For many families, especially those counting on last-minute deliveries they had paid a premium for, Christmas was a bit less cheery this year. Problems with UPS and FedEx getting an extraordinary amount of packages just before the holiday led to a lot of packages getting stuck in transit instead of arriving in time to go under Christmas trees.
One reader wrote in desperation on Christmas eve, when she realized her son's top present from Santa was not going to make it. Toys R Us customer service made matters worse by being dismissive of her situation. Only a last-minute dash to a store saved the day. Toys R Us did not respond to a request for comment or respond to a request to help via social media.
Amazon.com, which counts on the big delivery services to make its business work, is refunding the shipping charges and issuing $20 gift cards to customers who did not get their packages by Christmas as promised.
UPS and FedEx have both apologized for the problems.
While Amazon has been upfront in an attempt to assuage upset customers, most other retailers have not taken similar postures. If you were promised a package by Christmas - particularly if you paid extra - contact the retailer's customer service department and ask for some compensation, particularly a refund of the added delivery charges.
If you are directed to contact FedEx or UPS, ask for a supervisor and see if they can help resolve the matter since they contracted with the shipper. If you end up having to deal with one of the delivery companies, at a minimum seek a refund of any expedited shipping charges you paid.
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About the author
Mitch Lipka is one of America's leading consumer journalists and advocates. He is an expert in product safety, recalls, scams, and helping consumers get out of jams. He is a nationally known consumer columnist and runs TheConsumerChronicle.com. He lives in Worcester. You can find him on Facebook or reach him at ConsumerNews@Aol.com