The visitor attraction known as Madame Tussauds and situated at Promenade, Blackpool (“the Attraction”) is owned by the Merlin Attractions Operations Limited (Merlin). All persons visiting the Attraction are subject to the following Terms and Conditions and by acquiring one or more tickets to The Attraction (“Ticket” or “Tickets”) you confirm to Merlin that you accept these terms and conditions of use. Ticket holders are referred to in these Terms and Conditions as “Visitors”
1.1 One Ticket purchased entitles one person entry to the Attraction on a single occasion. Once Visitors have left the Attraction, they will need to purchase an additional Ticket to re-enter the Attraction
1.2 All persons entering the Attraction must hold a valid Ticket that must be retained at all times and submitted for inspection if required by any member of staff. Failure to produce a valid Ticket on request may result in removal from the Attraction
1.3 Group Tickets for parties of ten or more may be available at discounted rates (“Group Tickets”). Please see [[http://www.madametussauds.com/blackpool/tickets-passes/other-options/groups/]] for details
1.4 Where Ticket prices vary according to age, the following provisions apply:
1.4.1 A person of 15 years or older is classed as an adult;
1.4.2 A person aged 3 to 14 years is classed as a child; and
1.4.3 For children under 3 years no admission fee will be charged
1.5 The price of Tickets may vary from time to time and the prices advertised are not guaranteed
1.6 Once acquired, whether by purchase or on a complimentary basis, Tickets are non-refundable, non-transferable and void if altered and Tickets that Merlin reasonably suspects have been transferred or altered will not be honoured. If lost, Tickets will not be replaced.
1.7 Tickets will include entry to most, but not all, areas of the Attraction. Subject to availability and at Merlin’s discretion, Visitors may be able to purchase additional tickets to obtain access to all areas of the Attraction
1.8 From time to time, Merlin may issue Tickets under special promotions (“Promotional Tickets”) but Promotional Tickets will be available subject to availability and subject to any terms and conditions affecting the particular promotion
2. Pre-Booked Tickets
2.1 Pre-booked Tickets (included Priority Access Tickets (as defined below)) should be collected from the main entrance of the Attraction or, in the case of Group Tickets, from the entrance marked “Group Entrance”
2.2 Persons wishing to redeem pre-booked Tickets must be able to produce to the Attraction staff the following items:
2.2.1 The booking reference issued when Tickets were booked; and
2.2.2 The credit card used to pay for the Tickets and, if the credit card holder is not attending on the day, you will need a signed letter giving permission to collect the tickets with the named party bringing photo ID. This letter will be retained by Madame Tussauds London.
2.3 Pre booked Tickets may not be used in conjunction with any voucher, promotion or special offer
3. Priority Access Tickets
3.1 Where available, Visitors will be able to purchase Tickets entitling them to gain entry to the Attraction in priority to holders of standard Tickets (“Priority Access Tickets”)
3.2 Priority Access Tickets will entitle the Visitor to gain priority access as describe at 3.1 during a specified half hour time slot (“the Allocated Entry Time”)
3.3 Visitors with Priority Access Ticket are asked to arrive and collect Tickets at their Allocated Entry time
3.4 Visitors who miss the Allocated Entry Time are not guaranteed to receive priority access and may have to queue with holders of standard Tickets
3.5 Once purchased, Priority Access Tickets may not be transferred, assigned or re-sold to any third party
4.1 Children 14 and under must be accompanied by an adult over the age of 18
4.2 Some areas of the Attraction may not be suitable for children of certain ages and Merlin reserves the right to refuse access to such areas to Visitors under any recommended age limit
5. Health and Safety
5.1 A variety of special effects (including sudden loud effects and strobe lighting) may be used in certain visitor areas of the Attraction. It is recommended that Visitors with high blood pressure, heart conditions or other pre-existing medical conditions ask the Attraction staff for further details and avoid areas of the Attraction at which such special effects are used.
