#UPSFail: The Dog Crate That Came Too Late

Thursday, December 26, 2013

UPS and FedEx are apologizing for failing to deliver thousands of packages in time for Christmas, but many customers are not satisfied with the explanations of bad weather and high demand.

Those customers include people like Jennifer Lincoln of Edgewater, New Jersey, and her two-year-old Jack Russell terrier Kyle McLaughlin (named for the actor)

Late on Christmas eve, Lincoln learned that Kyle's new travel crate would not arrive in time for the drive to her brother's house in Connecticut for Christmas dinner. So she had to improvise.

"I just had to restrain him with a leash. I tied him to the backseat," Lincoln said with a laugh. "He wants to ride up front with me, but that's not going to happen."

Lincoln, a supply chain manager with Avon, called the delivery snafu "unacceptable." She also said she hopes Amazon — the e-tailer she ordered the dog crate from — will stop using UPS as a carrier, a comment that others echoed on Twitter.

"Let's try to get Amazon to quit using UPS for their shipping. Write to customer support," wrote Tim Bambrough of Manhattan. "I know that I will not use UPS unless I have no choice in the matter. If they messed up your Christmas with broken promises join me."

Many disappointed customers adopted the hashtags #UPSFail and #FedExFail on social media to lodge complaints or just find a sympathetic ear. 

Terrence Liverpool of Flushing, Queens, spent several days waiting for a box of mugs his mother was planning to give to her best friends. As of Thursday morning, he was still waiting for FedEx to show up.

"It's frustrating," he said. "Obviously the package is important or you wouldn't set aside your whole day to receive it."


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Comments [12]

Fred Russell from New Jersey

I must say that there are many sides to this story. Some may be at fault for placing their orders too late. I was in retail for years and tried never to promise an unrealistic delivery date to my clients, no matter how much they wanted it. We are a product of our culture which seems to stress instant gratification for everything.

AND, I would not be too quick to blame the drivers and handlers who work for UPS and FedEx. No, I blame the CEOs and the stockholders who they court. As long as they are making a profit, who cares if the workers in the street fall over from exhaustion. Why hire extra staff if you can get double the work from each employee.

And while we're at it, at this Holy(?) time of year, let's pause (if we have the patience) and reflect on the people who are making and delivering the things we crave to satisfy our needs for that instant gratification.

Dec. 27 2013 07:45 PM

I think it's time for WNYC to stop sharing interns with The Onion.

Dec. 27 2013 03:39 PM
SPR from S.I., N.Y.

Try as I might, I cannot think that not getting your orders on time even comes close to not having your health, or home, or food ~ whether for a holiday, or for life. If the item is a MUST, shop in a store, and have it in hand.

Dec. 27 2013 11:12 AM
Jan from New York City

I am impressed by those that use the USPS for package delivery within NYC, as in my experience, this is always a dismal failure unless you have a doorman, concierge, or someone at home full time to take the package. In our case, as we have none of those, USPS leaves a note to come pick it up at our local post office. In NYC near the holidays?!! Result:A 45 minute wait in our local post office,if not longer, with no assistance for the handicapped who may not be able to stand on a 45 minute line. So I prefer the Fedex folks, who at least I can call and reschedule delivery with. And who will leave your box with a neighbor or your superintendant, etc. Or, what I have recently resorted to: send it all to Mom, who DOES have a concierge and doorman 24/7. Other than the risk of her opening gifts in error, this works best. Sad to say.

Dec. 27 2013 11:07 AM

So, we like to wait until the 13th hour to order items we don't really NEED, (in order to celebrate a supposed event the timing of which is layered over a long, historic pagan celebration) and then get pissed off that packages don't arrive on time because the customer left themselves an impossibly narrow window for the delivery?? Really!!! I bet they forgot to pray for good weather when the orders were submitted.

Dec. 27 2013 09:33 AM
GillianB from NYC

Let's have a round of applause for the good old Post Office!!

We use the USPS as our primary shipper. They are reliable and lower in cost than the commercial carriers. This holiday season, we shipped all our orders with Priority Mail (or in a few instances, Express Mail when requested by the customer). To the best of my knowledge, all our orders got to their destinations on time. (We've had no angry calls or emails saying otherwises.)

So, my partner and I had a "merry little Christmas" and look forward to the new year.

Disclaimer: I have no relatives or friends that are employees of the USPS. I'm just a happy customer who wants to see the service continue unfettered.


Dec. 27 2013 08:55 AM

Everyone knows that Christmas time and Christmas time shopping have set dates on the calendar. Multibillion dollar corporations don't have an excuse that they didn't know what was coming down the so obviously well known pipeline.

This time of the year is no time to be cutting staff, staff benefits, and maximizing profits of the backs of your workforce. These multibillion dollar shipping companies should have been prepared months ago with its seasonal hiring frenzy. They should have been prepared for whatever the collective consumers of the US were ready to throw at them. They should have been prepared for the winter weather. These companies aren't newbies. They've been around for decades. It's pathetic how ill prepared they were this year despite the fact they've been through this annual drill for countless years.

Dec. 27 2013 08:48 AM
Art525 from Park Slope

How ridiculous. We have become an absurdly entitled culture. So your dog crate was late arriving. Big deal. Improvise. And would it be so horrible if your dog actually rode in the seat. Funny. People do it all the time. How often do you see a dog with his head out the window enjoying the ride? (And yes I know a Jack Russell is probably too small to stick his head out the window). My stuff I ordered arrived in time. I agree with the comments that question when the stuff was ordered. I also agree that the headline for this (non) story was very misleading. Dumb.

Dec. 27 2013 08:24 AM
Mellowing from Manhattan

Maybe we should re-think the idea of dismantling the post office. Now that we've privatized the delivery of almost everything, we're seeing that the bottom line isn't always in the customer's best interests. I'm amused that all those retailers who stuffed my in-box with last-minute offers suddenly blame customers for shopping too late.

Dec. 27 2013 07:58 AM
Mike from Maryland

So people did not get their packages in time for Christmas? When did Ms. Dog Crate place her order? Should UPS risk the lives of the staff so that those that waited until the last minute to purchase something? Was there any attempt by the writer of this story to find out when the orders were placed? I worked in supply chain management for a long time as well, I find it very hard to believe that someone actually in the industry as the dog crate purchaser would say something so insipid as Amazon should get rid of UPS. If the two largest shipping companies in North America can't deliver packages in time for the holidays due to a storm who else would? The Postal Service? Hahahahahahahahahaha.

Dec. 27 2013 03:45 AM
Meredith from Brooklyn

This headline is misleading and sensationalistic. It's not up to what I think of as WNYC standards.

Dec. 26 2013 08:55 PM
ron from home

a class action suit against ups peachtree executives for service failures.they promise and boast about moving at the speed of commerce.where is ron carey when we need him?hire more workers.

Dec. 26 2013 06:31 PM

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