Spring is here, and summer is just around the corner; this means students are about to be out of school for Spring Break, and soon for Summer Break here across the US. Since we had beautiful weather Easter weekend 2018–it’s not too hot, too cold or too crowded to go to busy vacation/outing hot-spots–I decided we’d take a trip to the Atlanta Zoo. I’m excited and ready to get some exercise by walking through parts of their 40 acres; it’s been over ten years since I’ve been to any zoo.
Since it’s been so long since my last visit, I didn’t want to take any chances getting there and waiting in long lines for tickets, so I decided to purchase our tickets online. You know, when any of us are buying tickets online were looking at what we can save by doing so whether it’s money or time.
The prices online were as follows: Adults (12+) $22.99 online $25.99 at the gate, Children (3-11) $16.99 online 17.99 at the gate. My reason for bringing up the prices is so that you can do the math with me as I tell you the checkout process. As I added the tickets to the cart I was advised I’ll be charged a $3.00 processing fee plus the $4.10 in taxes. Total for adult tickets, you’re suppose to save $3.00 per ticket by purchasing them online. For the kids 3-11 years old you save $1.00, but with the processing fee I was asking myself “really what is the saving?” to my knowledge, there is no fee at the gate when you purchase your tickets. I can see this being a saving depending on how many tickets you’re buying at the time; if you’re only purchasing one or two tickets, it’s not worth it unless you want the convenience of having your tickets upon arrival.
I wanted to have my tickets upon arrival, so I decided to go ahead and check out after doing the math on what I was spending. Once I got to the checkout and put all of my information in–my name, address, e-mail and payment method–I noticed that it said “I accept and agree to the Terms and Conditions. View Terms and Conditions.” At first, I was going to check the box because after all, really what Terms and Conditions can a Zoo have that we don’t agree with right? WRONG! I felt compelled to just read the terms and conditions before processing my payment; it said the following: “Your online ticket is valid for 14 days from the date of purchase.
Your ticket is a revocable license and Zoo Atlanta may revoke it at any time and may eject holder for any reason including violation of Zoo rules, illegal activity, misconduct or failure to comply with any and all safety and security rules, laws, ordinances, and measures.” What got me was the next part. “By accepting admission with this pass, you agree to assume and release Zoo Atlanta from all risks associated with the Zoo and conditions and use of the premises including the risk of loss, theft, damage to property or personal and bodily injury, including death and hereby acknowledge your permission to use your picture or likeness and waive all residual rights or claims.
NO REFUNDS, NO EXCHANGES, NO RAIN CHECKS UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES”
After carefully reading the Terms and Conditions a few times, I decided not to move forward with purchasing the tickets to the Zoo, and we agreed on another outing of its nature. There is no way I was going to agree with buying tickets to any location where if anything were to happen to me or a loved one they will take no responsibility for it at all if it is indeed their doing or negligence. Not that I would be expecting anything to go wrong but the fact of the matter is, people are negligent and when specific terms are at play people feel they don’t have to do their job as they would if they were made responsible.
Going to a place that’s full of animals and some even dangers, there should be a sense of protection for the guest and responsibility that the location takes on to ensure safety. After reading their Terms and Conditions, I didn’t want to take the risk of anything at all happening in a place where I agreed to assume all responsibility for it even if we are not at fault.
Be mindful of where you take your family while visiting on vacations and outings this year. Be sure to read the Terms and Conditions carefully before making your purchases to ensure you’re going somewhere that cares for their guest in a manner where there are reasonable policies and terms where the responsibility of safety isn’t one-sided. We don’t go places in fear that something will happen but this is life and mistakes, and negligence is a real thing and something worth taking seriously!