Is Dad an adventure seeker? Is he up for the thrill of skydiving, whitewater rafting or other exciting adventures? How about golf lessons, a fishing trip, or a wilderness experience? With Father's Day on Sunday, June 16, the Better Business Bureau is recommending that shoppers consider the fine print before purchasing high adventure activities or gift certificates for Dad.
Ask around for recommendations. Ask friends, verify references, and be sure to check out the BBB Business Reviews at bbb.org before handing over any money.
Check for additional fees and limitations before purchasing. Make sure you know if any additional fees apply for things like equipment rental, meals and transportation. Check for other limitations; some high adventure activities restrict those with certain health issues. For hunting excursions, what fees are incurred for dressing and shipping of the meat or trophy?
Make sure Dad’s schedule matches the times the activity can be done. Some outdoor thrills can only be done during a certain season or time of day; most require advanced reservations.
Check the refund policy and expiration date. When buying expensive items or gifts, get refund, exchange, warranty and guarantee policies in writing. Make sure you know the expiration date of the offer, and if a refund is available if Dad can’t make it for any reason. Some gift certificates and discount coupons are transferable and some are not. Are there any cancellation penalties? What is considered a valid cancellation reason for the buyer or the operator? Under what conditions is a full refund available?
Read rental agreements carefully. Make sure you have a written contract for any recreational rentals (cabins, all-terrain vehicles, campers, kayaks, motorcycles, etc.). The agreement should spell out base rental cost, daily fees, insurance, and other details such as time restrictions. If at all possible, visually inspect the rental prior to committing.
Get the details in writing. For things like tours, classes, sightseeing and lessons, make sure you get all of the costs and features in writing. What services and equipment are included? Ensure taxes, service fees and other charges are clearly disclosed. Asterisks are commonly used to indicate restrictions, such as additional charges and time requirements. Look for a "conditions" clause. Read the small print to see if it alters the original offer. Get a gift receipt and enclose it with the present.
For more tips you can trust, visit bbb.org.
Kelvin Collins is president/CEO of the Better Business Bureau of Central Georgia & the CSRA, Inc. serving 41 counties in Central Georgia and the Central Savannah River Area (CSRA). This tips column is provided through the local BBB and the Council of Better Business Bureaus. Questions or complaints about a specific company or charity should be referred directly to the BBB at Phone: 1-800-763-4222, Web site: www.bbb.org or E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com