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Germany

Santa Not Keen on E-Mail

People trying to send an e-mail wish list to Santa Claus this Christmas often will not get a reply and if one comes it is unlikely to be personalized, according to a study released in Germany on Monday. The study, conducted in six countries by computer software group Novomind, found that more than one in three letters sent to Santa over the Web go unanswered and that half of them get back a standard reply. It reported that, generally, online Santas are "unreliable and lazy." "Thank you for writing to Santa Claus and letting him know that you will turn five this year," the company cited one such impersonal Santa as saying. Only an average of 10 percent of hopeful e-mail writers in the six countries -- Austria, Britain, Canada, Finland, Germany and the United States -- could expect an original response, the study found. Novomind conducted the study by sending e-mails to several addresses for Father Christmas in the name of two girls, one aged five, the other six.

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