UPS promises shipping cost refunds to some customers after holiday backlog debacle

UPS delivery workers move packages from one truck to another, Thursday, Dec. 26, 2013, in Newark, N.J. UPS spokeswoman Natalie Black said air and international customers who didn't receive their packages on time are entitled to a refund under its service agreements. Such guarantees, however, were suspended for ground packages shipped after Dec. 10. Black said a small percentage of packages were delayed due to numerous factors, including an air network that exceeded its capacity, poor weather and a shortened Christmas shopping season. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Julio Cortez, AP

Neither UPS nor FedEx have said exactly how many customers were impacted by the holiday delays, but they've brought in extra people and they've rented extra trucks to deliver a late Christmas to a lot of angry customers. 

UPS now promises to refund shipping costs to some customers who didn't get their Christmas packages on time. A UPS spokesperson says only air and international customers are eligible for refunds, Mark Strassman reported on "CBS This Morning." FedEx has apologized for the delays, but has yet to say what its refund policy will be.

And they're not the only ones trying to get back into the good graces of shoppers. Companies like Walmart, Amazon, and Kohl's are offering everything from full refunds on shipping charges, to free gift cards toward future purchases.

But that's not enough for people like Jeff Cormier. He had an iPhone case made with a picture of his daughter as a gift for his grandmother, but she left town before it was delivered. Cormier said, "I don't know what more to say about how frustrating it is. It's not the gift, it's just that 'ah' moment -- you know? You can't recapture that. That 'wow' factor -- that's gone."

UPS and major retailers blame the logjam on being caught off guard this year by a mix of bad weather, last-minute shopping, and a 10 percent increase in online orders.

Some lawmakers in Washington argue those companies should have been prepared. In a radio interview, Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., called for full refunds to anyone affected. He said, "The reasons or excuses given by UPS or FedEx or any of these delivery sources simply is inadequate."

Despite the mounting backlash over the delivery breakdown, many are taking to social media to lend their support to UPS. One post on the UPS Facebook page reads: "I, for one, appreciate all you do all year long to ensure we get our deliveries in a timely manner ... if a late present is the worst thing that happens to them ... they should consider themselves lucky. Being with loved ones far exceeds getting a present from anyone."