News

Surge of holiday packages delays UPS shipments

Surge of holiday packages delays UPS shipments

MR. POSTMAN: UPS delivery man Vinny Ambrosino prepares to deliver packages on Christmas Eve while wearing a Rudolf nose and antlers in New York, Dec. 24. Photo: Reuters/Carlo Allegri

y Curtis Skinner and Beth Pinsker

NEW YORK (Reuters) – A high volume of holiday packages overwhelmed shipping and logistics company UPS, the company said on Wednesday, delaying the arrival of Christmas presents around the globe and sending angry consumers to social media to vent.

Amazon.com responded with an email to affected customers offering shipping refunds and $20 gift cards to compensate.

A convergence of factors, including higher volume than expected and recent patches of bad weather, caused the delays, UPS spokeswoman Natalie Black said.

The company projected 132 million deliveries last week “and obviously we exceeded that,” Black said, without disclosing how many packages had been sent.

“For now, UPS is really focused on delivering the remaining packages,” Black said. “You might not see trucks, but people are working.”

Customers awaiting deliveries should expect packages on Thursday or Friday and those with delivery guarantees will get appropriate refunds, she said. Amazon.com’s email said credits were applied directly to user accounts.

Packages shipped via UPS for Amazon.com by Prime customers, who pay $79 a year for two-day shipping, may be eligible for additional refunds. Amazon’s stated policy for missed deliveries is to offer a free one-month extension of Prime.

UPS has not yet coordinated with Amazon, nor has it determined what percentage of the undelivered packages were from Amazon, Black said.

Amazon also did not disclose how many of its shipments were affected or how many users got the email about delayed orders.

“If customers from Amazon were impacted, we’ll work with Amazon to resolve that,” Black said.

Amazon processed customer orders on time for holiday delivery, company spokeswoman Mary Osako said. “We are reviewing the performance of the delivery carriers,” she said.

Frustrated consumers took to social media, with some complaining that gifts purchased for their children would not arrive in time to make it under the tree by Christmas morning.

“Really @UPS would have been better had you delivered our package yesterday like it was scheduled,” tweeted a user named Heather Bender, who added the hashtags #UPSFail and #NoSantaGiftForMySon.

“Package was delayed in transit & not received as guaranteed. Disappointed 9 year old,” said a Twitter user named Jennifer Marten.

Others on social media urged shoppers to be more appreciative of the delivery company’s work during the holiday season.

“While others take vacation and time off in December, remember we aren’t allowed ever to be off in December. Ever,” Donny Ratcliffe, who identified himself as a UPS driver for the last 20 years, said on the UPS Facebook page.

“So when you see your family and complain that your package is held up, everyone who moves your package is working and doesn’t get the Xmas experience you get,” he said. “Be thankful for that.”

(Editing by Edith Honan, Leslie Gevirtz and Leslie Adler)

Recent Headlines

in National, World

Climate plan shows U.S. ‘can change the world’

Fresh
23-overlay1

The plan, which also mandates a shift to renewable energy from coal-fired electricity, is meant to put the U.S. in a strong position at international talks in Paris later this year on reaching a deal to curb global warming.

in Lifestyle

Fitness experts warn of the pitfalls of going to exercise extremes

crossfit

With challenging workouts from ultra-marathons to endurance events on obstacle courses all the rage, fitness experts say more and more weekend warriors are leaping into extreme activities before looking into the perils of overdoing it.

in Sports

After death of 9-year-old, no more bat boys and girls

13-overlay2

The National Baseball Congress is suspending the use of bat boys and girls during its World Series in Kansas following the death of a 9-year-old boy who was hit by a bat.

in Sports

WATCH: WWE salutes the late ‘Rowdy’ Roddy Piper

12-overlay1

One of the most iconic wrestlers in the history of the WWE died last week at the age of 61.

in National

More fights ahead on Planned Parenthood after Senate vote

12-overlay

Now that the Senate has derailed Republican legislation halting federal dollars for Planned Parenthood, one thing seems clear: Many on both sides think they can ring up gains from the battle.