Saturday, July 11, 2009

Complaining Web2.0 Style

Back in 2008, the band Sons of Maxwell were on their way to Nebraska for the start of a one-week tour. They were flying via Chicago's O'Hare airport and while sitting on the runway waiting to depart O'Hare a number of people on the plane commented that the United Airlines baggage handlers were throwing around a guitar. Dave Carroll, lead singer of Sons of Maxwell realised that it was his own Taylor guitar. Dave would later discover that the handlers had caused $3500 worth of damage.

United Airlines didn't deny what had happened but for the next 9 months Dave got passed from employee to employee, each of whom just failed to take any responsibility for dealing with the damage. Dave was finally told that United Airlines would offered the singer a $1,200 flight voucher to cover the costs for his guitar repair, as he had not followed the correct complaints procedure.

Feeling that there was nothing that Dave could do, he told the last person who gave him this news that he planned on writing and producing 3 songs about the experience. He also promised to create videos for each song that would be posted online for everyone to see. Below is Sons of Maxwell's first of these songs, simply titled 'United: Song 1'. The second song, 'United: Song 2' has been written and the video production is currently under way.The third song will follow soon.

'United: Song 1' was posted on YouTube 5 days ago on the 6th of July. In that short space of time the video has already received over 2 million views.

In light of this, United Airlines was forced to apologise to Dave and the band. The airline issued a statement via Twitter, saying: "This has struck a chord [with] us and we've contacted him directly to make it right."

In true internet brilliance, the 'United: Song 1' video now ranks number 2 in Google for searches on "United Airlines" and number 4 for searches on "Taylor guitar".

You can follow Dave on Twitter and read the full story of what happened on Dave's website.

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