The UPS delivery debacle raises a lot of questions: People will forgive companies a lot of things, but not screwing up their Christmas. So, how big a scar will this be for UPS (and to a lesser extent FedEx); and do we have the infrastructure to actually handle the shift to online shopping at peak times? Next, that dramatic increase in deliveries this time of year has meant an equal increase in the trash from all the packaging it takes to get goods from Amazon and others to consumers. Finally, Southwest is hiring hundreds of flight attendants (thousands have applied for the jobs) and other airlines are putting up the 'Help Wanted' signs too, after a long period of cuts.
Happy Holidays! Chances are you or someone you know bought something online this year. And, it makes sense, since you can buy everything from electronics to groceries with the click of a button. Many online retailers have policies that make it inexpensive to return what you don't like, but online buying returns are becoming so frequent, they're starting to eat into profits. There's another group of holiday spenders who aren't watching their pennies quite so closely. A look at how the other half spends Christmas Immigration reform has been in the news a lot this year, and unfortunately, that creates an opening for scam artists. They'll tell immigrants they can help them get green cards, even when they aren't eligible under current law. Many Syrians are leaving the war-torn country for Germany, but what's it like to start a new life in one of the wealthiest countries in Europe?
Toys R Us is staying open for 87 straight hours for last minute shoppers. Also, do people with birthdays on Christmas really get fewer presents? Marketplace’s Adriene Hill went in search of the answer. Plus, it’s been a monster year for companies going public, and that means this holiday season the newly-rich employees of those companies will have to manage their friends and families gift expectations. Finally, Ukraine, one of Europe's biggest countries, has been courted by east and west - the European Union offered Ukraine an historic free trade deal, Russia wants Kiev to join ITS economic bloc.
Apple and China Mobile announce a deal that could potentially put the iPhone into the hands of 700 million new Chinese customers. Next, we all know about the big Target hack that compromised the debit cards of millions of Target’s shoppers. What made the company and makes so many American companies vulnerable to this kind of attack: the magnetic strip. Why are we still using it when so many other countries have moved onto more secure credit and debit cards? Finally, it’s D-day for millions of uninsured who want to get their policies in motion by Jan. 1.
With the deadline for healthcare.gov sign ups looming 72 hours away, we look at how administrators are preparing: If the rush of customers is a coming flood, what are the Obamacare sandbags and where are they being deployed? Lead bullets are on their way out. Fourteen states have banned them, the military is phasing them out, and on Dec. 1, the EPA is shutting down a bullet-producing lead smelter. But hunters say a shift to copper will make bullets more expensive and less effective, and even could raise copper prices. Finally, today’s glance at third-quarter GDP numbers are good. The country is growing at a rate of more than 4 percent. But unemployment is still high, wages are still not growing, and while companies are thriving and sitting on piles of cash, Americans, for the most part, are not.
Target has revealed that data for more than 40 million customers have been stolen from its retail network. But what on earth does a thief do with all those credit card numbers? How can they be used and for what purpose? Next, what’s the perfect gift for traditionalists this Holiday Season? Light bulbs – the old-fashioned kind invented by Thomas Edison a century ago. They are banned as of Jan. 1, and lots of people will miss them. Plus another installment from our travels across Europe, looking at unemployment among the young.