General Question

elbanditoroso's avatar

UPS and Fedex appear to have been totally overwhelmed with this year's deliveries. Who will benefit from their screwups?

Asked by elbanditoroso (14527 points ) December 25th, 2013

My thinking is that brick-and-mortar stores are going to benefit from the UPS failure this Christmas. (and to a lesser extent, Fedex’s). People are going to be pissed off at any store that ships via UPS and the pendulum may swing back to real stores.

Is there an opening for the postal service here, as well? They’re certainly an alternative.

Is this going to put a crimp in the internet economy?

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12 Answers

JLeslie's avatar

Do you have a link regarding fedex and UPS not delivering as promised?

Pachy's avatar

Here’s a link, @JLeslie. The slowdowns happened all over the storm area—Portland, for example. Rational people, even though they were inconvenienced, should realize a major snowstorm isn’t the fault of the shipping companies. And perhaps these people will remember to ship their holiday packages sooner. ;-)

USPS won’t benefit.

tom_g's avatar

UPS has never failed me. In fact, my xmas gifts I ordered on Monday around 3pm arrived on Tuesday (xmas eve) at 3pm.

In order for me to consider visiting another brick and mortar store, UPS (and FedEx, etc) would have to start opening my packages and replacing the contents with dog sh*t.

elbanditoroso's avatar

Apparently not just in the storm areas—but all over the US to one degree or another. One news story I read said that they ran out of airplanes at their main sorting center in Louisville, so the packages never got to the destination cities to get out onto trucks.

gailcalled's avatar

Another link

My specific no-show was caused by a temp driver hired for the holidays who did not know his way around this rural area where the road signs are mysterious, faded, reversed, knocked down or vanished. What used to be my private driveway is now a private road called Chicory Lane. It is in some data bases and not in others; like Brigadoon…appearing and disappearing at will.

jonsblond's avatar

I have the same problem as @gail. Our house is difficult to find if you aren’t familiar with our area.

I’ve never had a problem with UPS or USPS. They will receive my business from now on and I will avoid FedEx as much as possible.

zenvelo's avatar

UPS failed me on four out of four packages. A package I shipped to Seattle for to Redmond WA on Saturday, out on a truck both Monday and Tuesday, still hasn’t been delivered. On on ether flat out lied and said no one was home at 4 o“clock Tuesday. Now they updated the tracking and show it returned to sorting facility at 11:15 yesterday morning.

The big question now is will they get it all delivered tomorrow? Amazon has already given me a $30 credit. But I want UPS to refund my shipping charges from last Thursday.

stanleybmanly's avatar

I made a crucial mistake shopping online for the bulk of my Christmas gifts. I was notified yesterday that items I ordered from Amazon on 9 December had been returned to Amazon by UPS due to “weather conditions” whatever the fu*k that means. In addition, I came home last week to discover a torn open empty pkg in my driveway. The Ups driver had apparently thrown it through the iron gate, and some enterprising soul had manipulated an old broom to fish the pkg from behind the gate. The brazen thief then left the pkg address label up with the broom lying on top of it to secure it from the wind to insure that I would notice it. Next, the large lasagna baker that I ordered through Amazon arrived and turned out to be the small lasagne baker instead. And the final insult was delivered when the wife opened her present this morning- a large pretty stone ware casserole to discover a huge chunk broken from the rim. Both the shipping carton and the box inside were in perfect condition without so much as a stray mark on either. In addition the box the product was packaged in was lined with styrofoam sufficient to stop a bazooka round. The final tally amounts to 8 gifts missing, stolen, damaged, misrepresented, deflected. It’s been enough to put me in a really festive mood.

JLeslie's avatar

Thanks for the links. @gailcalled‘s link mentions someone’s mother missing the festivities because she waited for a package. That is just ridiculous and idiotic to me. Maybe they were santa gifts and didn’t want to dissappoint the kids, that is the only reason I can fathom missing being with your family, even then it doesn’t make sense, and yes, I would say it is a lesson in not waiting until the last minute to gift shop.

I wonder if USPS is able to reroute planes easier when there is bad weather? FEDEX’s main hub is in Memphis, while USPS has an elaborate system of using many airports. No matter what weather can paralyze any of them. I have several friends who are FEDEX pilots and I know one almost got stuck in Memphis (he lives in Tampa) he had one of the last flights out before weather conditions grounded planes for many hours.

Storms that affect ground transportation there is nothing that can be done. However if you received your mail every day and you live in a place that had bad storms, it does imply the US mail would have been able to deliver at your locale as long as the package got to your local mail distribution center. USPS has mail carriers for your residence daily, while the others don’t. I do 90% of my mailing with the USPS. I have a soft spot, a nostalgia, for the US Postal Service. I like giving them my business, I like knowing the local people who work in my local office, and the delivery record is extremely good.

Some businesses have contracts with certain mail carriers, and you might not have a choice how it is delivered.

Personally, I don’t buy much on line, I like to see it, touch it, and bring it home or send it. However, some things, if I know the exact item, I have purchased online, esoecially when I could save the tax. Now the tax laws are changing, or maybe they changed already, where you have to pay tax on every retail purchase.

If USPS was less affected by weather they should capitalize on it and do a PR compaign of some sort.

Darth_Algar's avatar

I’ve never had a problem with ordering anything online, but then I always (when there’s the option) choose to ship via USPS. They seem much more capable of handling adverse conditions than UPS or FedEx. I wonder what the privatization shills are saying now.

@stanleybmanly To be fair that last one sounds more like a “someone at the factory screwed up” problem than a “someone along the shipping chain screwed up” one.

rojo's avatar

No one, the public has a short memory. They will not remember this next holiday season.

Besides, most of the more intelligent people shipped out their stuff way before the holiday rush. Throw that much stuff at them in a short timeframe, including businesses guaranteeing delivery by Christmas, you are bound to have some backups, losses and other glitches.

FWIW, if this was asked in Social, I would have said “The Terrorists”

geeky_mama's avatar

I’d guess that 95% of our Christmas shopping this year was done online. We were very fortunate that everything showed up on-time and as expected..but in years past I’ve experienced screw-ups by UPS.
Typically when I buy on Amazon I don’t really have a choice in what carrier is going to bring my stuff..but nearly everything fulfilled by Amazon seems to come UPS if it’s my Prime free 2-day shipping, and only via FedEx if I pay to have 1-day or weekend delivery. Little stuff and stuff sold by 3rd party sellers tends to come via USPS.
I wish there were more choices..I wish UPS didn’t seem to have a monopoly on delivery around here..but then, I feel the same about my internet service, too. (Which is truly a monopoly. Only one choice in these parts and they are charging us an arm & a leg..AND intentionally dropped the speed of our service while simultaneously raising the monthly rate by 25%!)

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