Frequently asked questions

Click a category below to browse its frequently asked questions.

Faqs With Writing Added

Recommendations & Press

Have you featured in the press?

Yes! We have been featured in a number of news articles and podcasts over the years from major news broadcasters such as Which?, The Telegraph, BBC Radio 4, ITV and The Sunday Times.

  • Which?: The consumer magazine Which? featured The Oil-Club in recent article "Heating Oil Explained - Getting the best heating oil price".
  • The Telegraph: The Oil-Club features in The Telegraph Money Section on Sunday.
  • BBC Radio 4 - 'You and Yours': The Oil-Club MD, Chris Brown, speaks to Pete Wilson of the BBC Radio 4 'You and Yours' programme on the falling cost of heating oil.
  • ITV Tonight: The Oil-Club and a few of our members featured on the ITV Tonight programme 'Power to the people'.
  • The Sunday Times: Melanie Wright of The Sunday Times looks at different ways households who rely on heating oil can reduce their heating costs, including joining The Oil-Club.

Do you have any customer recommendations?

Yes, you can see some customer reviews at the bottom of the homepage on our website, and more customer reviews and comments can also be found on our Facebook page.

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How do I save time and money?

How do I save money?

We aim to provide the best savings possible by purchasing heating oil in bulk for each village. Most of the vehicles our suppliers use will hold up to 15,000 litres of heating oil. So once we have enough orders for your village we will start the order and delivery process. The more members you have in your village the more frequently we can arrange deliveries, and the better the price. Once a member you can see the progress of your group.

Ordering smaller amounts such as 500 or 1000 litres from your supplier directly is costly. But because The Oil-Club will be ordering a large quantity for a number of other people in your area, you are able to top up 500 or a 1000 litres and benefit from the overall bulk purchase, thus saving you money on every order. Over the course of a year you can save hundreds of pounds by utilising the bulk purchasing power of The Club.

How do I save time?

We shop around and negotiate with various suppliers at the time of ordering, to see who is offering the best price for each area, so you don't have to spend time shopping around and getting quotes as we have already done it for you.

The price of oil varies considerably from supplier to supplier and from day to day, and no one supplier is consistently cheaper all the time. Therefore, we have a panel of suppliers in each area who we switch between week on week, depending on who is providing the most competitive rates that weekend. Quotes on the same day from five different suppliers can vary by 10 pence per litre on 1,000 litres. That's £100 plus VAT! (survey: 31st March 2015)

As well as saving time on researching prices of various suppliers, we also have a customer support team on hand 7 days a week, 364 days a year (every day of the year except Christmas day), to speak with suppliers on your behalf incase you run into any issues. We maintain good relationships with our suppliers so that we can help solve any issues you may have, and we take on the task of liaising with suppliers so that you don't have to, to try and make the ordering process as easy and hassle-free as possible for you, from start to finish.

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Why do I need to register?

We are an internet-only organisation - This way our administration costs are kept low and we can pass on those savings to our members. You will need to register to be able to join your local village and place orders.

Do I have to pay to be a member?

Membership and use of The Oil-Club is totally free.

What do I do if I have problems logging on?

Click on the forgotten password link and we will send you an automated email with the details you require to get you logged on again.

Are my details secure?

Your registration and account details are important to us. We do not share your information with any other members or third parties other than the supplier of the oil at the time of your delivery. Sensitive information such as passwords are encrypted and we do not hold any payment details such as credit card numbers.

Are my details seen by other members?

You and your account details are anonymous to all other users and members of The Club, unless you have been added and are managed by a local syndicate, in which case you would have previously given your syndicate manager access to your details.

I have not received my account verification email.

If you have not received your account verification email, please check your spam folders. The email will have been sent automatically within a few seconds of you submitting your registration.

If you still do not get your verification email, please contact us.

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Schools and organisations

Can schools, hospitals or churches join The Oil-Club?

