As I have mentioned in several other entries, our dollars as consumers are by far our biggest tool for affecting change and ensuring the companies we buy from (or choose not to buy from) act in a responsible and ethical manner.
When a company does wrong, the best thing we can do is take our dollars elsewhere and if possible make sure the company and as many of their potential customers know exactly why we no longer give that firm our money.
I believe this is an effective tool. I haven’t eaten at a Burger King for around 15 years due to a couple of really horrible customer service incidents and I don’t miss them one bit. I also boycotted Wendy’s until a few years after Dave Thomas’ death because he directed the philanthropic arm of the company to give millions each year to anti-gay reprogramming camps. Seriously, millions of bucks to fund those guys that kidnap GLBT people and then hold them against their will while subjecting them to psychological torture until they “repent” And just think you may have thought the movie “Saved” was a joke lol. Dave Thomas didn’t think so, and he made sure your hamburger purchases funded every victim they could find. After his death, Wendy’s discontinued this financial support, due largely to pressure from GLBT groups and today has one of the most progressive partner benefits programs in the industry.
Anyway, I ran across this online. Dave Carroll is the lead singer of Sons of Maxwell, a Canadian based band. Dave describes his experience with United Airlines below:
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.
Carroll’s musical response to his mistreatment by United Airlines is a gloriously comical retort to what is sadly a system which gives seemingly weak consumers the brush off more often than not. It’s also quite catchy, and more than anything I would think it’s much more than United thought.
This is only the first of three promised songs regarding the incident. And, I would think that UAL will end up taking a PR hit worth much more than the $3500 they should have paid Mr. Carroll in the first place.
Read the full story at Carroll’s site: http://www.davecarrollmusic.com/story/united-breaks-guitars/
I truly think this sort of activism is great. I encourage you all to link this post to as many sites as possible and email it to your friends. Let’s help David Carroll send a strong message about proper treatment of customers.