The schools closed for the holidays in late December for 1-2 weeks. But, all the schools said they needed a 10 day processing window once things arrive at the school. If things went to the physics department directly, then that's one thing and everyone is in the same boat. But if things had to be sorted in the general admissions office for the whole school then part of that processing time is going to them sorting out other programs' paperwork in addition to yours and that seems like a lot of wait time for us. That was something I was unaware of when I planned my test dates. If I knew I would have taken the April test and been early everywhere.
BUT, when I called ETS in early January, I was told the sole ETS additional support guy took the first week of January off. I would have fired such a person. Many people took that week off because of Ford's death on the 2nd, leaving only a 3 day week. BUT, an ETS person should realize what is at steak here. That is the business they are in.
I also had 3 schools who went beyond the 10 day processing window and were till reporting they had not received the score. They had a phone message machine on for most of the day. One of the schools said a phone call by me was required weeks before even though they sent e-mails not to contact them. Getting worried in one case, I paid to resend my scores and that time it was received and noted. So, that must have been lost inside the school for the first time it arrived.
I really don't know how much the 'late to pile' situation has an affect. To anal-retentive bean counters they may just put you in a rejection pile for being late and you will never know with the logic that everyone else was on time. But, I think they also know they are dealing with ETS. But, I think they still assume its our responsibility to check. Real frustrating!