even Amazon have finally come to recognise their responsibilities in law and have a very effective returns service (which I have only had to use once).

Actually Amazon, in leading the charge and needing to tempt people into large scale online shopping have had a really really effective returns service for many years.

B>
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A few years ago one had to fight like hell to get Amazon to take goods back - they would (try to) insist you dealt with the manufacturer.
 
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