Yael T. Abouhalkah

Tardy, spoiled U.S. shoppers also to blame for shipping fiascoes

Updated: 2013-12-28T23:49:38Z

By Yael T. Abouhalkah

The Kansas City Star

Americans are heaping a lot of blame on FedEx and UPS for the shipping fiascoes that caused untold numbers of gifts to be delivered after Christmas.

Sure, the shipping companies made mistakes, such as not hiring enough part-timers to handle the growing volume of Internet-based shoppers.

And the icy, snowy weather played a role as well, grounding or delaying flights across much of the country in the days leading up to Christmas.

But let’s put much of the blame where it really belongs: on the spoiled and tardy U.S. shoppers.

We have become conditioned to believe in fast, often free, delivery of all kinds of goods, from electronics to refrigerators.

The oddest stories to read in the aftermath of this year’s troubles centered on those told by people who were doing their online shopping on the last weekend, expecting their gifts to make it to points far and wide in the next day or two before Christmas.

Let’s face it. Shopping can be a chore, but if you want to make sure your mom, brother, niece and aunt get their presents before the big holiday, leave more than a day or two for FedEx and UPS to deliver them.

As some experts are pointing out after the fact, the shippers could charge more money the closer it gets to Christmas to encourage people to ship early.

That’s a great idea. It even sounds like a free-market solution to the problem.

To reach Yael T. Abouhalkah, call 816-234-4887 or send email to abouhalkah@kcstar.com. Follow him at Twitter.com/YaelTAbouhalkah.

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