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WEEKLY EMAIL 14/11/2012

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Weekly Email
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This email was sent
14th Nov 2012
Warning! This info may be out of date. Read this week's email

Quick message from Martin - Get this emailed

"Hi. This free, spam free weekly email is the key way to save. We put all the latest deals, guides and loopholes in, yet many close within hours. Don't miss out, join the 8m who get it each week."

This week

New tricks to beat the supermarkets
Shift debts to new 23mths 0%
Cheap mobile insurance
Free 'No Cold Callers' sign
Tesco Wine huge 500 pts code
4x Disney Paris tickets £14
Instant Gap 30% vch & more
2for1 Harrods decorations
50p/L off fuel - extreme couponing
80p rings scarves & t-shirts
Warning: British Gas hike Friday
Free Odeon tickets (O2 custs)
Debenhams 25% FLASH sale
Line rent & b'band £11.50/mth
50% off M&S sale
Free Amex £5 again & again
2for1 panto tickets across GB
£1 Sim gets free mobile internet
Vouchers Index: Restaurants / Shopping
Best Buys: 0% cards | Car insurance
Best Buys: Gas & Elec | Bank Accs

MARTIN'S QUICK BRIEFING: For more tips, alerts & awful puns follow Martin on Twitter

How to squeeze savings till they scream
Rates are pitiful, so make every penny count - tricks to earn up to 8%

The base rate been at a 300-yr historic low for over 3yrs. Yet now, savings rates are their lowest within this 3 year low. With top rates at rock bottom, you need to push to the max. To start, Repay Debts With Savings, and for some, Overpay Your Mortgage? Then boost rates. All below have full £85,000 UK savings safety.

1. Switch to 2.5% AER easy-access 'Nationwide' savings. Does your easy access rate pay less? If so, withdraw the cash and open a new one. For £1,000+, Derbyshire BS*, part of Nationwide, is 2.5% AER with unlimited no-notice withdrawals (unlike Nationwide's own deal, which allows just 1 withdrawal per year).

For £10,000+, West Brom is 2.52% but only allows 4 withdrawals/yr. Both are variable rates with year-long bonuses, so diarise to ditch and switch after. See Top Savings. To reduce tax, if you're a couple, put savings in the name of the lower taxpayer.
2. Earn 3% AER and cashback in a CURRENT account. Usually, I yell: "Don't stash cash in your bank account." Santander 123's* the exception. Get it and if you've £3,000-£20k, it pays 3% AER on the whole balance. There's a £2/mth fee, yet as it also pays 1-3% cashback on bills such as council tax and energy, most get that covered and make up to £10/mth profit. Full info in Best Bank Accounts.
3. squeeze savingsEarn 8% AER if you save money each month. Regular savings accounts pay high rates, but only allow you to save a limited amount. Many are linked to current accounts, eg, switch to top customer service bank First Direct* and you get £125 free, plus you can open and put £300/mth for a year in its 8% AER Regular Saver.

The top deal open to all is Saffron BS's 4% AER fixed for 12 months, for £10-£200/mth pay-ins. If you've a lump sum to save, simply drip-feed it from a top easy access account. Full help in Top Regular Savings.
4. Fix at up to 3.1% AER, but should you? To lock in a guaranteed rate, you need to stash cash away in a fixed deal. Yet current best-buys are so low, beware locking in for too long, or you'll be stuck if things bounce back. Top payers: 3yrs Tesco Bank 3.1%; 2yrs Tesco Bank 3%; 1yr FirstSave 3%.
5. Smash the best buy fixes with 4.2% AER fix. A cunning plan. Keep £500 in State Bank of India UK's instant access savings, and you get access to its, by far the best buy, fixed rates, letting you lock in at 5yrs 4.2%; 4yrs 3.8%; 3yrs 3.65% 2yrs 3.5% & 1yr 3%. The bank has full UK £85,000 savings safety.

As its instant access rate's 2%, only a little behind the top payer, if you're fixing about a grand or more it's usually a winner. See Top Fixed Savings.
6. Big savers - ensure you get a consistently good rate. If you've £25,000+, the Investec High 10 3-month notice account pays the average of the market's top 10 rates, currently 2.71% AER (changing Wed). For a higher rate, the High 5 focuses on the top five, but you'll need six months' notice to withdraw.
7. Earn 3%, but needs notice to withdraw. In recent years, bizarrely, easy access rates have been the best variable deals. Not any more - all the following give improved rates if you're happy to wait a set period to make withdrawals.

