Maybe the mall, or Main Street, aren’t so bad, if you really truly care about having packages in hand by December 25th. With a spate of holiday delivery breakdowns, what could be more likely to get shoppers back into stores than a failure of the new system they’ve embraced?
This year both UPS and FedEx were swamped by last minute online orders, which, combined with bad weather throughout much of the country, resulted in late or non-deliveries that had been promised in time for Christmas. And consumers are steamed. Here’s an example of a customer post, left in response to a UPS driver’s Facebook comment in which he explained he did the best he could under the circumstances:
“I don’t blame the drivers either, I blame the idiots who run UPS. I would have been more than willing to drive to the distribution center to pick up my packages, which were ordered a week prior via 2nd day air. For 2 days in a row the packages showed as out for delivery, and then updated to report either a delay or “an error with processing the package”. Total BS. If your business is delivery and you can’t do it, don’t take people’s money to do so. I’ll choose alternate shipping methods in the future. I’ve had bad experiences with UPS even during non-holiday season as well, so bye bye UPS.”
While we’re glad to see corporate management, rather than individual drivers, largely held responsible (what were they supposed to do? Plow through every red light?), the whole thing is a retail social media nightmare. How will UPS and FedEx deal with this kind of organizational breakdown followed by a social media mess? It’ll be interesting to see how each company responds, particularly via their public accounts, through the New Year.
Thinking bigger picture, though, we wonder if or how this dissatisfaction will impact consumers’ shopping habits next year. A once-burned-twice-shy kind of reaction could do more to get shoppers back into physical stores than the lure of any bells and whistles put forth by retailers in recent years.
While we wait a year on that, though, have your own nightmare delivery — or lack thereof — story to tell? Let us know in the comments.