When U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal put out a statement Thursday calling on UPS to issue refunds to people whose gifts were not delivered by Christmas as promised, hundreds of residents reacted — and their comments were as varied as the constituency the Connecticut Democrat represents.
Some praised Blumenthal for standing up for them. Others, using some of the senator's own words—that "Christmas was on the line"—questioned whether he understands the true meaning of the holiday. And still more said his attention should be on more pressing issues facing the country.
“I am disappointed to learn that so many consumers in Connecticut and across the country made purchases this holiday season expecting their gifts to arrive in time for Christmas, but instead were left empty-handed. The men and women of UPS – as well as the United States Postal Service and FedEx – do tremendous work this time of year, putting in grueling, long hours delivering gifts, and we are all grateful for their efforts. It is incumbent upon these companies, however, that when a customer is quoted a delivery date ahead of Christmas, gifts arrive on time. In a very real sense, Christmas is on the line. I call on UPS to do the right thing and provide refunds to people whose Christmases were a little less cheery as a result of their late deliveries.”
Reactions Roll Right In
We posted Blumenthal's statement on several Patch Facebook pages, and our fans were quick to weigh in. Here's what a few people said:
- "Senator Blumenthal did an excellent job as our A.G. And fighting for Ct consumers...But he is a U.S. Senator now..Maybe I am missing something but shouldn't the present A.G. be handling this? I would assume a sitting U.S. Senator would have more pressing issues than Christmas gift deliveries." — Steve Moyher
- "Ridiculous. Ridiculous that people's Christmases are ruined Because of delayed Packages. Ridiculous that they're issuing refunds. Ridiculous that people who wait til the last minute aren't taking any self responsibility but again are pointing the finger to blame anyone but themselves. And finally ridiculous that an elected official should waste his time and ours to make a statement regarding this topic. What have we come to?!? Lets address how many people were cold and hungry this Christmas and how much their holidays were ruined. How about that?!? Talk about #firstworldproblems. Disgusting." — Erin McLaughlin
- "Happened here, was supposed to be guaranteed for Christmas Eve , was coming from New Jersey to ct but for some reason went from jersey to Tennessee , it's out for delivery sometime today !!! Very disappointed , especially when u pay extra to get them on time and are promised they would be there." — Sarah Gray
- "Blumemthal should focus on real issues and not packages being delivered late" — Tim Begin
- "Maybe they should hire more employees during the busy holiday season and this way they can deliver on time but also help some families that need jobs. And it would help the economy of our country!" — Diane M. Brousseau
- "Didn't realize it was such a slow day in Washington, guess health care, the budget, and deficit must all be under control! Yay!" — Tabatha Feerick Ncmg
- "I'm grateful for what we have. And I have total respect for our delivery folks, especially during the holidays. One of our packages apparently arrived in Brookfield damaged, with the box empty. It happens. Problem resolved, and it certainly doesn't make my radar as a crisis. As the Grinch already figured out "Maybe Christmas", he thought, "doesn't come from a store." "Maybe Christmas...perhaps...means a little bit more!"" — Thomas J. Bittman
- "Does it really make a difference? Isn't getting together with family/friends what is important? A gift that comes later is a nice bonus. I feel sorry for people who think Christmas is only about gifts." — Judy Finucane Umstead
- "Seriously, Sentator...it's not the end of the world. As noted, Fed Ex and UPS work very hard and long hours and I disagree that Christmas was on the line. Anyone living in the United States has certainly seen and heard what Mother Nature has put upon us. I think that UPS and Fed Ex will re-imburse....People also need to order earlier, if possible to avoid delays. I'm happy to see that others have commented with compassion for these companies." — Linda Doran Pace
Blumenthal Reiterates Message as Some UPS Customers Get Refunds
On Friday, upon learning that UPS had issued refunds to some customers, Blumenthal issued another statement. He said:
"I am pleased that UPS has voluntarily taken the first step of providing refunds to certain customers whose Christmas purchases never made it under the tree. Such selective refunds are scant consolation to many other customers who were quoted delivery dates ahead of the holiday are still left out in the cold. I hope that UPS and FedEx will extend the opportunity for refunds to all consumers whose packages did not arrive in time for Christmas, and I urge them again to take that proactive step."
Blumenthal sent letters to UPS and FedEx asking for a positive response by Dec. 31.