5.2 From time to time the Attraction staff may draw Visitors’ attention to certain health and safety procedures to which Visitors must adhere
6. Visitors’ Conduct
6.1 Visitors are required to observe the following prohibitions while at the Attraction:
6.1.1 No smoking;
6.1.2 No pets or animals except for guide dogs and hearing dogs;
6.1.3 No consumption of food or drink without the express permission of Merlin;
6.1.4 No offensive weapons;
6.1.5 No access to any area of the Attraction other than areas designated for access by Visitors;
6.1.6 No unnecessary noise (whether from mobile phones or personal stereos or otherwise) or behaviour likely to annoy or offend other Visitors or intimidate the Attraction staff;
6.1.7 No use of illegal drugs or consumption of alcohol except in authorised places and in accordance with the Licensing Act 2003
6.2 Merlin reserves to right to refuse entry to or expel from the Attraction any Visitor who fails to observe the prohibitions at condition 6.1 or whom Merlin considers likely to affect the safety or enjoyment of any other Visitor or member of staff
7.1 In the interests of safety, Visitors may be asked to submit to a search of their person or belongings and anyone refusing to submit or found to be in possession of materials believed by Merlin in to be dangerous or unsuitable will be denied entry or removed from the Attraction
7.2 Visitors must keep their personal belongings with them at all times and Merlin accepts no responsibility for loss, theft or damage to any personal belongings brought into the Attraction
8.1 From time to time Merlin or other authorised third parties may carry out photography or other recording at the Attraction and any images or recordings may feature Visitors. Visitors consent to the use of such images by Merlin in connection with advertising, promotions or monitoring and acknowledge that the copyright in such images rests with Merlin and/or any authorised third party
9. Merlin’ Obligations
9.1 Visitors are reminded that from time to time parts of the Attraction may be closed and certain wax figures may be removed for maintenance or for technical reasons. Tickets will not be refunded and no compensation will be paid in the event of such closures or removals.
9.2 Merlin will use its reasonable endeavours to be open and operational during published opening hours but reserves the right to close the Attraction on any given day, whether for security or any other reason, without notice. In the event of such closure, any Tickets issued for use only on the day of closure will be exchanged or refunded by Merlin at the price paid for them but no further compensation will be paid.
10. Governing Law
10.1 These terms and conditions are governed by English law and the courts of England and Wales will have exclusive jurisdiction in respect of any dispute
By purchasing one of the varieties of Merlin Annual Pass listed in clause 1 of these Terms and Conditions ("Annual Pass") you are deemed to have accepted these Terms and Conditions of use. These Terms and Conditions are inherent characteristics of every Annual Pass and are independent from and can not be varied (other than in accordance with clause 29 of these Terms and Conditions) by any other contract relating to an Annual Pass. Purchase and use of an Annual Pass is in accordance with the regulations of each individual Attraction, copies of which are available at each Attraction or can be obtained online at www.merlinannualpass.co.uk/terms, please ensure that you agree to be bound by these regulations before purchasing your Annual Pass.
MERLIN ANNUAL PASS TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF USE
AN ANNUAL PASS WILL ONLY BE VALID WHEN IT IS USED AND/OR PRESENTED BY THE NAMED HOLDER, IT DISPLAYS A PHOTOGRAPH WHICH MUST BE A TRUE LIKENESS OF THE HOLDER AND IT IS WITHIN THE VALIDITY PERIOD (AS DEFINED IN CLAUSE 7). PHOTOCOPIES OF AN ANNUAL PASS WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED.
ANY USE OR ATTEMPTED USE OF AN ANNUAL PASS IN BREACH OF THESE TERMS AND CONDITIONS OR THE RELEVANT ATTRACTION’S REGULATIONS WILL RESULT IN THE ANNUAL PASS BEING REVOKED WITHOUT COMPENSATION. FOR THE AVOIDANCE OF DOUBT, PASS SHARING IS A BREACH OF THESE TERMS AND CONDITIONS AND ANY ATTEMPTED USE OF AN ANNUAL PASS BY SOMEONE OTHER THAN THE PHOTOGRAPHED AND NAMED HOLDER, REGARDLESS OF REASON, WILL RESULT IN ACCESS BEING REFUSED AND THE ANNUAL PASS BEING REVOKED WITHOUT COMPENSATION TO ANY PERSON INCLUDING THE NAMED HOLDER.
1. The varieties of Annual Pass available for purchase are:
1.1 The Standard Merlin Annual Pass; and
1.2 The Premium Merlin Annual Pass.
The Standard Merlin Annual Pass and Premium Merlin Annual Pass may be purchased as an individual Annual Pass, a family Annual Pass or a disabled Annual Pass.
