United Breaks Guitars – Dave Carroll Breaks United

July 23, 2009 at 10:35 pm (economy, News) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

I ended my last post regarding the United Breaks Guitars video with: “I guess an important lesson for companies to learn is that the consumer is no longer helpless to retaliate. It will be interesting to see if any of these videos affect United’s bottom line.”

Well, guess what? It has affected the company. This morning many news outlets across the globe are reporting on the financial fallout from Dave Carroll’s YouTube video, United Breaks Guitars. The Times reporter Mike Harvey from San Francisco noted, “Consumer revenge, it seems, is best served with a video camera and three-part harmonies.”

In the past disgruntled customers could only threaten physical harm on company representatives who they felt had wronged them (this usually did not end well), but could not threaten fiscal harm to an entire company. This video has caused a 10% drop in airline stock price resulting in a loss of $180 million dollars to shareholders. “Which, incidentally, would have bought Carroll more than 51,000 replacement guitars” as reported by Chris Ayres of The Times.

For updates on the Dave Carroll saga you can follow him on Twitter: @DaveCarroll or Curve Productions: @curveprod

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United Puts on the Breaks

July 13, 2009 at 7:06 pm (economy, News) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

SOMDave Carroll of the eclectic Canadian Pop-Folk music group Sons of Maxwell was traveling with the group in the Spring of 2008 to perform in Nebraska when he witnessed United Airlines baggage handlers throwing his Taylor Guitar. The result of this action was $1200 in damage to his guitar, which, though now fixed, is still not the same as it was. After over a year of dealing with United his claims for compensation were denied several times.

So what, that stuff happens everyday…. well here’s where it gets interesting:

Mr. Carroll informed the last United representative to deny his claim that he would be writing three songs about his experience with the company, which will be made into music videos. The first of these is already online with song number 2 already written and video preproduction in the works.

His goal was to have over 1 million views during the course of a year. Less than one week later he has 2,600,126 views and 21,177 people rating it in average of 5 stars. He has also been covered by CNN and other news outlets across the country, even getting a personal video response from Bob Taylor at Taylor Guitars – Carroll has reportedly been given two guitars from Taylor [unconfirmed].

CNN reported that United will use the video as “A unique learning opportunity,” and will somehow integrate it into their training program. I guess an important lesson for companies to learn is that the consumer is no longer helpless to retaliate. It will be interesting to see if any of these videos affect United’s bottom line. Even if they do not, I can’t wait to see the next two videos.

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