An elderly couple’s plan of an enjoyable day at the Jurong Bird Park by utilising its 50th anniversary promotion in the form of a S$2.50 admission left them with emptier pockets than they expected.
Sharing the experience on local online forum HardwareZone, a user shared that he and his wife had decided to enjoy the promotional admission price for all local residents this month set at S$2.50, which was the ticket price back when the park was first opened in 1971.
The usual price for tickets is S$32 for adults, S$21 for children aged three to 12, and S$15 for seniors above 60.
Unfortunately, the couple’s excitement over a good deal turned sour when they found out that they had to pay an additional S$2.50 to visit each of the five gated zones and to watch each of the two shows.
That added up to another S$17.50 on top of the S$2.50 they paid for admission.
So in total, the elderly couple paid S$20 per person for the day.
The man who wrote the post noted, “by then we had no more money for our afternoon coffee.”
He did add that he later noticed that the park’s ticketing website did mention that S$2.50 was payable at each gated area, but he had missed it.
This is plausible, as the fine print was not stated directly on the ticket selection page — users have to click the terms and conditions link on the ticketing page in order to see the said fine print.
The ticket selection page on the Wildlife Reserve Singapore website merely stated:
First Price Admission for Local Residents – Additional nominal charges apply for entry into gated aviaries and shows. Admission tickets to these areas can be purchased onsite with contactless payment.
Actual details on how much these would cost were only available on the terms and conditions page.
On the forum, other users were quick to chide the couple by saying that it was a “user problem”, not the fault of Jurong Bird Park.
They highlighted that all the details were in the fine print if only the man had bothered to read it.
Others said that once they discovered that they had to fork out extra for each zone and to watch the shows, the couple should have just cut their trip short. That would’ve left them with money for their afternoon coffee.
Some pointed out that they could have chosen not to enter the gated areas and simply walked around the free-to-roam areas instead, while others resorted to calling the couple “cheapskates” for complaining about an already significantly reduced admissions price.
However, there were a couple of users who came to his defence, quoting a CNA article about the offer in which the article merely stated that Jurong Bird Park would be adopting its original 1971 admission price of S$2.50—with no mention of additional charges.
Some described it as “cheating and deceptive advertising”, noting that this is a “standard” way to “trap” customers. They argued that the bird park should have made it clear in their promotional materials that there would be extra charges to enter each gated zone, as most people tend to skip over reading the fine print.
All news reports that touched on the promotion quoted directly from the press release and did not include any mention of individual gate charges.