FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT OUR SANTA ZOOM CALLS AND VIDEO MESSAGES.
Got a question about what we do and how it all works?
You should find the answers you need here.
Otherwise you can email us at Santa@SantasHotline.co.uk
What's the difference between a Video Message and a Video Call?
The Video Message is a special personalised video which Santa will film for you and send to you for you to watch or use later.
The Video Call is a live Zoom video call scheduled at a particular date and time, in which your children or guests and Santa will have a conversation, meaning your child can ask or tell Santa anything they want and get his live response.
How early do I need to log in for my Zoom Video Call?
We suggest that you log in about 10 minutes before your appointment to join the virtual "waiting room". We will then connect you live to Santa at your scheduled time.
Is the Santa pictured on this website the one we will see?
Absolutely. We're not some big company with loads of Santa actors in dodgy cotton wool beards. This is a personal service run by one of the UK's top Santas. It's him you see on this website and it's him you'll get. (The only reason you'd potentially get a different Santa is if our Santa is ill or unable to perform so we find another professional Santa to cover. And in the several years we've been running that service that has never yet happened!)
Is Santa able to join in a Zoom party or meeting that we've already set up, or do we have to use the Zoom log-in that you send us?
Santa is always delighted to join as a VIP special guest in your own work, school or family Zoom meeting or party. If you'd like to organise your own Zoom event, that's great. Just let us know this when you book when you're asked "Is there anything else you think Santa should know?" and make sure you send us your Zoom meeting details at least 24 hours before the event.
What happens in the Zoom Video Call with Santa?
Just as you would expect in a visit to a great Christmas grotto Santa will welcome the children or guests, share in the excitement of Christmas and ask them what Christmas presents they would like. Santa will also talk about anything that you asked him to when you placed your order, expressing his delight at their achievements, his support for any of their worries or fears and generally be the great friend that a really great Santa should always be. Above all he will let the conversation flow naturally and will keep true to the excitement and wonder that a conversation with Santa should be.
You can select the length of your Zoom call from 15 minutes (ideal for one family), 30 mins, 45 mins or 1 hour. The longer slots are ideal if you have a school or large group. In the longer slots Santa can keep everyone entertained throughout with interactive fun and games and maybe a Christmas story too.
What happens in the recorded Video Messages from Santa?
If there's anything in particular you want Santa to say (or not say) just mention it in the form when you book. Our upbeat and exciting Santa will call the children by name and wish them a very Merry Christmas. He will talk about anything that you asked him to when you placed your order for the Video Message and make the message as individual and personal as he can. Santa will leave your children feeling excited and thrilled that he has called them, feeling loved and appreciated and very excited about the wonder and magic of Christmas.
If you've ordered a video message for your business Santa will talk in his own words the subjects you listed when you order, plus spreading good will and the joys of Christmas.
Can I cancel or modify my Zoom Video Call booking?
Unfortunately cancellations can't be refunded. However if your plans change we will do what we can to re-schedule your booking to another date or time that's better for you, although at such a busy time this can't always be guaranteed. If you'd like to reschedule or to increase the length of your Video Call send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll try to sort that out for you.
Can I cancel or modify my Personal Video Message after I've ordered it?
If you suddenly think of something else you want Santa to say in your Personal Video Message, or want to change it in any other way, send us an email as quickly as possible. If we get your email before Santa has recorded the message then yes, we're happy to change anything. If however Santa has already recorded the message then I'm afraid you're too late. Likewise we can cancel your order but only if we receive your request before the video is recorded.
My child is scared of Santa. Is that a problem?
Unfortunately some children have had scary encounters with a Santa while visiting a grotto. This is often because of a not very good Santa or a badly designed dark and scary grotto. However our Santa is widely recognised as one of the best in the UK, with a very friendly, open and welcoming demeanour and a wonderful beard and costume really looking and acting in a very friendly way.
If you're worried your child might be scared of Santa, what better way is there of giving them a safe and exciting Santa experience than through a Video Call or Video Message, with your child safe in their familiar surroundings at home and Santa at the "North Pole" on a computer screen?
What age group are your Santa Video Calls and Personal Video Messages suited to?
We can appeal to pretty much any age group, although of course you can't expect much understanding from babies and toddlers of 3 or under. We expect you to know the social development of your own children to make that judgement yourself. We can tailor the experience for any age group, including mixed age audiences, family groups and even adult groups.
How old do I need to be to book any of your services?
Our video messages and Zoom calls are open to all, however you have to be at least 18 to make and pay for a booking.
What equipment do we need?
For the Personal Video Message we will send you an email link to view or download your video message, so you simply need to have email and a web connection.
For the Zoom Video Call with Santa you will need on the day of your booking a computer, tablet or smart phone with a camera function and an internet connection. You'll enjoy the experience the most if you have a larger screen, so we recomend a computer rather than a phone, but it will work on either. Our Video Calls use the video conferencing service supplied by Zoom. If you're not familiar with Zoom or similar video conferencing services you may prefer our specially recorded video message service rather than the Zoom video call.
I've never used Zoom before. What do I need to do?
After you've ordered we will send you a weblink to your Video Call on Zoom. We suggest you try out the link when you receive it. If you get a message saying you're in the "waiting room" then that means you can just revisit the link on the day and time of your booking. If you're going to be using a tablet or smart phone you may need to install the Zoom app which is free and you can do so from any of the usual app stores. (Search for Zoom and install the app from Zoom.us)
We strongly recommend that you familiarise yourself with Zoom before the event so you get the camera and the microphone on your device set up correctly, as there's very little we can do to help you with them from our end.
I want to book a Zoom call with Santa but I'm in another country, or some of my guests will be in other countries. Is that a problem?
One of the many great things about Video Calls with Santa is that you and your friends can join in from anywhere in the world (as long as everyone has an internet connection of course). The only thing to look out for is the time zones. The times stated in our appointments are UK time (GMT), so please be aware that if you're in the USA, Canada, Australia or anywhere else that you need to make your booking in the corresponding UK time. We run our service into the late evening UK time which fits in with daytime in the USA and Canada.
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