While it wasn’t intentional, UPS and FedEx played the collective role of a real life Grinch this Christmas. That’s because the carriers failed to deliver many packages on time for the holiday. The backlogs were apparently due to poor weather and a spike in last-minute online shopping that was not properly accounted for. As you might expect, the companies’ social media channels were inundated with complaints.
While customers who expected their packages on time wouldn’t have been entirely pleased regardless of an earlier heads up, communication (or lack thereof) appears to have played a major role in the backlash. If UPS and FedEx had gotten out in front of the situation, had fessed up sooner that some packages wouldn’t arrive in time for Christmas, it might have mitigated the public relations disaster the carriers now face. Making matters worse for UPS, some customers of “Brown” said they received tracking notices stating their packages had been delivered. But they weren't.
This left retailers whom entrust these two carriers with their packages also scrambling to respond to angry customers. All in all, they seem to be doing a very good job of dealing with their disappointed clientele. Here are, what we believe, the most noteworthy examples of crisis communications in response to this Christmas Day Calamity.
So it turns out retailers might not be completely without blame here. Apparently, many of them extended their cutoff date to get packages to their destinations by the 24th at the last minute. Such schedules would normally be coordinated with the carriers, according to Customer Growth Partners LLC. It’s unclear if that happened this year.