UPS and Amazon Respond to Delivery Failures


The "Six Feet Under" DVD set didn't come in time for my friend's son, but Amazon modeled great service recovery. Unfortunately, UPS, the cause of the delivery failure, didn't measure up as well.

According to The New York Times, UPS (and to a lesser extent, FedEx) struggled to meet delivery times on Christmas Eve. Through their websites, I sent messages to both UPS and Amazon. UPS didn't respond yet, and others couldn't get in touch with the company, with one customer reporting calling four times and getting disconnected. A UPS spokesperson did provide this statement to The New York Times

"It is unfortunate for this to happen at this time of year, but we're working around the clock to fix it. We had our peak projections, and the volume has exceeded our projection.

"We are sorry."

In the meantime, Amazon responded to my inquiry within hours, refunding my entire delivery fee, and providing a $20 gift card:

Your Account
Message From Customer Service

I'm sorry to hear your order #102-0130217-1140209 didn't arrive by the guaranteed delivery date of Tuesday, December 24, 2013.

We do our best to ensure that all orders leave our fulfillment centers as close as possible to the estimated shipping date displayed when you place your order, but in this case we didn't meet that estimate.

I've checked the order details and found that we did ship this order on time but the carrier is taking time to deliver this package to your address. I've already forwarded this issue to our shipping department, they are working on this issue and they'll take strong actions so that you'll get the order as soon as possible. I can assure you that you'll get this order by December 27, 2013.

As the December 27, 2013 dateline is concerned, its the buffering item for waiting after the delivery date missed. We keep certain period of waiting after the delivery date in case the order arrive. I've checked the UPS and I assure you will received it before December 27, 2013. This delay cause, because of a failure in the UPS transportation network. I know Christmas is an important day.

In my experience, late packages arrive not long after the estimated delivery date. Please wait until (Waiting period) before requesting a refund or replacement. Otherwise, you might have to deal with returning a package. I understand that waiting for additional days can be frustrating but based on our historical knowledge of delivery times to your address; majority of the packages will reach before a replacement order would.

As per your request, I've also issued a refund of $15.10 to your card for your shipping charges. Once processed, you'll be able to see the refund request here:

Please check the tracking details for your package to verify where in the shipping process it may be.

When your order does arrive, there's no need to contact us. However, if you haven't received it by December 27, 2013, please let us know through the link below and we'll be happy to get a refund or replacement for you:

Further, I've forwarded your feedback about UPS to our shipping department--I know they'll want to hear about your experience.

We're aware that our choice of delivery services reflects on our business as a whole, and we appreciate your feedback.

I hope this helps. We look forward to seeing you again soon.

Best regards,
Anil D
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Discussion Starters:

  • Assess Amazon's email: the audience perspective, content, organization, and grammar.
  • How do you explain the difference between Amazon's and UPS's response? Why would two companies respond so differently?