UPS Fails To Deliver Some Packages And It Becomes A Major Story Because We Are All Spoiled Brats

a28b2872bd39f56ee5ecdacf12274cdbWouldn’t it be nice to live in a world where your biggest problem would be that your relatives didn’t get their gifts on time? UPS had some delivery fails this week – and the Internet went nuts.

The delays were blamed on bad weather and overloaded systems. More and more people are doing their shopping online these days, and more and more people are used to procrastinating because we are spoiled by Amazon’s two day guaranteed shipping. I made that second reason up, but I’m pretty sure that had something to do with it. UPS was also still offering next day delivery as late as the 23rd, which was probably a horrible decision.

I’m sure it was amazing to hear that even though you are the worst at time management around the holidays and didn’t manage to get your ass to the store before the week of Christmas – UPS was still going to save the day. And then they didn’t. Can we agree that this is a group fail? If getting a present under a tree by Christmas morning is a huge deal for you – you might want to try mailing it out a few days early.

I feel bad for the drivers, who apparently had the worst season, ever:

“This has been the worst Christmas ever,” said Larry Ledet, 55, of Houston, who has been a UPS driver for 27 years. He made 337 stops and delivered 505 packages Monday.

Even though Ledet and other UPS drivers have been pulling 60-hour weeks, thousands of holiday gifts didn’t arrive by Christmas.

337 stops? How is that even possible? That man deserves a medal.

Of course, as to be expected, a ton of people took to social media to complain about how disappointed they were in UPS, with the hashtag, #UPSfail. If you’d like to read a string of complaints by adults who simply cannot understand HOW something like this could happen – it’s kind of entertaining.

Maybe next year people will plan better – or UPS and other delivery companies won’t make promises they can’t keep. What would be the best though, would be if we could all get a little perspective for once, and realize that if the worst thing you have to complain about around the holidays are some late gifts, you are a very, very lucky person. There are plenty of people who are #broke, #hungry and #homeless. I don’t usually play in the suffering Olympics, but when it comes to hearing complaints about stuff like this around the holidays – I kind of lose it. Do you know how depressing and awful the holidays are for some people? Gah! I’m getting off my soapbox now.

(photo: Twitter)

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  • Amanda Rene Slinger

    My brother who is 24 was struck by a truck while walking a week before thanksgiving, is in the hospital four hours away because he has no insurance. He spent thanksgiving on a ventilator and his Christmas is a psychiatric ward because no brain injury rehab units will take him with no insurance. #fedex fail can kiss my ass, those people have no idea what a real Christmas tradjedy is.

    • Paul White

      I sympathize with your family tragedy but that doesn’t excuse the massive fuckup that was fedex’s snafu either.

    • keelhaulrose

      Some people who are saying a late package ruined their Christmas lack perspective as to what “ruined” really means.
      On one website this story was right above one that talked about the little girl who got thousands to sing carols outside her house, and how she died Christmas morning. I can’t believe that when children are dying people think the tragedy is their packages being delayed.

    • momma425

      My son died in April of 2006. I have a fairly great idea of the meaning of tragedy.
      Was I annoyed at UPS? Absolutely. We paid a small fortune for delivery at a certain time guaranteed, and ended up spending hours on the phone sorting out their mistakes, and ultimately having to go pick up our packages ourselves at their sorting facility. And we weren’t even as bad off as some who didn’t get their stuff at all.
      Just because I have had much larger tragedies in my life doesn’t mean it is not frustrating or irritating when I pay someone to do a service, and then they literally don’t deliver.

    • Amanda Rene Slinger

      I’m sorry for your loss but I’m pretty sure you know what I meant when I said Christmas tragedy. Losing a package is an inconvenience and last I checked gifts were not the whole reason for the season. I have late packages lost in limbo too, ask me if I give two shits. People are freaking out like “omg fedex killed Christmas!” Yeah overnight shipping is expensive, yeah it is annoying. It is not the end of the world. This is bad customer service but I’ve seen the fedex employees busting ass the past two weeks, it was not done on purpose. People need to calm the hell down. Sit back have some eggnog and be glad you have a house over your head, the money to order presents at all.