2. As specified below, these Terms and Conditions will apply differently to the various types of Annual Pass.
3. The Merlin Entertainments Group attractions that are part of the Annual Pass scheme are: Alton Towers Resort Theme Park, LEGOLAND® Windsor, LEGOLAND® Discovery Centre (Manchester), THORPE PARK, Chessington World of Adventures Resort, Madame Tussauds (London & Blackpool), the Coca-Cola London Eye, Warwick Castle, the Blackpool Tower attractions, SEA LIFE Centres & Sanctuaries based in the UK and the Dungeons based in the UK (“Attractions”).
4. Each Annual Pass holder will be issued their own Annual Pass and will be required to supply the following:
4.1 their first name and surname;
4.2 their date of birth;
4.3 their residential address;
4.4 a contact telephone number;
4.5 a contact email address; and
4.6 a photograph which must be a true likeness of the holder.
5. Family Annual Pass options are as follows:
5.1 Family of 3 – consisting of either two individuals 12 years of age and over and one individual under 12 years of age, or one individual 12 years of age and over and two individuals under 12 years of age, or three individuals 12 years of age and over;
5.2 Family of 4 - consisting of either two individuals 12 years of age and over and two individuals under 12 years of age, or one individual 12 years of age and over and three individuals under 12 years of age, or three individuals 12 years of age and over and one individual under 12 years of age; and
5.3 Family of 5 - consisting of either two individuals 12 years of age and over and three individuals under 12 years of age, or one individual 12 years of age and over and four individuals under 12 years of age, or three individuals 12 years of age and over and two individuals under 12 years of age.
Each family member will be issued with their own Annual Pass and, for the avoidance of doubt, will be required to supply the details listed in clause 4.
6. The purchaser of an Annual Pass must be 18 years or over (and if purchasing an Annual Pass on behalf of a minor as part of a Family Annual Pass the purchaser confirms that they are acting as agent for and on behalf of that minor and that the minor fully understands and agrees to these Terms and Conditions).
7. An Annual Pass entitles the purchaser to admission to the Attractions for a period of 12 months from the date of issue (“Validity Period”) and is subject to the operating calendars of each Attraction and any applicable exclusion dates.
The ‘valid from’ and ‘valid until’ dates will be printed on the Annual Pass card when issued. Please check individual Attraction opening and closing dates and the Annual Pass exclusions before your visit. Please note that not all Attractions are open all year.
8. Purchase of a Disabled Merlin Annual Pass (“Disabled Pass”) is subject to proof of disability for example by production of a doctor’s letter setting out the disability, proof of receipt of disability living allowance or a disabled parking badge. Disabled Pass holders are entitled to a free Carer Merlin Annual Pass (“Carer Pass”) which will be issued at the same time as the Disabled Pass. The Carer Pass may only be used by the designated carer when accompanying the Disabled Pass holder. Use of either the Disabled Pass or the Carer Pass in breach of the Terms and Conditions will result in both the Disabled Pass and the Carer Pass being revoked without compensation. Disabled Pass and Carer Pass holders will be required to supply the details listed in clause 4.
9. The Merlin Entertainments Group, in its absolute discretion, reserves the right to vary the opening and closing dates of the Attractions and to close, remove or cancel all or any part of the rides, events or facilities within the Attractions for any reason including, but not being limited to technical, health and safety and/or operational reasons or due to special events or private functions. For the avoidance of doubt, the full value or any part of the value of the Annual Pass will not be refunded nor will any compensation be payable if any of the Attractions become unavailable or if any or part of any of the Attractions are closed or removed from the Annual Pass scheme.
10. An Annual Pass is only valid for daytime entry to Warwick Castle.
11. An Annual Pass does not entitle entry to LEGOLAND® Windsor outside the attraction’s normal park opening hours as published on its website at www.legoland.co.uk.
12. An Annual Pass is subject to additional charges for entry into:
12.1 any concerts taking place at the Attractions;
12.2 any themed and/or special events taking place at the Attractions;
12.3 secondary attractions at Chessington World of Adventures Resort;
12.4 all Christmas event openings;
12.5 secondary attractions at Alton Towers Resort Theme Parks including, but not limited to, the Alton Towers Waterpark, Extraordinary Golf, Alton Towers Spa and Scarefest mazes;
12.6 secondary attractions at THORPE PARK including but not limited to Fright Night scare mazes; and
12.7 any other event as determined by The Merlin Entertainments Group from time to time.
