CHICAGO (CBS) – Millions of people opened their Christmas gifts nearly a month ago. But some Chicago families are still waiting for the packages they sent to loved ones to arrive.
That’s because the shipping company they hired had a holiday surprise of its own, CBS 2’s Mai Martinez reports.
The people used a company called Shipping Express and most were promised their packages would be delivered to the Philippines by late November or early December. But as of Monday, dozens — possibly hundreds — of Christmas packages still had not arrived at their final destinations.
Jovito Dauz says his family was looking forward to receiving the package he shipped back in October. It was filled with shoes, computer software and clothing for several family members.
“It is so frustrating because a lot of families depend on those gifts. Sometimes that’s the only gifts that they can have during Christmas,” Dauz said.
Nena Lazar is equally frustrated about the 22 boxes she shipped over the past few months. She says the contents are worth about $10,000, and she fears her family will never receive any of the gifts.
“I’m sick to my stomach, thinking about it because it took me couple of years to save money to buy all that stuff for my aunts, nieces and nephews … it’s all gone,” she said.
Lazar’s fears and those of other customers are growing since they can’t find anyone at the business anymore. They say their calls aren’t being returned.
Many customers, including Rona Jeongco, say they’ve done business with Shipping Express in the past and had no problems. They’re not sure why the owners are avoiding them now.
“Be responsible … Call us and tell us what happened,” Jeongco said in comments directed to the owners.
It’s not just the customers the owners are avoiding. No one came to the door at their home Monday. An employee who came by to find out why he hadn’t been paid in two weeks also struck out.
“They told us all the employees that we don’t need to come because they have a problem in the company,” said Dennis Duenas, who says he’s worked for Shipping Express for about six months.
News of possible problems with Shipping Express is no surprise to the Better Business Bureau office in Chicago.
“We had a surge of complaints against this organization. They currently have our lowest rating, which is F,” said Steve Bernas, President and CEO.
As recently as this month, Shipping Express was advertising its services in the local Filipino-American news magazine, “Pinoy”. The paper pulled February’s ad because of all the complaints it’s received about Shipping Express.
Several of the customers are also planning to file complaints with Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s office. CBS 2 made several attempts to contact anyone with Shipping Express for comment but was unable to reach anyone.