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UPS delivery struggles lead to upset customers

2:57 PM, Dec 26, 2013   |    comments
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Video: UPS overwhelmed by volume

An employee descends a ladder after checking on automated systems that sort packages during United Parcel Service Inc. (UPS) Worldport overnight shipping operations at Louisville International Airport in Louisville, Kentucky. Photo by Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg via Getty Images.

(WXIA) -- The packages are open and the celebrations are underway.

Well, not for everyone. Somewhere in a UPS center are many packages still waiting to be received.

The trucks are idle, but UPS's Facebook page is active. Just take a look at some of the comments.

Peggy writes: "You screwed up big time! I am just done."

Ron writes: "I would have had a great Christmas if only UPS had not failed to deliver my new computer."

MORE | UPS backlog means missing Christmas gifts; Amazon responds

And people were cranky leading up to the big day. 

"It's terribly disappointing because we ordered these things on December 1st," Jeff Hayes said while standing outside a Dallas UPS center.

But is UPS really the Grinch that stole Christmas? On one of the busiest days in the last week, UPS delivered about 29 million packages worldwide -- that's 300 every second.

A survey by the National Retail Federation indicated half of holiday shopping would be done online, and that's a lot of shipping -- up an unprecedented 8 percent over last year.

"It's given the consumers the opportunity to shop later, essentially compressing the shopping season," said Wesley Harris of UPS.

UPS added extra hands, but it just wasn't enough. UPS blamed high volume and a spokesperson issued this statement: "The volume of air packages in our system exceeded the capacity of our network, as demand was much greater than the forecast."

And the weather forecast has also been blamed for the delays.

"I can't tell you how many countless hours we have spent on the phone dealing with this issue with people in Memphis. And they're still blaming it on the ice storm, which was two-and-a-half weeks ago, said customer Jeff Hayes.

But not everyone is upset. Facebook poster Michelle writes: "Get over it frustrated people! TRY ORDERING A BIT EARLIER!"

Stephanie says, "Thanks UPS for all you do even if my children didn't get their gifts on time."

On the bright side, you'll have something to look forward to in the next coming days. UPS workers in the Louisville Hub was be coming in this evening to sort packages so that they can be delivered tomorrow.

Another major shipping service, FedEx, said that it experienced "no major service disruptions in the week before Christmas despite heavy volume."

"Every single package is important to us, and we will continue to work directly with customers to address any isolated incidents," FedEx spokesman Scott Fiedler said in a statement.

Amazon, which uses major shippers to deliver its goods to customers, said it did everything in its power to ensure packages arrived at their intended destinations in time for Christmas.

"Amazon fulfillment centers processed and tendered customer orders to delivery carriers on time for holiday delivery. We are reviewing the performance of the delivery carriers," Amazon spokeswoman Mary Osako said in an emailed statement. "We refunded any shipping charges associated with impacted shipments in addition to a $20 gift card."

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