Saturday, July 25, 2009

It Takes a Village of Bad PR

Perhaps you've heard about this fella Dave Carroll. Dave had a guitar destroyed by United Airlines once, and when they refused to reimburse him (on multiple occasions) for the instrument he relies on for his livelihood, he used his livelihood to fight back. He wrote a little ditty called "United Breaks Guitars" and posted the video on YouTube.

More than four million watched the video in a few days, and United's stock dropped 10%. But even though I wrote those two facts as one sentence, they are probably totally unrelated events. But it's fun to think that Dave had that sort of power.

United has since offered Dave compensation for his guitar.

People have this idea that being on the road in a band is glamorous. And a family member of mine has done some pretty serious touring with some pretty well-known acts. In other words, he's done everything from the drive-yourself-van-touring to the high-end-take-care-of-everything-for-you arena shows. It's not an easy life at all. And even at its best, it just ain't glamorous.

And, in fact, this same family member had a similar issue with Delta airlines a few years ago. I can't remember the exact details of the story, but Delta either lost his guitar amp or killed it. Letters and phone calls had absolutely no effect on Delta's response. They claimed no responsibility.

Unfortunately for Delta, this family member knew a reporter on the music business beat at Nashville's largest paper. As you might expect, the Nashville musician market is pretty important for any airline that flies through Nashville.

Delta's response was swift. He was compensated and received a phone call from the CEO and a letter of apology.

I think I can extrapolate from two examples to see a pattern. Airlines say, "Fuck you" until fucking you costs more than not fucking you. With customer service like that, it's almost hard to believe the airline industry is in such rough shape.

Actually, I wonder if I can extrapolate further to see the pattern in the overall US economy - a whole lotta "Fuck you," followed by, "Now bail us out, please, i.e. fuck you again until we're back on our feet ready to keep fucking you."

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At 11:45 PM , Anonymous curt(bald bro said...

another nice "diversion" :-)

At 7:12 AM , Anonymous curt(bald bro said...

At 7:07 PM , Anonymous curt(bald bro said...


At 12:36 AM , Blogger ArtsyFartsyTim said...

B&E rocks


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