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Surge In Online Orders Overwhelms UPS Christmas Deliveries

timothy posted about 6 months ago | from the coordinating-unknowns-is-hard dept.

Christmas Cheer 378

Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes "Reuters reports that the high volume of online orders of holiday packages overwhelmed shipping and logistics company UPS delaying the arrival of Christmas presents around the globe and sending angry consumers to social media to vent. The company projected 132 million deliveries last week "and obviously we exceeded that," said UPS spokeswoman Natalie Black without disclosing how many packages had been sent. "For now, UPS is really focused on delivering the remaining packages. You might not see trucks, but people are working." Asked why the company underestimated the volume of air packages it would receive, Black noted that previous severe weather in the Dallas area had already created a backlog. Then came "excess holiday volume" during a compressed time frame, since the period between Thanksgiving and Christmas was shorter than usual this year. Amazon.com responded with an email to affected customers offering shipping refunds and $20 gift cards to compensate. 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. 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. '"A lot of these employees keep saying 'It's the weather' or 'It's some kind of a backlog,' said Barry Tesh. 'Well then why, all the way up until the 23rd, were they offering next-day delivery? That guaranteed delivery was 80% of my decision to buy the gift."' However, 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,' said a 20-year veteran UPS driver 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, Be thankful for that.'"

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378 comments

Understandable, but... (5, Insightful)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | about 6 months ago | (#45788321)

I can understand that UPS / Fedex failed to predict their full load. It's too bad, but part of life.

What really surprises me is that they didn't have a system in place that (a) detected when they were at risk of having too many order to keep their QoS commitments, and (b) warning prospective customers that they might not get a prospective order delivered by Christmas.

Re:Understandable, but... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45788427)

Actually, they did.

My wife works for a relatively well-known shoe/clothing manufacturer that also does direct sales (website, catalog, etc.) FedEx was warning them several days before Christmas that they predicted a delivery problem due to late orders rising faster than they predicted. Her company has an overflow agreement with UPS, so they started witching some orders to them, but then both companies hit a wall in terms of delivery capacity.

It sounds like this was one of those problems where they both saw it coming, but couldn't do anything about it. There have been more than a few articles about FedEx in particular cutting back its container plane fleet due to fuel costs and the overall drop in package deliveries relative to a few years ago. I can only assume UPS has done the same -- when you cut back capacity in order to remain profitable, it stands to reason that a sudden, unexpected and massive surge of packages in your system is going to cause problems. And because both UPS and FedEx are for-profit, public companies, it's ultimately probably cheeper for them to suffer the ill-will and make-goods required of an event like this than to have a lot of excess capacity sitting aorund unused.

Re:Understandable, but... (2)

plopez (54068) | about 6 months ago | (#45788671)

Part of what you are talking about is mean capacity covering 90% ish of the cases and surge capacity which covers the unusual volume or weather cases. Surge capacity is expensive and hard to prove of value. So the bean counters don't like it. But they could have I think, for a nominal fee, booked more charter flights, contractors etc. on stand by in case of need. This is a management failure, surges happen and storms happen. Where was the fall back plan?

On a side note, a friend of mine is an ER worker. She said lack of ER and hospital surge capacity is her nightmare. Anytime there is a major event; e.g. large car pile up, plane crash etc.; the lack of capacity creates a nightmare for hospital staff and patients.

Re:Understandable, but... (4, Insightful)

Kenja (541830) | about 6 months ago | (#45788589)

I've been seeing commercials about a company that has solutions for this sort of thing... can't recall their name but they keep yammering on about "logistics'.

Re:Understandable, but... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45788591)

If anyone would have bothered to read either UPS's or FedEx's website, they would have seen around the 19th of December they had NO guarenteed delivery date deals. Those promises were purely from the retailers at that point. It's a shame though of course the curriers are the ones who catch the flack.
Not to mention if people WOULDN'T WAIT UNTIL THE LAST DAMN MINUTE or get out of the house and VISIT A STORE, much of this could have been avoided. I'll admit, I ordered a few small things on the 23rd with the gift wrap and next day option from Amazon more as a test.. and all 4 items arrived by noon on the 24th. (They were shipped from an amazon DC in the same state so that surely helped).

Hell my wife's gift from my brother didn't arrive before Chrismast (and he didn't expect it to).. no big deal. For the people who waited to order *everything* in the last few days before christmas and all of it via online.. well maybe you should have grabbed a few from the store or have done the "Ship to store" or "instore pickup" option instead. Or at the very least do what we've done before and print a picture and wrap that and just tell the person it wasn't going to arrive in time.

Maybe I'm getting more bitter as I age but this 'I wanted it tomorrow and it didn't make it, I don't give a shit about the massive volume of items from other procrastinators like myself or the ice storms and other weather, I WANT MY SHIT IT'S THE CARRIERS FAULT!' mentality is just so damn annoying.

