Amazon.com has been notifying some customers affected by UPS holiday delivery delays that it will refund any shipping charges and is giving them a $20 credit toward a future purchase.
"Amazon fulfillment centers processed and tendered customer orders to delivery carriers on time for holiday delivery. We are reviewing the performance of the delivery carriers. We refunded any shipping charges associated with impacted shipments in addition to a $20 gift card," said Amazon spokeswoman Mary Osako.
The delays at UPS and FedEx were blamed on poor weather earlier this week in parts of the country as well as overloaded systems. The holiday shopping period this year was shorter than usual, more buying was done online and Americans' tendency to wait until the last possible second to shop probably didn't help either.
Neither company said how many packages were delayed but noted it was a small share of overall holiday shipments. While the bulk of consumers' holiday spending remains at physical stores, shopping online is increasingly popular and outstripping spending growth in stores at the mall.
On Sunday, Eric Swanson ordered a doll for his daughter and a sweater for his wife through Amazon.com and one of its affiliated sites. As an Amazon Prime customer, there was a promise of two-day delivery, getting the gifts to his Carmichael, Calif. home just in time for Christmas. One was shipped via UPS, the other FedEx.
"I thought it would happen," Swanson said. Online tracking tools said the packages would arrive by 8 p.m. Tuesday. Neither did.