United Breaks Guitars

The power of one voice in the age of social media

United Breaks Guitars
  • Dave Carroll tells the inspiring tale of how he handled a frustrating situation nonconfrontationally, with a mission of ‘improving the world, one experience at a time.' His story resonated with me, and it will move you, too!

    Dr. Wayne W. Dyer

    #1 New York Times best-selling author

    "Wishes Fulfilled and Excuses Begone!"

  • This may be one of the most humble stories ever told by a man who changed the world.

    Josh Bernoff

    co-author of "Groundswell"

  • As anyone who’s heard him sing or seen him speak knows, Dave Carroll is a master storyteller. In this delightful and insightful book, Dave unveils the amazing true story of the video sensation that changed the worlds of social media and customer service.

    David Rogers

    author of "The Network Is Your Customer"

  • The story of Dave Carroll’s broken guitar is the profoundly moving account of how one man took on an implacable system and won. In a world pervaded by doom and gloom, his story is a rare and welcome burst of sunshine.

    Frank McKenna

    Deputy Chair, TD Bank Group

    former Canadian Ambassador to the United States

  • If you have customers, then you should read this book to understand how one frustrated—and talented—customer named Dave Carroll taught corporate America how to treat people better.

    Charlene Li

    author of "Open Leadership"

    co-author of "Groundswell"

  • By far, the greatest story of one person’s social-media victory over big-airline lies and mistreatment. It’s why all companies better stand up and pay attention to every single voice. You will love Dave Carroll, his story, his victory, and his YouTube video. This is not just a book. It’s a service lesson and a warning about social consumerism.

    Jeffrey Gitomer

    author of "Customer Satisfaction Is Worthless,

    Customer Loyalty Is Priceless"

Buy The Hardcover @ Amazon Buy The Hardcover @ Indigo Buy the eBook

Amazon USA / International, Amazon Canada,
Chapters Indigo, Barnes & Noble, Powell's Books

Since “United Breaks Guitars” emerged, nothing is the same — for consumers, for musicians, or for business.

Whether you are a guitarist, a baggage handler, or a boardroom executive, this book will entertain you and remind you that we are all connected, that each of us matters, and that we all have a voice worth hearing.

Dave Carroll

Songwriter Dave Carroll wasn't the first person abused by an airline's customer service. But he was the first to show how one person, armed with creativity, some friends, $150, and the Internet, could turn an entire industry upside down.

United Airlines had broken Dave's guitar in checked luggage. After eight months of pestering the company for compensation, he turned to his best tool—songwriting—and vowed to create a YouTube video about the incident that he hoped would garner a million views in one year. Four days after its launching, the first million people had watched “United Breaks Guitars.” United stock went down 10 percent, shedding $180 million in value; Dave appeared on outlets as diverse as CNN and The View. United relented. And throughout the business world, people began to realize that “efficient” but inhuman customer-service policies had an unseen cost—brand destruction by frustrated, creative, and socially connected customers.

“United Breaks Guitars” has become a textbook example of the new relationship between companies and their customers, and has demonstrated the power of one voice in the age of social media. It has become a benchmark in the customer-service and music industries, as well as branding and social-media circles. Today, more than 150 million people are familiar with this story.

In this book, you'll hear about how Dave developed the “just do it” philosophy that made him the ideal man to take on a big corporation, what it felt like to be in the center of the media frenzy, and how he's taken his talents and become a sought-after songwriter and public speaker. And businesspeople will learn how companies should change their policies and address social-media uprisings.

71 Responses to “DAVE’S BOOK!”

  1. Johanna says:

    Hi Minette,

    Dave would love to hear how your students enjoyed the book. Feel free to drop him a line at

  2. […] more attention from this video than all of their other videos combined. They have even written a book which is a great example of how to extend successful content into additional […]

  3. I love the video and the book sounds like a great read! It’s definitely going on my list of guitar books to read this year!

  4. Sharon Mumford says:

    Dear Dave ,
    I love your concerts ( Sons of Maxwell at the casino ) the last 2 years ! And I really enjoyed your book . Very interesting read !! ( I also really enjoyed your parents who I bought the book from ) They both should be considered part of the concert !! Please come every year , My Mom and I love it !!!

  5. Russ Prescott says:

    Thanks for taking the time to do both the uTube and your book. I’m taking a Customer Service course and my instructor put a link for us to view your video. Very well done. A great example of the power of one.