30 days:
Market Harborough 2.55% AER. 90 days: Julian Hodge 3% (min £50k). 120 days: Secure Trust Bank 3% (base rate + 2.5%). As all are variable rates, if they drop the interest, you'll lose out to get out. See Top Savings.
8. Got savings, but not a 2012/13 cash ISA? Why? Earn 3% tax-free. Don't think you need to lock money away in ISAs. With easy access deals such as Cheshire BS's 3% AER, you can withdraw money whenever you want and keep the tax benefit. The rule is you can only put in £5,640/ tax year, then the interest stays tax-free year after year until withdrawn - a big boost.

Yet this account has a year-long bonus, so diarise to ditch & transfer (see point 9) after. More options, incl higher-paying fixed rate deals in Top Cash ISAs. Also check local credit unions - some offer higher rates.
9. Don't leave OLD ISAs in the doldrums. Check old cash ISA rates now - many will be spit-worthy. You've a right to transfer and keep the tax benefit. To do it, don't withdraw the cash, ask your new provider to move it for you. Top easy access transfer deals are BM Savings 2.75% AER, or if you've £50k+, Skipton BS 3.1% AER. Full help & best buys in Cash ISA Transfers.
10. Rates so awful, Premium Bonds now a decent bet for high-rate taxpayers. I've never been a fan, & even had the Premium Bond Win Predictor Calc built to show why. The current prize rate is a poor 1.5%. But it's tax-free, so for once, right now, 40% taxpayers with typical luck stand a decent chance of beating top easy access savings. Yet it's still pants for smaller amounts/lower taxpayers. See Premium Bonds: Are They Worth It?

What about peer-to-peer lending? They're marketed as similar to saving and the rates are much higher. But so's the risk. Full MSE guide coming soon.


Do us a favour. If this email's ever helped you, please forward it to friends and suggest they get it via moneysavingexpert.com/tips

Blagged for MoneySavers

Did you miss?

Reclaim PPI for FREE
Claims handlers aren't more successful.
Free help & templates: Reclaim PPI

MSE News

Top story: Comet collapse latest: Your rights
Lowest-ever loans fire price war
Watchdogs investigate gas price 'manipulation'
CCCS becomes StepChange
Beat London Tube and bus hikes
Use the Money Mantras If you're skint If you're not skint
The Ones Not To Miss Wed 14 Nov 2012
New tricks to slash £1,000s off supermarket shopping
We've boosted our list of techniques you can use to cut costs, not corners, in time for the big Christmas shop

Our 30 Ways To Cut Supermarket Costs tackles these cathedrals of consumerism. Here are the hot tips right now:

  • supermarket shoppingNew 'is it really a bargain?' tracker. There's a new way to chart price changes over the last year (and set alerts when prices drop). Hot: Haagen-Dazs cookie dough ice cream's £2.22 at Waitrose - 47% below its average price. Not: Tesco's 2 Kettle Chips for £3.50 is 17% more than its avg £1.50/bag price. See 'Is It Really A Bargain?' tracker.
  • Urgent loophole - Christmas trolley boost. With supermarket Xmas savings clubs, you're meant to save year-round to get a bonus. Yet it's what's saved by the bonus date that counts. Asda's bonus date is this Sun, so if you shop there, open one this week, fill it with whatever you're planning to spend over the next few weeks and get an instant up to 4% extra. Full store-by-store info: Supermarket Xmas Boost
  • The jaw-dropping Downshift Challenge. Use the Downshift Challenge tool to see what you'd save dropping a brand level on everything. The savings will surprise you.
  • Earn £25 for Xmas loyalty. To get £25 of vouchers, spend £50+ four times at Waitrose or for a £25 (£40 min spend) voucher, £40+ for six weeks at Morrisons. See Supermarket Discount Vouchers. Also check out Free Grocery Coupons too.

