Boise family still waiting for gifts shipped via UPS, FedEx

Credit: Zach Stotland

With a smile on his face, Mike Slotemaker manages to keep upbeat after his family's holiday presents were delayed this season.

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by Jamie Grey

Bio | Email | Follow: @KTVBJamieGrey

KTVB.COM

Posted on December 26, 2013 at 10:44 PM

Updated Friday, Dec 27 at 3:58 PM

BOISE -- FedEx and UPS package delays across the country had thousands of families anxiously waiting for the door bell to ring and their packages to appear before Christmas. For many, that didn't happen. Now, the companies are scrambling to catch up.

Apologies have come from both shipping giants. UPS is offering to refund shipping charges, and employees are working extra hours trying to get caught up.  Amazon is giving shipping refunds and $20 gift cards to customers affected.  UPS is hoping to have packages delivered by Friday.

Still on Thursday, there's a backlog and of course that means a backlash. Some are downright angry about the problem, others are taking it in stride.

"We held out hope for Christmas Eve. The running joke was we would go check every time we heard a car come up and down the street and see, is it here yet? And it never happened, even at 11:30 at night," Mike Slotemaker of Boise said.

UPS says bad weather, high volume and a shopping season shortened by an early Thanksgiving are to blame for delivery delays. The company had predicted nearly 8 million packages would come through its system this holiday, but NBC reports are that online shopping jumped dramatically this year.

UPS released a statement Tuesday that said: "The volume of air packages in our system exceeded the capacity in our network ... We apologize."

Some people have been angry or upset, taking to the internet with complaints. Others say it's a risk of shopping online, and while it's frustrating, they understand that.

Slotemaker says he ordered most of his gifts on Cyber Monday, and then he ordered a few more shortly after. His last order was on December 10. While he wanted the gifts by Christmas, he says the holiday was still great.

"It did not ruin our Christmas. Our biggest Christmas gift was having our college kids home from Oregon and Montana," Mike Slotemaker said. "We've got our little family traditions, certain video games, opening one present Christmas Eve, and it didn't affect any of that."

He doesn't know when some gifts, like some goofy coffee mugs that have been family tradition, will arrive.

"I wouldn't be surprised if the doorbell rang while we're talking, or if it's a week later. I have no idea," Slotemaker said.

While they hope this delay doesn't make it into the family tradition list, the backlog has definitely made some memories.

"So just a few things didn't make it, but it's enough where we will remember this Christmas forever because this was the Christmas that every time a car went up and down the street, we were running to the door to see, is that the UPS guy?" Slotemaker said.

KTVB has heard from many customers who are frustrated or anxious, as well as from delivery drivers' families who say their loved ones have been working extra hours and missing Christmas at their own homes to try to catch up for customers.

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