    • Momma425

      People complain on facebook and twitter, because where else can they complain when they are frustrated? I saw people complaining, but I saw nobody comparing it to being hit by a bus, a child dying, or starving children in Africa. As with most annoyances- OF COURSE there are worse things that can happen. But that doesn’t make things like this not obnoxious. That doesn’t mean people don’t deserve to get their money back for shipping that didn’t happen.

    • Bishop Black

      Do you understand the word RUINED Momma425? The point is perspective. This isn’t about people being annoyed, this is about people who have so little perspective on life that a present being late RUINS the entire holiday.

    • momma425

      I do understand the word ruined.
      I don’t think anybody was using it in as literal of a way as everyone is taking it.
      Like 3 days ago, there was an article here about five christmas songs that “ruin” christmas. I don’t think that a song has LITERALLY ruined anyone’s christmas- especially not in the ways that starving and being homeless and death and whatever else TRULY RUIN someone’s holiday. It’s an expression.

    • keelhaulrose

      I didn’t say it wasn’t frustrating, but to go so far as to say it “ruined” Christmas? I’m saying if a late package is what makes your day intolerable you should count your blessings that the only thing you’re missing that day is a material good.
      We have a late package, too. A small urn with some of my father in law’s ashes. It was supposed to get here two days before Christmas, it’s still not here. It’s frustrating, my husband wanted him here for yesterday, but it’s not worth freaking out over, and it’s certainly not worth saying it ruined Christmas.

    • Maria Guido

      I’m so sorry. That is awful.

  • Andrea

    Well on one hand, I feel for people that bought stuff online, paid for the shipping and then woke up to Christmas morning disappointment. But on the other hand, dude come on, if you are gonna order online, you gotta know you gotta do it early!
    Which is probably the main reason I am too OCD to do online shopping. I stress until the thing is here because I somehow never trust it will get here when it says it will get here and this has only pretty much reinforced my fears.

    • Bishop Black

      How funny, because I’m too cancer to shop online!

    • Alicia Kiner

      I think I get your point, but there’s better ways to say it

    • Andrea

      I thought she meant cancer the zodiac sign.

    • Alicia Kiner

      I took it as a reference to the “I’m too OCD”

      But, I could be wrong. It happens. On a daily basis. ;)

  • alice

    The angry mobs taking to twitter/facebook to rant about other men and women who busted their asses all Christmas Eve trying to meet shipping arrivals should be ashamed.

  • Paul White

    Both UPS and Fedex had significant meltdowns; I had a package of live specimens (tarantulas) that were over a week delayed that were supposed to get here the Tuesday the week before Christmas that I wound up having to drive down to the hub and pick up Saturday morning.

    These weren’t small, minor flubs….these weren’t just an issue Christmas day. I paid 60 damn dollars for overnight shipping for live animals a week before Christmas (never been a problem before) and they simply…never delivered them. The shipper and I are both ocntesting the shipping charges right now.

    • Tinyfaeri

      Were the tarantulas OK?

    • Paul White

      most of them. three of them I’m still nervous about but I think they’re recovering.

    • SA

      Great. Now I will have nightmares of boxes of spiders being shipped through the mail. This was not something that had crossed my mind before. I shudder.

    • Paul White

      Don’t worry. It was labeled and they were *very* well packed, so even if they wound up getting to the wrong address, anyone getting them wouldn’t exactly be subjected to a flood of spiderlings.

    • momma425

      Omg- I just totally pictured those thieves that have been taking packages off of doorsteps opening one up to find a huge spider! :)

    • Alicia Kiner

      Ha ha. poetic justice??

    • SusannahJoy

      UPS put my live frogs on the door step in the snow once, instead of delivering them to office like it was addressed to. Luckily even tropical frogs do ok with temporary cold, but still!

  • Momma425

    I am not denying that the drivers work hard- most people have a significant increase in workload combigned with stressed out and cranky people around the holidays. However, when you promise to deliver something next day, and then it doesn’t come the next day or the day after that- it is pretty irritating.
    We ordered a few gifts online- somewhat last minute, on the 15th of December. UPS had a bunch of seasonal help, who apparantly couldn’t find out address (UPS had never had a problem finding our home before and we live right on a main road so it’s not like we live out in the boonies somewhere)- and then they tried to reroute it to an old address we had from years ago. We don’t live there anymore. We called and told them not to bother delivering, and picked it up at the facility, which happens to be close enough to where we were having dinner Christmas eve that is wasn’t the biggest inconvenience ever. I didn’t whine about it on the internet because frankly, I didn’t spend very much of the holidays on the internet- but I was a bit annoyed. Are there other problems greater? Sure. But not having gifts (especially for kids) on time when we paid extra for them to be shipped on time is annoying.

