SALT LAKE CITY, June 23, 2020 – Who’s afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?
“I am,” says Disney World, as do beauty salons and fitness centers and even the New York Stock Exchange.
Just who is the Big Bad Wolf?
Collectively these are clients and customers who may be inclined to sue by alleging they contracted COVID-19 on the premises of businesses they patronize.
The result is that to indulge in retail therapy, dine out, sweat in a gym or squeal on an amusement park ride, you may be asked to sign on the dotted line. And if you choose not to sign, you may not be able to get through the door.
These aren’t signatures on credit cards, rather on legal documents called waivers.
Waivers are long associated with such high-risk pursuits as sky diving and bungee jumping. But as reported in Money, June 9, “As Americans return to their favorite gyms, salons and restaurants, waivers will be part and parcel of the experience …”
Employees may also be asked to sign waivers, noted The Philadelphia Inquirer in a June 8 article suggesting that contracting COVID-19 on the job may fall into the category of an occupational disease, thus making employers liable.
By requiring signed waivers, businesses are not asking customers and staff, in Dante’s words, to “abandon hope, all ye who enter here”. Rather they want these participants to commit by signature their understanding that this pandemic puts at risk all who choose to enter a locale. By acknowledging in advance the risks, the participant assumes responsibility for a decision to partake; and businesses adhering to disease-mitigation protocols may steer clear of liability for illness-related claims.
In fact, the word “waiver” now seems to be entering the pandemic lexicon of masks, hand washing and social distancing.
From May 1 to mid-June, 2020, one software company has seen a massive spike in signups for its digital liability waiver application services. WaiverSign was up 169% over the same period in 2019. Already in June, signups are more than twice what they were on the same date in May.
Fortunately, having facilitated the signing and storage of hundreds of thousands of waivers for major college basketball events, the San Francisco 49ers, YMCA, and other large organizations, WaiverSign was prepared for the volume increase.
“A lot of changes are happening. In addition to creating and implementing solid COVID-19 mitigation and operations plans, companies are adding the risks of COVID-19 and other illnesses to their liability waivers,” said Brandon Lake, CEO of WaiverSign headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah. “And part of those mitigation plans for nearly every company is to allow their patrons to sign waivers digitally - on their own devices.”
However, minimizing the passing of pens and paper isn’t the only benefit to online waivers. The WaiverSign platform provides an Event Management feature that is turning the heads of many event organizers for other reasons. This event management featurecan identify and locate groups of people who signed a particular waiver or set of waivers for a certain activity on a specific day.
Chun Wright of the Law Office of Chun T. Wright in Washington, DC, said that wording around privacy notices and consent could be written into waivers that would allow event lists to serve as a contact tracers.
“Potentially this tool could give event managers and anyone who operates a business the ability to notify attendees who have been in contact with anyone at the event or on the premises who has tested positive,” she said.
“Ensuring that companies and event organizers have a plan to collect all participant information so that they can communicate with them is an essential part of any COVID mitigation plan - not only for contact tracing, but also to communicate with attendees regarding other critical information,” noted Lake. Helping people feel comfortable while attending an event will be a marketing concern moving forward. WaiverSign’s event management feature is already an excellent tool to convey up-to-date COVID-19 information including social distancing reminders and other crowd-driven protocols.
Founded in 2013, WaiverSign offers one of the most efficient, easy-to-use digital liability waivers and electronic liability release solutions available in today’s marketplace. An API (Application Programming Interface) allows other reservation and customer relationship databases to push and pull customer data directly to and from WaiverSign. This provides a simple and fool-proof way for collecting customer information in whatever reservation system being used. For more information, visit https://www.waiversign.com/ or call 877.741.7705.
About Resmark Systems
The premier marketing and reservation software platform for tour and activity providers was founded in 2005 in Salt Lake City, Utah. Resmark Systems offers comprehensive tour operator software created by tour operators with multiple years of experience. Resmark Systems software is designed to manage all functions of the tour operator business from online reservations and marketing to finances and accounting. Resmark provides proven cost savings, comprehensive tracking and reporting and unparalleled lead conversion. For more information, visit http://www.resmarksystems.com/ or call 888.RESMARK (737.6275).
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Media Contact Widness & Wiggins PR:
Kate Tucker, Business Development Manager / 888.737.6275