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Sen. Blumenthal Calls On UPS To Refund Customers For Delayed Christmas Packages

A United Parcel Service (UPS) worker unloads a truck in New York on January 8, 2010. (credit: Timothy A. Clary/AFP/Getty Images)

A United Parcel Service (UPS) worker unloads a truck in New York on January 8, 2010. (credit: Timothy A. Clary/AFP/Getty Images)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – UPS says it hopes the vast majority of its shipping will be back on track Thursday following a pre-Christmas surge that snarled deliveries.

“We know how important everyone’s holiday deliveries are to them, and we apologize to those who experienced delays. The volume of air packages in our system exceeded the capacity in our network as demand was much greater than the forecast,” UPS spokesman Mike Mangeot said. “UPS is working diligently to process all of the packages that have yet to be delivered. We sorted packages overnight at Worldport and our drivers will be very busy today to get those packages delivered. We expect that the majority of any delayed packages will be delivered today.”

Shipping problems hit both UPS and FedEx prior to the holiday. The companies blamed them on overloaded systems and bad weather in some parts of the country. FedEx however did not characterize the delays as major.

“Our 300,000 team members delivered outstanding service during this holiday season, and we experienced no major service disruptions in the week before Christmas despite heavy volume,” Parul Pajajm, a FedEx spokesman, said. “Every single package is important to us, and we will continue to work directly with customers to address any isolated incidents.”

On Thursday, Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) called on UPS to offer refunds to customers who were quoted a delivery date of Christmas but whose packages failed to show up on time.

“The excuses simply don’t cut it and what UPS and FedEx and others should do is offer refunds right away to consumers whose Christmases were made less cheery because of late delivery,” Blumenthal told WCBS 880. “There’s an implicit obligation when a company promises on-time delivery for a holiday to make sure the gift arrives for Christmas, not a day after because it’s certainly a real downer if they’re deprived of on-time delivery.”

The shortened holiday shopping season didn’t help, along with online shopping and last-minute procrastination.

UPS and Fed Ex said that workers were out in force delivering packages on Thursday, CBS 2’s Alice Gainer reported. It was of little comfort for customers who had expected delivery ahead of the holiday.

“I paid extra delivery costs to guarantee by Christmas Eve and it did not arrive,” Kelly Gallagher said.

There were almost no presents at the Madsen home where a little girl was left waiting on Christmas morning.

“I was really excited to see her face and it didn’t happen so I was disappointed,” Vickie Madsen said.

Fed Ex and UPS did not say how many packages were late but both companies apologized and brought in additional workers to clear up the back log.

Customers can track their individual UPS packages by clicking here.

Meanwhile, Amazon.com said it was refunding shipping charges on any of its shipments that were delayed, and giving out $20 gift cards.

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