Yes, we welcome schools, hospitals, churches and any other organisations, as we can not only save you money but you can also make a big difference to your local village club as you are often equivalent to an additional 15 to 30 members! We have developed a dedicated ordering process allowing ordering by purchase order. Please contact us for more information if you would like to Join The Oil-Club.

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Our competitors

How do you compare to other online suppliers?

Most of the larger companies are owned by city shareholders who require substantial returns, therefore increase the margins their customers pay. The Oil-Club is the largest family-run organisation looking after your interests and we operate with our members' best interest at heart. The more members, the greater our purchasing power! Our aim is to ensure our members voices are heard.

We also have a customer support team online 7 days a week, 364 days a year (every day except Christmas Day). Our members are our priority, but we maintain good relationships with our suppliers so that we can help solve any issues you may have, and we take on the task of liaising with suppliers on your behalf so that you don't have to, to try and make the ordering and delivery process as easy and hassle-free as possible for you, from start to finish.

Some people may say we are a “middle man”, but if you ever have an issue or problems with an order, we are a powerful middle man working on your behalf to solve any problems you may have.

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Heating oil products

What kind of oil do I want/do you deliver?

The main kind of home heating oil is Kerosene (28 second) and is the most commonly used heating oil. The lesser used alternative to Kerosene is Kerosene (35 second) also known as Gas Oil, which is found mainly in older installations and industrial boilers. If you are unsure of which one your system uses, we recommend you contact a qualified service engineer to have a look.

Do you supply Gas Oil, Road Diesel or Petrol?

No, we only supply Kerosene (28 second), but we would be happy to recommend local suppliers for other fuels if requested.

Can you service my oil fired boiler or cooker?

No, we only liaise the delivery of oil, but we would be happy to recommend local suppliers if requested.

Attention AGA and Rayburn users!

Because of EU directives insisting on cleaner fuels, kerosene now has a lower sulphur content which can carbonise and create efficiency issues when burnt at high temperatures in AGA and Rayburn oil-fired cookers. A chemical 'cooker' additive is available from our shop which should be mixed with the oil when delivered. This enables the kerosene to burn more efficiently in an AGA or Rayburn and alleviates recent issues. We are recommending AGA and Rayburn users to request the cooker additive when ordering fuel. Please visit The Club Store for more details.

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Ordering heating oil

How do I order heating oil?

You need to be a registered member to be able to place an order. You will then need to locate and join your local village club (if you havent already done so). We open the ordering window every weekend from Friday evenings until Monday noon. We order every weekend for most areas in the UK, however if your village has too few members we may only open orders once a month to try and get a decent bulk order price, the general rule is the more village club members, the more frequent the orders, and the cheaper the bulk price.

For every weekend we are ordering for your club we will send you an email on Friday evenings / Saturday mornings to let you know the price that weekend for your club. You will then be able to log into your account and fill in the online order request form, adding in any special instructions for the driver at the time of delivery, and adding payment details to your order to finalise it.

You can add an order request to your account at any time, however an order is only finalised when payment can be added and this can only happen when an ordering weekend is open (once we have negotiated the rates with suppliers).

Can I cancel or change my order?

Yes you can. However, if you cancel an order once you have committed to your order and made payment, some suppliers may charge a processing fee.

If you cancel your orders on a regular basis without good reason we reserve the right to close your account. It is important that members stick to committed orders to keep our cost low and get the best possible price from our suppliers. However, we do understand that problems sometimes arise so please just keep us posted. We may be an internet-only company but we are human too!

When should I place an order?

Delivery timelines are usually between 5 - 10 working days from the day after the order weekend closes (this is usually Tuesdays), so we recommend placing your order when your tank gets down to 25% capacity, so that you have enough oil to last you 2-3 weeks or more, and you don't run out before your oil arrives.

In the winter months or in times of extreme weather (snow storms, hurricane winds, etc.) the delivery timelines can extend to 7-12 working days, so we recommend ordering when your tank gets to 35% - 40% capacity, incase there are delays or delivery issues for the suppliers caused by severe weather, i.e icy conditions causing delivery risks or crashes for the oil tankers, high winds stopping the ships from docking at mainland terminals (which effectively stops our oil supply for a number of days), etc.

