Poundland has defended its self-service checkout Santa voice which left customers feeling ‘humiliated’

A festive feature of Poundland’s self-service tills has left shoppers feeling humiliated and embarrassed, with many taking to social media to complain.

The discount store has replaced the usual voice on its self-service checkouts with that of Santa Claus, but the move hasn’t instilled a sense of Christmas cheer in all their customers - particularly those having payment issues.

‘The naughty list’

A video posted online shows a Poundland self-service checkout screen displaying a message which read, “Card Not Accepted, use a different card or pay with cash.”

In the video, a recorded voice can be heard saying, “Card not accepted, is it on the naughty list? Because I’m checking it twice, I’m going to find out who’s naughty or nice,” before singing, “Santa Claus is coming to town”.

Many shoppers have pointed out that these loud messages announcing a customer’s inability to pay can be upsetting and embarrassing, particularly at a time when many people are struggling financially.

‘Humiliated’

Posting on social media, one person who’d encountered the issue said, “no joke, I was humiliated. Imagine Santa telling everyone you’re broke?”

While some people took to social media to complain that the automated messages were embarrassing, others just complained that they are annoying, loud and repetitive.

Replying to a TikTok video depicting the issue, one commenter claiming to be a Poundland employee said the message “haunts” them.

Another commented, “Just heard the new Poundland self checkout santa voice. I now also want to die.”

A spokesperson for Poundland said, "Santa took time out of his very busy schedule to do this. How can anyone be a grinch about Santa?

"Our seasonal checkout voices from Elvis to Yoda are part of what makes Poundland, Poundland.

"We haven't lost our sense of humour despite this being an unusual year."