Lastly, it's not always as it appears either. Over the summer I ordered an RC heliocopter for my son and did 1 day delivery so it would arrive in time for our trip to the beach. All indications on Amazon were it was in UPS's hands later that night. It didn't arrive the next day, and I kept checking the tracking info and it still appeared to be stuck in the intial location in the hands of UPS. After 3 days I called Amazon to find out what was going on, and the agent figured out UPS never had the item as THEY didn't have it either. Here the 3rd party seller or whatever that Amazon did the fulfillment and what not for (for prime and all) hadn't sent them any stock or something along those lines (could have been a complete BS store and Amazon just never packed my stuff). Either way, while the tracking info made it look like it was UPS holding up the show, it was in fact the retailer Amazon that had fucked up. It makes me wonder how many other online retailers didn't have the capacity to fill orders fast enough or were out of stock while the website still listed stock so they had to wait for more before they could box and ship, YET the shipping information was already entered into the system creating a tracking number for UPS or FedEx, which made it LOOK like the delay was on the shipping company used.

Narcissistic Society says (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45788667)

"'I wanted it tomorrow and it didn't make it, I don't give a shit about the massive volume of items from other procrastinators like myself or the ice storms and other weather, I WANT MY SHIT IT'S THE CARRIERS FAULT!' mentality is just so damn annoying."

Society is increasingly narcissistic. The person to whom this is a reply is correct in the statement quoted above as he explains the instant-gratification mentality he observes.

Re:Understandable, but... (4, Insightful)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about 6 months ago | (#45788605)

At least part of the problem is, not that UPS or other delivery companies promise you, the customer, delivery on time for Christmas. It is Amazon* and other bulk suppliers who are making these promises.

As AC states below, UPS and Fedex were making warnings to those retail suppliers. Amazon, or whoever, didn't pass those warnings on to you, the end user.

Do we expect that Amazon is going to make a public apology to all those children who had to wait until the day after Christmas for their presents? I don't think so. Amazon has your money, and they are going to keep as much of it as they think they can. They'll pass out a few gift certificates, and refund some shipping fees, but they are going to keep as much money as possible.

All of my shipments came in on time.

There IS a shipment which UPS intends to deliver today. Comparing notes, no one in the family seems to have any outstanding orders. Maybe it's a gift from one of the grandparents from several years ago? A gift from the afterlife? Oooohhh - a supernatural gift! More importantly, UPS is going a little extra to deliver whatever the package might be, by calling the house to see if anyone will be available to receive it. We have never before been contacted prior to delivery.

Bottom line here - if you wait until the last minute to place an order, you can expect to be disappointed. Any adult should understand that. Any adult should be ready to explain it to a child. Life is life, and stuff happens. I've had late deliveries in off-peak seasons, after all.

* I am using Amazon here as an example - replace Amazon with your motor sports supplier, or whatever.

Re:Understandable, but... (2)

stonebit (2776195) | about 6 months ago | (#45788653)

They do warn, but the wholesellers decide whether to pass on the communication or not. UPS store and the Customer Service Centers will tell you. The risk of not keeping TnT (Time In Transit) is always there. There are frequent surges, depending on where you are... conventions, rodeos, tech shows, college students ordering books at large unis in small towns, bad weather, fires (like the ones we have every summer in many states in the west), and general accidents such as train derailments and hub fires. There's something going on every month to delay your package somewhere. It's just easier to hide if it just a few hubs. The unions jack up a lot too. They determine how much you get paid (yes, they do). There is a negotiated pool of regular salary, then the union decides who gets what portion. The unloaders, sorters, and loaders in the hubs are crapped on majorly. Drivers get a much better wage, but still not amazing. The haulers (big rigs, trailer runners (to and from the rail yard)) get the lion's share. Teamsters considers these lower class employees. The big truckers are well respected. If the pay was better, they'd get more people to show up and we wouldn't have this problem. I worked at UPS for many years. They hire 100% of people who apply and can show up every day. The training lasts weeks too. It's really not easy to take an ordinary person and get them into shape, learn to use the equipment well enough, and get them to learn the sort (sorting is nearly always by memory, zip -> binX). Holliday temps are a joke. They don't know how to use the equipment and they don't know ANY of the sorts. So they become okay temporary muscle, usually not lasting the entire peak season (Thanksgiving to Christmas). During peak, always add a day or two to your TnT and be suprised when it arrives early. And by the way, package priority is: Early AM > Next Day Air > 2nd day > air freight > 3rd / ground.

First world problems (4, Insightful)

symbolset (646467) | about 6 months ago | (#45788767)

If you ordered a gift at the last possible second, the problem is not UPS. It's you.

oh fucking cry about it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45788323)

if you thought ordering something on the 20th was a good idea and you'd have it by the 25th, you're a retard. every postal or package service gets slowed during the christmas season in north america.fact, every year, every time. do your shopping in november if you're worried about christmas. i personally am not, and i know when i bought my new i5 laptop that i would be waiting longer than usual, and guess what? i am! odd, isnt it?

Re:oh fucking cry about it. (0)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about 6 months ago | (#45788403)

every postal orpackage service gets slowed during the christmas season in north america

But the difference is that the Postal Service doesn't make any guarantees. If UPS can't deliver on time, then they shouldn't be making promises that they can't keep.