  • NeuroNerd

    I had the opposite happen. On 12/16, UPS tried to upsell me on 3 day guaranteed shipping, saying ground was delayed and wouldn’t get there in time for Christmas. I didn’t fall for the bait, and my packages arrived at their location on 12/18.

    Shipping for ground cost me $35, the 3 day shipping they were trying to upsell me would have cost $80. If I had paid $80 and it didn’t make it there in time for Christmas, I would be pissed and contest the charges. When UPS guarantees you shipping by a certain date, I think they’ve entered a contractual agreement with you. If they can’t fulfill the contract, they should reimburse you the cost of shipping.

  • Angela

    I don’t blame the workers and I’m sorry that they had such a rotten year. Also, when it comes to Christmas I think we all agree that planning ahead is the smartest choice. However, overnight shipping generally costs a small fortune so I can’t really blame customers who paid it for getting pissed that they were ripped off.

    • Momma425

      I agree- I was annoyed but NOT at the drivers. They weren’t the ones promising overnight delivery, etc… I feel bad for them for them, because I can only assume that they got the brunt of the anger when they were working hard to make sure the packages got delivered at all- late or not.

  • Dusty

    Here in the Houston ‘burbs, UPS dispatches seasonal employees in golf carts to deliver packages in larger neighborhoods. Last week, I watched our seasonal delivery person drive up and down my street no less than 10 times a day (it’s a pretty short street), delivering packages randomly. One morning, she came to my house twice. Both times she threw the packages at my front door. We aren’t pitching fits over gifts that UPS shuttled back and forth across the country instead of delivering on time, but if the woman that worked our neighborhood is any indication, UPS seriously dropped the ball on their holiday preparedness.

    • keelhaulrose

      My UPS driver was nearly in tears the other night when he dropped off my stuff. He still had about fifteen packages to deliver, and it was 9:50 at night. He tried his best to do things quickly, but the sheer volume of packages meant that it was more important to get as many packages on the truck as possible rather than have them in some semblance of order as to his route. He was close to his 60 hours, and everyone took out their frustrations on him. It’s a real shit storm. I don’t doubt many of their seasonal employees were less than careful with packages, when my brother worked for them he was told speed was more important, especially this time of year.

    • Dusty

      Don’t get me wrong, we love our UPS/FedEx guys! We get so many deliveries throughout the year (everything from giant bags of dog food to specialty broadcast equipment), I planned to give them both gifts this year, but then the seasonal employees randomly appeared. I decided to save the gifts until after the holidays.

      I have to say though, speed was not this woman’s top priority. She was either completely incompetent or hell-bent on dragging the one cartload of deliveries out as long as humanly possible. It was almost comical. Almost.

    • keelhaulrose

      Employees who are lazy when the boss isn’t watching is a time honored tradition, isn’t it?

    • Melissa T

      Poor guy :(

  • keelhaulrose

    There was a 14% increase in online sales this year, probably because in much of the country it was too bad or too cold for people to want to shop in stores. UPS accounted for a higher than normal volume, as they always do at this time of year, but that’s hundreds of thousands, of not millions, of extra packages. With federal laws dictating how long drivers can work, and since delivery driving isn’t something you can hire someone for one day and have them working the next, it’s unsurprising that they fell behind.
    This wouldn’t be a story if it happened in June, but because it disrupted some people’s Christmas it’s suddenly national news. It’s not like there’s never been a late package before.

  • Kim

    I’m sure ups had problems but some of it was the retailers’ fault as well. Kohl’s had orders from November that they hadn’t shipped yet but blamed ups. They printed shipping labels which created tracking numbers but didn’t prepare packages for delivery. When you called customer service initially they blamed ups but as the days (and then weeks) and weeks ticked on the truth came out. Some retailers such as Amazon were doing right by their customers and offering gift cards for orders that didn’t arrive on time instead of lies like Kohl’s.

