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Non-Refundable Appointment Fee To See Santa Outrages Woodfield Mall Shopper

(CBS) -- The holidays are returning to stores all over the Chicago area - and a Schaumburg woman says she's had it with the escalating fees that go along with the chance to have an audience with Santa Claus.

For decades, Mary Jo Shepherd says she's shopped at Woodfield Mall.

"I've shopped at the mall since I was 17 years of age. I've spent thousands of dollars there, and it gets very frustrating that my own town would allow something like this to happen."


What's happening is, this year Woodfield's website - the page that says "Santa is waiting" - tells you to "Make an appointment." And appointments are $10. Non-refundable.

"A traditional family visit to go see Santa - to charge for it is un-Christianlike. And it's a Christian holiday. And they're making so much money off families in that mall that they can't give back a little bit? It's wrong. It's wrong."

A spokesman for the company that manages Woodfield says the $10 non-refundable fee reserves a spot to see Santa and can be applied toward buying a photo package.

He says families could just show up and stand in line - and not pay a fee. But that's not clear on the website.

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