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You found the perfect gift. Ordered it UPS. And uh-oh... It didn't arrive.

Workers sort packages at a UPS facility in Hodgkins, Illinois.

Many people who ordered their Christmas presents via UPS got a nasty surprise yesterday. No presents! The company says the volume of packages exceeded its capacity. Marketplace's Noel King has the latest on the story. Click the audio player above to listen.

About the author

Noel King is a reporter for Marketplace's Wealth and Poverty desk.
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Baloney. There's no reason to blame bad weather or volume or demand prediction, when the real reason for their failure is pure incompetence. I ordered something time-sensitive this month - tickets to a bowl game to be played on December 31 - and the initial confirmation from UPS said that it would be delivered by Dec. 23. It hasn't shown up yet, and the UPS tracking site now predicts that delivery will be made on Jan. 2, two days after the game is played. What happened to the packet with the ticket? The UPS tracking site shows that it sat in a UPS facility in Texas for over a week. And UPS will never apologize to me for their horrible service - their position is that as a recipient, I cannot complain to UPS, but only to the shipper. Well, I have learned my lesson: Neither I nor my company will ever use UPS again.

I think everyone from the retailers to UPS to the customers just got too cocky this year. For the past decade, shipping speed around the holidays has been improving and improving. In past years I've been shocked to order something the week before Christmas and find it on my doorstep the next day, when I didn't even request next day! Not so much this year. I did order from Amazon and LLBean (both use UPS) on Thursday night the 19th and received my packages late on Monday, which was fine, but slower than expected. I think people used to be skeptical and ordered further in advance, but after years of getting stuff so fast too many people figured "eh, Amazon is so fast, I can wait til the last minute." I wonder how they are going to swing this all next year.

I don't buy it that UPS was caught off guard. Three weeks before Christmas a package for business was supposed to be delivered to my house on a Friday via overnight delivery by UPS. It did not arrive. The work in the envelope was due on Monday. They said I would receive it on Monday. They said Christmas as the problem. Here is the kicker. They knew the package was at the local warehouse, so they could have looked for it if they wanted to. But it was Friday and they informed us they don't work Saturdays! If your company is having trouble getting on top of the Christmas rush three weeks before Christmas, don't you think you would work on Saturdays? UPS is just trying to cut costs and doesn't care about the customer. I will never use UPS again. And this is one of the companies that Congress wants to tank the US Postal Service for? What a joke. Compare UPS's service to my order on ebay two weeks later, using the USPS. The seller sent my order out to me the same day I paid for it and I received it the next day via the USPS. No special overnight delivery, just good old USPS delivery. And UPS can do nothing but make excuses. Please have your reporters tell more of the story about these companies that don't care about their customers and perform poorly vs the great service of the USPS, which Congress is trying to put out of business.

The missing angle of all your coverage of the UPS/FedEx fail: the US Postal Service did an AWESOME job and delivered as promised.

UPS did the best they could. I do not hold them responsible. If people are going to wait until the last minute to order, they take their chances. I have heard many merchants that are returning the shipping cost since the agreement to deliver by Christmas Day was not met. Good enough. Move on. I will certainly use UPS in the future and know they will provide the best service possible. The airlines had people sitting in airports and delayed because of overbookings. There were no news stories raising questions about that.

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