Tesco Wine code, get 500pts (worth £20 Rewards) on ANY spend
Profit if used right on its sale. So 6 Bucks Fizz bottles are £18 incl del, use the code and get £20 Rewards on them.
Tesco Wine newbies. 500pts are worth £5 in-store, but up to £20 in Rewards. More: Wine Discount Finder. Be Drinkaware.

Gap 30% code, Dorothy Perkins 25%, FCUK 20% and more...
Gap 30% off code & vch | Dorothy Perkins 25% off code | French Connection 20% off code
Superdrug £10 off £50 + free del code | Clarks 20% off + free del code Full list: Discount Vouchers

4 Disneyland Paris tickets £13.50 (RRP £200+). Collect 10 newspaper tokens, costing £4. Gets ferry day returns from £9.50 (more on some days) plus free Disney tickets for 2 grown-ups & 2 kids. More info in Disney Paris Deal.

Forum Hottie. Urgent. 2for1 Harrods Xmas decorations online. Not often Harrods makes it into an MSE email, but forumites love this 2for1 on posh baubles. The key is the free delivery that ends TODAY (Wed). See Harrods Deals.

New. Shift debts to 23mths 0% - price war
If you're paying hefty interest on credit card debt, STOP. Finally, it's not just Barclaycard offering the longest deal

Balance transfers let you shift costly card debts to a new card, so you owe it instead, at a cheaper rate, saving £100s. Why diss Barclaycard? We're not, yet these deals are for NEW cardholders. Barclaycard's been the longest 0% for 2 years and is the UK's most-held card, so new players are very welcome. With all cards, you need to pass a credit score.

  • price warShift debt to 23 mths 0%. The lowest fee's still Barclaycard 23mths 0% (2.8% fee)*, plus shift £2,000+ and £30 is refunded. Now there's also NatWest 23mths 0% (3.5% fee)* and an identical card from RBS*. Finally, Tesco's 22mths 0% (2.9% fee)*. Aim to fully repay or switch again before the 0% ends or they jump to 17.9% representative APR (Tesco 18-24%).
  • Shift debt to 5.9% for LIFE. If you need longer to repay or have less certain repayments, move debt to MBNA's 5.9% Rate for Life*. All debt shifted stays at 5.9% until repaid (1.5% fee).
  • Poor credit score? Shift to 6mths 0%. The Capital One* Balance card lets even some with past CCJs/defaults shift debts for 6mths 0% (3% fee). After the 0% ends, it's a big 34.9% representative APR, so either clear by then, or if the cards you shifted debt from have a lower APR, move it back to them. This card's tricksy, so read our Capital One Safety Help.
  • Balance transfer need-to-knows. 1) Repay at least the minimum repayment or you'll lose special rates. 2) Don't spend on these cards, it's usually at a higher APR. 3) Don't know which card's best? Use Which Card Is Cheapest? tool. 4) More help and options including low-fee deals in Best Balance Transfers. See Official APRs.

50p/L off petrol - extreme couponing's back. From today (Wed) at Tesco till next Tue, £7-£10 of coffee, loo rolls, squash, chocs or dairy products gets you a 10p/L off coupon. Up to five can be combined for 50p/L off. Does it add up? Yes. Bulk-buy the non-perishables, and a £40 spend can save £30 on fuel for a 60L tank. Full help: Cheap Petrol

Forum Hottie. 80p rings, scarves & T-shirts. Big sale + newbies free del & 10% off. Yours Clothing Deals

Warning British Gas hikes on Friday - switch NOW & save £200/yr
BG's hiking energy prices an avg 6%. Someone paying £1,265/yr on its standard dual fuel tariff switching to the cheapest deal with no hikes due at the moment Npower Online Jan ‘14* would then pay £1,070/yr. Compare & check savings: Cashback via these links. Energyhelpline* £15/switch. Dual fuel: MoneySup* £30, uSwitch* crate of wine. For FULL help see Cheap Energy.

FREE Odeon ticket for O2 custs. Go quick, limited number available (not Skyfall). Valid till Jan. Cheap Cinema Deals

Click the titles for full info and all our top picks
Balance Transfers Car Insurance Cheap Loans Top Cash ISAs
Longest 0%: Barclaycard*
23 mths 0%, 2.8% fee

(17.9% rep APR)

Low fee 0%: NatWest*
13 months 0%, 1% fee

(17.9% rep APR)
Get quotes in this order...

