If the bottom of your tree looked like a barren, giftless wasteland on Christmas morning, it’s likely due to a mix of bad winter weather and an influx of last-minute shoppers that needed presents shipped, according to both UPS and FedEx.
The situation seems entirely plausible as more and more American consumers do their shopping online for the holidays. This, of course, puts Amazon in an uncomfortable position, considering its usually excellent track record of getting its customers’ purchases to their doorstep in no more than two days.
To win back some goodwill, the company is refunding shipping charges and offering up a $20 gift card to those whose packages are tied up in shipping warehouses and didn’t arrive on time. That’s not much of a consolation to those who have loved ones visiting just long enough to spend Christmas Day together.
“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,” Amazon told VentureBeat in a statement.
UPS, on the other hand, said it decided not to force its drivers to brave the cold weather yesterday, leaving them instead to spend time with their own loved ones. (Good on you, UPS!) It did issue a statement this morning that indicated shipping schedules would return to normal as of today: “UPS experienced heavy holiday volume and is making every effort to get packages to their destination as quickly as possible. UPS has resumed normally scheduled service on Dec. 26.”
The unfortunate shipping delays further enforce Amazon’s desire to cut out the middle man and deliver packages on its own via personal delivery drones — although the technology (as well as approval by the FAA) is years away from coming to fruition.
Personally, I don’ think Santa and his Reindeer would mind having to share airspace with Amazon drones if it means people gets their packages on time.
VentureBeat is studying mobile marketing automation
, and we’ll share the data.