Disclaimer: I finished all my online shopping on Black Friday.

Re:oh fucking cry about it. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45788603)

they didn't. The RETAILERS did. As of the 19th both FedEx and UPS said there was NO guarentee for a "By the 24th" delivery date, yet the retails kept that promise. The blame is getting passed onto the wrong parties

Re:oh fucking cry about it. (2)

SJHillman (1966756) | about 6 months ago | (#45788613)

When I pick a political candidate to vote for, I know he won't keep all of his campaign promises so I apply common sense to weed out the more farfetched ones.

Likewise, when a company promises something that seems a bit farfetched (like making last minute deliveries just before Christmas), I know there's a good chance they'll fall short. It may not be ideal for the consumer, but it's how the world works.

Surprisingly, USPS delivered all of our Christmas cards by the 23rd in spite of us not getting them out until the 21st, which was after their "Will deliver by Christmas" deadline.

Re:oh fucking cry about it. (3, Informative)

lgw (121541) | about 6 months ago | (#45788729)

UPS stopped making any promises mid-December, as did FedEx. They knew, and were honest and upfront about it. What more can you ask of them? You should be asking why Amazon was still making promises they knew they couldn't stand behind.

Re:oh fucking cry about it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45788571)

Exactly. Shit like:

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. '"A lot of these employees keep saying 'It's the weather' or 'It's some kind of a backlog,' said Barry Tesh. 'Well then why, all the way up until the 23rd, were they offering next-day delivery? That guaranteed delivery was 80% of my decision to buy the gift."'

Is the epitome of first world problems. Boo fucking hoo. So you're spoiled little faggot brat has to wait a whole nother fucking day to get his gift. He might as well just commit suicide since that is so fucking tragic.

Thankful (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45788335)

Thankful? They get paid and we pay them and they are telling us to be thankful? I completed MY work on Christmas eve BEFORE I went home

Re:Thankful (5, Insightful)

damicatz (711271) | about 6 months ago | (#45788567)

UPS and FedEx drivers have been working 10-12+ hour days 6-7 days a week since Thanksgiving.

Your Christmas will not be ruined because of a late package unless you value some item or trinket over spending time with your family. First world problems indeed.

Re:Thankful (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45788691)

No kidding. All of those drivers working their asses off so people can get their CRAPPY stuff. Be thankful that you have family and friends to spend time with and sit down and eat food. These drivers never get to spend the holidays with their families. Nearly every single person complaining has no room to complain. Now, if they ordered their package 3 weeks ago, it shipped and still hasn't arrived, that's one thing. But that's probably no the fault of the delivery company unless it's DHL or USPS.

SFH (-1, Troll)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about 6 months ago | (#45788631)

Simply fucking hilarious. You finished your work before going home for Christmas. And, what line of work are you in? We're all happy that you finished sucking out that septic tank before you called it quits. We can only hope that you took a shower before going upstairs to unwrap the gifts your Mom bought for your basement Man-cave.

Procrastination is not someone else's problem (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45788347)

How about you don't wait until the 22nd or 23rd to order your gift and expect there to be 0 shipping/fulfillment issues? Yes, this is a service that has a "guaranteed" delivery date, but any common sense will tell you it's a best guess. Yes, it may be right 99% of the time, but obviously no one can predict weather, plane/truck issues, wrong inventory counts (Only 1 left in Stock!), etc.

'merica (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45788353)

#firstworldproblems

Re:'merica (-1, Troll)

wcrowe (94389) | about 6 months ago | (#45788499)

Yeah, that's kind of what I thought when I saw this story this morning. Wish I could mod you up.

Re:'merica (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45788535)

"delaying the arrival of Christmas presents around the globe"

Guess you missed that part

Re:'merica (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45788593)

Oh heaven forfend! Someone might have to wait an extra day for their cheap junk toys! Get over yourselves you spoiled faggots.

Re:'merica (1)

SJHillman (1966756) | about 6 months ago | (#45788639)

Google defines "First World" as "the industrialized capitalist countries of western Europe, North America, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand."

So unless you own a really crappy globe, "First World" and "Around the Globe" are not at odds, especially as Asian countries like India and China are pushing their way into First World status.

Re:'merica (1)

plopez (54068) | about 6 months ago | (#45788679)

Unless you count the impact on the entire supply chain going back to China, India, Bangladesh etc.

Are these folks idolators? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45788357)

It seems to me, they worship physical objects, and not their Creator. Give the U.S.P.S. a break if there's a snowstorm. I can't believe that a holiday these folks allege to be a Religious one can be "ruined" because stuff they want (that has nothing to do with the religious observance) is a day late.

Re:Are these folks idolators? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45788525)

How do you know physical objects are not The Creator? For all you know, the universe could be run by Kindle Fire HDXs, and they only chose now to manifest themselves in reality.

Re:Are these folks idolators? (1)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | about 6 months ago | (#45788569)

Would do +1 insightful if I hadn't already posted a comment.

