Australian Newsagency Blog

A blog on issues affecting Australia's newsagents, media and small business generally.

The truth about Santa Claus

Mark Fletcher
December 28th, 2008 · 6 Comments

fhn_santa.jpgA customer complained at one of our stores yesterday that because of us, their son now knows that Santa Clause is not real.  Their son saw a Letter From Santa at our counter and when they got home he asked them about it.  The customer returned to the store and complained face to face and then asked for the number of the store manager to take the complaint to a higher level.

When I heard the story I initially thought it was a joke.  For a child to see and read the Letter from Santa on our counter he or she would have to be at least six or seven.  Further, there are many indicators in many retail businesses, on TV and online that Santa is not real. 

I would be shocked if ours was the only store where this boy’s belief in santa was challenged.  If there was a risk of this why take him shopping at all?  But this is not a conversation to have with the mother, she is too angry at us. 

I did some research online this morning and there are mixed views about when to let your children know that Santa is not real.  The consensus appears to be between seven and nine – certainly before they hear about it from other children … and shops, maybe.

The stories one hears across the counter some days are truly amazing.


Category: Customer Service

6 responses so far ↓

  • 1 John // Dec 28, 2008 at 10:31 AM

    I think learning about Santa is not something to get angry about, just one of those things that happens as we grow up. There are only so many ways to explain how Santa can be in every shopping center in Australia at the same time taking photos.


  • 2 SHAUN s // Dec 29, 2008 at 6:20 AM

    Off topic a bit ,but talking about amazing stories i had a customer demanding i buy her a new microwave oven as her paper was deliverd wet so she put it into the microwave to dry it and the microwave blew up and caught on fire …..she did not get a new microwave


  • 3 Michael // Dec 29, 2008 at 8:26 AM

    WHAT? He’s not real? Is there some way to get compensation from you Mark?

    But really, if the letter in the photo turned the kid it’s BS. The parent probably just muddled up the answer to the child and now wants someone to blame.

    My partner and I got a laugh out of it! Another great Newsagent story like Shaun’s above, you’ve just got to shake your head and have a giggle, although it’s not nice we become the target of these types of people.


  • 4 Robin // Dec 30, 2008 at 9:13 AM

    We had a customer recently come in complaining about the box of darrell lea she had purchased for a gift and that all the chocolates were white. We told her to bring it in and we would replace it for her. The next day she came back with the box and one chocolate left in it – which had one corner slightly white – we told her we cant give her that box as darrell lea would laugh at us…she is now taking it further and going direct to darrell lea

    People are just funny


  • 5 Michael // Dec 30, 2008 at 4:58 PM

    Maybe Mark can setup some page on this site decicated to :

    1. The things customers say.

    2. The things suppliers do.

    I’m sure we could amass a lot of good yarns.

    I just had a person walk in the door and up to the counter and say : “What should I do? I was bitten this morning on my hand by a bug with wings and it’s now swelled up and hurting”


  • 6 Glenn // Dec 30, 2008 at 6:29 PM

    We had a woman buy a singing and dancing soft toy from us the week prior to Christmas, that was working when she left, return it for a refund because it did not work. We showed her the on/off switch and moved it to the ON position and the magic of Christmas came alive – it worked!

    When we declined to refund she threw product off our Christmas stall in a rage and abused my wife because we had wasted her time and not told her she should turn the thing on in order for it to work.

    Entertaining if nothing else.


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