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Late Package Deliveries Delaying Christmas Surprises

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(credit: CBSDFW.COM)

(credit: CBSDFW.COM)

(credit: KTVT/KTXA) Bud Gillett
Bud is the most veteran reporter at CBS 11 News with 42 years in m...
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MESQUITE (CBS 11 NEWS) – With time running out for wrapping Christmas gifts, many North Texans are finding lots of packages from the United Parcel Service (UPS) may not arrive on time.

UPS officials told CBS 11 News the majority of its packages have been delivered nationwide, but they can’t explain why there’s an inordinately high number of non-deliveries in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

“It’s a mess.  I think they’re overwhelmed,” said customer Dennis Maestas of Allen.  “I think they’re just not able to cope with it.”

Maestas and others were at the UPS Customer Service Office at the Mesquite inter-modal hub, a place through which most packages for the region are routed.

Maestas got an e-mail saying some of his packages were at the will-call window.  After a couple of hours waiting in line, he found they weren’t.   “I’ve been getting misinformation from UPS saying they’re trying to deliver, it’s on its truck, don’t leave your residence, we’re going to deliver today.   For whatever reason it doesn’t get delivered.”

A number of customers at the Mesquite center left empty-handed.  Like Ginny Selec, who had to drive to east Texas for her family’s Christmas Eve reunion without a gift for her mom.  “Yeah, not a fan of UPS today,” she said as she drove off the property.   Selec had waited at home until midnight Monday, as instructed, but no delivery.  Then she says Tuesday morning the online tracking changed her package location to Mesquite.  “Got here and it’s not going to happen,” Selec said frustrated. “It’s out in that yard somewhere on a semi, and it’s been sitting there since Friday.”

David Erickson of Rowlett was one of the lucky ones, though.  He went home with a package from his daughter in Virginia.  But he thinks most of those at the customer service office weren’t so fortunate.   “Kind of frustrating, because they have a line up there and a lot of people aren’t even getting their stuff.”

People like Antonio Barnes, whose tracking information said his super X-Box One package made it to Mesquite on Sunday.  But, finding it was another matter.  “And now another lady just said it’s on a truck and it won’t be pulled off no later than two to three days from now or whatever,” he said. “But it’ll definitely be after Christmas.  It’s a $1300 package for my son. I’m very upset. Everything else under the Christmas tree, it doesn’t even matter, ‘cause he’s not going to get what he wants.”

It’s not just gifts caught up in the backlog.  One woman who didn’t wish to be identified, said her husband spent the morning in customer service trying to locate paychecks for some 30 employees at a Red Oak warehouse that were due last Friday.  “I feel sorry for those people who don’t have their paychecks,” she told CBS 11.  “I’m sure a lot of them live paycheck to paycheck and they didn’t have anything to buy Christmas with.”

Late Tuesday UPS offered an apology to unhappy customers.  It said despite have done unusual Saturday and Sunday deliveries last weekend it is still not up to speed after the ice storm nearly three weeks ago.  Company officials said they suffered recurring power outages in Mesquite that hampered efforts to back get on track.

According to UPS, most of the “pre-ice storm” packages have been delivered.

But Maestas, the Allen man who made his purchases in November, isn’t buying the explanations and has given up for this Christmas.  “I went and purchased the stuff at the mall,” he told us.  “I’m just going to get this stuff and return it back to the vendor who I purchased it online from.”

(©2013 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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