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December 20 marks UPS's "Peak Week," wherein the shipping giant expects to handle more than 28 million packages worldwide. However, UPS might not be able to fully "deliver the holidays" this year.
While attempting to track a package this morning we were met with a message that says UPS Ground delivery guarantees are "suspended until December 26, 2012." That's the day after Christmas, obviously, and thus useless for anyone who needs their packages for the holiday proper.
Update: A short while ago, our Media Editor grilled his UPS delivery guy about the delay. He said that they had "caught up" with the ground orders, but that UPS is leaving the message there as a precaution. However, since this was first published, the message has since been taken down. According to a tweet from the UPS Help account, the content of the message was meant to indicate that the company won't be liable for refunds if items do arrive late. But they claim that most orders should be delivered on schedule.
Since the deadline for guaranteed Christmas delivery via UPS Ground has already passed, this mostly affects online orders that were already placed, as recently as December 18. However, "all other guaranteed UPS Services will be delivered within 90 minutes of normal commit time." To check the status of your UPS order, head to UPS.com.
Despite the message's specificity for ground deliveries, it remains to be seen if UPS-reliant merchants will be forced to adjust their Christmas delivery guarantees for last-minute orders or offer upgraded shipping options free of charge in the coming days.
Although disconcerting, it stands to reason that UPS really wants to get your gifts to you anyway. It doesn't want the PR disaster that comes from crying, present-less children and disgruntled adults. That said, are your holiday orders affected by this UPS announcement? Sound off in the comments below.