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United Breaks Guitars

Or why you should never annoy a bard (in this particular case Dave Carroll of Sons of Maxwell.

The Story:

United Airlines Song Background (short version)

In the spring of 2008, Sons of Maxwell were traveling to Nebraska for a one-week tour and my Taylor guitar was witnessed being thrown by United Airlines baggage handlers in Chicago. I discovered later that the $3500 guitar was severely damaged. They didn’t deny the experience occurred but for nine months the various people I communicated with put the responsibility for dealing with the damage on everyone other than themselves and finally said they would do nothing to compensate me for my loss. So I promised the last person to finally say “no” to compensation (Ms. Irlweg) that I would write and produce three songs about my experience with United Airlines and make videos for each to be viewed online by anyone in the world. United: Song 1 is the first of those songs. United: Song 2 has been written and video production is underway. United: Song 3 is coming. I promise.

Here for the rest of the article.

The Video:

Dave's comments:


( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 12th, 2009 09:49 pm (UTC)
You know, it seems that corporate executives Just Don't Get It. They think we're still living in the 20th century, where the worst a dissatisfied customer could do is grumble about it to their friends. If you're not a small local business, the effect on your business is pretty much ignorable.

But this is the 21st century, the age of the Internet. You don't do right by a customer today, they can post a huge billboard with their side of the story that'll be seen by the entire world. And because of how people work, that billboard's going to end up showing at the top of any search results for your company, burying your own official site down on page 2 (or page 200, depending on how persistent you've been at annoying customers).

"Never annoy a bard, for they can immortalize you in song."
Jul. 12th, 2009 09:53 pm (UTC)
From the quote file, also:

"Remember: every member of your 'target audience' also owns a broadcasting station. These 'targets' can shoot back." -- Michael Rathbun to advertisers in n.a.n-a.e

Jul. 12th, 2009 10:32 pm (UTC)
Heck, they coulda remembered what Tom Paxton did to Republic Airlines even before the Internet came along to provide a nice megaphone. Now? Wheeeeeeeee!!
Jul. 12th, 2009 11:32 pm (UTC)
Good job. I hope Dave's songs give United a headache they'll never recover from. It's bad enough we're treated like criminals before we even see the plane - I won't fly ever again for that very reason - but having to put up with this?
Maybe every person in North America ought to boycott air travel - corporations won't. They're already hurting for customers; maybe one of these soulless companies needs to be killed before the others take notice.
Jul. 13th, 2009 05:00 am (UTC)
I wouldn't know from personal experience - I've not flown this millennium because I haven't had to go anywhere it wasn't more convenient to drive to from Los Angeles. The more I hear of what it's like to fly these days, the less inclined I am to in any case.
Jul. 13th, 2009 08:25 pm (UTC)
I still think someone needs to be made into an example, and United, as worst offender, should be the one.
Jul. 13th, 2009 08:54 pm (UTC)
I hope United is the worst offender because it looks like they're going to catch the penalty.

Hmm... IIRC (pause for quick google) Well now, they ARE the same airline that shrank the passenger seat sizes and then started surcharging anybody who didn't fit. I do believe you may be right there.
Jul. 15th, 2009 09:50 pm (UTC)
Of course I'm right; I'm just way ahead of the curve...
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )

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