United Breaks Guitars

In 2008, United Airlines baggage handlers damaged Dave Carroll’s guitar. After the airline refused to pay to fix the damage to his instrument, he and his band wrote a song called “United Breaks Guitars” and put it on YouTube.

Within two days it had more than 24,000 views (and more than 14 million views by 2015), and it was estimated that the bad press cost United Airlines around $180 million the following year (2009).

This incident also inspired Carroll to co-found Gripevine – a company that helps customers use social media to expose their complaints and convince companies to give better service.