Marketing Pilgrim's Reputation Channel

Marketing Pilgrim's Reputation Channel is sponsored by Trackur.

Musician Continues to Teach United Airlines a Reputation Management Lesson



It seems Dave Carroll is not done teaching United Airlines a lesson or two on the consequences of poor customer service. As a follow-up to his viral hit United Breaks Guitars, Carroll has released a new video:

Really, the damage was done with the posting of the first video and United has learned enough from this lesson. As United Airlines’ Barbara Higgins told Christopher Elliott:

We understand the power of social media and the implications it has on our reputation, and realize it has a role in our communicating to our guests and the public at large. We also put the highest priority on making things right directly with our customer in the most helpful, meaningful and immediate manner, and most often that means picking up the phone and calling them, rather than using social media to talk to everyone about one person’s personal travel experience. So, like most things, it’s a combination of ways to connect to our guests.

The follow-up doesn’t teach us, or United, any new lessons, but obviously Carroll’s not going to give up his 15-minutes of fame so quickly.

(Hat-tip @GoVisitHawaii)

  • BJ

    Really, I think it’s time his 15 minutes of fame is up. Now he is just becoming an annoyance.

  • Miles Christopher

    Maybe you guys haven’t been paying attention. Dave planned 3 videos, this is the 2nd one. If you don’t like the videos don’t watch them.

  • Robin Urbanski, United Airlines

    In recent statements, Mr. Carroll described our baggage service representative as a “great employee who acted in the best interests of the company,” and we could not agree more.

    He has made his point, we have since worked with him directly to fix, and in addition to unfairly singling out one of our people, the second video is suggesting we do something that we’ve already done — and that is to provide our agents with a better way to escalate and respond to special situations. While his anecdotal experience is unfortunate, the fact is that 99.95 percent of our customers’ bags are delivered on-time and without incident, including instruments that belong to many Grammy award-winning musicians.

    In our business, how we conduct ourselves is important, and all of us understand that treating each other and our customers in a courteous and respectful manner is a vital part of running a good airline.

  • http://www.marketingpilgrim.com Andy Beal

    @Miles – you are right, and in the 3rd one he hopes to have United participate. That said, when your message was heard loud and clear in the 1st video, do you really need to make #2 and #3?

  • c.palmer

    maybe you feel bad for the poor airlines… once was enough? I say put the screws too them and all companies that don’t give a sh_t about their customers… way to go and keep it up Dave , untill we see a change, do you really think that they have!!

  • C.Menke

    @ Robin – spitin’ out the “company line” seems like a sad way to get your two cents in. I could be wrong but I suppose if Dave felt things were all squared up he wouldn’t have dropped the second video.

  • http://www.jaankanellis.com Jaan Kanellis

    @Robin did you pay for his guitar repairs? If not then you have done nothing to rectify the issue he probably has with you.
    .-= Jaan Kanellis´s last blog ..Bing Shows You Who Is On Your Shared IP =-.

  • http://www.marketingpilgrim.com Andy Beal

    @Robin – as @Jaan says, I believe Carroll wants United to cover the cost of repairing/replacing his guitar–not educate United on customer service. Has that been done?

  • http://antiagingwithsasha.com sasha

    Your 15 minutes are up when the public says they are up. Not when old media thinks they up. Thats the whole idea.

    His intentions are on record. Dave Carroll said months ago he was recording three songs. Three songs it will be.

    Old media is always on about ‘getting into a dialogue with customers’.

    Be careful what you wish for :)

  • http://www.agent-seo.com Jacob Stoops

    Now it seems to be just piling on. Didn’t they comp this guy already?
    .-= Jacob Stoops´s last blog ..How Search Engines Work =-.

  • Pingback: Small Business Mavericks » Blog Archive » Reputation Assassins Need Reputation Management Too()

  • David

    I just made the mistake of flying United -Airlines this pat weekend (8/14/2009-8/17/2009). I had seen this video but had no idea it was United. I too was treated poorly and had no luck with customer service period.

    I watched their flight attendant make sure that she had a leisurely cup of coffee before she began to server drinks on the plane to the passengers. I also had other issues such as a flight that was more than two hours late. My connecting flight left 25 minutes early even though my flight was on time to catch it. This some how made my luggage get lost as well because it was not even on my flight and it was not on the connecting flight.

    I can go on and on. When I got the Denver International, I asked about a refund so I could get a flight with another airlines. When I got to the customer service desk there were literally 15 people in line with complaints ahead of me.

    I asked about a refund and the customer service attendant did not know how to look up the price of my ticket and was not even able to give me a refund. I was at gate B39 at the United Airlines Customer Service center in Denver International Airport. Where else was I supposed to go to get a refund for my United Airlines ticket????

    I desperately wanted to get away United Airlines and was willing to walk home to Dallas at this point. Needless to say they were of no help to me period.

    I would be ashamed and would not work for an employer that had 15 people waiting to complain at one time. This is not a good sign of competence or customer service.

    David

  • Stephen

    United did offer compensation ($2500) but this was after the United Breaks Guitars video was released on YouTube. Dave Carroll made it clear on his website when he released his first video that he was done being mad and wasn’t looking for compensation anymore. He said he had three songs about his experience and he was going to release them all on YouTube.
    “Song 1 is the first of those songs. United: Song 2 has been written and video production is underway. United: Song 3 is coming. I promise.”
    The “I promise” part is Mr. Carroll keeping his word. Bring on Song 3!

  • TardisJockey

    Wow, Robin Urbanski, over on Huffpost you were all excited about David, you’re “BFF” “rocking your world” because you all get along so well. And according to your post, that “great employee” who puts the company before your customers even stars in the video!

    Yet here you are whining…

    you’re just all over the place.

  • Joe

    I know Dave personaly. And i’ve done many shows with him. He is a stand up guy who deserves more than “15 minutes of fame” so to all you people out there who think he is milking it, no he is not…. He promised 3 songs, with 3 videos and that is what we are going to see from him. He is a talented singer and songwriter ( along with his brother Don) that deserves every break he gets. The entertainment business would be much better off with more people like him.

  • TJ

    Mr. Beal:

    We Canadians tend to keep true to our word, and derive satisfaction from doing so. Mr. Carroll promised Ms. Erlwig three songs; not two; not one. From the very start of his Youtube fame, he provided advanced warning that there would be three songs. He also indicated that two had already been written and performed for live audiences for months.

    Of course, in typically Canadian fashion, he also indicated that he hoped the third installment would allow for reconciliation between himself and UAL. We’re very big up here on equity and reconciliation, eh?

  • TJ

    Dear Mr. Beal:

    We Canadians tend to keep true to our word, and derive satisfaction from doing so. Mr. Carroll promised Ms. Erlwig three songs; not two; not one. From the very start of his Youtube fame, he provided advanced warning that there would be three songs. He also indicated that two had already been written and performed for live audiences for months.

    Of course, in typically Canadian fashion, he also indicated that he hoped the third installment would allow for reconciliation between himself and UAL. We’re very big up here on equity and reconciliation, eh?

  • http://www.lefthandedbassguitars.com guitars

    United hasn’t exactly been known to be on top of their reputation management, now or in the past…..

  • Gwen Goyan

    I can relate, many people suffered because of lost luggage needed for August 1st, Wedding Day disaster. Still waiting for compensation. “Sorry”, just won`t do!