Local turkey company faces holiday season shipping woes

Delivery delay putting holiday meals at risk

The owner of the Cajun Turkey Co. said UPS didn't ship its perishable packages on time.

You could say Billy Howell is proud as a peacock to own the Cajun Turkey Company in Addison. "This will be my 23rd year," said the man who specializes in Cajun fried turkeys. "I started in my garage in 1994."

But as he heads into one of his business' busiest times, Christmas, a shipping slip-up has his feathers more than ruffled.

"I was mad as a hornet," Howell said. "That’s putting it mildly."

On Monday, he says he had 125 boxes packed and ready to be shipped out, each containing a turkey or ham, lots of sides and dry ice to keep them fresh. Then, he says, he got a call from UPS.

"About 7:15 UPS informed me. I'm sorry, we can't come by today. Our trucks are all full," Howell recalled.

UPS, which has been dogged this season by delayed deliveries, did eventually send a supervisor to pick them up, Howell said. But to his dismay, some of the perishable packages did not leave when they were supposed to. As you might have guessed, some aren't arriving when they're supposed to either.

Howell said he is worried people will get their packages, and they won't be good to eat anymore. Each package, he said, averages around $150.

"Then they’ll call me and hold me accountable," he said is his main worry as a small business owner.

Now Howell said he’s already re-sending some of his famous turkeys, and he said UPS told him Thursday they'll help.

"They're going to use their UPS number to ship the orders for me," Howell said, at least for the first few he confirmed are arriving late. 

UPS confirms it’s covering the costs to overnight the eight tardy packages and refunding the original shipping costs. It’s unclear if Howell will have to eat the costs of the replacement food.

Howell said he wants to make things right for all his customers, even if that means eating the cost of sending them a brand-new turkey or ham.

His advice, having gone through this? "Use FedEx!" he said.

© 2018 WFAA-TV


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