Tweeting the hashtag #FedExFail, unhappy customers on the internet are crucifying the giant shipper Federal Express because of it’s failure to deliver thousands of Christmas gifts on time.
Although the company knew that their sales this Christmas season were the highest ever, they were not able to fulfill their promise of pre-Christmas delivery for many customers. A combination of severe weather issues in parts of the country, combined with high last minute online ordering, combined to make them look like the Grinch.
FedEx Chief Executive Fred Smith seemed to blame the internet.
“The people that have the real problem in the e-commerce business by and large are those that view the transportation companies as some sort of utility or a vendor and they make some really, really bad decisions.”
Some retailers, such as Pacific Sunwear, did warn their customers that there might be delays, reports the Wall Street Journal.
“FedEx is experiencing a backlog that is delaying standard shipments by several days or even weeks. All online merchants are affected, and not just PacSun. Destinations in the northeast United States are being impacted the most.”
Eddie Bauer had a similar message on it’s customer service phone line.
The Wednesday before Christmas, FedEx was positive about their ability to deliver their packages on time. A Federal Express spokeperson commented on the subject.
“If customers shipped prior to the published deadlines, we plan to deliver the shipment by Christmas.”
They said that their delivery operations are “performing as designed for the forecasted volumes from our major retail and e-tail customers.”
The website Count.com reported on December 25 that FedEx spokeswoman Rae Lyn Rushing said that her company was doing whatever they could to get customers their packages by Christmas. They did have some slight delays because of bad weather and more last minute shopping than had been anticipated.
The Post Gazette reported that FedEx was giving packages headed to residences priority level attention. They have also expanded operations during the holiday weekend and are delivering the “remaining delayed shipments along with our normal Saturday volume.”
To their credit, Federal Express did increase their staff on Christmas Day, with some workers out delivering gifts on the holiday and some manning counters at the express offices so that customers could pick up their gifts if they wished.
“We are continuing to make adjustments and doing everything we can to minimize impact on our customers.”
Compared to the forecasted delivery volume of the United Parcel Service and the U.S. Postal Service, Federal Express was scheduled to deliver only about half the amount of holiday packages this Christmas.
Two years ago, United Parcel Service was the company in the social media hot seat. In 2013, bad winter weather again coupled with a large number of late ordering which left the company unable to fulfill all it’s delivery promises on time.
For UPS, this year was a different story. A UPS spokesman commented last Wednesday.
“[The company] has worked closely with customers to establish detailed operating plans to ensure available capacity and cut-off times are understood, so there are no surprises for either party. UPS is efficiently using all available capacity in line with our detailed peak plans.”
UPS monitored shipping volumes and was prepared to schedule some workers to deliver packages or work at their offices on Friday, reported Arkansas Online.
UPS spokesman Peggy Gardner said that the precaution turned out to be unnecessary, as drivers worked late Thursday night and got all the packages delivered in time, reports Arkansas Online.
“This is obviously a holiday for the company, and we want our employees to be able to enjoy it with their families. The network ran very smooth.”
A very different story than #FedExFail customers who failed to get their Federal Express packages on time this Christmas.
[Photo By Spencer Platt/Getty Images]