Some Twitter users compared UPS to popular Christmas antagonists like the Grinch and the Scrooge, calling the tweet "dark." Others saw the humor in the tweet.
The tweet, intended as a marketing tactic for The UPS Store's shredding service, missed the mark with some customers, said spokeswoman Staci Reidinger.
"At the end of the day, we're not sitting here trying to offend anyone, we're trying to get people to just engage with us," Reidinger said. "And truly, we want people know that we do shredding."
The tweet was part of The UPS Store's shift to a lighter, "whimsical" personality on Twitter with the goal of increasing engagement, Reidinger said. The Sunday post had more than 3,000 retweets and 11,000 likes before it was deleted Monday afternoon.
Social media gives businesses the opportunity to develop their own voice, but they can also put their reputation at risk if used incorrectly. Consumer backlash comes swiftly when corporate social media accounts flub. It happened to Wendy's last year, when it tweeted an image of Pepe the Frog, a hate symbol. In 2014, United Airways posted a lewd tweet it later said was accidental.