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United Breaks Guitars: The Power of One Voice in the Age of Social Media Hardcover – May 15, 2012

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 197 pages
  • Publisher: Hay House (May 15, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1401937934
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401937935
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 5.6 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #944,120 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Dave Carroll is a singer-songwriter and social media innovator from Halifax, Canada. Following his 2009 YouTube music video release called “United Breaks Guitars,” about his poor customer service experience with United Airlines, Dave’s career blossomed and he is now a highly-sought-after performer, content creator, author, keynote speaker, and consumer advocate.


More About the Author

Dave Carroll is an award winning singer-songwriter, social media innovator, author, speaker and consumer advocate from Halifax, Canada (visit www.davecarrollmusic.com).

With twenty years experience in the music business, when faced with a difficult customer service issue with United Airlines in 2009, Dave used his ability as a master storyteller to share his issue with the world.

The resulting YouTube music video called "United Breaks Guitars" became an instant viral hit and today over 150 million people have been introduced to his story.

With significant impacts in the areas of customer service, social media, branding and self-empowerment, Dave's career as an entertainer and songwriter has expanded. He is now a highly sought after professional speaker, a published author and he is increasingly being commissioned for songs for other people and organizations. He is also co-founder of Gripevine,an on-line customer complaints resolution platform (visit www.gripevine.com)that brings consumers and businesses together in a mutually beneficial way, resulting in improved service for consumers and improved results for companies.

His ability to extract the essence of a message and craft it into song is a rare gift that is attracting fans of all ages. His warm and often humorous delivery of his story and its implications is both entertaining and educational.

Songwriter, performer, author, speaker and consumer advocate, Dave Carroll is said to be "one of the nicest guys in the business" and complimentary to any event.

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Customer Reviews

You have written a wonderful book, Dave, that carries an inspiring and interesting story that is well written.
Barbara A. Oconnor
United Breaks Guitars: The Power on One Voice in the Age of Social Media is a fascinating book that should be part of everyone's permanent collection.
On that fateful day, Carroll's guitar would suffer severe damage and set in motion one of the most successful viral music videos to date.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By PT Cruiser TOP 50 REVIEWER on June 13, 2012
Format: Hardcover
For anyone who has ever had luggage or personal belongings destroyed by an airline without being properly compensated or perhaps not even acknowledged, this story is a triumph. The youtube video, "United Breaks Guitars" has been viewed by over 12 million people as of today and Dave Carroll gives us all of the 'behind the scenes' details about how the video was conceived and how it grew into a life of its own. Imagine, one guy from Halifax, Nova Scotia on a music gig for his band, "Sons of Maxwell" who when landing in Chicago. has the unfortunate experience of being told by people across the aisle on his United Airlines flight, that the luggage handlers are throwing around guitars while unloading the plane! This made the blood run cold of every musician on board who had checked a guitar before boarding. The rest of the story is history.

This book is all about the events on the United flight and the aftermath with all the red tape Dave Carroll went through trying to get reimbursed for the damaged guitar (Unbelievable, the hoops they tried to make him jump through, like flying back to Chicago to fill out paperwork!) and then lots of details about making the first and then second and third youtube videos. It tells about Taylor Guitar contacting him and inviting him to their plant in California and letting him choose two guitars to take home with him. He tells about speaking engagements afterwards and other opportunities afforded him on the basis on this video and the larger story. I found it to be very inspiring that there IS a way to make one small voice heard. He also examines how companies can make social media good for, and relevant to their companies.
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23 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Cathy Goodwin TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 18, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I love the song United Breaks Guitars. It's catchy and the video is hilarious, especially the "funeral," the chalk outline on the ground and the guy acting like a baseball catcher.

I thought the video must have cost a ton of money, but it turns out Dave Carroll had gotten his friends to volunteer. He had some high-powered help with mixing the music and editing the video, but he didn't pay them.

What's especially interesting is the way he wrote the song. He wanted to go viral so he deliberately chose a country beat and a simple chorus refrain.

Is Dave really a humble guy from Canada? Well, Canadians in general tend to come across as low-key and unassuming. He's an entertainer who knows how to gain center stage; as he points out in the book, he was already a successful musician when he wrote this song. He managed to earn a good living and toured all over the world.

At the same time, this book isn't especially deep. It's more like a magazine article. He didn't go into any kind of analysis or even discussion of others who took similar routes, using media, such as Kevin Smith.

I suspect he'll be signing thousands of copies at his speaking engagements. He deserves everything he's got. Sure, he got lucky with the song, but he worked hard to become a speaker. He wouldn't keep getting these speaking engagements if he couldn't do a good job.

I'm not sure how you'd like it if you don't know the song, but it was a fast fun read for me.

Incidentally, I just shipped my dog from Seattle to Philadelphia. One service recommended United as being pet-friendly. Really? I couldn't hep remembering this song and I went with Delta.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Bryan Carey VINE VOICE on July 5, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Have you ever had a bad customer service experience? I would bet that every person asked that question would answer in the affirmative and many would add that the response they received was less than satisfactory. But what if the unpleasant experience involved damaged merchandise? This would certainly take things to a new level and this is exactly the experience of the author of this book, United Breaks Guitars. His prized instrument was damaged by United Airlines and he sought some type of resolution, only to be sent around in circles and never receiving the resolution he desired.

The author went on to write a song about his experience and it turned into an internet sensation. This book is about the song, the sequels to the song, and the overall experience with United Airlines, culminating in the author's new career as a social activist and speaker. A broken guitar started everything and the problem, had it been handled properly, would have been settled and put to rest. But United failed to take responsibility for its actions, leading author Dave Carroll to write a song and create all sorts of bad press for United as a result.

The best part of this book is reading about the author's ordeal and, ultimately, the positive response and outcome, not just from a resolution standpoint, but also from the standpoint of social activism. The author was already a musician, so he was not a complete unknown, but he was far from being a household name. The situation with United changed his life forever and the song's popularity exceeded his wildest dreams. Today, Carroll gives speeches on customer service and his experience has captured the imagination of consumers everywhere.
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