MoneySup*
Confused*
Direct Line*
Aviva*
Admiral MultiCar*

Sainsbury's* (£5k - £7.5k)
7.1% rep APR
(Need Nectar card)

Derbyshire BS* (£7.5k - £15k)
5.4% rep APR

Cheshire BS 3% AER
Min £1,000. Incl bonus.
Postal only. No transfers


BM Savings 2.75% AER
Min £1. Incl bonus.
Postal. Transfers allowed

See Card APR Examples & Loan APR Examples

Debenhams 25% off FLASH brands sale plus EXTRA 10% code. MSE Blagged. Until Sun, get 25% off brands incl Oasis, Dune and men's suits / 10% off beauty & fragrance. Plus WED ONLY extra 10% off web code. Debenhams Deal

Hurry. Line rent AND b'band equiv £11.50/mth. Sign up to Plusnet's Value* (avail to 80% of UK) and its £6.49/mth b'band's half-price for 9 mths, and you get £25 cashback after 30 days. You need its line rent, that's £12.99/mth, rising to £13.99 on Sun, but to beat this right now, pay a year upfront for £114 (equiv £9.50/mth). Add it all up: You pay £138 a year before calls, equiv to £11.50/mth for both - far less than BT line rent alone. Cheap Home Phones.

Heads up: Up to 50% off M&S sale. Mid-season sale starts online today (Wed) & in-store Thu. M&S Deals.

Cheap smartphone insurance
If you need mobile cover (not everyone does), insure an iPhone 5 for £70/year or £62 for other smartphones

If you've a flashy mobile, odds are it'll be a blinding cost to replace. The peace of mind solution is to buy insurance, but that's not right for everyone. Our full, updated Cheap Mobile Insurance guide takes you through it, here's a taster....

  • mobile insuranceKey questions before you start. 1. Are you a loser? (lost lots of phones?) 2. Does your home ins cover it? 3. Is fast turnaround crucial? If so, stick to network cover.
  • Cheapest policies from £16/yr. The pricier the handset, the higher the cover you'll need. Our top picks on price cover accidents, loss & theft. (We exclude firms with nightmare feedback.)

    - iPhone 5 (£700 limit). Insurance2Go* is £70/year (£50 accident excess, £75 loss).
    - Samsungs, older iPhones, smartphones (£500 limit). Insure and Go* is £62/yr, (low £25 excess).
    - Budget mobiles (£150 limit). Gadget Cover* is £16/yr (or £27/yr with loss), but feedback's not great.
  • Cover FOUR smartphones + travel ins for £114/yr. A crafty alternative is Co-op's highly-rated Privilege bank account. It has a £9.50/mth (£114/yr) fee but includes insurance for up to 4 mobiles (£1,000 limit, so iPhone 5 fine) in your home, provided you register them, as well as annual travel insurance. See Mobile Cover via Bank Accounts.

Free Amex £5 at 1,000s of local shops (do again & again). Amex cardholders, register and during Nov, spend £5+ at 1,000s of shops, pubs, etc and you get £5 credit. Works once in each store. Full how-to: Amex Shop Small

'Freebies'. £14 Elemis serum, £10 mascara in magazines
£10 Jemma Kidd mascara in £4 mag | £14 Elemis serum vch in £5 mag | £4 nail polish in £2 mag | More: Beauty Deals

2for1 pantos vouch GB-wide (oh yes it is...) 2for1 or kids go free via newspaper vouchers. Cheap Days Out.

Free 'No Cold Callers' sign
It's Trading Standards' No Cold Callers week - free signs to (politely) slam the door in the face of unwanted callers
There's nowt wrong with firms knocking on your door, unless you tell 'em not to. So if you're fed up with it, let 'em know...
  • Stop cold callersFREE No Cold Callers sign. Decorate your door with our Trading Standards-approved free No Cold Callers sign. And responding to your feedback, we've also special MSE signs including No Charities, No Religious Groups or No Charities or Religious Groups.
  • What if they keep knocking? Energy firms are specifically banned from knocking. Recent legal opinion obtained by Trading Standards says other firms knocking on doors with signs are breaking the law, though that's untested. Yet let's be honest, some will still knock. In which case, open the door, smile, point at the sign, say "no thanks" and close it (never be aggressive).
  • Stop spam texts, calls, junk mail and more. If we all forward spam texts such as PPI ones to 7726 (87726 for Vodafone) the number should be blocked. See Stop Spam Texts, plus how to Stop Spam Calls and Junk Mail.

