A. You’re going to listen to a story about bad customer service. First, listen to six extracts and fill in the blanks with the verbs in the list.
claim complained contacted dropped
offered produced reported throwing
1 My God! They’re _________ guitars out there!
2 They immediately _________ to United Airlines.
3 For nine months, he tried to _________ compensation.
4 Dave wrote a song about his experience and _________ a video to go with it.
5 United Airlines _________ Dave and _________ him a payment.
6 The BBC _________ that United Airlines’ share price had _________ by 10%.
1 throwing 2 complained 3 claim 4 produced
5 contacted, offered 6 reported, dropped
1 My God! They’re throwing guitars out there!
2 They immediately complained to United Airlines.
3 For nine months, he tried to claim compensation.
4 Dave wrote a song about his experience and produced a video to go with it.
5 United Airlines contacted Dave and offered him a payment.
6 The BBC reported that United Airlines’ share price had dropped by 10%.
B. Now listen to the whole story. Answer the questions.
1 Why did Dave Carroll write a song?
2 Why did it have such a dramatic effect?
C. Try to put the events in the correct order 1-10. Then listen again and check.
_1_ Dave and his band flew from Halifax to Chicago.
___ He wrote a song about his experience.
___ United Airlines contacted him and offered him money.
___ They got their connecting flight to Omaha, Nebraska.
___ Dave discovered that his guitar was broken.
___ He complained again to United Airlines by phone and email, but they didn’t help him.
___ He did lots of media interviews.
___ They saw the baggage handlers throwing their guitars and complained to airline staff.
___ He put a video of the song on YouTube.
_10_ United Airlines lost a lot of money.
1 To complain about the experience he’d had with United Airlines
2 Because the video went viral on YouTube and was watched by millions of people, who found out about United Airlines’ bad customer service
2 They saw the baggage handlers throwing their guitars and complained to airline staff.
3 They got their connecting flight to Omaha, Nebraska.
4 Dave discovered that his guitar was broken.
5 He complained again to United Airlines by phone and email, but they didn’t help him.
6 He wrote a song about his experience.
7 He put a video of the song on YouTube.
8 United Airlines contacted him and offered him money.
9 He did lots of media interviews.
Hello and welcome to How’s Business? Today, we’re going to look at how social media can affect businesses. And I’d like to start with the story of Dave Carroll, an American singer-songwriter, who had a very bad experience with United Airlines.
Dave and his band were flying with United Airlines from Halifax, in Nova Scotia, to Omaha, in Nebraska, with a stopover in Chicago. As they were waiting to get off the plane in Chicago, they heard another passenger say, “My goodness! They’re throwing guitars out there!” As Dave and the other band members looked out of the plane window, they were horrified to see that the baggage handlers, who were taking the luggage off the plane, were throwing the band’s guitars to each other. They couldn’t believe what they were seeing.
They immediately complained to United Airlines employees in Chicago, but nobody listened to them.
When they arrived in Omaha, Dave discovered that the neck of his very expensive Taylor guitar had been broken. It cost him $1,200 to get it repaired. For nine months, he tried to claim compensation from United Airlines. He called and emailed their offices in Halifax, Chicago, and New York without success. In the end he even suggested that instead of money, they could give him $1200 of flight tickets. But after all his complaints and suggestions, United simply said “No.”
So, what else could a singer-songwriter do? Dave wrote a song about his experience, and produced a music video to go with it. The song was called United Breaks Guitars. He posted it on YouTube and it was a huge hit. The song reached number 1 on the iTunes music store within a week, and the video has had over 16 million views.
After 150,000 views, United Airlines contacted Dave and offered him a payment if he agreed to take the video off YouTube. He refused, and suggested they give the money to charity. Of course, the impact of Dave’s song went far beyond YouTube. Soon newspapers, websites, TV and radio stations all over North America were doing stories about the song. Dave was interviewed on many radio and TV shows, where, of course, he retold the story of how “United Breaks Guitars.” He did over 200 interviews in the first three months!
Dave Carroll’s favorite guitar was broken, but in the end, United Airlines were the bigger losers. After the video had gone viral, the BBC reported that United Airlines’ share price had dropped by 10% within four weeks of the release of the video, which means that the company lost an incredible $180 million. It would have been much cheaper to repair Dave’s guitar!
Listen and choose a, b, or c.
1 Philomena’s maths teachers ____.
a made her want to become a teacher herself
b were very inspiring
c weren’t as good as her history teacher
2 Adina is happy to buy ____ online.
b most things
c food and clothes
3 Daniel remembers being annoyed with a waiter who ____.
a didn’t want to serve his table
b complained about the tip
c wasn’t polite
4 Scott currently ____.
a only has a small garden
b doesn’t have a garden
c has a lot of plants in his garden
5 At the start of her career, Coleen thought that a good salary was ____ an enjoyable job.
a more important than
b less important than
c as important as
1 c 2 a 3 c 4 a 5 a
I = interviewer, P = Philomena
I What was your favourite subject when you were at school?
P History, predominantly modern history. That’s the main reason, my history teacher is the reason why I became a teacher. She was really inspiring and she made the subject come alive.
I Were there any subjects you hated?
P Maths, again due to bad teachers, and predominantly I just don’t have a mathematical brain, so I found it very difficult.
I = interviewer, A = Adina
I What kind of things do you often buy online?
A I buy online clothes, food to get delivered to home, um, and also a lot of beauty products as well.
I Is there anything you would never buy online?
A I don’t think there is anymore, I don’t think there is anything anymore that I wouldn’t buy online.
I = interviewer, D = Daniel
I Have you ever had really bad customer service?
D Yes, I have had very bad customer service before.
I What happened?
D Um, I’ve had a waiter be very rude to me and sort of drop the plate on the table when they served the dish.
I What did you do?
D I did not tip that waiter.
I = interviewer, S = Scott
I If you could change one thing about your flat, what would it be?
S Um, a bit more green. Green space. We have a garden, a little patio, which is great, but eh, yeah, a garden with some green space would be amazing, obviously for, now summer’s coming, hopefully, um, that would be amazing, yeah.
I = interviewer, C = Coleen
I What’s more important to you about a job, having a good salary or doing something you really enjoy?
C When I first started work, I thought it was the salary, um, but later on in my working life, I decided it was actually more important to have really, a job that you really enjoyed, but I’ve come to the conclusion that they’re both important. You can do a job that you really enjoy, but you know, at the end of the day we all need to live, so you do need the salary as well.
- Practice English Listening B1 Exercises – Opportunities
- Practice English Listening B1 Exercises – Entertainment
- Practice English Listening B1 Exercises – Information
- Practice English Listening B1 Exercises – House and home
- Practice English Listening B1 Exercises – Different cultures
- Practice English Listening B1 Exercises – The natural world