Print 41 comment(s) - last by ClownPuncher.. on Dec 31 at 2:31 PM

  (Source: DeviantART/psychol-bob)
UPS ruined Christmas says some [procrastinating] customers

The amount of online shopping this Christmas season was above and beyond what was expected by major delivery companies like FedEx and UPS. Both companies found that they were unable to cope with the glut of packages they needed to deliver in some areas. The result was that some angry customers were left with no gifts under the tree on Christmas Day.
"We're sorry that there could be delays and we're contacting affected customers who have shipments available for pickup," Scott Fiedler, a spokesman for FedEx, told the Associated Press Wednesday.

For its part, UPS posted a message on its website apologizing for delayed packages:
UPS understands the importance of your holiday shipments. UPS is experiencing heavy holiday volume and making every effort to get packages to their destination; however, the volume of air packages in our system exceeded the capacity of our network immediately preceding Christmas so some shipments were delayed. UPS is not making pickups or deliveries on Christmas Day and will resume normally scheduled service on December 26.
Amazon also laid the blame for packages that didn’t make it in time for Christmas at the feet of UPS, citing UPS' "failure" in an email to customers. Amazon plans to offer customers affected by the delivery issues gift cards or refunds on shipping charges.
There were also more packages than expected this year with online spending pushing up 9% to $37.8 billion between November 1 and December 15 according to ComScore.

Sources: NBC News, UPS

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For the record
By polishvendetta on 12/26/2013 10:35:06 AM , Rating: 1
Mom ordered a wallet for my sister for Christmas. Shipped on the 12th, arrived on the 26th. So your argument is invalid.

Also if you advertise shipment by a certain date, then shouldnt someone expect as a paying customer to have that package delivered on that date?

RE: For the record
By ClownPuncher on 12/26/2013 11:27:02 AM , Rating: 2
Posts anecdote, thinks it invalidates argument.

But, yes... UPS messed up. They should have had temps in there and people burning massive overtime. Not delivering on a promise is always bad for business.

RE: For the record
By DanNeely on 12/26/2013 11:55:20 AM , Rating: 3
Both UPS and Fedex do hire a mob of temps and burn OT like crazy over the holidays (ex my parents 5 minutes past midnight Sunday Fedex delivery); this year both got flatfooted when the absolute last minute ordering rush was larger than they anticipated. Trying to hire more people the day of would be counterproductive since the newbies wouldn't have any idea what they were doing; and would need constant handholding by veterans.

RE: For the record
By ClownPuncher on 12/26/2013 12:01:07 PM , Rating: 1
They need to get with the times and keep a backup flex staff for this.

RE: For the record
By ebakke on 12/26/2013 1:06:33 PM , Rating: 2
I think you're vastly underestimating UPS and both the complexity and efficiency of their massive operations. They're with the times and they have an army of staff for this time of year. The backlog created by inclement weather across the country, the shorter-than-normal timeframe between Thanksgiving and Christmas, and the influx of demand from online purchases and last minute shippers all, quite simply, exceeded UPS's system capacity.

Sure, they shouldn't have promised a service they couldn't provide. And we can armchair quarterback about different ways to increase the system's capacity. But ultimately, no matter what the number is, there's some hard max number X of packages they can deliver with the number of drivers, vehicles, planes, warehouses, tracking systems, etc. In this case, the demand was greater than X.

RE: For the record
By Cheesew1z69 on 12/28/2013 12:17:46 PM , Rating: 2
the shorter-than-normal timeframe between Thanksgiving and Christmas
Huh? It wasn't a month like it normally is? This sentence, makes no sense...

RE: For the record
By Wondering Fool on 12/29/2013 8:49:20 PM , Rating: 2
Due to a rolling calendar year and last year being leap year, there was one less week between Black Friday and Christmas than in years past. There are usually 5 weeks but this year there was only 4. It impacted many a retailer and is a valid argument.

RE: For the record
By RapidDissent on 12/30/2013 9:57:58 AM , Rating: 2
Correct. Happens every 6 years like clock work, er, calendar work. Turkey Day since 2008 was on: 27th, 26th, 25th, 24th, 22nd, 28th. They got screwed this year.

RE: For the record
By ClownPuncher on 12/31/2013 2:31:47 PM , Rating: 2
Too bad there wasn't some sort of calendar they could have consulted.

RE: For the record
By JediJeb on 12/27/2013 12:47:49 PM , Rating: 2
They need to get with the times and keep a backup flex staff for this.

What would constitute this backup staff?

Would keeping double the normal amount of employees on backup be enough? Who eats the cost of having that many trained staff sitting idle for most of the year? You can't hire someone today and put them to work tomorrow and expect them to be efficient, yet if you are going to have pre-trained staff on standby you are going to have to pay them while they sit and do nothing, otherwise those standby staff will be working somewhere else when you need them. Do you charge double for your shipping to cover the cost of double staff?