An Annual Pass does not guarantee discounted entry to these secondary attractions however such discounts may be available at The Merlin Entertainments Group’s discretion.
13. Restrictions and certain additional fees apply to the Standard Merlin Annual Pass only including, but not being limited to the following:
13.1 NO entry into Madame Tussauds (London), the Coca-Cola London Eye, SEA LIFE London Aquarium and London Dungeon during the whole of August;
13.2 NO entry to the Coca-Cola London Eye on 14 February and 29 October to 31 October;
13.3 NO entry to the London Dungeon from 1 March to 10 March and 29 October to 31 October;
13.4 secondary attractions at Warwick Castle including, but not limited to, the Castle Dungeon and Merlin the Dragon Tower will be subject to additional charges;
13.5 an event booking fee will apply to Fright Nights and other special events at THORPE PARK regardless of the time of entry or departure; and
13.6 parking fees at the Attractions.
For the avoidance of doubt, the restrictions and additional fees set out in this clause 13 do not apply to the Premium Merlin Annual Pass.
14. An Annual Pass is only valid for standard Coca-Cola London Eye tickets. An Annual Pass may not be used for any of the following (without limitation):
14.1 admission on to the London Eye River Cruise;
14.2 fast track tickets;
14.3 pre-booked capsules;
14.4 private capsules;
14.5 civil ceremonies or weddings;
14.6 champagne experience;
14.7 themed seasonal tickets; or
14.8 packages, such as restaurant, hotels, theatre and combination tickets.
15. To use an Annual Pass, the authorised holder must show it at the admissions office, turnstile or other authorised entry point of the relevant Attraction.
16. All Annual Passes remain the property of The Merlin Entertainments Group and can be withdrawn at any time. Annual Passes are non-transferable and cannot be sold, loaned or given away to or used by a third party. An Annual Pass will automatically be deemed void and shall be revoked without compensation if sold, loaned or given away or if any attempt is made to sell, loan or give away an Annual Pass. Access will be denied to any or all Attractions in the event of fraud or misuse of the Annual Pass, and the Annual Pass will be withdrawn from any person whose conduct is deemed to be inappropriate in the absolute discretion of The Merlin Entertainments Group. Inappropriate conduct includes, but is not limited to, allowing or assisting a third party to attempt to gain unauthorised or improper access to any Attraction with an Annual Pass of which they are not the valid holder. For the avoidance of doubt no refund will be given in such circumstances.
17. An Annual Pass that is discovered to have been purchased through illegal methods including but not being limited to the use of fraudulent debit/credit cards will be revoked without compensation.
18. Possession of an Annual Pass does not guarantee entry to the Attractions. The management of the relevant Attraction, acting reasonably, reserves the right to refuse admission to the relevant Attraction for any reason and at any time.
19. Possession or use of the Annual Pass does not guarantee immediate entry to any Attraction during peak times.
20. Entry to an Attraction by use of an Annual Pass will not be permitted in the event that a valid Annual Pass cannot be presented for any reason, including, but not being limited to, the Annual Pass being lost, stolen or forgotten. Failure to present a valid Annual Pass will result in a charge of the “on the day” admission rate applicable to the relevant Attraction, which will be non-refundable. Re-entry to the same Attraction on the same day requires a hand stamp.
21. A lost, stolen and/or damaged Annual Pass should be reported to The Merlin Entertainments Group through the Attraction that issued the Annual Pass immediately. Contact details for each Attraction can be found on the Merlin Annual Pass website (www.merlinannualpass.co.uk).
22. In the event of a lost, stolen and/or damaged Annual Pass, The Merlin Entertainments Group will re-issue a replacement Annual Pass. Replacement Annual Passes will only be issued at the original issuing Attraction to the individual whose details have been provided in accordance with clause 4. An administration fee of £10 will be charged for the re-issue of each lost or damaged Annual Pass. The re-issue of stolen Annual Passes will also be subject to the £10 re-issue fee unless the holder can provide The Merlin Entertainments Group with a relevant crime reference number when requesting that the Annual Pass is re-issued.