£15 rtn coach to Paris, Lille, Amsterdam. Can you find £9 single/£15 returns for travel till Fri 14 Dec? France Deals

'Free' mobile broadband with £1 Sim. MSE Blagged. Samba gives free mobile broadband for laptops & tablets (via Three's network) but you must watch brief ads online. A Sim usually costs £5, but use the code MSE1 at Samba* to get it for £1. We've had good feedback on the service since we first mentioned it. Full info in Cheap Mobile Broadband.

P.S. We've been tipped off that eBay's Spectacular* starting Sunday at 8am will be hot. Can you put the pieces together?


Click the titles for full info and all our top picks
Gas & Electricity Bank Accounts Home Insurance Landlines
Compare, switch & get cashback

Energyhelpline*
£15 per switch

MoneySupermarket*
£30 dual fuel

uSwitch*
6 bottles of wine

First Direct*
£125 bonus and top cust service

Santander 123*
Up to 3% cashback on bills

(£2 per month fee)
Get quotes in this order...

Confused*
CompareTM*
Direct Line*
Aviva*
Get quotes in this order...

Primus Line Rental Saver*
£7.99/mth


BT Line Rental Saver*
£10.75/mth (pay a yr upfront)
Do a Money Makeover Free Budget Planner Free MSE car sticker £16 Travel Insurance

Restaurant vouchers

Discount vouchers & sales

Top deals

The Moneysaving community
The MoneySaving Community

MONEY MORAL DILEMMA | Should I pay to see my girlfriend?
This week's MoneySaver asks... My girlfriend's recently moved away to study. Though I want to see her on weekends, it's not cheap to travel. I've suggested we go halves, since I normally pay the fare to go to her, but she thinks she shouldn't contribute as I'm earning and she's not. However, I don't earn much and while I know she's worse off than me, I think it's a little unfair I should effectively pay to see her. Enter the Money Moral Maze: Long-distance love a-fare | Suggest an MMD | View Past MMDs

NEW FORUM BOARD | Ask Citizens Advice debt & benefits questions. We've a unique new partnership with Citizens Advice Bureaux in a special board where it can help MoneySavers in England & Wales, though ONLY on debt disputes, housing benefits, redundancy or working tax credits. Ask CAB a question

THE GREAT HUNT | Best money lessons from your grandparents
We're now firmly in the 21st century. But as the old saying goes: "There's nowt new under t'sun." So we thought we'd tap MoneySavers' collective knowledge for the wisdom of the ages. Share yours/read others': Granny's best tips View past hunts

THE GREAT HUNT... REVEALED | What you wish you'd known before selling your house
There were some great tips and tricks shared in last week's hunt, so thanks to all who responded. Some useful pointers included collating necessary documentation before advertising and carefully checking the contract with the estate agent, in addition to an important reminder that "nobody wants to buy your dirt" (have a good clean before viewings)
.

BOOK GIVEAWAY RESULT | The Little Book of How Not to Get the Job. 25 blagged for MoneySavers. Find out if you got one.

CHEAP FLIGHT SALES ALERT | Airline: Flybe Price: From £25 each way Ends: Wed 14 Nov
Our pick this week is Flybe's 10% off selected flights sale. It's on till 11.59pm Wed 14 Nov and includes some taxes & charges. It's for flights between 11 UK airports from Tue 1 Jan until Sun 24 Mar 2013. We found flights from London Gatwick to the Isle of Man for £28.64. To find flights quickly, use the FlightChecker on a £50 one-way max search. Extra charges warning: Avoid payment and check-in charges - see the Budget Airline Fee Fighting guide. Related: Cheap Flights, Cheap Hotels, Spending Abroad, Cheap Currency, Travel Insurance

Quick forum tips

Andrea's freebies

Martin's blogs

Martin's been a bit busy with the new love of his life this week (Sapphire), so here are few classic blogs from the last year.

