UPS, FedEx backlog impacting thousands this season

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ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI) – On the day after Christmas, UPS and FedEx scrambled to deliver packages that were promised to be delivered before Christmas day.  This backlog impacted thousands of people giving and receiving gifts this season.

According to a UPS spokesperson, a few different issues caused these delays, like severe weather in Dallas, and the company underestimating the volume of packages it would receive. Plus, the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas was also shorter than usual.  All that created a so-called perfect storm, leaving some St. Louisans pretty disappointed.

For Florissant resident Julie Vaccaro, this Christmas was already a tough one: her first holiday without her mother.  “My mom passed away on the 14th of December,” she says, “so we just really didn’t have much time to go shopping.”  Vacarro ordered gifts from Amazon.com on Friday, promised to be delivered by Christmas Eve. But early Christmas morning, her husband got an email saying the packages wouldn’t make it in time for the holiday, after all.

Vacarro says, “We were hoping that Christmas, we could actually make it good for the kids, but it just didn’t happen that way.”

It was a similar story for St. Louis artist Scott Hepper, who sends one of his paintings to a deserving Facebook friend each Christmas.  He explains, “So it was really important that I sent it out a week early, to make sure they got it before Christmas, and then as soon as they got it, it would be revealed to all my Facebook friends as sort of the spirit of Christmas, the spirit of giving, and the spirit of the recipient, to say hey, look what this person does.”

He paid for two-day shipping, and it should have arrived well before Christmas:  “Monday, it still hadn’t arrived. Tuesday still hadn’t arrived, Christmas Eve, I finally called FedEx and they said it’s not going to arrive until after Christmas, and I was like, oh no.”

But he’s forgiving, especially since the painting finally got there.  As for the Vaccaro family, their parcels arrived the day after Christmas as well. A belated gift exchange, but also a reminder that there’s more to the holiday than packages and presents.  “It’s about family and being together, and we were able to do that, so it ended up being fine,” says Vacarro.

Even though the backlog wasn’t on Amazon’s end, the online retailer offered Vacarro, and other customers in similar situations, shipping refunds and $20 gift cards.

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