What a load of BS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45788359)

Apparently the author has zero intelligence and made up the entire story just to publish something.

He/she is to stupid to put one and two together and see that the delay has nothing to do with volume and everything to do with bad weather.

Re:What a load of BS (1)

oodaloop (1229816) | about 6 months ago | (#45788399)

See that first link? It quotes the high volume. Things can have more than one cause, and sometimes two causes work together. A lot of grown ups understand this.

That being said, having your gifts arrive a little late falls in the First World Problems category. Get over it.

Re:What a load of BS (1, Insightful)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 6 months ago | (#45788463)

That being said, having the deliveries that you paid for timely delivery of arrive a little late falls in the First World Problems category.

Yea, still true, but that doesn't mean people shouldn't bitch - they paid for a specific service and the corporation failed to hold up their end of the bargain. UPS deserves to get hit hard for this, because they only do one thing, and they somehow failed to do that right.

Capitalism accepts no excuses.

Re:What a load of BS (2)

Desler (1608317) | about 6 months ago | (#45788649)

As others have said above, UPS and Fedex were both stating close to a week before Christmas that they couldn't guarantee shipment times. If you were given such a guarantee even after that point it was because the retailers were lying to you.

Re:What a load of BS (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 6 months ago | (#45788791)

As others have said above, UPS and Fedex were both stating close to a week before Christmas that they couldn't guarantee shipment times. If you were given such a guarantee even after that point it was because the retailers were lying to you.

That's assuming the order I'm complaining about was placed close to a week before Christmas.

It wasn't, unless we're going by the abstract concept of "close to," in that December 4th is closer to Christmas than June 17th.

Re:What a load of BS (5, Insightful)

Deadstick (535032) | about 6 months ago | (#45788577)

That being said, having your gifts arrive a little late falls in the First World Problems category. Get over it.

True, but so is a corn futures contract. If you sell me one and the corn doesn't show up at the warehouse, I'm not gonna let you off the hook because you had a dry year...and Fedex/UPS should be expected to compensate their customers some way. It won't kill them to knock something off the next shipping bill.

Re:What a load of BS (1)

jedidiah (1196) | about 6 months ago | (#45788423)

I had packages delayed by the unusual weather. However, I did not despair or immediately go to social media to "vent". I realize that it sucks to be a delivery guy during Snowmageddon.

The kicker was the guy driving the golf cart.

That one made me feel a little guilty.

Re:What a load of BS (1)

Deadstick (535032) | about 6 months ago | (#45788485)

the delay has nothing to do with volume and everything to do with bad weather.

Well, a Fedex I received from my daughter calls BS on that. The tracking log showed that it went aboard a delivery truck on the guarantee date; returned to the shipping center that evening; and went back out the next morning.

BTW, where do you get your data?

Re:What a load of BS (1)

SJHillman (1966756) | about 6 months ago | (#45788673)

Tracking logs are not always accurate. Especially with FedEx... More than once I've had them mark a package Delivered several days before it actually showed up on my doorstep.

Re:What a load of BS (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 6 months ago | (#45788811)

Tracking logs are not always accurate. Especially with FedEx... More than once I've had them mark a package Delivered several days before it actually showed up on my doorstep.

That must be why I find it... less than comforting... that our government wants to replace USPS with these stooges.

Re:What a load of BS (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about 6 months ago | (#45788681)

"The tracking log showed that it went aboard a delivery truck on the guarantee date; returned to the shipping center that evening; and went back out the next morning."

I can't help wondering if that is true. Is it possible that you don't read the tracking log correctly? Or, is it more possible that someone logged it incorrectly?

Re:What a load of BS (1)

BLKMGK (34057) | about 6 months ago | (#45788713)

That does sound like volume to me. It went on a delivery truck along with a zillion other packages and the guy simply couldn't make it to all of the stops before he was forced to end his day - so it was returned to go out the next day on another delivery truck. Does that not sound like a volume issue?

I too ordered some things late and I had no great expectation they would arrive despite my promised date. To my surprise they did manage to show up and except for one package that's supposed to show up today (and was predicted that way too) all went well. I think overall these guys did an awesome job and while I understand for some it could be pretty frustrating were it not for these services we wouldn't have ANY expectation of being able to shop so late. Heaven forbid we're all forced to go back to the hell that is a mall just days before Christmas! :-O

serious (1, Insightful)

kcmastrpc (2818817) | about 6 months ago | (#45788381)

I rarely say this, because it's so often overused... but... "1st world problems..."

Re:serious (1)

memnock (466995) | about 6 months ago | (#45788587)

I was thinking the same. Instantaneous gratification probably played a hand in this. People are getting used thinking everything is a 24/7 operation and there can't ever be a hiccup.

I don't want to work on Thanksgiving or New Year's or any other major holiday and I feel bad for people who have to because there are customers to satisfy. I'm not talking about police or fire department. But does someone really need to go shopping or to see a movie on a holiday?

Holiday Staffing to Suit Consumers and Businesses (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45788771)

Do people need to call their wireless carrier on Christmas Day simply because they received a new smartphone or tablet under the Christmas tree? Who gives a damn if your email server is down on Christmas Day? Get over your self-important, self-centred behaviour before your final eternal rest (or distress) depending where the universe ships your soul.

