Updated: 12/27/2013 7:17 AM
Created: 12/26/2013 4:42 PM KSTP.com
By: Beth McDonough
A promise was broken by UPS and FedEx.
Both companies guaranteed delivery of packages by Christmas. For some frustrated customers, their orders didn't arrive on time.
We called both delivery companies and asked for specifics on how many packages have been delayed in the area. The answers came back in emails.
FedEx said the number is small compared to the millions of shipments it handled nationwide. UPS said, "We're sorry."
Tell that to the Minnesotans still waiting for their presents, like Kristin Haertel of Edina.
"It's the loss of a gift that hurts the most," she said. "I mean most gifts you get people you can replace, this one couldn't be replaced."
Haertel planned well in advance because she planned personalized gifts for her friends. Her packages were confirmed for delivery by Dec. 18, a week before Christmas. Yet, when it came time to open gifts, "I sat there and didn't have a gift to give, I do believe sometimes it is better to give than receive and it was really hard, really hard. It meant a lot to me- those gifts."
She tracked her packages online, only to find out they got lost in UPS system. She tried to re-order, but the store was sold-out. "I was never gonna get it and they couldn't replace it, so I was very upset."
Kevin Sperle of Minneapolis can relate. "I was stuck because I didn't have a gift for my grandson," he said.
He bought the toy wagon a month ago during Thanksgiving. Here it was the day after Christmas and still nothing. "I was ahead of the game, but it was out of my control," he said.
UPS confirms its system was overwhelmed by higher-than-expected online sales, causing the excessive backlog. For its part, FedEx told us there were no major service disruptions and that it's addressing any isolated incidents.
We found it ironic that in Southeast Minneapolis we came across a UPS delivery truck playing catch-up with a FedEx truck right behind it.
Sperle realizes the missing gift isn't the end of the world, but it is upsetting. "We all want to have gifts for our children and grandchildren and those that are special in our lives during the holidays. And if you don't have anything to give them, then everyone's disappointed."
Both Sperle and Haertel told us they're thinking twice about ordering online next year.
That's why retailers like Amazon are doing damage control. It's been notifying some customers that it will refund shipping charges and give credit toward a future purchase.