A costly ‘No’

Airlines often manage to misplace baggage or, in some cases, cause damage and generally they end up paying out a bit of compensation.

When Canadian musician Dave Carroll had his Taylor guitar damaged at Chicago’s O’Hare airport, he contacted United Airlines to ask for compensation. After a year of trying, United Airlines finally refused his claims.

So, being a songwriter, Dave Carroll wrote a song called ‘United Breaks Guitars’ and posted it on YouTube. In just ten days, the song was viewed four million times, far exceeding his expectations. What’s more, United Airline shares fell by 10%, knocking a rather significant $180 million off the company’s value.

Dave Carroll was invited onto TV and radio shows, the song became the 20th bestseller on iTunes Canada and his group’s album began to sell….for the first time!

Stunned by events, United Airlines suddenly offered to pay for the repair of the guitar (about $1,000) plus $700 in travel vouchers. Carroll told them to….give the money to charity.

Dave Carroll is planning two more songs about the incident, particularly relating to the customer service side of things, and Taylor Guitars have offered him a new guitar for the purpose. In the meantime, United Airlines have apparently requested permission to use the video use for training purposes to ensure all customers receive better service from the company in future.

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