Social Media like You Tube, Facebook, Twitter etc have undoubtedly a huge impact on the consumers, either positive or negative. Inspired by the discussion that we have in the class about UnME Jeans case, I remembered a representative example of negative effect of Social Media. Musician Dave Carroll was travelling with United Airlines when he and other passengers saw baggage-handling crew throwing guitars on the tarmac in Chicago O’Hare on his flight from Halifax, Nova Scotia to Omaha, Nebraska. He arrived at his destination to discover that his $3,500 Taylor guitar had indeed suffered a broken neck. He tried to communicate with the Airlines but to no avail. He talked with three different employees who showed completely indifference towards him. Carroll says that his fruitless negotiations with the airline for compensation lasted nine months. Then, Carroll wrote a song and created a music video about his experience. The lyrics include the verse “I should have flown with someone else, or gone by car, ’cause United breaks guitars.” The song “United Breaks Guitar” became an immediate YouTube and iTunes hit upon its release in July 2009. It amassed 150,000 views within one day, prompting United to contact Carroll saying it hoped to right the wrong. The video garnered over half a million hits by July 9, 5 million by mid-August 2009, and 10 million by February 2011. Media reported the story of the song’s instant success and the public relations humiliation for United Airlines. The Times newspaper reportedthat within 4 days of the video being posted online, United Airline’s stock price fell 10%, costing stockholders about $180 million in value. What is for sure is that United Airlines lost a lot from this reaction.
The company of Taylor Guitars!!!
P.S I really like that song!!!!