  • Zettai

    I feel for the drivers who were stuck dealing with a company flub like this. My Amazon order was shipped on the 19th from 3 states away and still didn’t make it. I felt like an ass on Christmas because my husband got me a bunch of gifts and his stuff won’t be here until Friday.

  • Scaredevil

    Funny, I had zero issues with UPS and FedEx, all my issues came from the Post Office. FOUR TIMES they were too lazy to deliver my packages. In fact, too lazy to leave a notice in my box when they said they supposedly did. I finally called the PO and told them just to keep my packages there because I knew they were too worthless to actually deliver them. BTW, some of these packages had been mailed two weeks before. So Christmas Eve I finally got my packages, and have reported what happened to USPS. I cannot wait to move this summer, this PO is horrible!

  • historychick79

    The one flub I had last week was I ordered a package overnight shipping from Amazon on Weds; I also had a package from Target ordered a week ago. Both packages were scheduled to be here on Thursday, and I actually ordered the Amazon package overnight shippping thinking I could save UPS the extra trip to my house. Thurs night came, I got the Target package, and the driver knew the Amazon/overnight package was on the truck. But the Amazon package was buried under so many other packages they could not find it. UPS made another trip the next night. Since this is the second time Amazon and overnight shipping haven’t worked out, I figure lesson learned and just plan ahead from now on.

    • MoD

      Make sure to let Amazon know! I had three different Amazon shipments delayed in December because of UPS. Since I am paying a good chunk of cash for Prime shipping I just sent them an email each time, and they offered credits and free months of Prime.

  • KaeTay

    I was ok with my packages being late.. it was when my highly collectable item was sent to the wrong address entirely. Someone had stuck one of the residents stickers over ours (there was still a huge sticker with our address one on the side). Luckily the woman called us because our number was on the package and they called us to have us come pick it up. I don’t know what happened this year maybe they had more packages going through them but it seemed like things just got a little sloppy. As long as you are getting your gifts don’t complain.. christmas and all the other holidays that go along with it aren’t about the presents.

  • Gangle

    For heavens sake! Christmas is on the exact same day every year!! It isn’t a surprise to anyone that the closer to the 25th you get, the more hectic things become. If you can’t plan ahead and purchase your gifts in a timely manner, it really is all on you…

  • brebay

    363days until Christmas, so you have no excuse to bitch next year.

  • Alicia Kiner

    Thank you!! All I’ve been thinking about every time I hear about this is “really?” If this is all you have to complain about, congratulations! Meanwhile, Fedex, UPS, the Postal Service, truck drivers, airport employees, and railroad employees are all busting their butts and missing time with their families. You did see that 60 hours of work per week right? My hubby works for the railroad. They were getting entire trains of nothing but mail, UPS and Fedex shipments. Entire. 3 1/2. mile. long. trains. It’s not like people were slacking and shit didn’t get sent. There were a lot of fucking packages this year. Just be grateful you got to spend TIME with your family. Some of us weren’t so lucky. whew… end rant.

  • Shannon

    Ups isn’t hiring drivers like they used to. Instead they are spreading the increased burden to their current workforce. My husband is a ups driver and they haven’t added a driver to his building in a few years now. He averages 55-60 hours a week throughout the year. What made this Christmas extra shitty is that he worked over 60 hours a week for the past few weeks. To skirt DOT laws, management just sent a driver to my husbands route when he ran out of driving hours (60 hours Max or the driver and ups receives huuuge fines)and the driver with available hours drove and my husband ran packages. That hasn’t happened in the 10+ years he’s driven.

    Just please don’t verbally abuse the poor bastards delivering your packages.

  • Miriam

    I love you for writing this! WTF with these entitled people?
    Get your shit together and order early enough so that your
    gifts get there on time. We’re all stressed. We all have shit
    to deal with. My father passed away last month, and I was
    able to order everyone’s gifts online so that they arrived
    before the holiday. Yes, I wanted to crawl in a ball and
    mourn, but I need to go on with living and take care
    of what needs to be done. Stop blaming this on UPS &
    FedEx. It’s your fucking fault.

  • SusannahJoy

    I baked cookies and had them ready for any delivery guy to come to my door. Unfortunately, most of them rang the doorbell and literally ran away, so I couldn’t catch them in time, but one FedEx guy was sooo excited to get Christmas cookies! It was awesome.

