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My bride is not happy. As we have kids under 12, it is compulsory that during these holidays, we take them and their friends to the brand new, biggest in the universe, Wet n Wild World in Sydney. You’ll understand if you have kids.

Wet N Wild Sydney

Some of you may recall what happened to me last January when I went to the Walley Worlds on the Gold Coast – the pain is still with me. Click here if you like to laugh at other people’s misfortune:)

But it’s not the fact my bride is taking the kids to Wet N Wild that has made her unhappy. Rather it’s the nightmare she has faced trying to book the tickets using their website that has ruined her day – and my weekend. To quote in various pitches of voice tone and volume:

What kind of fool designed this site? I cannot get it loaded on any of our computers.”

“I’ve just entered details for 4 people, including names and email addresses. It then asks me to join up, so I hit the button and the screen freezes.”

“What! It’s telling me it doesn’t have enough space for my email address. Aaagghh it just disconnected me when I hit shopping cart!”

“Now they want my postal address. I cannot wait for the tickets in the mail, I want to go tomorrow!”

“Obviously they don’t have a customer service department. I rang their phone number as I cannot find out on their website what age they regard as “child” – is it 10 or 12 years? They give you 8 minutes of marketing B.S. then tell you there is a 50 minute wait to speak to someone. Why don’t they tell you up-front there is a 50 minute wait, then bore you to tears with their marketing B.S.? How many others hung up like I did?”

Wet n Wild website - go ahead, ruin my day...

Wet n Wild website – go ahead, ruin my day…

She has tried 3 different computers from desktops to hand-helds and estimates wasting over 3.5 hours of her life, just trying to buy 4 tickets. We still don’t have them after six attempts. Apparently we are registered as a user, but that doesn’t help at all.

So, as the brave male of the household, I decided to look at the site and sort things out – it is singularly one of the worst designed sites I’ve ever seen. I tried to book tickets – what a joke! This site is a complete disaster and an embarrassment to the digital marketing industry. I have gone around in circles trying to part with money and the site keeps sending me nowhere.

What kind of person designed the site? Well it’s not really hard to guess – a digital marketing expert most likely. Those people who know bugger-all about customers and marketing, but a little about technology, and they use lots of buzzwords.

Think about this for a minute. yesterday was opening day at the new Wet n Wild World. It’s the start of the school holidays. Over 3,000 Gold Members attended the soft launch this week. The collective Walley Worlds, who compete with each other on the Gold Coast, have banded together to run ads ads because they quite rightly fear they are going to lose enormous business to the new park in Sydney. There’s been loads of publicity about the new park. The anticipation on every kid under 12 is like Christmas Eve when they believed.

Yet on the day after opening day, apart from being one of the most user-unfriendly sites on the internet, it is designed to handle the volume of traffic equivalent to a freezing cold Wednesday in Winter!

If only our kids could feel as aggrieved as we do and therefore not want to go. And we dare not risk the drive out there, it’s a couple of hours in morning peak hour. Imagine arriving to discover tickets were not available?

I’m off to the hardware store to find a long sheet of plastic and the garden hose – welcome to dad’s water park kids – woo hoo!!

dad's water parkJPG