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New or smaller village clubs

My village is not listed or is very small, is there any point in becoming a member?

Small villages will be grouped with the nearest larger village group or postcode sector. This way we ensure everybody has a chance to join a local club. If your village is not listed then please join as a member and submit your village as a new club request, and we will do the rest. By joining, you are helping your local village group as: the more members a club has the greater the possible savings for you and the other members; the more regular the delivery slots; and the greater saving on your environment with reduced single heavy duty vehicle trips through your village.

What happens if my local village club doesnt have enough members?

If your village doesn't have many members, we will usually try and link your club to a larger local club to increase ordering quantities. If this is not possible or is still not enough we will not be able to order every weekend, but will try and order at least one weekend a month. If you know you are going to need oil in the coming month you can add an order request and once your village club reaches the minimum required order quantity you will be notified by email and/or SMS text to your mobile phone of a delivery date and cost for the amount your require. You will then need to confirm your order and pay online using the online payment system.

Can I spread the word to grow my local club?

Yes, certainly! The more members in a club the better for everyone, so we are always happy to help you try and get more members for your local village. If you contact us directly we can send you a marketing pack for your village in the post, the pack includes a handful of flyers for you to pass on to friends and neighbours, and a laminated poster for the village hall or pub noticeboard to help spread the word.

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Payment and costs

How do I pay for my heating oil?

Payment is made direct to the chosen supplier, who will process your card payments shortly after the orders close. You will only be asked for your credit or debit card details once you have committed to your order.

What VAT rate do I pay?

The 5% VAT rate applies to all domestic heating oil customers. If you order over 2,300 litres, oil companies may charge commercial VAT rate of 20% unless you sign a 'Domestic VAT declaration form' stating you are a domestic user and should only be charged 5% VAT. You can download this form from your account once you are signed in.

Will I receive a VAT invoice?

As the supplier takes payment for the delivered oil direct from your card, you will receive a VAT invoice direct from the chosen supplier in the post or by email normally within 14 days of delivery.

How secure are my card details?

All major credit cards are accepted and you can safely enter your credit card details via our secure server, which encrypts all submitted information. We use GlobalSign secure certificates to encrypt submitted data and this is indicated by the Green URL bar at the top.

All sensitive data, including your credit card details, are stored in an encrypted format, and once the supplier has taken payment your card details are deleted from the system.

Can I pay the driver in cash or by cheque?

Unfortunately not. Our suppliers only accept advance payment by debit or credit card. This makes the ordering, payment and delivery process a great deal simpler for all concerned, thus reducing costs and increasing savings.

Will I be refunded the difference on my card if I don't need as much oil as I originally thought?

Yes, suppliers should process any refunds within a matter of days. Our system will send a confirmation email stating the new amount of your order and details of the refund. However, always advise The Oil-Club if there is a difference in your order so we can contact the suppliers and ensure any refund is processed and your order on our system is correct.

Do you offer a monthly payment scheme?

Unfortunately not. Our aim is to keep our costs down and therefore the savings to our members greater, by operating in a simple and efficient manner. Knowing all the fuel we deliver has been paid for is part of that efficiency.

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Pre-Delivery Questions

Where do you deliver?

We deliver to many areas of England, Scotland and Wales. Check the 'Clubs' page to see if your village is listed. If it is not listed you can join The Oil-Club and then add your village to the list, and we will link your village to nearby villages so you will still benefit from bulk savings.

Do I need to be home to receive my delivery?

Not necessarily. Many fuel deliveries can be delivered unaccompanied, providing the drivers can gain access and locate the tank simply enough. You will be able to add delivery notes to your order, such as combination numbers if the tank is locked or where the key can be found in the "Special Instructions" text box on the order form. Your delivery driver will then leave a ticket detailing the quantity delivered, so that you have a confirmation that the delivery took place and how much was delivered.

What are the delivery quantities?

