Today my favorite cry out to the gods of customer service comes from a youtube video entitled United Breaks Guitars. In song it tells the story of a guitar being broken in 2008 and a musician’s futile attempt to get compensated for the repairs. It is a perfect example of why brands need to recognize that the customer has officially taken over. It’s mutiny people. New media is a frontier that will expose your faults to the masses. Almost 5 million people have watched this video and I’m certain that it has inspired other customers to get the last word.
What’s the damage? The Huffington Post quotes a U.K. paper that speculated the video and bad PR caused United to lose $180 million. Not sure I believe that this video was the only reason the company lost value but …
About a month ago United finally offered to pay for the guitar and the musician, Dave Carrol, has told them to donate the money to charity. What a stand up dude. I’m particularly fond of the chorus that suggests the band should have traveled by car but can you imagine the song he could have written about mechanics or rental car companies or fast food road food or gasoline companies or GPS makers … ? The musician has promised/threatened that he will write 3 songs about this issue and this is the first with the second in production.
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