Martin's appearances

Watch this week's Martin's Money Show again.

Thursday 15 November
Shelagh Fogarty, Radio 5, 12-1pm. 
Consumer Panel. Listen to past shows.

Tuesday 20 November
Daybreak, ITV1, between 7am & 8.30am. Subject tbc.

Wednesday 14 November
Plus MSE Guy: Moneybox Live, Radio 4, 3-3.30pm. Banking.

Cheap travel money

UK's Best Currency Rates
£100 will buy you:
Best Worst
Euro Flag 124.51 113.17
US Flag $ 158.01 144.33
Turkish Flag TL 278.00 256.32
Rates correct at 4pm Tue
Find all top currency rates
Compare travel cash

This week's poll: How do you rate your home phone and broadband providers' service?

We can tell you who the cheapest providers are, but to find out if their service is any good, we need your help.

Please vote below, with your service rating over the past SIX MONTHS.

Provider Rate its Rate its
BT Home phone Broadband
O2 Home phone Broadband
Orange Home phone Broadband
Plusnet Home phone Broadband
Post Office Home phone Broadband
Primus Home phone Broadband
Sky Home phone Broadband
TalkTalk Home phone Broadband
Utility Warehouse Home phone Broadband
Virgin Media Home phone Broadband

If your provider is not listed, check the full list and vote.

Poll results

Have you tried to reclaim PPI?

The vast majority of those who've reclaimed did it themselves so they kept ALL their cash, rather than giving up hundreds, or even thousands, to a claims firm.

- 49% said no.
- 17% said no, but are planning to.
- 6% said yes, via a claims company.
- 24% said yes, using a free template letter.
- 4% said yes, their bank contacted them.

8,300 voted. See the full results.

Question of the week

Q: I understand tipping in restaurants isn't a legal requirement, what about service charges for parties of 8+? Can you refuse to pay if you've received poor service? Andrew, by email.

MSE Debs’s A: Service charges are usually voluntary. However, according to Trading Standards, if the restaurant states clearly beforehand, via menu, notice or verbally, that there is a compulsory charge (common for larger groups) then it's part of the contract.

However, if you then receive poor service, you can argue the restaurant has broken its contract with you and can deduct a reasonable amount of the service charge from the bill as compensation.

Be careful though, if it causes a fuss (eg, threatens to call police) and you feel you're under pressure, then write on their bill and yours that you're paying 'under protest', and dispute the cost later.

Please suggest a question of the week (we can't reply to individual emails).

Board of the week

Green & Ethical MoneySaving

Share advice and tips on environmentally-friendly MoneySaving. Discussions include Log burning, What to do with unwanted underwear and Cheap ways to live a (veggie) Paleo Life.

 Archna's free game of the week: Unagi 16

A proposal via Groupon

It's the most unusual daily deal we've ever heard of (and we can't tell you what the RRP is). Yet it's true, one man sold himself on Groupon to propose. Will You Marry Me (T&Cs apply)?

We hope you save some money,

Martin & the MSE team

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What you need to know

  • This info does not constitute financial advice, always do your own research on top to ensure it's right for your specific circumstances - and remember we focus on rates not service.

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Who is Martin Lewis?

Martin set up and runs MSE, he's an ultra-focused money saving journalist and consumer campaigner. He has regular slots on Daybreak, Lorraine, Radio 2 Vine, BBC1 Watchdog, Radio 5 Consumer panel and presents ITV Tonight. He is a columnist for amongst others the Sunday Post as well as an author. More info: See Martin Lewis' biog

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thederbyshire.co.uk, santander-products.co.uk, firstdirect.com, barclaycard.co.uk, natwest.com, rbs.co.uk, tescobank.com, capitalone.co.uk, npower.com, energyhelpline.com, moneysupermarket.com, uswitch.com, barclaycard.co.uk, confused.com, directline.com, aviva.co.uk, admiral.com, sainsburysbank.co.uk, plus.net, insurance2go.co.uk, insureandgo.com, gadget-cover.com, productsandservices.bt.com, ebay.co.uk.

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