This reminds me of when I was in college and the one large dorm on campus would pick a day and have everyone call in a pizza order to Domino's to try to get free pizza because they could not deliver in the promised 30 minutes or less. Domino's simply told customers that they could not promise delivery once their limit was exceeded. UPS and FedEx messed up here by continuing to promise once they saw their limits were exceeded.

Of course in some places where the weather was the problem, well the delivery companies don't operate the snow plows so if their workers can't get to work through the snow or their trucks can't travel that isn't their fault, but they should also have it as a disclaimer in their promise of delivery that weather can hinder their efforts. Another thing to consider is did Amazon and other companies promising the shipping to their customers accurately estimate the volume of what they would be shipping when contacting the delivery companies about promised delivery dates? You can't tell FedEx in November that you will be shipping 1 million packaged by Christmas then try to send 3 million and expect them to have prepared for that volume. It is difficult to plan ahead when you have bad data to use for that planning.

RE: For the record
By Morawka on 12/27/2013 6:12:16 AM , Rating: 2
read the article again, hiring more temps would not have mattered much. UPS's Air Fleet was over capacity... ie: They are out of air planes.

all these lazy and procrastinating shoppers should only blame themselves for ordering so late.

Amazon does not get away blame free. I had some stuff ordered on thursday before xmas, and instead of it shipping Friday, Amazon decides to wait till monday and ship it overnight. Amazon was the one who needed to hire more temps because they ended up causing tons of packages to go out on Monday DEC 23'rd, when they could have went out on DEC 19th or the 20th. They couldnt fufill them in time so amazon went out of pocket and upgraded everyone to overnight delivery to meet the delivery date promises.

gg amazon

RE: For the record
By Wondering Fool on 12/29/2013 9:04:15 PM , Rating: 2
First of all, his argument isn't validated based on the date shipped. That is a common problem with making shipping labels. The date the store owner made a shipping label was the 12th but may not have given it to UPS until days later. All the while it will show as shipped in the tracking information.

But even if that wasn't the case, the main problem here wasn't staffing. It was plane capacity. If it is more than what the planes can carry then it isn't going. Staffing is one thing but capacity is quite another.

And in case anyone wants to make a comment about getting more planes, you don't know what your talking about. ;-)

Delivery always a plus
By Mitch101 on 12/26/2013 10:31:52 AM , Rating: 2
UPS, USPS, FedEx have always been excellent for me but then I dont wait till the last 2 days to order my must have items. Some items I ordered through Amazon which are coming from China also specified they wouldn't make it by X-Mas. Im not sure the carriers are doing anything wrong I think they do a fantastic job but I think consumers are just careless senseless people who don't think ahead. I also think a few places lie about when an item is shipped haven't we all gotten that this is your shipping code and you go to the site and the carrier even tells you the item is scheduled for pickup but the carrier has not received the item yet. So the shipper created a tracking number but it technically wont ship for 1-3 days while I suspect someone loads the items into a van and takes them to the carrier. Even then I know lots of people with Amazon Prime accounts and 2 day shipping is not flawless especially when ordered on the last day especially with millions upon millions of other people ordering at the last second. Its not like the carriers will double thier staff and fleet of planes and cars on the last 2 days to meet demand its not efficient for them to do so. The last 2 days where carriers could probably get some space on other airlines is most likely used by passengers now limiting what can be sent.

There are a lot of people like this person out there
The self centered person who due to poor planning blames everyone else for any problems.

RE: Delivery always a plus
By Reclaimer77 on 12/26/13, Rating: -1
RE: Delivery always a plus
By Camikazi on 12/26/2013 1:53:48 PM , Rating: 2
The majority of items are made in China, that doesn't mean anything other than the OP might know where the generic but same quality items are sold.

RE: Delivery always a plus
By Mitch101 on 12/26/2013 3:12:12 PM , Rating: 2
Animal Hats with gloves built in. Hardly a must have for X-Mas.

RE: Delivery always a plus
By Mitch101 on 12/26/2013 4:30:28 PM , Rating: 1
Wow thats some shallowness there.

I would say the average I spent per family member was around $250.00 each and considering I spent 130K in the last 4 months that wasn't a necessity this past year on a new house, furniture, appliances, kayaks, scuba/snorkeling equipment. I think most everyone would have understood if I handed out $10.00 gift cards for x-mas.

RE: Delivery always a plus
By Reclaimer77 on 12/26/2013 5:44:37 PM , Rating: 1
Mitch do you know what this symbol means? " :p " ???

I was teasing you. De-sand your vag man.

RE: Delivery always a plus
By Mitch101 on 12/26/2013 6:16:44 PM , Rating: 2
Ill give that to you Im still sick with the flu.

