Dave Carroll’s “United Breaks Guitars” song and video EECB appears to be having the desired effect. Check out this tweet from United. [Twitter] (Thanks to Chris!) Update: Dave Carroll responds.

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  1. nrich239 says:

    Can you post the text for those of us blocked from twitter at work?

  2. frank64 says:

    “This has struck a chord w/ us and we’ve contacted him directly to make it right.”

  3. frank64 says:

    This sucks! I was looking forward to the next 2 songs, which I am sure will never happen.

    The way to make it right is to apologize to him and everyone they have done this too. They would pay him for his guitar and go back and look at other claims they have stonewalled and pay them. Then they will also ask their bag handlers to please not throw thing around an not steal things. They will be reminded that the bags are belongings of paying customers and should be respected. They will be fired if bags are not respected.

    Something tells me they will just pay the $3,500 and continue business as usual.

  4. SarcasticDwarf says:

    Now…does anyone have the twitter contact info for northwest/delta? There is a nice little problem where the rules stated on their website for the transport of firearms DIRECTLY contradict the TSA rules (nothing like having your luggage locked up until you get back home and having to deal with no firearm plus no clothes for the trip).

  5. David Anderson says:

    how obnoxious that United decides to “make it right” only after the guy makes a video and publicly smears United. This isn’t “making it right” – this is doing what they should have done in the first place.

    It annoys me that people have to go and stage ridiculous publicity stunts in order to get the service that they should have received in the beginning. Are we at the point where the only way to have a problem resolved is to take these measures? What about those of us who have no musical talent? Kidnapping, perhaps? Fancy dancing?

    • frank64 says:

      @David Anderson: Yes, I am being discriminated against because I have a “music disability”. It is really not fair.

      So from United’s standpoint the problem isn’t the baggage handlers throw the bags around and destroy things(that ‘s fine) and then then the customer gets stonewalled in seeking compensation(saves money), the problem is the customer PR is working and they have stop it.

    • DreamTheEndless: Death's little brother says:

      @David Anderson: Ok sure, but are you saying that if a company screws up and doesn’t handle the issue correctly the first time that it is then impossible for the company to resolve the customer’s concerns from that point on?

      This idea has been a recurring theme on consumerist lately, and I don’t like it.

      Sure they screwed up, and they handled it poorly when contacted about it, but give them a chance to “make it right” before deciding that it’s impossible for the company to do the right thing from this point on. (Of course, at this point “making it right” should include both resolving the needs of this particular consumer AND taking action to prevent this sort of thing in the future AND sharing some detail of that plan with the public. They may not do all these things, but give them the chance. Please.)

      • frank64 says:

        @DreamTheEndless: It is just that really, how many companies have actually fixed the underlying issue? Some of the smaller ones, but I really don’t think all of a sudden the handlers are going to stop throwing/stealing things and the attendants are actually going to stop being indifferent?

        It is far to easy to just pay the ONE guy off. There are undoubltly at least 100’s of others on their desk in the same boat, and I don’t think they will be showing them the same concern.

    • Nighthawke says:

      @David Anderson: He said/she said, coming from the defendant does not make a right. I have to see this coming from the plaintiff for me to believe. I’m just too cynical of chronically bad businesses the likes of United. If they are bluffing, then their goose is cooked.

    • econobiker says:

      @David Anderson: “What about those of us who have no musical talent? Kidnapping, perhaps? Fancy dancing?”

      How about http://www.untied.com to complain?

      Obviously, if a company has a complaint website with that much complaint info on it it and it doesn’t give a Sh*t, takes a tune to get their attention.

      • David Anderson says:

        @econobiker: It shouldn’t have to “take a tune to get their attention”. The fact that there was a complaint about their baggage handling practices should be enough to get some notice. The guy’s guitar was damaged, other passengers witnessed the baggage handlers tossing the guitar around on the tarmac – yet they chose to ignore it until he got some publicity. That’s what annoys me – that it isn’t an important customer service issue until you get your story told on the Consumerist.

    • twophrasebark says:

      @David Anderson:

      I’m with Dream.

  6. starrion says:

    Perhaps they could stage a talent show for people looking to shame the corporations that are ignoring them.

    Songs about lost/destroyed luggage

    Later:

    A disgrunted customer’s mime act about how Verizon set her house on fire

    Then:
    Slam poetry readings on Bank of America

    You TOOK MY MONEY!
    Then you BLAMED ME!
    Scummy Bankers
    SET OUR TAX MONEY FREE!

