UNITED BREAKS GUITARS
Dave Carroll’s now-legendary United Breaks Guitar songs are a terrific example of how to deal with conflict. Instead of ranting and raging and threatening legal action, a little creativity and humor can go a long, long way.
In the spring of 2008, Sons of Maxwell were traveling to Nebraska for a one-week tour and my Taylor guitar was witnessed being thrown by United Airlines baggage handlers in Chicago. I discovered later that the $3500 guitar was severely damaged. They didn’t deny the experience occurred but for nine months the various people I communicated with put the responsibility for dealing with the damage on everyone other than themselves and finally said they would do nothing to compensate me for my loss. So I promised the last person to finally say “no” to compensation (Ms. Irlweg) that I would write and produce three songs about my experience with United Airlines and make videos for each to be viewed online by anyone in the world. United: Song 1 is the first of those songs.
Suffice it to say that Dave’s initial video, which has received more than 5.8 million hits on YouTube, has brought him more satisfaction than United could have ever given hum by making things right. Just goes to show you that great gifts often come packaged in the form of adversity.
UNITED BREAKS GUITARS
Click here to read a story about Dave’s saga in the Los Angeles Times.
Click here to read Dave’s story as told in the Vancouver Sun. The excerpt below details the irony of ironies in Dave’s latest encounter with United.
That worked rather well. So well, in fact, that it brought Carroll worldwide publicity, an apology by the airline, compensation, and a new sideline in the arena of public speaking.
A U.S. company called RightNow Technologies had asked Carroll to deliver a keynote speech on customer service at a convention in Colorado Springs this week, but when he arrived there from Regina—on a United flight—Carroll learned his luggage had been lost.
Not a good time to be a United Airlines PR person.
Here’s the kicker: In a July 22, 2009 column, Chris Ayres of The Times Online in the U.K. claimed the Carroll mishap actually cost United $180 million, or 10 percent of its market cap:
. . . within four days of the song going online, the gathering thunderclouds of bad PR caused United Airlines’ stock price to suffer a mid-flight stall, and it plunged by 10 per cent, costing shareholders $180 million. Which, incidentally, would have bought Carroll more than 51,000 replacement guitars.”
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ABOUT PHIL BOLSTA
Through God’s Eyes: Finding Peace and Purpose in a Troubled World, is a road map for living a more peaceful, beautiful life. It’s the one book that explains how dozens of spiritual principles interact, how to weave them together into a cohesive worldview, and how to practically apply this spiritual wisdom to daily life.
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SEE EVERY MOMENT AS A GIFT
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Phil’s eBook, The Logic of Living a Spiritual Life: Supporting a Life of Faith Through Logic and Reason, is now available for 99 cents.
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• What is the cornerstone of a spiritual life, and why?
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Those who worship logic instead of God are only half right. Not only is it logical to believe in God and to live a faith-based life, the existence of a loving, benevolent God that governs all creation is perhaps the only systematic worldview that explains every aspect of life.
Phil is also the author of Sixty Seconds: One Moment Changes Everything, a collection of 45 inspiring, life-changing stories from prominent authors and thought leaders he interviewed. The roster of storytellers includes Wayne Dyer, Deepak Chopra, Neale Donald Walsch, Caroline Myss, Larry Dossey, Rachel Naomi Remen, Bernie Siegel, Dean Ornish, and Christiane Northrup. Sixty Seconds has been translated into four languages: Italian, German, Spanish, and Portuguese. Reading this book is like spending a few minutes face to face with each of the contributors and listening to their personal stories.
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