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Taking Her Data All The Way To The North Pole

, , , , | Right | December 20, 2020

Our store does free pictures with Santa, played by our store manager, for the two weekends before Christmas every December. We have one person “checking in” customers — taking their name, phone number, and an email to send the photos to — and one person taking the photos and verifying the info.

We don’t print photos — again, it’s free — so an email is required to receive them. 98% of our customer base has an email listed so it isn’t a problem. A woman customer approaches to have her granddaughter’s photo taken with Santa.

Me: “Of course! Let me just get your contact info here.”

Customer: “Why?”

Me: “We email the photos and—”

Customer: “No, I want it printed.

Me: “Um, we don’t have a color printer in the store; it’s only black ink. We email them out and then you can print or do whatever you’d like with them.”

Customer: “I don’t want it in black and white. Who wants a black and white Santa photo?

Me: “Right. That’s why we don’t print them. If you don’t have an email, you can use someone else’s.”

Customer: *Huffs* “Fine.”

Me: “…”

Customer: “…”

Me: “Uh… what email did you want to use?”

Customer: “I have to pick one?! This is a total ripoff! You don’t print them, you ‘need’ my info… I’m about to take my business elsewhere!”

Me: “Ma’am, these photos are free. If you have a family member with an email address, that’s okay.”

Customer: “No!” *To Santa* “Get your creepy hands off my grandbaby! We’re leaving!”

The woman grabbed the child and stood in front of me for a moment, presumably expecting me to cave and magically change the way corporate set up the event. I turn the iPad we’ve been using as a camera to show her photos of her granddaughter smiling, standing beside Santa.

Me: “So, you don’t want these photos?”

Customer: “Do you not speak English? I said no!

Me: “Okay.” *Deletes the photos* “Have a nice day!”

The woman stormed out and we crossed off her info, making sure to note that she repeatedly said she didn’t want her photos. Sure enough, a few days later, there is a complaint at the corporate office; the woman complained that her pictures were never sent and she demanded compensation.

My coworker, manager, and I all told corporate our side. They thanked us and said they would handle it. The next time she came to the store, the store manager gave her a $25 gift card for her troubles.

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