Our only issue was a vendor not sending in time...
By brotj on 12/26/2013 10:15:19 AM , Rating: 2
We had fantastic service this year. Amazon, Newegg, Toys R Us, Target, Macy's, Smarthome, Middle Atlantic, etc. FedEx and UPS did great by us. Our only issue was with Snapfish actually getting our Xmas cards out the door. We ordered on the 6th and they didn't ship till 12/20. Finally got to us Tuesday 12/24. Middle Atlantic got one shipment to us in one day and another in 3 days.

A few days ago I was actually thinking how nice online shopping has become with the solid delivery schedules...

By Samus on 12/26/2013 10:22:00 AM , Rating: 2
Ditto. UPS did great for us in Chicago, too. I even received a package late XMAS Eve that I didn't expect until Thursday, which was great because it was a replacement thermocoil to fix the gas fireplace!

I think most people would be wise to investigate the actual shipment date of the vendor, not assume it shipped on or the day after ordering. UPS and FedEx has a very methodical delivery system. Once they intake a package, they know exactly when it will be guaranteed by.

What About *HOW* They Delivered?
By DaveLessnau on 12/26/2013 10:35:22 AM , Rating: 2
Everything we had delivered came by UPS. It all arrived as expected (or even earlier). The problem we had was with the physical handling of the delivery. The big one was when the UPS guy just tossed a package over our little gate into the area by our front door. It was a Kindle. My wife had seen him pull up and was walking to open the front door when she saw it happen. By the time she got out there, he was gone. No damage to the Kindle, though. Amazon does a really good job of packing it.

By fireman3416 on 12/26/2013 7:57:07 PM , Rating: 2
The truth is ,UPS ALWAYS puts home deliveries absolutely last!!How do I know this?I worked as a temp helper for them during christmas one year.The driver had already delivered most of the business packages when he picked me up on his route,but we still had to deliver about a dozen packages to businesses,and also do business pick-ups, before we started to deliver to the homes.when the end of the day came,and the driver said it was all we were going to deliver today,there were a bunch of packages to deliver yet!!when I asked about the undelivered packages,the driver well that's too f***ing bad for those people!Needless to say I was disgusted,especially when I asked the terminal supervisor on-duty if that always happens this time of year,and he said absolutely!!

BTW;This was the around 1997 before online shopping went off the charts

By mike8675309 on 12/27/2013 10:17:03 AM , Rating: 2
Two points. On Friday December 20th around noon I ordered a Kindle HDX. I am a prime customer so I receive free 2nd day shipping. The site told me I would receive the package on the 24th. I didn't really expect to see it until later in the week since I knew UPS was struggling. It showed up on Monday the 23rd before noon. The label said next day shipping. Not sure why Amazon raised it to next day. (suburb of St. Paul, MN)

My son works for UPS and told me that on the week of the 10th, UPS had over 1.5 million packages that would be late. He said next day and second day air were on time, but ground shipments were a mess. Apparently weather in Texas significantly hampered UPS and they were struggling to recover.

By alpha754293 on 12/27/2013 1:08:45 PM , Rating: 2
One of my new favourite quotes is "poor planning (or lack thereof) on your part does NOT constitute an emergency on MY part". And while I will try to help you out as much as I can, but ultimately, the blame falls squarely on you (and ONLY you).

By RapidDissent on 12/30/2013 10:17:53 AM , Rating: 2
Is USPS capitalizing on this yet?

I had a package shipped from Ukraine, purchased on Dec 2, and it got to AZ on the 21st. And that includes an 8 day hiatus to float around New York, assumably for customs hooey. Pretty good, as far as I am concerned.

Complaining procrastinators?
By wingless on 12/26/13, Rating: -1
RE: Complaining procrastinators?
By ipay on 12/26/2013 10:43:43 AM , Rating: 5
If someone pays for 2-day or next day shipping, they it's reasonable for them to be upset when that agreement is broken.

RE: Complaining procrastinators?
By ipay on 12/26/2013 10:56:40 AM , Rating: 4
... *then it's reasonable...

RE: Complaining procrastinators?
By Reclaimer77 on 12/26/2013 11:04:04 AM , Rating: 5
Oohhh you really threw it down didn't you?

Anyway back to reality, the entire value of Amazon Prime rests on their ability to get packages to me in two days. The whole point of people paying extra for two day delivery, is so the package gets there in TWO DAYS. Same for Next Day Air and so on and so forth.

People paid for a service, and that service didn't meet it's contractual obligations. Blaming the customer is the true mark of an idiot.

/stating the obvious

RE: Complaining procrastinators?
By icrf on 12/26/2013 11:47:18 AM , Rating: 2
I usually land on a middle ground. You know things don't always operate perfectly. If you procrastinate and order at the last minute, it is still your fault for waiting, even if the carrier claimed it'd be there in the nick of time. Plan ahead.

