Senator wants refunds for delayed Christmas shipments
December 27th, 2013
09:40 AM ET
4 months ago

Senator wants refunds for delayed Christmas shipments

(CNN) – A U.S. senator from Connecticut is calling on major shipping companies to refund customers whose packages didn't arrive in time for Christmas as promised.

"I am disappointed to learn that so many consumers in Connecticut and across the country made purchases this holiday season expecting their gifts to arrive in time for Christmas, but instead were left empty-handed," Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal said in a statement.

Some UPS customers reported missed arrival dates, and FedEx was late with some deliveries as well, but those were "isolated incidents," the company said in a statement Thursday.

UPS said Friday that customers with air or international shipments are entitled to refunds, per UPS's service guarantee.

But that guarantee was suspended for shipments via ground transportation beginning December 10 as part of an industry standard, according to the company.

Blumenthal acknowledged that workers for UPS, as well as FedEx and the U.S. Postal Service, work "grueling, long hours" during the holiday season.

"It is incumbent upon these companies, however, that when a customer is quoted a delivery date ahead of Christmas, gifts arrive on time," he continued. "In a very real sense, Christmas is on the line. I call on UPS to do the right thing and provide refunds to people whose Christmases were a little less cheery as a result of their late deliveries."

Both UPS and FedEx noted they were handling hundreds of millions of shipments in a compressed holiday shopping time frame, because Thanksgiving was later than usual this year.

A spokeswoman for UPS also said the company was dealing with a backlog from previous severe weather in the Dallas area.

– CNN's Ashley Killough, Kevin Bohn, Josh Levs, Ashley Corum and Nick Valencia contributed to this report.


Filed under: Richard Blumenthal
soundoff (38 Responses)
  1. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    Got to love the private sector. They're just great aren't they? :-/ Thank goodness I used the U.S. Postal Service and my gifts got to their locations on time.

    December 27, 2013 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  2. Karen

    "Christmas is on the line"? Somebody doesn't really understand the whole Christmas concept it seems.

    December 27, 2013 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  3. Tampa Tim

    Issa needs to investigate why the private sector cannot compete with the post office.

    December 27, 2013 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  4. Billy

    Yes UPS promised a delivery date but these idiots should order earlier rather than wait till the week of Christmas!

    December 27, 2013 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  5. Rudy NYC

    So where is the right wing's "they lied" outrage with FedEx and UPS? I know I ordered stuff Saturday that had a "guaranteed delivery by Christmas" shipping on it that didn't arrive until last night.

    December 27, 2013 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  6. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    What can Brown do for me? Not a darn thing!!!

    Priority Mail in less than 3 days is more to my liking. I don't want to hear excuses about back logged shipments, etc. Just get my package to where it needs to be on time.

    December 27, 2013 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  7. Anonymous

    Of course it was disappointing, but "refunds to people whose Christmases were a little less cheery"?????????

    I imagine "a little less cheery" would apply to those without heat due to storms, or those who were missing a
    loved one at the dinner table, or those who were a little short on money, etc.
    Those delivery people do work "long, grueling hours" and I, for one, will give them a break.
    The packages will get there and they can still have fun opening them.
    I want a refund from the "worst Congress in history" for not doing their jobs and taking long, relaxing vacations
    on our dime.

    December 27, 2013 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  8. wendel

    such a big deal over presents. I guess the meaning of Christmas is lost on these people. But they will be the first to holler about their Christian teaching and rights.

    December 27, 2013 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  9. rs

    Yeah, good luck with that. The economy expands beyond expectations, shipments exceed expectations, people ordered gifts too late. Get real!

    December 27, 2013 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  10. Sniffit

    Good. Hold their feet to the fire. Big corporations need to know they can't just fail or act negligently or run roughshod over consumers because they're able to buy the government's silence. They're too often given carte blanche on everything from simple things like this to widespread banking abuses because they can give so mightily in return.

    December 27, 2013 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  11. Gurgyl

    Way to go. Yes, these companies need to refund. Yes, Economy is in much better shape. Sears experienced huge rush, huge sales.