Tough choices... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45788387)

'While others take vacation and time off in December, remember we aren't allowed ever to be off in December. Ever,' said a 20-year veteran UPS driver on the UPS Facebook page.

As somone in a similar position (not career, but limited vacation-time availability), that's a career choice each person must make. If you aren't happy with it, change careers.

No sympathy here (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45788391)

It's not like Christmas day isn't planned ahead. If these slackers wait until 2 days before to order their gifts, they get what they get. Order earlier next time.

Re:No sympathy here (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45788513)

But if you're told you can order 2 days before and still have it delivered on time, shouldn't you believe them?

Re:No sympathy here (1)

Russ1642 (1087959) | about 6 months ago | (#45788573)

But if you're told you can order 2 days before and still have it delivered on time, shouldn't you believe them?

no

Re:No sympathy here (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45788575)

well apparently you also believe in heaven so yeah believe.

Re:No sympathy here (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45788585)

But if you're told you can order 2 days before and still have it delivered on time, shouldn't you believe them?

No you shouldn't believe them. Especially 2 freaking days before Christmas. C'mon people use common sense.
Did advertising somehow neutralise your neurons ?

Re:No sympathy here (1)

Desler (1608317) | about 6 months ago | (#45788609)

Nope.

Re:No sympathy here (1)

SJHillman (1966756) | about 6 months ago | (#45788727)

Only if you can still count your birthdays on one hand. Most people understand that shipping is prone to unexpected delays year round, and it's almost guaranteed by mid-December.

Re:No sympathy here (2)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about 6 months ago | (#45788741)

Sure you can believe them. Retards are allowed to believe any damned thing they like. Children are allowed to believe any thing their parents encourage them to believe. Fools can believe in Utopia. Progressives can believe that they are evolved. And, you can believe that your Christmas order, placed on December 22nd, will be personally, and lovingly handled by a Christmas elf so that will arrive at the stroke of midnight on Christmas day.

Re:No sympathy here (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45788543)

It's not like Christmas day isn't planned ahead. If these slackers wait until 2 days before to order their gifts, they get what they get. Order earlier next time.

Order earlier or buy in real physical shop.
What's wrong with buying a christmas present 2-3 weeks before the deadline and then keeping it stored until the 24th or 25th ?

hey, seems like all my US Postal Service packages (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45788425)

Good thing there is a Public Option when it comes to shipping!

Re: hey, seems like all my US Postal Service packa (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45788561)

True story: UPS has handed off a lot of its last-leg delivery to the USPS, especially in rural areas. Those routes were never profitable for UPS so now they only deliver as far as the local post office, which doesn't exactly put a priority on delivering someone else's packages, so they may sit for a while before getting loaded on the USPS trucks for final delivery.
This happened to us 2 years ago - we'd ordered some stuff that would not arrive before we went to visit relatives, so (with their permission) we had it shipped to their house. According to the online tracking, it sat in their post office for two days before USPS deigned to deliver it. Fortunately, the packages were still "on time" that time, but we did have some worries over it.

Re: hey, seems like all my US Postal Service packa (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45788641)

The free shipping option also had USPS last leg delivery on Sunday.

Re: hey, seems like all my US Postal Service packa (1)

SJHillman (1966756) | about 6 months ago | (#45788759)

This is why I've started having important or time-sensitive packages delivered to the local UPS or FedEx store. It's not quite as convenient as being delivered right to my door, but I can usually get it a day or two earlier and don't have to worry about it being left in a mud puddle with a muddy welcome mat put over it (I'm looking at you, FedEx).

Re:hey, seems like all my US Postal Service packag (2)

zlives (2009072) | about 6 months ago | (#45788583)

+1

sent mine using USPS and everything got in time.

Fucking WAAAA. (2, Informative)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 6 months ago | (#45788429)

'While others take vacation and time off in December, remember we aren't allowed ever to be off in December. Ever,' said a 20-year veteran UPS driver 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, Be thankful for that.'"

Hey, fuck you, buddy. They told you that shit about not taking time off during the busiest shipping season of the year when you took the job 20 fucking years ago, and probably reminded you every year since, so don't try to play the fucking victim here. Plus, "Dur, I had to work" is a really, really piss-poor excuse for failing to meet your work obligations, now isn't it?

I don't really get to take a lot of time off, period, but you don't see me using that as an excuse to suck at my job.

Side note: My wife ordered me a new watch on Dec. 4, shipped via UPS.

The current arrival date is sometime after Jan. 4.

Re:Fucking WAAAA. (2)

kcmastrpc (2818817) | about 6 months ago | (#45788455)

Side note: My wife ordered me a new watch on Dec. 4, shipped via UPS.

The current arrival date is sometime after Jan. 4.

Something tells me this has something to do with the fulfillment and not the shipper. You don't want to/can't wait for a package? Go to the store.

