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In this Dec. 16, 2013 file photo, package handler Chris Addison arranges packages before loading a delivery truck at a FedEx sorting facility in Kansas City, Mo. Santa's sleigh didn't make it in time for Christmas for some this year due to shipping problems at UPS and FedEx.The delays were blamed on poor weather earlier this week in parts of the country as well as overloaded systems. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Don't blame UPS, FedEx delivery drivers for late gift shipments

It was a shorter holiday shopping season. People put off shopping to wait for bigger discounts. And sales at "brick-and-mortar" stores were significantly down, with sales believed to be going to online retailers instead.

Combine those factors with winter storms that have plagued much of the country over the past few weeks - there were bound to be some delays in shipping gifts. Now thousands are complaining that there Christmas presents weren't under the tree in time.

UPS and FedEx aren't saying how many packages were delayed but noted it was a small share of overall holiday shipments.

But before you yell at your local UPS or FedEx delivery-person, just pulling up now in your driveway with your daughter's Barbie Dreamhouse, make sure you're not taking out on the wrong person.

Today, Jeff wrote into the Tom & Curley Show with this note:

I'm a driver for UPS. You trashing my company in the national news hurts the public face of UPS the most. The drivers are who people see, are who people talk to. Most of us worked very long hours to get every package that was put on our trucks delivered. We all gave up our Christmas Eve to get many last minute presents delivered. Please consider whose feet you're holding over the fire when you report UPS didn't deliver your presents. There will be no CEO's getting yelled at and tons of drivers taking all the heat.

"Jeff, I couldn't agree with your more," Curley said after reading the letter.

If you have experienced a shipping delay, instead of taking it out on your local delivery men and women, check to see if the retailer is offering a coupon to make up for the circumstances.

Amazon.com has been notifying some customers affected by the UPS delays that it will refund any shipping charges and is giving them a $20 credit toward a future purchase.

Amazon spokeswoman Mary Osako said the company processed orders and got them to its shippers "on time for holiday delivery" and is now "reviewing the performance of the delivery carriers."

While some customers may get money back, they might think twice about ordering online next year.

UPS did not make pickups or deliveries Wednesday. Extra workers were being brought in Wednesday night to the company's hub in Louisville, Ky., to sort packages for Thursday and Friday delivery.

UPS spokeswoman Natalie Godwin said "UPS will honor its peak shipments commitments" to customers who used its air delivery service. Those shipping by ground have no guarantee past Dec. 11. Godwin said she didn't know if customers would receive refunds.

Read more:
Santa's sleigh delayed after snags at UPS, FedEx

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Alyssa Kleven, MyNorthwest.com Editor
Alyssa Kleven is an editor and content producer at MyNorthwest.com. She enjoys doting over her adorable dachshund Winnie - named for Arcade Fire front-man Win Butler.
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