23. Unless stated otherwise, an Annual Pass cannot be used in conjunction with any promotional offer, voucher or advance booking or with any other offer, discount or retail/restaurant incentive.
24. Refunds are not available in any circumstances. This does not affect your statutory rights as a consumer.
25. Annual Passes can be used up to and including the ‘valid until’ date.
26. The Merlin Entertainments Group reserves the right to use Annual Pass holder’s details to contact them in relation to service information, including, but not being limited to, information about changes to these Terms and Conditions of use, expiry and/or renewal reminders. The Merlin Entertainments Group also reserves the right to use Annual Pass holder’s details for marketing purposes for its products and events or in relation to any initial public offering (IPO) announcement made by the Merlin Entertainments Group unless that Annual Pass holder has opted out of receiving such information. If you wish to opt out of receiving such information at any time please contact us by email via firstname.lastname@example.org or by post at Merlin Entertainments Group, Privacy Department, Link House, 25 West Street, Poole, Dorset, BH15 1LD.
28. The Merlin Entertainments Group is entitled, in its absolute discretion, to change the price payable for its Annual Pass at any time and for any reason and may from time to time offer pricing or promotional offers at specific Attractions, online, via telephone or through third party channels.
29. The Merlin Entertainments Group reserves the right to vary these Terms and Conditions by giving Annual Pass holders no less than 30 days’ written notice of such variation by using the details provided in accordance with clause 4.
30. On the presentation of an Annual Pass, Annual Pass holders may receive discounts and/or benefits from third parties. Such third parties are subject to change without notice. The Merlin Entertainments Group is entitled to remove and/or withdraw any or all third party discounts and/or benefits in its absolute discretion at any time and for any reason without notice.
31. Visitors under 12 years of age to Alton Towers Resort, THORPE PARK, Warwick Castle and Chessington World of Adventures Resort and visitors under 16 years of age to LEGOLAND® Discovery Centre Manchester, Madame Tussauds (London) and the Dungeons must be accompanied, at all times, by an individual aged 16 years or over. Visitors under 16 years of age to the Coca-Cola London Eye must be accompanied, at all times, by an individual aged 18 years or over. Visitors under 14 years of age to LEGOLAND® Windsor must be accompanied, at all times, by a person aged 16 years or over.
32. Visitors under 90cm in height may enter Chessington World of Adventures Resort and visitors under 1 metre in height may enter THORPE PARK free of charge. Visitors under 3 years of age may enter LEGOLAND® Windsor, LEGOLAND® Discovery Centre (Manchester), the Blackpool Tower Eye, the Blackpool Tower Circus, the Blackpool Tower Dungeon and SEA LIFE Centres free of charge. Visitors under 4 years of age may enter Alton Towers Resort and Theme Park, Warwick Castle, Madame Tussauds (London) and the Dungeons free of charge. Visitors under 4 years of age may enter the Coca-Cola London Eye free of charge. Visitors under 14 years of age may enter the Blackpool Tower Ballroom free of charge (limited to a maximum of two such free entrants per individual aged 18 years or over per visit). For the avoidance of doubt, entry to each Attraction is always subject to the regulations of each individual Attraction, copies of which are displayed at each Attraction or can be obtained online at www.merlinentertainments.biz.
33. Height, weight, size and age restrictions and medical warnings apply to certain rides and attractions. Some rides at LEGOLAND® Windsor will require visitors who only just meet the minimum height requirements to be accompanied by a person aged 16 years or over.
34. Safety measures
In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, we have introduced specific safety measures at each of our Attractions in an effort to safeguard the health, safety and well-being of persons visiting our Attractions.
A full list of safety measures being taken at our Attraction is available on the website.
35. Visitor requirements
The safety measures put in place in response to the Covid-19 pandemic are there to safeguard the safety and well-being of all guests visiting our Attraction. It is in the interest of everyone at our Attraction to comply with the safety measures that have been put in place. Therefore, should an individual not comply with these safety measures, we reserve the right to require that individual to leave the Attraction in accordance with these terms and conditions.
36. Acceptance of risk
The safety measures that are being and have been introduced are intended to minimise the risk of contracting the Covid-19 virus but this risk cannot be completely eradicated. Therefore, anyone visiting our Attractions acknowledge that they do so at their own risk.