Re:Fucking WAAAA. (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 6 months ago | (#45788483)

Side note: My wife ordered me a new watch on Dec. 4, shipped via UPS.

The current arrival date is sometime after Jan. 4.

Something tells me this has something to do with the fulfillment and not the shipper. You don't want to/can't wait for a package? Go to the store.

It was shipped Dec. 6.

Yes, I actually understand how to use a tracking number.

Re:Fucking WAAAA. (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45788555)

That's because it was destroyed. A bunch of thieves broke into a UPS factory and destroyed it. The UPS workers fought with their lives to protect your package and others, and 32 workers fell in the battle. How many lives must be lost before you are satisfied? You're still getting your watch, but remember who died to get it to you.

Re:Fucking WAAAA. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45788617)

was it actually shipped, or was the shipping info just entered into the UPS system? I've had nurmerous times experienced where it LOOKED like the item was in UPS's hands and stuck very early in their shipment process, but after a call to the retailer (Amazon) it was discovered the item was NEVER ACTUALLY GIVEN to UPS as Amazon didn't infact have ANY IN STOCK as their inventory levels were off. Hence, had I taken your attitude, I would have been blaming the WRONG PARTY

Re:Fucking WAAAA. (0)

plopez (54068) | about 6 months ago | (#45788695)

So if you wanted it earlier you should have paid for expedited shipping.

Re:Fucking WAAAA. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45788481)

And there's probably plenty of people reading /. who were working christmas eve, christmas day, boxing day, etc.

Re:Fucking WAAAA. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45788527)

Yeah I'm pretty sure its all the low level employees faults. Way to stick it to the people are totally in control of the company.

People need to get over this whole I need my things here now on this one special day. Stop throwing a temper tantrum.

Re:Fucking WAAAA. (1)

hypergreatthing (254983) | about 6 months ago | (#45788657)

It's probably not a low level employee's fault personally that this happened. However, why the fuck would a low level employee try to even address the issue by telling others how harsh his work is and to be grateful? If you don't see the problem with that, then you are at a loss for even trying to understand why this would inflame people who weren't with their families and had to work as well.
Best course of action would have been to keep his mouth shut and let the company spin dr. explain what happened.

Re:Fucking WAAAA. (2)

plopez (54068) | about 6 months ago | (#45788715)

When anything bad happens it is never management's fault. They are, however, responsible for everything good that happens.

Re:Fucking WAAAA. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45788619)

Please, someone, +1 more for this post. It is disgusting how people whine about conditions at a job they chose and continue to choose working. The lousy work ethic and self-entitlement of most of the current young adult generation seems to be rubbing off on the older generation.

Hey, kids, here's a thought: If you don't want to work on the holidays, don't take a job that requires you to work on the holidays.

The civilized world is (mostly) democratic when it comes to choosing an occupation. If you don't like your current working conditions, either find another job or begin taking classes/educate yourself so you can find a better job.

But no matter what you choose, STFU when it comes to complaining and get off my lawn!

Re:Fucking WAAAA. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45788637)

Ship happens.

Re:Fucking WAAAA. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45788703)

Well some claim they ordered December 1st and it had not arrived December 24th?? That tells me that unless the product shipped from the South Pole that it was the fault of the warehouse or the product was not available. Could packages get tied up in a hub of UPS for a couple days? Sure, that's plausible. Let me tell you from a logistics movement that UPS contracts a lot of other trucking companies to pull their trailers throughout the US in the Christmas rush. So I question any transport problems. I even question a sorting slowdown or delay there. My question will be, how many retailers with upset customers will choose another package service in the future? Or are these delivery issues over played by the news media and its really a very small percentage that did not get their packages?

Re:Fucking WAAAA. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45788709)

Yeah I guess you can read that as a complaint but I don't see anything but a non emotional statement of fact. Your reply on the other hand was way mis-emotional. On top of it he's not even the right target for your cursing nor is there any indication that he sucked at his particular job.

The real why behind the overload causing the delays was all who wait for the last moment to order. Not saying the carrier did not fail changing the web form reporting the delivery time, but frankly, if it is THAT important to arrive on time why did they not order earlier?

There's no news in that shipping during holiday seasons can get narly, been that way since shipping began so many centuries ago.

It's easy to curse out someone which does not help anyone but just spreads negativity. Instead see what you are willing to take responsibility for.

Re:Fucking WAAAA. (0)

ToasterMonkey (467067) | about 6 months ago | (#45788769)

'While others take vacation and time off in December, remember we aren't allowed ever to be off in December. Ever,' said a 20-year veteran UPS driver 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, Be thankful for that.'"

Hey, fuck you, buddy. They told you that shit about not taking time off during the busiest shipping season of the year when you took the job 20 fucking years ago, and probably reminded you every year since, so don't try to play the fucking victim here. Plus, "Dur, I had to work" is a really, really piss-poor excuse for failing to meet your work obligations, now isn't it?

I don't really get to take a lot of time off, period, but you don't see me using that as an excuse to suck at my job.

