retail news in context, analysis with attitude

The Chicago Tribune reports about Dave Carroll, the Canadian folksinger who leapt to fame a few years ago when, after a bad customer service experience while flying, he wrote a song called “United Breaks Guitars” and put it up on YouTube. More than 11 million people have seen it since it was posted in mid-2009, and it has become an anthem for people upset about declining customer service levels (and a cautionary note for any product or service supplier about how consumers can strike back in the new economy).

Now, the Tribune writes, Carroll is teaming with a venture capitalist and a website designer for a site called Gripevine.com, which aims to be “the first online social media platform for consumer-complaint resolution."

Carroll tells the Tribune that “the site doesn't want to be a complaint board or brand-bashing site but a place where companies can get documented complaints from consumers and try to resolve them.”

This is Carroll’s second attempt at developing a customer complaint website; the first did not work, he says, because he tried to do it alone and simply did not have the tools and skill set to make it work.
KC's View:
he story notes that Carroll has a book coming out in May, entitled "United Breaks Guitars: The Power of One Voice in the Age of Social Media.” I look forward to reading it, because the subject is compelling ... the complete shift in the balance of power to consumers.

BTW...if you’ve never seen “United Breaks Guitars,” you should check it out here.