Bonus Episode: Dave Carroll

United Breaks Guitars, 10 Year Anniversary


Dave Carroll

On July the 6th 2009, the business world learned the true power of Social Media in a lesson that would become the case study for customer service, sales and marketing professionals the world over. This is the story about the power of one voice in the age of Social Media and how organisations can no longer hide behind their brand. We catch up with Dave Carroll on the tenth year anniversary of this story to find out how this event has changed his life over the last ten years and what has happened since.

Dave Carroll is an award winning singer songwriter, a professional speaker, author and social media innovator based in Halifax, Nova Scotia in Canada. An unfortunate incident that Dave experienced while traveling with United Airlines led to one of the most widely used case studies in both customer service and social media ‘United Breaks Guitars’, now with more than one hundred and fifty million people worldwide being exposed to this story.

[01.39] Dave tells the story behind United Breaks Guitars– whilst traveling with his band, Sons Of Maxwell, Dave recalls what happened on the day he boarded the plane to Nebraska and the nine month battle to try and reap some compensation. In the early days of his campaign Dave tells us that a good friend of his took a month off work to help organise Dave’s interviews and meetings, support came from all over including Bob Taylor from Taylor Guitars.

[11.54] Dave shares how this event changed his life – from being a struggling independent songwriter and volunteer firefighter to opening up opportunities to becoming a successful keynote speaker and more.

[15.59] Dave shares his thoughts around the power of social media back then and now – Dave’s case study proves that one person can have a powerful voice when using the different platforms of Social Media. However, it can be misused and needs to used effectively.

[17.42] Has Dave flown with United since? – Dave tells us that he flies with United Airlines on a regular basis.

[18.44] Are the sons of Maxwell still together? – Yes, the Sons of Maxwell are still together, however, they don’t tour and play as much as they used to do, due to family commitments and work.

[19.24] It’s 10 years ago since the United Breaks Guitars, have United learned their lesson when it comes to customer service and social media in your opinion? – Dave feels that for a big company like United Airlines, it’s often hard to get where you ideally need to be to present yourself positively in Social Media when you are dealing with it being unionised and internal cultural issues. However, Dave feels that United Airlines do monitor social media very closely.

[23.25] What is Dave working on now? – Dave now facilitates his own story telling workshops helping people from the initial creativity to the delivery.