Why are you attacking this guy, A DELIVERY DRIVER? He wasn't complaining about his job, he's DOING IT. He's just the fucking messenger, moron, please post pics of lazy UPS drivers snacking at Krispy Kreme's if you have em. Fuck you, asshole.

Re:Fucking WAAAA. (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about 6 months ago | (#45788787)

I don't know how in hell you got that "insightful" moderation. Oh - the title of your post? "Fucking WAAAA" That's how I see you and the million or more Americans crying about your late deliveries.

Over the course of my own driving career, I seldom made a late delivery. But, when I did, there was a good reason for it. Reason number one, "I'm out of hours on my log book." Reason number two, "It's unsafe to drive in this weather."

If some cry baby at the other end cried to damned hard after being given one of those two reasons, then he could expect that he wouldn't get his goodies for an extra day or six. I can always stop off at home to take care of personal business.

Common sense (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45788457)

If you wait till the last second to order a gift, don't be shocked when it takes a while to arrive. People whine about the dumbest things.

I just hate delays (2)

twocows (1216842) | about 6 months ago | (#45788465)

I get that there can be high load during holidays, and I'm not upset that I didn't get my purchase by the 25th (I wasn't expecting to), but when they miss my delivery date by as much as they're predicting they're going to, I should be compensated to some degree. I paid for 3-5 day shipping and it doesn't look like it's going to be 3-5 business days (I ordered Thursday and the estimate was this Thursday, they're now estimating it won't get here until next week). It has nothing to do with procrastination, the thing I ordered wasn't even a Christmas present, it was a replacement graphics card for my desktop (the current one failed about two weeks ago). The issue is that I paid for a particular service and I expect it to be completed as advertised. If it's not, then they should reasonably compensate me for the difference between advertised and delivered. Don't advertise "3-5 day shipping" if it's not 3-5 day shipping.

Delviery Guarantee (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45788817)

Did the merchant or the carrier guarantee 3-5 day delivery?

Re:I just hate delays (2)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about 6 months ago | (#45788827)

I would go with the flip side of that. They shouldn't be advertising 3-5 business day shipping this close to Christmas. Instead of making empty promises for fast shipping, they should be stressing the fact that the longer you wait to order, the more likely it is to be late.

Morons (1)

jason777 (557591) | about 6 months ago | (#45788469)

What kind of idiot orders presents on dec 23 and thinks for sure it will get there? I go by dec 17 at the latest. I mean, every year UPS gets a backlog at this time, so a delay should be expected.

Re:Morons (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45788601)

Americans.

On the other hand... (1)

wcrowe (94389) | about 6 months ago | (#45788475)

I had packages delivered both by UPS and FedEx last week. All were right on time. In fact, one of the FedEx packages was sent 2-day air, and actually arrived at its destination, 1500 miles away, a mere 19 hours after being sent.

Winter Weather (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45788487)

One of the reasons given for the problems was "winter weather". Who would have thought there'd be weather in winter?

Re:Winter Weather (2)

jedidiah (1196) | about 6 months ago | (#45788683)

Many places don't expect "winter weather" in winter and are ill equipped to handle it when it actually happens.

Pretty much the bottom half of the country...

lazy customers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45788497)

How is a company suppose to handle a work load several orders of magnitude greater than their average daily work loads for just one time a year? What do you do? Hire a bunch of extra people and assets and infrastructure for just one week of the year? Online retailers and shoppers have to be realistic and not promote or wait to the last minute to order something. I don't blame UPS or FedEx, with the extra load my business received packages during all of this. I think they are doing a pretty good job considering the time of year. Stop shopping last minute! Kinda like a shopping mall having to purchase twice the extra land for parking spaces that only get utilized once a year... Some may say that this is a requirement, I say we are paying for that extra capacity one way or another, so a little pain over the holidays to find a parking spot is worth it overall.

Re:lazy customers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45788551)

How is a company suppose to handle a work load several orders of magnitude greater than their average daily work loads for just one time a year? What do you do? Hire a bunch of extra people and assets and infrastructure for just one week of the year?

Yes.

http://mobile.businessweek.com/articles/2013-12-18/upss-holiday-shipping-master-scott-abell-they-call-him-mr-dot-peak [businessweek.com]

Maintaining profitability is especially difficult during peak season when UPS’s delivery expenses rise. This year, UPS is adding 55,000 part-time holiday workers, leasing 23 extra planes, and effectively building a second trucking fleet to handle the seasonal package flow. None of this is cheap. It’s up to Mr. Peak to plan accordingly.

Re:lazy customers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45788665)

and unlike Amazon, they can't really resell the extra capacity as easily as Amazon can with the EC2, AWS, etc, etc

Members of Amazon Prime can request one free month (1)

JoeSchmoe007 (1036128) | about 6 months ago | (#45788511)

Members of Amazon Prime can request one free month of Prime membership for each late package. I received 2 so far - just contact Customer Service via website.

Re:Members of Amazon Prime can request one free mo (3, Insightful)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about 6 months ago | (#45788597)

The libertarian thing to do, then, is to order many individual packages during December, with careful attention paid to the origin and destination so as to maximize the expected profit.