    Concluding with the “Comcast Sucks” dance troupe.

  7. shackleton says:

    Thats crazy – I hope that he doesn’t sell out.

    -United airlines first response at [twitter.com] was

    @rockitdev Love your client’s video. Not all r as honest as he. That is why policy asks for claims w/in 24 hours. No excuse; we’re sorry.

    In other words they told him to shove it until they saw it spreading

    • johnsakalauskas says:

      You would @shackleton: You’d think that the United Airlines reps in Chicago could have told him that when he mentioned the problem, or perhaps the reps at his destination in Nebraska.

  8. mizike says:

    So now that they’re being publically shamed they’re willing to pay up. How surprising. It’s ridiculous that the only way to get compensation for being screwed over is through these heroic measures which are not only time intensive, but not available to 99% of the public. It reminds me of the time that the mythbusters guy got a $10k phone bill; sure, he’ll get the bill dropped because he’s a (minor) celebrity but the next person that gets overcharged by 5000% is still SOL.

  9. y2julio says:

    Why are companies proving customer support twitter instead of shifting that effort into their normal customer support channels? Anyone thinks it’s wrong that people now have to go to twitter to get things fixed by companies instead of being able to deal with the companies using their own services?

    • FDCPAGuy says:

      @y2julio:

      It seems like this is all a combo of ‘the squeaky wheel gets the grease’ and then you being a squeaky wheel publicly to a few thousand people or more.

    • spoco says:

      @y2julio: its a fad. I am a web marketing director at a corporation – I was told from the CEO’s office to get us on that twitter thing.

    • econobiker says:

      @y2julio: In line with what FDCPAGuy above said:

      “Squeaky wheel gets the grease.”

      “Really squeaky wheels get the grease fast.”

    • dohtem says:

      @y2julio: It’s not customer support, it is public relations.

  10. Victor Luft says:

    At least they pun.

  11. sybann says:

    They can suck it – I’m still boycotting both United and whatever airline it was that recently screwed someone else over (and since I can’t remember which airline it was I’m just not flying anywhere – it helps that I’m poor, have dogs so drive everywhere now, and have an irrational fear of flying since 9/11).

    • econobiker says:

      @sybann: Aside from your personal fears and pets, driving is often faster and cheaper than flying now.

      Business trip from Nashville, TN to Chicago, IL was cheaper to rent a mini-van and drive up there for 4 people traveling. Flights would have cost more, taken more time, have required <3oz personal care bottles plus TSA inspection, and had us eating overpriced airport food…

      • jamar0303 says:

        @econobiker: On the other hand, if you’re going onward to Shanghai like I do so often it’s easier to go airside at Nashville and deal with the connection than drive to Chicago and board there. Though with the Shanghai-Chicago flight (on UA, of course) being delayed practically every year I’ve been on it (it was a domino effect starting with the inbound flight last year, it was the discovery of a passenger with swine flu on board this year) leading me to miss the last connection to Nashville of the day (had to stay overnight last time, was “Rule 240’d” onto an American flight this time) I may just do that. How long is the drive?

  12. trujunglist says:

    Oh my, how terribly witty. We screwed up and instead of taking it seriously, let’s make a funny! Wheee, business is actually a joke, where we may or may not screw you over depending on how popular your problem gets!

  13. Dansc29625 says:

    I am at a website for an airline that was founded in 1934 and am looking at a page of text messages.

    There is no way I am going to be a passenger on this airline.

  14. redkamel says:

    its strange that companies think they need a twitter account to be
    hip/cool/connected or whatever, but then they refuse to do basic services. Frankly I dont care if any company I use does social networking, its a company. I want them to do what they are supposed to do, like not break luggage and then refuse to compensate for it.

    Actually doing your job will garner a lot more “street cred” than twitter. Example: All my friends know Verizon has the best coverage around here because they actually do, not because of a facebook.

    Long story short: United, stop twittering, and work on doing your job.

  15. lehrdude says:

    My suitcase was left out in the rain after my trip from New York. I wonder what will happen when I write my song…”United Wet My Pants”

  16. Wes Snypes says:

    TSA is worse–they seem to deny all claims, having the out of blaming the airline. Three bags damaged on three different flights and one of them could only have occurred by someone trying to separate a combination briefcase-suitcase wrecking the joining zipper in the process.

  17. Cupajo says:

    Yet another case of a company sorry, not for the gross ineptitude and indifference that their employees have shown to paying customers, but for the the fact that it has gotten so much attention. Do the right thing, but only after negative PR force you to.