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United Breaks Guitars: The Power of One Voice in the Age of Social Media [Kindle Edition]

Dave Carroll
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Songwriter Dave Carroll wasn’t the first person abused by an airline’s customer service. But he was the first to show how one person, armed with creativity, some friends, $150, and the Internet, could turn an entire industry upside down.

United Airlines had broken Dave’s guitar in checked luggage. After eight months of pestering the company for compensation, he turned to his best tool—songwriting—and vowed to create a YouTube video about the incident that he hoped would garner a million views in one year. Four days after its launching, the first million people had watched “United Breaks Guitars.” United stock went down 10 percent, shedding $180 million in value; Dave appeared on outlets as diverse as CNN and The View. United relented. And throughout the business world, people began to realize that “efficient” but inhuman customer-service policies had an unseen cost—brand destruction by frustrated, creative, and socially connected customers.

“United Breaks Guitars” has become a textbook example of the new relationship between companies and their customers, and has demonstrated the power of one voice in the age of social media. It has become a benchmark in the customer-service and music industries, as well as branding and social-media circles. Today, more than 150 million people are familiar with this story.

In this book, you’ll hear about how Dave developed the “just do it” philosophy that made him the ideal man to take on a big corporation, what it felt like to be in the center of the media frenzy, and how he’s taken his talents and become a sought-after songwriter and public speaker. And businesspeople will learn how companies should change their policies and address social-media uprisings.

Since “United Breaks Guitars” emerged, nothing is the same—for consumers, for musicians, or for business. Whether you are a guitarist, a baggage handler, or a boardroom executive, this book will entertain you and remind you that we are all connected, that each of us matters, and that we all have a voice worth hearing.

Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende

In July 2009, Dave shared with the world the first of his United Breaks Guitars (UBG) trilogy. Since then millions of people around the globe have resounded Dave's poor Customer Experience and thousands of have communicated with him about their own Good, Bad, and yes, even Ugly (GBU) customer experiences. Today he travels the world with his music and his inspiring lectures.


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5.0 von 5 Sternen Den Hals gebrochen 2. Juli 2012
Von Harlekin
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Verifizierter Kauf
... hat sich Dave Carrolls Taylor-Gitarre am 31. März 2008, als er mit United Airlines von Halifax nach Chicago flog. Das Bodenpersonal benutzte die Gitarrenkoffer damals als Wurfgeschosse und ließ ausgerechnet Daves Gitarre fallen - huch! Nach einer mehrmonatigen Odyssee durch die Service-Instanzen von United Airlines schrieb er den mittlerweile berühmten Song "United Breaks Guitars". Am 6. Juli 2009 stellte er das Video dazu auf YouTube, das bis heute fast 12 Mio. Mal angeklickt wurde (siehe [...]).

Wäre es nicht so tragisch, was sich United da geleistet hat, könnte man einfach nur schmunzeln über die Story, die Carroll in insgesamt drei Songs verpackt hat, welche die Geschichte aus unterschiedlichen Perspektiven erzählt. Mittlerweile hat er seine Erfahrungen in Sachen "Service" mit United und anderen großen Unternehmen zu Papier gebracht.

Was genau war passiert? Nach acht Monaten unzähliger Anrufe, E-Mails und Beschwerdebriefen sowie ergebnisloser, frustrierender Verhandlungen um die Haftung der Fluggesellschaft für den Schaden an seiner Gitarre (der ja ganz offensichtlich und vor den Augen mehreren Zeugen durch United-Personal verursacht worden war!) beschloss Dave Carroll, seine Stimme in anderer Weise zu erheben und nahm einen Song auf. Und dann drehte er zusammen mit Freunden und Bekannten ein "Zero-Budget-Video", das er auf YouTube hochludt und hoffte, das es zusammen mit den beiden noch folgenden Videos innerhalb eines Jahres eine Million Aufrufe erzielen würde, um so seine Erfahrungen publik zu machen. Bereits nach 4 Tagen war die Million erreicht... Der Aktienkurs von United Airlines brach um 10% ein, was einem Verlust von rund 180 Mio. US$ entspricht.
Lesen Sie weiter... ›
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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf (beta) 4.3 von 5 Sternen  36 Rezensionen
17 von 17 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen And now you know... the rest of the story 14. Juni 2012
Von PT Cruiser - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
For anyone who has ever had luggage or personal belongings destroyed by an airline without being properly compensated or perhaps not even acknowledged, this story is a triumph. The youtube video, "United Breaks Guitars" has been viewed by over 12 million people as of today and Dave Carroll gives us all of the 'behind the scenes' details about how the video was conceived and how it grew into a life of its own. Imagine, one guy from Halifax, Nova Scotia on a music gig for his band, "Sons of Maxwell" who when landing in Chicago. has the unfortunate experience of being told by people across the aisle on his United Airlines flight, that the luggage handlers are throwing around guitars while unloading the plane! This made the blood run cold of every musician on board who had checked a guitar before boarding. The rest of the story is history.

This book is all about the events on the United flight and the aftermath with all the red tape Dave Carroll went through trying to get reimbursed for the damaged guitar (Unbelievable, the hoops they tried to make him jump through, like flying back to Chicago to fill out paperwork!) and then lots of details about making the first and then second and third youtube videos. It tells about Taylor Guitar contacting him and inviting him to their plant in California and letting him choose two guitars to take home with him. He tells about speaking engagements afterwards and other opportunities afforded him on the basis on this video and the larger story. I found it to be very inspiring that there IS a way to make one small voice heard. He also examines how companies can make social media good for, and relevant to their companies. It's interesting to note that while United Airlines seemed to resent the attention and tried to ignore the whole thing, Taylor Guitars took advantage of the publicity about their guitars and expanded on it to their advantage.

