My good mate, Steve Simpson, creator of UGRs (unwritten ground rules – still one of the cleverest management tools I’ve ever seen!), just posted this story on his blog. The new world of work is going to filled with this type of story – especially, I fear to say, in the airline industry where everyone blames everyone else for everything…

Remarkable development in the voice of the unhappy customer

Technology has just enabled a remarkable shift in the voice of the unhappy customer.

In March 2008, the musical group ‘Sons of Maxwell’ were travelling on United Airlines to Nebraska for a one week tour. Just prior to departure, one of the band members heard a woman seated behind them say ‘My God, they’re throwing guitars around’. Sure enough, as they looked out the window, they could see the baggage handlers literally throwing the band’s equipment.

On arrival, the band discovered that a $3500 Taylor guitar had indeed been broken.

That was the beginning of a long saga of buck passing and avoidance. After nine months, an employee from United provided one too many ‘no’s’ in response to accepting responsibility for the damage. On hearing this, band member Dave Carroll promised to make three songs about the experience and post them on the internet.

As I write this, the song ‘United Breaks Guitars’ has been viewed by over 3 million people. Yes, you read correctly, over 3 million views!!

You can view the video on YouTube by clicking here
There’s even a blog that explains the whole saga which is here.

This is a remarkable example of how unhappy customers can now be heard!


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