Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to Vox.com, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.
A combination of factors caused UPS to fail on many Christmas deliveries this week, leaving children bereft and parents angry. The shipping and delivery company blamed a surge in last-minute online orders and bad weather across the country for the misstep. As a spokesperson for UPS said in a statement, "The volume of air packages in the UPS system did exceed capacity as demand was much greater than our forecast." The company delivers 45% of US packages, reports the WSJ, and had only planned for 7.75 million the week of Christmas, which was exceeded. The delay affected retailers like Amazon, which issued $20 gift cards to disgruntled shoppers, as well as Kohl's, which will pay for the full value of gifts not delivered on time.
Shipping rival FedEx ran into similar problems. Shoppers took to the company's Facebook wall to harp about the delays with comments such as, "FEDEX SUCKS! Didn't deliver before Christmas AGAIN this year even though I paid for it and I won't get a refund again this year. Now, the day after Christmas I'm told they didn't put it on the truck again today and they still won't give me a rebate of delivery charges."
Said one UPS Facebook commenter: "I'm a driver, got off at 1010 last night, 60hr weeks, I'm tired, Mother Nature, a booming economy and no one visiting malls any more cause this.....no reason 4 anyone to be mad...Merry Christmas." A debate on the true meaning of Christmas and whether shoppers have reason to be mad at shipping companies is currently raging on both UPS' and FedEx's Facebook pages.
· Late Surge in Web Buying Blindsides UPS, Retailers [WSJ]
· Surge of Holiday Packages Delays UPS Shipments [NYT]
· A Complete Guide to Gifting for Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and Xmas [Racked]