  6. Jeff says:

    Dave, Congratulations on your book, and moreover on the impact you’ve had on the travel and music industries. If you care to reach out, your next full-scale travel guitar is on us.

  7. Bonnie says:

    When are you going on tour

  8. gustavo manrique ruiz says:

    Dear Dave, I need your help. I will tell you my story for asking you to help me to compose a song like United breaks guitars, but of course not with the same style 😉

    Well, I live in Colombia, South America, I’m 33 years old, I live with my wife and both my kids (8 and 2 years old), I’m a teacher in an university in Bogota.

    My salary is good, I confess, but it isn’t enough for keeping my wife and kids, so I needed another money source for increasing their life quality. You know, a father tries to give his family the best.

    Anyway, going to the situation, it started on March/2014, I found a paper in which they said they help you finding new cars and they made them to work for you and of course, you got the profits.

    It was so interesting (in my opinion), so I got a loan with which pay some part of the car: the car’s price was COP$ 30.000.000, in dollars is about $ 15.000 dollars; the legal cost was COP$ 8.000.000, about $4.000 dollars, and the “conditioning” made by them cost COP$ 8.000.000, about another $4.000 dollars, so the car’s real price was about $23.000 dollars without another insurance.

    Anyway, as I told you, I made these payments in March, and they said, the car was about to be ready in 60 days, because there had to be two more companies: the car’s dealer and the company with which the car had to be enrolled (by Colombian law)

    All these three companies worked as inefficient as they could, on September 1st the dealer gave me the car, but I had to give it to them for making it working, but today is the day this car isn’t working, and I have to pay the insurance, the loan, and other loans I had to get for paying the first loan. As you think, as more goes the time, more money I have to get for paying it and you know, It is really bad.

    Why did I tell you this? Not for getting a lawyer, but for make social justice as you did with United, because it is not fear these companies make what they want with people like you and I.

    Thank you dear Dave,

    Best regards,

    GUSTAVO MANRIQUE (from Colombia)
    PD, Forgive me if my English writing is not the best (I speak Spanish)

  9. Johanna says:

    Hi Bonnie,

    Where are you located and we can let you know when Dave might be performing in your area?

  10. Johanna says:

    Thanks for your kind words Jeff. I’ll pass along the message to Dave. Feel free to also email him at

    Have a great day.


  11. Johanna says:

    Thanks for your kind words Russ! Dave wishes you well in your course and studies.

  12. Stefan Larsson says:

    Hello ! My name is Stefan and has a Swedish dance band . I have been fascinated by your song UNITED BREAKS GUITARS . I have long wanted to make a Swedish text and perform the song in Sweden and I think would go very well. I have written a text that I think turned out really well , which is about a touring dance band . Is it ok for you if I do it in Sweden ? Please Stefan Larsson

  13. Harry Koester says:

    Dear Dave, I loved your song and would love to colaborate with you to write and song dedicated to progressive. I have been at war with them for over 2 years now. I think together we could create another hit!!

  14. Johanna says:

    Hi Stefan,

    Please contact Dave directly at Thanks!


  15. Johanna says:

    Hi Harry,

    Feel free to give Dave an email directly, to discuss! Have a great week.


  16. Gwyneth Oneill says:

    Hi, I live in Wirral England and just listened to your “United breaks guitars” Would love for you to play your country music over here in the UK. It is very popular here and your voice is something I could listen to and dance to for a long time. I hope you will give it some thought, Gwyneth

  17. Shelley Ramey says:

    Is the physical CD available for “United Breaks Guitars”?

  18. Lisa Hurlong says:

    Having seen other airlines do the same thing I love you take on it. The youtube video and song are wonderful. Lisa in Granada

  19. Sandy Warren says:

    I just ordered the book on Amazon. I’d like to tell you how much you brightened up my day in 2009 with your video. It was a very hard time in our company and every day just sucked. One day a group of us were just shooting the bull and I clicked on the YouTube link from a news story about your situation. From those first few rollicking notes we were all dying laughing and singing along. After that I could click on your video every time I needed a little cheering up. Thanks for that! I haven’t watched it for a year or so and just saw tonight that the FAA has changed their rules to allow musicians to carry on some instruments. That led me to show someone your video and we all enjoyed it anew. Good luck in the future!

  20. […] the song United Breaks Guitars went viral (which, unfortunately for the airline, was followed by a bestselling book and genuine community […]

  21. Johanna says:

    Hi Shelly,

    If you are looking to purchase a CD with the United Breaks Guitars trilogy, it is found on the “Perfect Blue Deluxe” CD:


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