Policy: Law

Sen. Richard Blumenthal: UPS owes customers refunds for late Christmas packages

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Sen. Richard Blumenthal is calling on United Parcel Service to refund customers who sent packages and gifts that failed to reach their destinations before Christmas.

A rash of bad weather and a rush of last-minute online orders caught postal and package delivery services off guard, meaning that thousands of packages that were supposed to be delivered before Christmas didn't arrive on time.

"I am disappointed to learn that so many consumers in Connecticut and across the country made purchases this holiday season expecting their gifts to arrive in time for Christmas, but instead were left empty-handed," the Connecticut Democrat said.

"The men and women of UPS - as well as the U.S. Postal Service and FedEx - do tremendous work this time of year, putting in grueling, long hours delivering gifts, and we are all grateful for their efforts. It is incumbent upon these companies, however, that when a customer is quoted a delivery date ahead of Christmas, gifts arrive on time.

"I call on UPS to do the right thing and provide refunds to people whose Christmases were a little less cheery as a result of their late deliveries."

UPS spokeswoman Natalie Godwin said snow and ice in the Midwest last week and an ice storm that hit Dallas two-and-a-half weeks ago were partially to blame. She also said the volume of packages exceeded UPS's capacity.

"We apologize that our customers did not receive their packages on Christmas," Godwin said.

UPS says it has resumed normally scheduled service as of Thursday.

Amazon.com has notified customers affected by the UPS delays that it will refund any shipping charges and is giving them a $20 credit toward a future purchase.

Amazon spokeswoman Mary Osako said the company processed orders and got them to its shippers "on time for holiday delivery" and is now "reviewing the performance of the delivery carriers."

This article is based in part on wire service reports

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