Monday, November 14, 2011

Sears Santa Fail

First, can I just mention, yes, I know it's early for Christmas, but it's my favorite holiday of the year and I think that by getting excited for Christmas I am not taking away from Thanksgiving, but rather, providing myself a wonderful reminder of what I am so thankful for each year. 

A short while ago, I received an email from our local Sears Portrait Studio informing me of a wonderful Santa Photo event. Often times I simply ignore these kind of emails. I get lil Gbears pictures taken there occasionally, but on my own schedule. However, for 9.99, they were offering an appointment with Santa and prints too.

As a mom of a toddler, there were a few things about this offer that appealed to me. First of all, the price. For a little one who doesn’t quite understand who this big fat man in red is supposed to be, I’d rather not have to shell out a bunch of money for him to meet the big guy. Also, the fact that I could schedule an appointment. No waiting in a long line at the mall. No cranky toddler trying to run away and climb on top of the animals in the Santa display and with that appointment, the one on one attention that would lead to a good photo.

I was a little apprehensive about lil Gbear’s reaction to Santa. Last year he wasn’t so sure and this year he is even more wary of new things. Remind me to tell you about Shoe-tastrophe 2011: Attack of the Evil Shoes.  Long story short, my momma’s intuition told me that in spite dressing my child up like an adorable elf {yup, I’m that mom and yes, it’s ridiculous but it makes me happy} he may not have that Christmas spirit in the presence of a gargantuan fat man.

Well, when we arrived, the girl checking us in was snippy and rude. Did I mention that I have laryngitis? Yeah, so speaking is not easy. She did not make it any easier. Then, while I was checking in, my wonderful MIL was prepping our lil elf and the girl who was bragging that she was there “to keep the kids happy” kept calling my son a cute little girl. After being corrected 3 times and being told his name twice, she finally switched to adorable little one and then called him a girl again! Really, if you’re not sure, stay away from gender specific pronouns! They hustle us into the portrait room, where the Santa is and immediately lil man is not pleased. They suggest we just let him get acclimated. He was not having it! So she suggested maybe I could be in a picture with him. Did I mention I have the plague? I hadn’t combed my hair and my lips were more chapped than a… well, let’s not go there, they were really chapped, and I had zero makeup on. Perfect portrait presentation right? Lil man started to calm down and as we attempt to do a Santa photo he gets scared again and Santa says, oh well, guess not today. No attempt to calm him. He NEVER attempted to ease the situation and the photographer was all, well we have a shot and pushed us out the door. We were there LESS than 5 minutes. The appointments are supposed to be at least 15 AND there was no one else after us!!! I should have spoken up and said something, but I was just so bowled over by their lack of customer service. Oh and I couldn’t speak louder than a whisper. Did I mention I had to prepay?! And we don't get the pictures for another 3 weeks. Good thing I don't plan on using those for the Christmas Cards!!!

Whew. Can you tell I’m more than a little grumpus?! I know it wasn’t a lot of money, but for me it was more about the experience which they totally FAILED at. Luckily, my MIL was with me and suggested we just stop by the mall Santa. No line {probably because most people are still thinking about Thanksgiving} and Mrs. Claus was there to hold lil Gbear’s hand while he was nervous and walk him through the Winter Wonderland to Santa. We warned her Gbear wasn’t so sure about Santa and she was amazing. Santa spoke to lil man and even got him to give him a high 5. When we sat him on Santa’s lap, Gbear wasn’t so sure, but before he could meltdown, Mrs. Claus was there with toys to make him smile. We managed to get 3 decent pictures. None were “Hallmark” perfect, but I left the mall a mostly happy momma. I just wish that my “appointment” had given me as much courtesy as the Mall Santa!

My lil Elf with Santa


Fran said...

Yikes.... that sounds like absolutely horrible customer service. Blah... If I were you I would try writing an email to the manager or someone and at least letting them know how horrible your experience was. Heck, send them a link to this post lol you might get your money back? :P

Jenn said...

Wow. I can't believe the customer service was that horrible! I would definitely say something about it! I hope you feel better soon by the way! And I am glad that you had a better experience with the Mall Santa!

<3 Jenn

Nicole said...

Wow, I would definitely be calling Sears and complaining. what a horrible experience! Who knew that mall Santa's could be so nice! I love the picture and think lil Gbear looks adorable as a BOY elf! :)

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