After a week in the Mexican sun, I’m back connecting customers to corporations, trying to open lines of communication and relieve frustration.
Two days later, I have a bunch of victories to report. You’ll find stories posted below about a 12-year-old boy’s savings at TD Canada Trust, a new mother’s concern about nursery furniture bought at Stork Craft and a student’s battle with defective hinges on an HP laptop computer.
I’m not alone in this fight. Last July, musician Dave Carroll released a video, United Breaks Guitars, that went viral on YouTube. When denied compensation because he didn’t file his claim within a 24-hour period, he decided to write and record a bluegrass lament about how badly customers are treated.
The airline finally did agree to pay for repairs, but only in response to negative publicity. Carroll nixed the offer and recorded two more videos.
The latest, released tonight, thanks United for helping to relaunch his career. He knows that the 9 million YouTube views of his videos were worth much more than the $1,200 he put out to fix his Taylor guitar.
Along the way, he’s done media interviews and he’s been adopted by business schools as a case study in poor customer service. Well done, Dave.
Here’s his final comment as he touches down on the landing strip:
I had hoped that creating these videos might make a big corporation rethink how they think of each and every customer, but could never have imagined the potential hidden inside a music video and a few social media tools.
Corporations of all kinds around the world now feel compelled, in part because of United Breaks Guitars, to build in a better model for customer care into their businesses. Iâ€™m proud to have been a part of it but the real credit goes to the millions of people around the world who took the time to laugh and tell a friend.