  • Cee

    I’m…middle of the road here. I now work in a job that is kinda tied to education yet kinda tied to purchasing. I know what it means to have something you ordered arrive to you late: lots of trouble with higher ups and delays in business and in teaching.
    Buuuut, again, as someone who works in education yet kinda tied in purchasing, I see UPS workers often and they were hauling serious ass after Thanksgiving. On the 23rd our delivery men were scrambling like crazy and planned to work late that night and Christmas eve. He looked like he seriously looked like he was going to have a break down.
    I know we “paid for a service” and yes, the company needs to revamp things to meet demands, but lets not forget that there are some hard working people behind this. We can sit on our desks and shit on the company but unless you are hauling boxes to put on their table,have some compassion on that driver.

    • Paul White

      It’s one hundred percent possible and OK (I’d argue appropriate) to be pissed at the company without being pissed at the line animals. Hell, when I worked retail I frequently more or less agreed with upset customers even if I thought they were assholes in how they handled something.

  • pixie

    Saturday night/Sunday morning (December 21st/22nd), the Toronto area and a large area around it was hit with one of the worst ice storms it’s ever seen (the news declared it the worst Toronto has ever seen). Trees were downed from the weight of the ice, blocking roads, taking down power lines, hitting peoples’ houses and cars, etc. Last I heard (today) there are still over 50,000 homes without power. Thankfully the power lines in my neighbourhood are all underground and we never lost power, but I know people who still don’t have it. There are worse things than not having power for a few days (it’s cold, but you can bundle up and the large malls are encouraging people to go to them because they still have heating and water), but I would rather have parcels delivered late than not have power for nearly a week, and not have power/heat/water for Christmas.

  • Natasha B

    It is frustrating -especially when you’re PAYING money for the service. Between FedEx and USPS this Christmas, I had 4 packages totally disappear, stores resent, delayed-so none came until today. 2 packages were completely destroyed-I was home when FedEx tried to deliver one, looked at the box, could see the product (a kinda hard to find perfume I tracked down for my mom) had shattered and leaked all over, and refused delivery. Dude got SO hostile. This year was a mess :/

  • Benwhoski

    I work in online retail. On the whole, less than 1% of our orders have delivery or fulfillment problem, and we are fairly high volume.

    Yet, of that small portion, I am always amazed by how very, very _personally_ many of them take it when there is a problem with an order. I understand that it is frustrating, especially when you need an item in a specific time frame. I understand wanting a company to make up for not providing the service that was promised. What I fail to understand is how quick people are to throw abusive language and accusations of deliberate neglect or deception at sellers and/or carriers.

    And I’ve certainly seen times when we got a huge influx of orders that we weren’t expecting based on previous years’ trends, and therefore hadn’t staffed for. I get the frustration, but it’s pretty clear that the carriers got hit harder than they expected. It happens. People should really take a deep breath and remember that these things happen, and unless their package was actually a matter of life and death, it being late was an inconvenience and nothing more.

  • Kay_Sue

    So can we just, collectively go in on a gift basket or something for poor Larry up there?

    This actually worked out well for my mother. My dad had special ordered her a nice watch. When it didn’t show up at a reasonable time on Christmas Eve, he took her to a jewelry store and let her pick out a nicer one…then cancelled the original…win for her!

  • Melissa T

    I don’t consider myself a spoiled brat. I ordered on the 14th, the 15th and the 17th. I checked the shipping schedules and processing times and did my due diligence in choosing shipping speed. We’re not talking ordering on Sunday night and expecting it Tuesday. Some of my packages arrived in time, some did not. The latest any of my packages should have been was the 20th. That’s not cool. I was guaranteed delivery with my shipping speed that I paid for, and it was not delivered. I don’t have extra monies and tons of extra time laying around, so it made for an awkward Christmas when I had to show up at my in-laws house on Christmas, which is always a fraught gift-time due to some particular personalities, and explain to those personalities that I did in fact get them something, it just hadn’t arrived in the mail on time. It WAS an inconvenience for me and it was disappointing for me and for them. And I have ordered every year around that time with no problems, so I didn’t anticipate that ordering 11-8 days in advance, with plenty of ‘business days’ in between, with a promised processing speed of same to 1 day and 2 day or next day shipping, would mean I am STILL, the day after Christmas, missing packages. That’s definitely a problem.

