UPS scrambling to finish late Christmas deliveries - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

UPS scrambling to finish late Christmas deliveries

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WAVE 3 News Troubleshooter Eric Flack talking to Mary about her son's gift that has not been shipped. WAVE 3 News Troubleshooter Eric Flack talking to Mary about her son's gift that has not been shipped.
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LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Louisville based UPS is scrambling to put an end to the Christmas rush. The company has been doing damage control since Christmas eve, when they announced thousands of packages that were guaranteed for Christmas delivery weren't going to make it.

All of those Christmas deliveries left Louisville Thursday and the company hoped to wrap all of the deliveries up by the end of that day.

So what happened? UPS simply miscalculated demand and wasn't ready when a flood of last minute Christmas orders came pouring in. A day after Christmas, UPS drivers were busy dropping off packages that were guaranteed to be there in time for the holiday. That left empty spots under trees nationwide.

Mary ordered presents for her son on December 21 from the sporting goods website Eastbay.

"And they were supposed to be here by Christmas Eve," Mary said. "I paid $25 for expedited shipping. Instead I got an email saying that it would be delayed."

UPS wouldn't disclose how many people got that same email but the number is believed to be in the thousands.

Company spokesman Jeff Wafford said many UPS employees are frustrated.

"We are sincerely apologetic," Wafford said. "We know how big a role we play in people's holiday seasons. We understand people's frustration. We're trying to rectify this as quickly as we can."

Wafford said UPS underestimated how many packages they would be shipping this Christmas despite a team of forecasters who work year round on those projections.

Wafford said several factors contributed to the delays, including the number of shoppers buying last minute deals online, guaranteed Christmas delivery offers from online retailers, and a shorter holiday shopping season that led to an eleventh hour rush.

In the end, UPS said it just didn't have enough planes and trucks to get everything where it needed to go. Which only adds to Mary's frustration. The UPS website says her package has been at the sorting facility since December 22nd. That facility is less than three miles from her home.

"It's just right down the street," Mary said. "If you have it why don't I have it?"

The union for UPS workers issued a statement on its website defending the company and applauding employees hard work.

"Teamsters Local 89 finds it regretful that many did not receive their packages on time, we hope customers will acknowledge the many hours of hard work our members have put into processing and delivering millions upon millions of Holiday packages over the past couple of weeks," the website reads. "While most Americans enjoyed time with their friends and families on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, UPS Teamsters worked around the clock to meet customer demands. Though they are compensated for this time, most Local 89 members working at UPS, especially those with young children, missed out on irreplaceable Christmas celebrations with their families. Many of our members clocked over 100 hours of work over the past week and are expected to continue working these extended hours and workdays as long as necessary to deliver customer shipments."

Customers who want shipping refunds should call 1-800-PICKUPS if they shipped directly through UPS. If you ordered from an online retailer like Amazon or Eastbay you have to go through that company to get the shipping refund.

There are no refunds on ground deliveries and a UPS operator said extras like delivery confirmation, insurance and fuel surcharges won't be refunded no matter what.

A FedEx spokesman said their shipping problems were minor, reporting only "isolated incidents."

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