How a Broken Guitar Led to a New Web Company

Remember Dave Carroll?  Back in 2009, baggage handlers for United Airlines trashed his beloved $3,500 guitar.  When the airline wouldn’t offer appropriate compensation, the Halifax singer-songwriter took to YouTube with a video called “United Breaks Guitars,” which has since been since more than 11.5 million times.

Not only did he finally receive compensation from the airline, the incident launched a career as a public speaker on topics like social media and customer service.

Now he has a new start-up coming called Gripevine that allows interaction between customers and the companies that wronged them.  The goal is to help reach understanding, accomodation and compensation between customer and brand. (Globe and Mail story here.)

After my horrible experiences in New York City this weekend (a massive f*ck-up at a Gordon Ramsay restaurant and Air Canada losing AN ENTIRE PLANE’S WORTH OF BAGGAGE), I’m just going to go off to Gripevine for a while.

Meanwhile, let’s review “United Breaks Guitars,” shall we?

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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