    • Gangle

      To be honest, that is still leaving things pretty late in the game, considering the increased number of packages/orders at that time of year. Add into the mix bad weather etc and you are asking for disaster. Just because one year it worked out fine doesn’t mean the next year it will.

    • Paul White

      You know what? That doesn’t excuse really late delivery or make it wrong to be upset when a service that you paid a significant sum of money for doesn’t get delivered.

    • Gangle

      Nope, later than promised is later than promised. But that doesn’t excuse expecting the impossible either. If you expect a service that is overloaded with orders and hampered by uncontrollable weather patterns to deliver on time then you are a chump. Christmas happens at the exact same time every year. You have 364 days to prepare. It doesn’t exactly sneak up. If you leave things till the last minute (and yes, deciding to do all your shopping 11-8 days before Christmas is leaving things seriously late) then you have to start looking at what you are doing.

    • Paul White

      So getting mad that an expensive service wasn’t delivered is being a chump?
      Screw that.

      You know, some of us have regular business that we have to conduct in December. We cant’ just *not* ship for a damn month.

    • Melissa T

      First of all, it wasn’t all my shopping. Secondly, as i said above, I got started in October. I have kids and a large extended family that exchanges gifts and it’s not really possible to opt out, nor would I want to. The only reason I ordered ‘so late’ is because that’s when the budget money was free. Yes, even starting months in advance. In fact I often start even earlier, but I had some health crises and other things that came up and didn’t have the extra money free.

    • Melissa T

      Not one year, multiple years. Including the years that I did business that involved shipping and receiving packages. Either way, it wasn’t a one or two or three day delay. It was a really long delay that messed some stuff up for me. Did it ruin Christmas? No. However, it was not a lack of foresight on my part. That should have been plenty of margin.

    • Melissa T

      Also, frankly, I didn’t have a choice because of funds. I am not really made of money, and despite getting started on gifts in October, that’s what it came down to for me.

  • EX

    It seems like people are being a bit extreme in their positions on this. First off, I did about 90% of my shopping on line. I was pretty organized and everything arrived with time to spare. I have always had a good relationship with our UPS guy (we order a lot from amazon throughout the year) and I go out of my way to be extra nice to him and to any UPS delivery folks I see during the holidays. If people are taking their frustrations out on the drivers/delivery guys then that is messed up. However, just because there ARE bigger tragedies in this world doesn’t mean I wouldn’t be pissed off if I paid $50+ for a service that didn’t happen. Is it exaggerating to say it “ruined” Christmas? I hope so, but I can understand why people are pissed.

  • Alexandra

    I’m sick of companies promising something and then charging a TON of money and then not delivering. If you don’t do your job correctly, people have the right to be mad! No matter it’s a first world problem, yes. Your family is not starving or homeless, no. But it’s something you paid for and you should get it done correctly.
    Just refund everyone’s money and that should be enough.

  • Teleute

    Last-minute online Christmas shopping is ALWAYS a bad idea.

  • Heather Peach

    Ok I work at the ups hub in Louisville, I busted my ass all last week and this week for people get there packages on Christmas. I normally work 20 hours a week on 3rd shift, I worked 60 last week. They even made us work Saturday and Sunday. I don’t appreciate people getting pissed bout not get there packages. And it’s not ups still promising your packages they next day, it’s the company your buying from. I saw a package Christmas night that had been order on the 19th, but then you look at the bottom of the invoice and the company did print it until the 23rd. Not ups’s fault. I’m not saying that’s the same in every situation. The night of the 23rd we ran 3 million packages, I was there for 11 hours. Rant over

  • courtahhh

    I agree. Those poor UPS/FedEx/Postal workers. I’m just glad I wasn’t one of them this holiday season. I will cut them all the slack they need. If your Christmas is ruined because a package didn’t arrive on time, then you need to do some soul searching. Have some compassion. It’s not like these services are ALWAYS screwing things up. I order online all the time, several times a month and they deliver quickly and on time 95% of the time. It’s not unforeseeable that they wouldn’t get overwhelmed during the holiday season. Especially the week before Christmas.