The mall Santa at The Maine Mall was fired. A new Santa started Thursday, December 6, 2012, after angry parents bombarded The Maine Mall Facebook page with complaints. It appears that the Santa was grumpy and children were frightened by his demeanor. One little girl, according to her mother’s Facebook post, was not even allowed to sit on Santa’s lap because her mother was not purchasing photographs.
Jess Mailhiot posted on The Maine Mall Facebook page:
“Maine Mall, I have to say I was very disappointed with the Santa set up this year. We let the gentleman know we were visiting Santa today. Because we did not purchase any photo packages the gentleman mumble something to Santa and when my daughter who is six was going to sit on his lap Santa put his hands together and placed them on his legs so she couldn’t sit on him. Santa was not attentive and brushed her off all because we did not purchase pictures. Why don’t you just put up a sign saying NO PICTURES NO SANTA. My daughter was hurt and I so disappointed. Shame on you!”
Many other parents posted their displeasure with the Santa’s attitude with their children. The Maine Mall tried to respond to each post, many of which were just people opining about the above complaint. They encouraged anyone with a bad experience with Santa to call the mall office at 207-828-2063. The Maine Mall stressed repeatedly that it was free to visit with Santa Claus.
“We expect Santa to treat all children equally, always have. There are no codes, slanted policies, or exceptions. This is something we have been crystal clear about with Santa every year. Any person (kids, teens, adults… even pets on Monday nights!) can sit on his lap, talk to him, get a candy cane or whatever souvenir he’s handing out while supplies last. ALL, whether you buy pictures or not. It’s an OPTION, not a requirement, to buy photography packages. There are other issues that we heard about that led to to immediate discussions and changes in staff or programming because despite the size of the facility, the mall is managed by a team comprised of local Maine parents so we get it!”
One of the most exciting things about social media is the ability to quickly change things that need changing. Through Facebook and Twitter, consumers are empowered like never before.
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