You can order anything from 500 litres to 10,000 litres per delivery. Larger amounts can be ordered on request. 500 litres is the minimum available per order as this is the minimum order quantity set by Trading Standards, and all suppliers have to abide by this. Please note that suppliers may make a surcharge if they are not able to make the minimum delivery.

Note: If you order over 2,300 litres, oil companies may charge you the commercial VAT rate (20%) unless you sign a VAT declaration form stating you are a domestic user. This form can be downloaded from the website under 'Your account' once logged in.

Do you carry out 'through-property' deliveries

Suppliers often do not offer deliveries through properties or out-buildings due to health & safety and insurance issues. For a delivery to be possible there would need to be a route around the property for them to safely take.

Do you make deliveries with small tankers?

In most parts of the country we are able to deliver to locations with either the standard 6 wheeler or a smaller 4 wheeler vehicle. We are not able to take orders where a baby tanker or smaller is required.

How will I know when my oil will be delivered?

When a supplier bids for the clubs order, the supplier will be asked for a final deliver-by date. Once the order is confirmed you will be sent a confirmation email with your order details, including the final deliver-by date which will be the latest you will receive your oil. This information will also be shown on the website under 'Your Orders'. We do ask suppliers to contact our members the day before delivery to give notice, however we recommend also adding a request for prior contact to your delivery notes as well, just to be sure.

Delivery timelines are usually between 5 - 10 working days from the day after the order weekend closes (usually Tuesdays), but in winter months or periods of extreme weather this can increase to 7-12 working days, so please order your oil in plenty of time - we recommend when your tank gets to 25% capacity in summer months, and 35% - 40% capacity in winter months. 

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Post-Delivery Questions

My tank still has room, why did the driver deliver less?

    1. Drivers will always leave around 10% room at the top of your tank to allow for expansion and contraction in hot and cold weather conditions. This is standard practice and recommended by the industry.
    2. The driver may have run out of fuel. Drivers often get asked to deliver more than is ordered. Also, deliveries often can’t be made, e.g. no-one home or a member has more in the tank than they realised. As suppliers wish the drivers to return with an empty truck, a driver will sometimes try and balance the deliveries themselves, and sometimes they get this wrong. It’s not ideal but it does happen from time to time.

What happens if I ordered too much?

If you over ordered and the full number of litres couldnt be delivered, you may require a refund. Some suppliers will debit your card in full at the time of order and will then need to issue a refund for the amount over charged. Some suppliers will do this automatically, others will not, and in this case we recommend asking for a refund.

Other suppliers will "reserve" the funds on your card and only debit the correct amount after delivery! If you have a paid order, the refund tab under messaging will advise you of what type of process the chosen supplier uses, and you can use the request a refund form to ask for a refund if required. 

The refund form can be found on the top menu bar when you are logged in under Messaging > Oil Refund form.

The supplier has charged me a fee for over ordering, why?

If you over order by a large amount on a regular basis, suppliers may charge a fee to carry the undelivered oil back to the depot. So it is important to try and order accurately.

If you ordered 500L and you only have space for 250L, there is a good chance the supplier could refuse to deliver to you altogether, as the minimum delivery amount per order is 500L and this is set by Trading Standards, so all suppliers have to abide by this rule.

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Emergency deliveries

Unless we already have a delivery booked for your village or a village nearby we are unable to do emergency deliveries.

In quieter months, there is a small chance that suppliers may be able to offer an expedited delivery for a fee, but only in case of an emergency, as this will depend on their delivery schedules and the majority of the time they will not be able to provide this service. If you are in dire need of oil and have already placed an order with us, please contact us so we can reach out to the supplier to find out if an expedited delivery could be a possibility.

We do offer 100L or 200L Kero Boxes (Subject to availability) as a backup option in our Club Store that are couriered within 2 days or ordering. These Kero Boxes can be a good option if you are in dire need of oil and your delivery is still a little way off.

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Automated regular top up's

You are now also able to benefit from the bulk purchase price and bidding process on regular top up's. As a member, you can select the months and amount you require and up to 12 top up's per annum.

