Striking a chord with United Air

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He's a well-known musician in these parts, but Dave Carroll extended those boundaries with his song and video, 'United Breaks Guitars.' He also finally got attention for his months-old complaint about airline baggage handlers maliciously breaking his expensive Taylor guitar and United Airlines officials subsequently refusing to do anything about it.
Hits for the online video, done with great comic taste, were in the half-million range by the middle of Thursday. Carroll, who has performed many times locally as part of Sons of Maxwell, said there are plenty of angry songs and he wanted take a humorous approach.
Thus, in addition to plenty of notice regarding his musical offerings and wit, Carroll received calls from media outlets that wanted to know more about the ordeal.
Also, despite the stone wall he encountered among a string of United Airlines people, he heard from the company after the video began gaining popularity.
The reaction? They were good-natured. They said they wanted to use it as a textbook case on how to handle customer complaints in the future.
A bad experience with a company has turned into a glowing opportunity.
Too bad the average Joe with a valid complaint doesn't necessarily have the talent, first, to write a wildly entertaining song, then film it and load it on the Internet. But then again laggard companies don't necessarily know who's got their chops down. Polishing up your bluffs could pay off one day.
As for United's textbook case: it's too bad they hadn't caught on to good customer relations before, rather than after the fact.
As for baggage handling, for decades stories have circulated how musicians feared putting an instrument in baggage, lest it be treated ruthlessly. Some players were known to pay for an extra seat to protect their guitar.
This might serve as a textbook case for cargo workers as well. More company vigilance would be good too - and those who mishandle goods should be turfed.

Organizations: United Air, United Airlines

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