In this post I would like to talk about terms and conditions that activity operators in New Zealand are often make you sign or agree to by paying and participating in activity. Activities I am talking about include bungee jumping, helicopter flights, glacier hiking, rafting, jet boating and similar. I would like to present here a word-by-word copied “terms & conditions of use” from one of the most known activity operators in New Zealand:
Terms & Conditions of use
A. We appreciate your custom and aim to provide an enjoyable and quality service.
B. We advise that all activities do carry a degree of risk and that by participating in the activity provided by the Operator you are expressly assuming those risks personally and are releasing the Operator and its officers and employees from any liability, claims, losses, damages or expenses caused by any event including, but not limited to:
- personal injury or death
- property loss or damage
- acts which may be construed as negligent or accidental
- any other loss, damage, suffering, emotional or nervous disorder
1. In participating in the activity, I, the passenger, agree to all conditions set out above and consent to the conditions in clauses 1(a) to 1(e) below and 2 to 6.
(a) I agree that my successors, executors, administrators and next of kin are bound by the terms and conditions.
(b) I agree not to commence any litigation or proceedings in any country in relation to the risks and perils set out in B above and to indemnify the Operator and/or its Agent against any such claims.
(c) I confirm that I am physically fit and suffer no medical conditions which may be aggravated by this activity.
(d) I consent to receive medical treatment in the case of injury, accident or illnes during the activity and to indemnify the Operator and/or its Agent against any claims in respect to this treatment.
(e) I agree that any films, sound, video or other recordings taken of or during the activity will not be used in any promotion or advertising without the prior consent of the Operator, however the Operator may use such recordings itself at its complete discretion without any prior approval.
2. This voucher is issued as Agent for the Operator providing the services and activities described, and is non-transferable.
3. The selling Agent and/or Operator accept no responsibility for any loss or additional expenses arising from changes, delays or cancellations of the services and activities by the Operator.
4. This voucher is based on fares and tariffs, which are, to the Agents knowledge, correct at the time of issue. Any increases since the date of issue are at the cost of the passenger payable to the Operator.
5. Cancellations – the Operator reserves the absolute right to cancel any service as a result of weather conditions, insufficient reservations or any other unforeseen event or circumstances.
6. Refunds – a full refund is entirely at the discretion of the Operator and/or its Agent. A minimum 10% penalty will apply. In general, no refund can be given for a cancellation received less than 4 hours from departure time.
WOW ! To tell you the truth I was shocked when I first read these terms. It seems like the customer has absolutely no rights. The most scary is section B. It basically says there that even though Operator tells you what to do during the activity, and takes care of everything, YOU (the participant) are RESPONSIBLE for everything. Operator is not !!! How can it be ? I wonder whether these terms are even legal. Or look at section 1(d) – participant has to accept any medical treatment offered by Operator and doesn’t have the right to sue him afterwards if Operator messed up. Scary! Next – section 4. I understood from it that you may buy tickets for certain activity for certain price, but if price gets higher after you bought your ticket but before you actually participated in activity, you HAVE TO PAY THE DIFFERENCE ! I wonder why they didn’t reserve the right to call you long after you took the activity and charge you with more money. Section 5 is also looks suspicious to me but here I am not sure how to take it so I won’t comment on it. And section 6 says that no matter what happens you probably won’t get the full refund…
Well, maybe someone can explain me how people are agreeing to such terms ? Or maybe I misunderstood it completely ? Will be glad to know your opinions.