During the requested months, an order is automatically added to your account for you, and suppliers bid as usual. Please note: You will still need to review and add payment details for each order if you would like to proceed with it, but this way you don't need to think about when you need to top up, we will do it all for you.

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Tanker sizes

The two most common tanker sizes are the standard 6 wheeler tanker, and the smaller 4 wheeler which is often required in small rural communities where delivery is down country lanes and access is tight. There are also baby tankers, which are able to access the much smaller, narrower and more difficult to reach homes but often at a premium cost. In the most remote areas suppliers will have converted Land Rovers to deliver oil, but this will be at a noticeable premium!

Please note: The Oil-Club is unable to deliver with baby tankers or smaller, as we require bulk orders to get the discounts, therefore we only order with standard 6 wheelers or 4 wheelers.

Approximate tanker dimensions:*

  • 6 Wheeler Tanker
    Length: 27' 8"
    Width: 10' 10"
    Weight: Approx 26 tonnes (this varies depending on how much oil the tanker is holding)
    Capacity: Approx 18,000L
  • 4 Wheeler Tanker
    Length: 23' 9"
    Weight: Approx 18 tonnes (this varies depending on how much oil the tanker is holding)
    Capacity: Approx 10,500L

*Please note: these are approximate sizes, as they can differ supplier to supplier.

How long are the hoses?

Most tankers will have a hose of around 120 ft (36 meters) and/or more commonly a 150 ft (45m) hose. If you need a longer hose, many suppliers will have a vehicle with a 200 ft hose (60m) but you will need to specify this in your delivery notes!

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How do we help the environment?

Does joining The Oil-Club help the environment?

Yes! By ordering with us you help the environment in a number of ways:

Group Deliveries:
As we deliver to one village as a group, we ensure the delivery vehicle covers as few delivery miles as possible while delivering to a greater number of people in one delivery, this dramatically reduces the travel time and distance covered, along with reducing the wear and tear on our small village roads. 

Example: If a village has 100 members who all order their oil separately 2-4 times a year, they could have up to 200-400 oil tankers delivering to their village each year. If those 100 members all ordered through The Oil-Club, they would have their oil delivered at the same time by the same tanker, meaning they would only have 15-40 tankers going through their village per year, this is a 90% reduction! This greatly reduces fuel consumption and pollution from the tankers (which is much greater for a very heavy lorry than a standard car).

Additives - help oil burn more efficiently:
We also offer additives in our Club Store which help clean your oil, reduce soot and sludge formation and deposit build-up, and make it run more efficiently, which all helps to further reduce pollution.

Eco-friendly carbon offsetting options:
In addition, have partnered with Carbon Footprint to provide carbon offsetting options for our members, including planting trees in the UK and/or protecting trees in the Amazon Rainforest to help offset the carbon generated by your heating oil. These carbon offsetting options can be found in our Club Store.

For more information on all of the above, please see our Eco-Friendly Initiatives page.

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Tank Servicing and Oil Spills

It is important to keep your tank in good condition, as this reduces the risk of refused oil delivery, and oil spills, which can be extremely harmful to surrounding wildlife and cost hundreds or even thousands for the tank owner to clear up.

How often should my tank be serviced?

Tanks should be checked by an OFTEC technician once or twice a year, we recommend doing this at the start and end of every winter, as then if there are any issues you can get them sorted over the warmer summer months when you arent so reliant on your heating system. Warning signs that your tank needs servicing include rust, splits or cracks, bulging, gauges not working, tank is overgrown with foliage, strong oil smell, sudden increase in oil usage. Oil tanks should be replaced every 15-20 years and should be checked regularly. 

The supplier has refused to delivery my oil as my tank is unsafe, why is this?