    December 27, 2013 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  12. Bill

    All air packages are guaranteed by UPS and Fedex. The shipper of any late package simply has to request a refund from UPS or Fedex and they will get a refund (exceptions are weather delays and "acts of god"). "I call on UPS to do the right thing and provide refunds." Newsflash to the Senator – that situation already exisits. Another example of the government coming up with a solution looking for a problem.

    December 27, 2013 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  13. tom l

    This is disgusting. This is NOT the role of govt. And the liberals on here wonder why conservatives say they always look to govt to get involved in anything.

    This is a private company. Period.

    December 27, 2013 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  14. Sniffit

    "This is NOT the role of govt."

    Sure is. When industry abuses consumers in a widespread manner, it is absolutely the role of gov't to protect the health and welfare of the public. They even have these handy dandy Commerce Clause powers they can flex.

    December 27, 2013 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  15. Sniffit

    Anyhoo, sounds like someone's gift to his wife arrived a little late...

    December 27, 2013 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  16. Tampa Tim

    Ever hear of consumer protections, or are you still driving that Pinto? Government is really on our side, . . .

    December 27, 2013 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  17. tom l

    @Sniffit
    "Sure is. When industry abuses consumers in a widespread manner, it is absolutely the role of gov't to protect the health and welfare of the public. They even have these handy dandy Commerce Clause powers they can flex."

    ====

    Ridiculous. Abuse?? In a widespread manner??? Really? Because some packages were late due to bad weather??? This is not abuse whatsoever. This is called "stuff happens" and it is between consumer and private company. Once again, you look to govt to solve problems that are of a private nature.

    UPS said Friday that customers with air or international shipments are entitled to refunds, per UPS's service guarantee. That's all that matters. This, again, is NOT the role of govt. If UPS doesn't refund, then they go to court and sue. They don't go running to the govt.

    December 27, 2013 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  18. tom l

    "Government is really on our side, . . ."

    =====

    Yeah, sure. You keep telling yourself that. Was govt on our side when Bush was president too?

    December 27, 2013 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  19. rick7809

    Dear Senator,
    Please leave the private delivery companies alone and direct your attention to things that you should actually be paying attention to. The economy, healthcare and immigration reform come to mind.

    December 27, 2013 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  20. tom l

    @Sniffit,

    UPS said Friday that customers with air or international shipments are entitled to refunds, per UPS's service guarantee.

    ====

    No, we don't need govt to get involved in a private matter between consumer and private company. This is, once again, the govt getting involved where it need not be. There is no massive consumer fraud here. They will take care of it. This, my friend, is pandering.

    December 27, 2013 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  21. don in albuquerque

    Quick, someone call Darwin Issa.

    December 27, 2013 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  22. Rudy NYC

    Sniffit

    Anyhoo, sounds like someone's gift to his wife arrived a little late...
    ------------
    Who? Me? I ordered "mama" a new pair of shoes and didn't get them until last night.

    December 27, 2013 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  23. Lynda/Minnesota

    @ Anonymous

    Co-sign.

    December 27, 2013 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  24. Rudy NYC

    rick7809

    Dear Senator,
    Please leave the private delivery companies alone and direct your attention to things that you should actually be paying attention to. The economy, healthcare and immigration reform come to mind.
    ------------------------
    He's protecting the general public from fraud. Some companies on the internet were advertising that you could order as late as Dec. 22 or 23, and still get "guaranteed delivery by Christmas." The retailers would not make those promises unless the delivery companies gave them the green light to do so.

    However, if you do not like government interfering with private companies, then level your complaints at all of the right wing politicians plunging into that "Duck Dynasty" controversy. A private company made a decision to fire one of its' employees for a whole slew of remarks, not jost the one or two that the hypocrites wish to transform into a talking point.

    December 27, 2013 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  25. Boomer in Mo

    This is not a congressional issue. He's just pandering for votes. It's between the customers, the website operators and the delivery companies. If you want a gift to arrive in time, you really should not order after Dec. 15. I actually did not order one until Dec. 21 and had a card with a photo ready to give to the adult recipient on Christmas Day. But, FedEx showed up at my rural home on Dec. 24. I was lucky and they are great.

    December 27, 2013 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
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