37. UK Government Track and Trace
Merlin is in the leisure and entertainment industry, and therefore is required by the UK Government to collect the name of the lead member of the group and the number of people in the group, a contact phone number for the lead member of each group of visitors and the date of visit, arrival time and, where possible, departure time. This information will be shared with contract tracing schemes in order to support NHS Test and Trace and will only be used where necessary to help stop the spread of COVID-19. This sharing is based on legitimate interests of the visitors to our Attractions and the employees and staff at the Attractions, to ensure that we can protect the health and safety of individuals and support the public health efforts to tackle COVID-19.
All Madame Tussauds Blackpool competitions on the Madame Tussauds Blackpool official Facebook account requires that you are deemed to have accepted these Terms and Conditions of use. The winner must be in accordance with the regulations of Madame Tussauds Blackpool. Please ensure that you agree to be bound by the regulations before redeeming your prize.
- The competition is open to all UK residents aged 18 years or over except: a) Any employees of the Merlin Entertainments Group Operations Ltd or members of their immediate families; b) Any employees or representatives of any agencies, suppliers or third parties associated with any attractions in the Merlin Entertainments Group Operations Ltd; or c) If you are not over 18 and win please ensure your parent or guardian get in touch with us to claim the prize.
- The prize for the competition is subject to availability and depends on the type of competition. More details about the prize will be communicated with every competition separately.
- The winner will be announced by Madame Tussauds Blackpool no later than 2 weeks after the competition is officially finished.
- Reasonable efforts by Madame Tussauds Blackpool will be made to contact the winner. If the winner cannot be contacted, or is unable to comply with these terms and conditions, Madame Tussauds Blackpool reserves the right to offer the prize to the next eligible entrant drawn at random. We will ask for an address to send the prize to.
- IF an Annual Pass is part of the prize the pass is issued upon entry to the Madame Tussauds Blackpool and will be valid for 12 months from date of issue.
- All entrants and the winners must be 18 or older or have signed authorisation form from a parent or guardian who must be in attendance for the trip to the attraction. Proof of identity and age may be required.
- The prize is only valid at Madame Tussauds Blackpool and is not valid at any other Madame Tussauds attraction
- The prize can only be used as stipulated, is not transferable to another individual and cannot be exchanged for cash or used in any other way. The sale of the prize for profit is prohibited. The prize cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer or ticket. If the winner elects to partake in any or all portions of his/her prize with fewer than the guests stated as the prize( if winning an Annual Pass), the prize will be awarded to the winner and any participating guest, and any remainder of the prize will be forfeited and shall not be subject to further or alternative compensation. This prize cannot be taken in conjunction with any other promotion.
- The prize is valid for 3 months from date of notification, and must be redeemed within that period.
- Any purported or attempted transfer or sale of or other misuse of the prize will render it automatically void.
- The winners and their companions are responsible for any expenses and arrangements not specifically included in the prize, including any necessary travel arrangements within the UK, accommodation, facilities at the attraction, spending money, telephone calls, personal items, merchandise and souvenirs, incidental costs, all alcoholic drinks, meals or refreshments, or taxes or expenses which may be incurred by the winners in claiming the prize.
- In the event of a prize being unavailable, Madame Tussauds Blackpool reserves the right to offer an alternative prize of equal or greater value.
- Size, height, weight, age restrictions and medical warnings apply to certain rides and attractions. The attraction reserves the right to refuse entry and to close and/or alter all or any part of the facilities including closure of rides and/or attractions and removal of figures for technical, operational, health and safety or other reasons including overcapacity.
- Madame Tussauds Blackpool will not use the winner’s details for marketing purposes unless they have opted in to receive such information.
- Madame Tussauds Blackpool may contact the competition winner post-visit for feedback purposes.
- Madame Tussauds Blackpool cannot accept any responsibility for any damage, loss, injury or disappointment suffered by the winner or as a result of accepting the prize.
- The winner agrees to the use of their name, photograph and disclosure of county of residence and they will co-operate with any other reasonable request by Madame Tussauds Blackpool relating to any post-winning publicity including all social channels.
- Madame Tussauds Blackpool's decision is final. No correspondence will be entered into.
- Competition winners will be contacted via Facebook and will have 10 working days to respond to this message before the prize is retracted and passed to an alternative winner.
- Merlin reserves the right to alter theses terms and conditions at any time and for any reason.