The invisible hand of the free market will finally serve the consumer!

Re:Members of Amazon Prime can request one free mo (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45788785)

The thing I hate about Amazon Prime is that even if I place a single order for 5 items, it's still likely to come in four separate shipments by three different carriers.

Re:Members of Amazon Prime can request one free mo (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45788781)

I would imagine you have a wonder set of knee pads for all of that Amazon dick-sucking you're doing right now.

So, just keep using surge protector strips (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45788563)

until the UPS gets there..

Why, indeed (1)

jamesl (106902) | about 6 months ago | (#45788635)

'Well then why, all the way up until the 23rd, were they offering next-day delivery?

Well they why, if it was so important, did you wait all the way up until the 23rd to place your order or ship your package?

In any case, UPS was not guaranteeing on-time delivery well before the 23rd. I sent a package through the local UPS store where they made it clear that they couldn't and wouldn't guarantee delivery by Christmas even though it was shipped in time.

Overworked UPS Drivers and Lowly Paid Temps... (1)

Ron Bennett (14590) | about 6 months ago | (#45788717)

Not surprised at all. To digress a bit, many of the packages delayed were sent well in advance of the Christmas holiday - many reports mention packages sitting for over a week in trailers.

With that out of the way, UPS drivers are expected to make many more delivery stops than they used to. These days, 200+ is common with upwards of 300+ during holidays...

UPS drivers are still well paid, but are worked far harder. More specifically, in regards to the holidays, an ever increasing reliance on seasonal "driver helpers" (typically paid $8-$10 per hour), which is hit and miss; spotty attendance, delivery mistakes, rough handling, theft, etc.

To put it simply, the drivers are spread thin. Very little extra delivery capacity to pick up the slack than in the past.

This incident will further push Amazon and other large retailers to contract out more delivery to smaller regional / local companies; more leverage to negotiate better pricing / service levels with the big name shippers.

Outright lies (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45788735)

It wouldn't be quiet so bad if they were honest about it. My package was delayed for 5 days in Commerce City, CO due to "Adverse weather conditions or natural disasters". The weather in Commerce City for those 5 days was 45-60 degrees and sunny.

Seems that fabricating weather related delays that they're not responsible for is common practice...

Thanks Obama! (1)

Rinikusu (28164) | about 6 months ago | (#45788753)

(sarcasm).

Meh... (5, Informative)

mythosaz (572040) | about 6 months ago | (#45788765)

First, The UPS "guaranteed on-schedule delivery" already includes the following:

The guarantee does not apply to UPS shipments that are delayed due to causes beyond UPS's control, including, but not limited to, the following:
[SNIPPED some basic things, strikes, acts of god, government, customs, etc.]
disruptions in air or ground transportation networks, such as weather phenomena; and natural disasters.
The guarantee does not apply to UPS 2nd Day Air A.M., UPS 2nd Day Air, UPS 3 Day Select, and UPS Ground shipments that are picked up or scheduled to be delivered between December 12 and December 25.

http://www.ups.com/media/en/terms_service_us.pdf [ups.com]

Can you read that? Christmas is excluded. The whole Christmas season is excluded. ...and they're still offering compensation.

Good guy UPS.

drones (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#45788789)

at least drones wont complain about working on a holiday or all night long...

USPS Where are you?? (1)

Capt James McCarthy (860294) | about 6 months ago | (#45788793)

All this revenue that could be pulled by the one time largest shipper in the US, but for some reason, they keep losing billions a year.

Communication (1)

Cigamit (200871) | about 6 months ago | (#45788823)

I think what made a lot of people mad is the way it was all handled. Since I had a few packages that were delayed for a week (mid December), I was checking out a lot of the online complaints at the time.

The online tracking sometimes wasn't updated for days when the package was just sitting in a truck waiting to be unloaded somewhere. Sometimes the package would do something wacky, like go from Dallas to Illinois and back again. Other times the package would be marked out for delivery for 3-4 days straight.
Those UPS workers maintaining the UPS Social Media accounts seems more like drones, their only answer was "Please keep checking your tracking number on our website to know when it will arrive".
Phone support wait was long, and usually the reps would just hang up on you when you finally got one.
People were overnight shipping perishable goods, that then got delayed for over a week. Week old defrosted steaks, yum.
UPS claimed a 3 day weather delay in Dallas was completely responsible for the week plus delay, even though the packages before the storm were also being delayed.
They claimed to be using FIFO on the packages, yet while my 2 packages were stuck in Dallas for a week, I 2-day shipped another item and got it 1-day through that same hub. (I have never gotten something that fast, so it was extremely odd)
They claimed to be sending 3500 additional workers to Dallas to help sort. I could have sworn How Its Made (or How Do They Do It) did a show that showed how sorting was all automated nowadays, so it makes you wonder if they really had a system meltdown and just blamed it on whatever was convenient.

My items weren't important so the delay didn't bother me much. As always, I did get my UPS driver a nice card and gift certificate for Christmas. I appreciate him driving out to my house 100+ times a year since I live in the middle of no where.

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