There are 16 pages of color photos in the center of this book, photos of Dave, his family, his friends and of making the videos. Dave also includes the lyrics to his three UBG songs and a few others in the back of the book. There is one, Now that I was instantly drawn to and bought the mp3 on Amazon. It's in my cloud now and I'm listening to it as I write this review. (You have to go and at least listen to a sample of this song!) I'm grateful to Media Connect for providing me with a review copy of this entertaining and inspiring book.
23 von 26 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Nice background on the video 19. Mai 2012
Von Dr. Cathy Goodwin - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
I love the song United Breaks Guitars. It's catchy and the video is hilarious, especially the "funeral," the chalk outline on the ground and the guy acting like a baseball catcher.

I thought the video must have cost a ton of money, but it turns out Dave Carroll had gotten his friends to volunteer. He had some high-powered help with mixing the music and editing the video, but he didn't pay them.

What's especially interesting is the way he wrote the song. He wanted to go viral so he deliberately chose a country beat and a simple chorus refrain.

Is Dave really a humble guy from Canada? Well, Canadians in general tend to come across as low-key and unassuming. He's an entertainer who knows how to gain center stage; as he points out in the book, he was already a successful musician when he wrote this song. He managed to earn a good living and toured all over the world.

At the same time, this book isn't especially deep. It's more like a magazine article. He didn't go into any kind of analysis or even discussion of others who took similar routes, using media, such as Kevin Smith.

I suspect he'll be signing thousands of copies at his speaking engagements. He deserves everything he's got. Sure, he got lucky with the song, but he worked hard to become a speaker. He wouldn't keep getting these speaking engagements if he couldn't do a good job.

I'm not sure how you'd like it if you don't know the song, but it was a fast fun read for me.

Incidentally, I just shipped my dog from Seattle to Philadelphia. One service recommended United as being pet-friendly. Really? I couldn't hep remembering this song and I went with Delta.
11 von 12 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
3.0 von 5 Sternen A Broken Guitar Changes Business History 6. Juli 2012
Von Bryan Carey - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
Have you ever had a bad customer service experience? I would bet that every person asked that question would answer in the affirmative and many would add that the response they received was less than satisfactory. But what if the unpleasant experience involved damaged merchandise? This would certainly take things to a new level and this is exactly the experience of the author of this book, United Breaks Guitars. His prized instrument was damaged by United Airlines and he sought some type of resolution, only to be sent around in circles and never receiving the resolution he desired.

The author went on to write a song about his experience and it turned into an internet sensation. This book is about the song, the sequels to the song, and the overall experience with United Airlines, culminating in the author's new career as a social activist and speaker. A broken guitar started everything and the problem, had it been handled properly, would have been settled and put to rest. But United failed to take responsibility for its actions, leading author Dave Carroll to write a song and create all sorts of bad press for United as a result.

The best part of this book is reading about the author's ordeal and, ultimately, the positive response and outcome, not just from a resolution standpoint, but also from the standpoint of social activism. The author was already a musician, so he was not a complete unknown, but he was far from being a household name. The situation with United changed his life forever and the song's popularity exceeded his wildest dreams. Today, Carroll gives speeches on customer service and his experience has captured the imagination of consumers everywhere.

United Breaks Guitars is a personal book, but it doesn't get too personal and I like that the author knew when to say when. Many authors of books like this spend considerable time explaining their own life story, even when it has no real bearing on the book. This book offers only a small amount of background and then gets on with the story, explaining the sequence of events from the mishandling of the guitar to the many interactions the author has with United personnel as he tried to seek some sort of retribution.

I like this book's ability to show what one person can do in the age of social media and it is great how the author was able to achieve so much with the simple posting of a video. If I had to find something to criticize, it would be the book's lack of analysis and depth. It would have been nice to read about other highly- publicized customer service issues and read some compare/contrast analysis along with some more discussion on customer service in general. Instead, the book just talks about the basics of the event and leaves it at that. It leaves you wanting something more, but it is still a good book in its own way.

Customer service annoyances are common and we can all relate to the frustration experienced when something goes wrong and a business fails to resolve the problem. United Breaks Guitars is a good read about a man and his experience with a broken guitar, a video, and a newfound career as a spokesperson for customer advocacy. It shows that one person can make a difference today, in the age of social media.
11 von 13 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Great book 8. Mai 2012
Von Pete Gifford - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Verifizierter Kauf
Enjoyed the book very much. It's good to finally get the full story of Dave's damaged Taylor and the mess United caused by not taking care of the individual consumer. Actually, it's a good thing they didn't. Otherwise, we wouldn't have the songs and Dave would probably be a fireman by now. The story shows the true power of social media and of quality content in social media. Keep it up Dave!
7 von 8 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen A triumph for us all. 9. Mai 2012
Von Susan G. - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
The story behind the famous United Breaks Guitars video is an entertaining read. After Learning more about Dave Carroll it is readily apparent that more than simple luck was working in his favour. He helped transform YouTube from a showcase for piano playing cats into a respected tool for social justice .He pointed to the back of the ball park and then ... hit a home run. I liked the book !
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