Suppliers are now required to carry out a tank inspection before every delivery, and they will refuse delivery if a tank is considered unsafe, reasons for this could include:

    • Inadequate tank support - the support and base should be sturdy and adequate for the tank weight and size, if the base is smaller than the tank, or the tank overhangs the supports, suppliers may refuse delivery
    • Too much foliage around the tank may prevent them carrying out a sufficient inspection
    • A number of splits or cracks will indicate risk of spillage and the tank may need replacing
    • Leaking oil
    • Rust around the base or cap
    • Strong smell of oil, as this indicates there is a leak somewhere
    • Bulging of the tank would indicate the tank may about to split and will need replacing
    • Sun bleaching indicates the tank may be old and the structural integrity may be compromised

If your delivery has been refused, we would suggest calling your tank engineer to book a tank check up and to fix the problems the supplier has highlighted. If you don't already have an engineer you use, you can find a local engineer on the OFTEC register.

What should I do in case of an oil spill?

Oil spills are unfortunately quite common, 10 oil spills are reported to the UK environment agencies every day. If you have had an oil spill please follow these steps:

    1. Collect any dripping oil in a bucket
    2. Put soil, sand, sawdust, or some kind of absorbant material down on the ground around the leak to try and absorb the oil and stop it spreading or going down any drains, as this will feed the oil into the local water table and pollute and possibly kill surrounding wildlife.
    3. Do not try and wash the oil away, and in particular, don't use any detergent or chemicals with oil.
    4. Call the National Incident Pollution hotline on 0800 80 70 60 (they are open 24 hrs) who will advise you of the next steps.

Here is a helpful video on how to prevent an oil spill, and what to do if you do have a spill.

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Moved House

I have moved house, what should I do?

If you have moved house and still require oil you can simply update your address and switch clubs. As The Oil-Club manages many clubs around the country, it is likely that we have another club near your new home.

Go to 'Your Account' and press the 'Edit' button. Add your new address details and submit. Then press the 'Edit' button again and at the bottom of the page is the option to select a new club. Please note you will only be able to change clubs a few times. If you are having trouble, please contact us and one of our team will be able to update your account for you.

If you have moved house and no longer require oil, please let us know and we can close your account for you.

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Multiple Properties

Can I manage multiple properties?

Yes, you can have more than one property. The system will allow you to manage up to 4 properties. They can be in the same village or another county, and therefore part of another club. To access the additional property system, go to 'Your Account' and select the 'Properties' tab and follow the instructions there to add an additional property to your account.

This feature can be used for extra properties you own, or if you wish to manage orders for an elderly relative, or a neighbour who may not have access to the internet.

If you have more than 4 properties you will need to set up a syndicate account.

Please note: you will need to switch between the properties, so make sure you are ordering for the correct property - the selected property will be highlighted at the top of your home page, and you can switch between them on your home page too once you logged in.

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How do I start/run an oil club?

Looking to start a local club?

Why not let us run your club for you and take away the hassle. With 7,000+ villages already on our site and around ten new villages joining every week, you and your members will benefit from The Oil-Club's purchasing power and membership numbers.

Already run an oil club?

If you already run a club please feel free to contact us to discuss your requirements. Your members will benefit from The Oil-Club's additional membership numbers, allowing for better rates and more frequent deliveries. The Oil-Club site provides members with an easy to use and informative system to place and manage their orders along with many more features and facilities. If you still wish to manage your local club, you can do that too. We will set up a special syndicate for you, so you can still see what is happening but our system will do the bulk of the work for you. Please contact us to discuss more.

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Are you a supplier?

Why work with The Oil-Club?

    • We order over 8+ million litres per month for our members all over the UK.
    • We take the hassle and time out of the order process, providing an order process system allowing you to process our members orders quickly and easily. One member of staff can process a whole village order in a matter of minutes!
    • Instead of having to deal with numerous smaller oil clubs, we offer a single solution to deal with multiple village clubs.
    • Substantially reduced mileage, vehicle running costs and manpower – we all save more!
    • Our customer support team will manage the bulk of the customer service for you, so you don't have to.
    • Place weekly orders for 7,000+ oil clubs, and growing!

If you are interested in finding out more, please contact us and we will send you a new supplier pack with more information and discuss the next steps. 

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