That doesn't change the fact that you should get shipping charges refunded because that contractual obligation was not met. That's no different now compared to any other time of year. If I order something in April and it doesn't get there in the guaranteed time frame, I expect a freight refund then, too.

RE: Complaining procrastinators?
By xenol on 12/26/2013 12:02:32 PM , Rating: 3
I'm with this person. Plus another thing is the capacity at which UPS and FedEx can work at when suddenly people are rushing last-minute Christmas orders. While I'm sure both couriers had anticipated people doing this, nobody can predict the future and if enough people demanded shipments than UPS or FedEx can supply couriers to deliver... well then they can't fulfill everyone's wishes.

While everyone is at fault here, I'm still facepalming people crying and whining that their holiday is ruined because some gift didn't arrive. Like the only time it'll ever matter is on Christmas. Sure it's a "special day", but if the recipient can't wait another day (or two at the most), then there's some issues to work out.

*sigh* I'm getting more sick of this holiday the older I get.

RE: Complaining procrastinators?
By Dr of crap on 12/26/2013 12:25:12 PM , Rating: 2

If you wait too long, things can happen, blizzard, high volume of packages, that MIGHT delay your shipment.

Its called common sense.
I mean you think if you ask for on shipment by 12/20, it MIGHT NOT make it by 12/24 - simple! The same if you wait to go to the local store and on that day it snows a foot and there's nothing left on the shelves. Wait to long, and things happen to delay you, simple.

A shipping refund - ok
Bitching and moaning because your package didn't make it on time - NOPE! YOU waited to long.

I am getting fed up with this holiday shopping crap as well!

RE: Complaining procrastinators?
By artemicion on 12/26/13, Rating: -1
RE: Complaining procrastinators?
By JediJeb on 12/27/2013 1:07:52 PM , Rating: 2
While everyone is at fault here, I'm still facepalming people crying and whining that their holiday is ruined because some gift didn't arrive.

You are absolutely correct. If an undelivered present ruined the whole holiday, then those people have no idea what holiday they are celebrating anyhow.

RE: Complaining procrastinators?
By Cypherdude1 on 12/26/2013 12:10:55 PM , Rating: 2
Anyway back to reality, the entire value of Amazon Prime rests on their ability to get packages to me in two days. The whole point of people paying extra for two day delivery, is so the package gets there in TWO DAYS. Same for Next Day Air and so on and so forth.
I use Amazon Prime. I didn't have any problems. I bought gifts as "late" as Dec 11 @10am. They arrived in 2 days on time, Dec 13.

On Amazon, if you wait until Sat Dec 21 to order with Amazon Prime 2-day shipping, don't expect your gifts to arrive on Christmas Eve Dec 24. When you're buying Christmas gifts, or any gifts, you're supposed to buy early and the gifts should be well thought out. They're not supposed to be last minute thoughts. However, surprisingly, I did see the UPS truck on my street on Christmas Eve, Dec 24 @noon.

The latest to buy gifts is about 10 days before if you're using Amazon Prime 2-day shipping. That means the procrastinators should have ordered, at the latest, on Sun Dec 15. There's also another element here. For Christmas, it is customary to place the gifts under the Christmas tree (or wherever they are placed). This is because there is supposed to be an element of anticipation for the people receiving the gifts. If you order at the last minute, there is no anticipation at all. Next time, these people should be wiser and order earlier.

RE: Complaining procrastinators?
By Bonesdad on 12/27/2013 9:42:24 AM , Rating: 2
I'll offer my anecdote: I ordered 3 gifts on Saturday, Dec 21. I received all 3 on Christmas Eve. I was impressed. If I hadn't received them, i would not have thrown a fit, demanding my $$ back. S**t happens, welcome to the real world.

RE: Complaining procrastinators?
By Reclaimer77 on 12/26/2013 5:42:09 PM , Rating: 2
A lot of these people ordered gifts WAY in advance. So it's not all people waiting to the last minute. Let's just acknowledge that before going forward.

RE: Complaining procrastinators?
By 91TTZ on 12/26/2013 11:07:02 AM , Rating: 2
The problem was that UPS was actively advertizing that they could get the packages delivered by Christmas when in reality they couldn't.

People chose that shipping method since they wanted the gifts to be delivered by Christmas.

RE: Complaining procrastinators?
By degobah77 on 12/26/2013 12:57:33 PM , Rating: 2
You better watch out
You better not cry
You better not pout
I'm telling you why
You ain't gonna get shit if you're a dick.

I ordered all of my gifts online Monday night and received them all Tuesday afternoon.

By HostileEffect on 12/26/2013 2:50:23 PM , Rating: 2
What if use the back door?

"We basically took a look at this situation and said, this is bullshit." -- Newegg Chief Legal Officer Lee Cheng's take on patent troll Soverain

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