Companies, Disliked

MarketWatch has a list of the 10 most hated companies in America based on three main factors: companies that make their customers angry, companies that make their shareholders angry, and companies that make their employees angry. J.C. Penney tops the list for making customers angry. Last February, under the direction of its new CEO Ron Johnson, the company decided to stop offering coupons and major sales in favor of offering “everyday low prices.” Unfortunately, J.C. Penney’s customer base loves coupons (some people just love to hunt for deals), and sales fell by 20 percent in the first quarter. Other companies that made the list: Facebook (hated by users for too many reasons to name here, and by shareholders for bungling its IPO) and American Airlines, which has managed to anger just about everyone. I don’t think there’s a particular company I “hate” but I’ve also never been an AT&T customer.

Photo: Robert S. Donovan

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20 Comments / Post A Comment

OllyOlly (#669)

No hesitation my #1 most hated company is Comcast.

meryls (#2,473)

@OllyOlly Yeah, I can’t believe more cable companies aren’t on this list! Time Warner for me– they are the absolute worst.

aetataureate (#1,310)

I’m curious what each of y’all’s specific reasons are, can you elaborate?

@aetataureate Thanks for giving me an excuse to rage against Comcast.

1. Their pricing is unclear and changes without notice.
2. Twice I’ve called to inquire about pricing, negotiated a lower price, and then had the higher price appear on the next bill anyway.
3. When I tried to use the customer service chat, the representative was so slow to respond to my messages that a simple question took an hour to resolve.
4. The wait times on customer service phone calls are terrible (though improved since 2009 when I was on hold for 45 minutes).
5. Their version of improved customer service is to say they’ll credit your account $20 if they don’t come during the scheduled 4 hour window. My time is worth more than $20/4 hrs. Do your damn job.
6. When I moved to a new apartment, they wouldn’t/couldn’t activate my cable/internet because the last tenant hadn’t transferred their account yet, but wouldn’t provide a refund. I spent a month paying for a service I wasn’t receiving because someone I never met was lazy.
7. It was expensive to begin with, and prices continue to go up.

So to summarize: Expensive, uniquely terrible customer service, no transparency in pricing and price increases.

NeenerNeener (#156)

@TheclaAndTheSeals
8. They have different prices that different departments are authorized to give – the store has a higher price than regular customer service that has a higher price than the special online activation unit.
9. Forms are dealt with through snail mail and faxes, despite being a cable INTERNET company.
10. When they transfer you to another department, expect to start the wait time again and the new person will have no idea that you just spent an hour talking to someone else about your problem.

OllyOlly (#669)

@NeenerNeener
11. They laid a bad cable in my parents yard and spent over a year coming out (after hours spent on phones with customer service) various times and claiming they ‘fixed’ the problem of our internet always going in and out. Eventually they dug up my parents yard and laid the cable correctly.

ghechr (#596)

@OllyOlly I logged on to say the same thing! Comcast sucks so majorly. I had the same problem with internet going in and out and no one being able/willing to fix it, meanwhile Comcast would charge and arm and a leg for even coming out at all. ARGH. I dumped them and got a wireless hotspot for my house instead.

BananaPeel (#1,555)

@OllyOlly I was just going to say, Mediacom, which is a cable company in the Midwest. What is it about cable companies, man?

aeroaeroaero (#1,422)

@all I just wanted to pipe in on the Comcast hate train. I have a cable/internet bundle with them for a while, and they kept raising the price until it was almost $175/month! They refused to lower it, and I eventually halved my expenses by going with cable from DirecTV and internet from AT&T. I love, love, love DirecTV (I don’t work for them, I swear) and I haven’t had any problems with AT&T’s internet, although their online billing system is archaic and counterintuitive.

P.J. Morse (#665)

@TheclaAndTheSeals Sounds about right. But at least customers have WTFComcast as a consolation prize.

RachelW (#2,605)

I hate hate hate Comcast and would never ever use them again. Reasons include: completely terrible and demanding set-up/hook-up process, terrible customer service, opaque billing system (which is problematic when they regularly over charge you, which they do), terrible service in general (i.e. frequently not working). Basically they don’t do their job very well, and they make it difficult to use their product.

NeenerNeener (#156)

@RachelW
The worst customer service experience of my life was spending upwards of 6 hours on the phone over 6 weeks trying to activate service with them last summer. There was also two trips to the store, and mailing/faxing things involved. This wasn’t to install a new line or anything, just to re-activate existing service to the house after my uncle died and the account needed to be switched into my name. 6 weeks, no internet, no cable. 6 weeks where they didn’t make any money off me, even though I wanted to give it to them. They do business wrong.

Blondsak (#2,299)

My boyfriend and I had the choice between Comcast and Verizon FIOS when we moved into our current apartment. Comcast would have been cheaper, but I had already heard the horror stories and we went with Verizon FIOS. I am so glad we did now!

I wonder how much of the cable company hate comes from consumers feeling like they don’t have a choice: I know before FIOS was offered in my building people were basically stuck with either Cablevision or nothing. I still kind of grumble about having to wait all day for a service guy but I feel better about them then I ever did about Cablevision (also I just stopped getting cable and watch tv on the internet now)

NeenerNeener (#156)

@Michelle LeBlanc@twitter
I don’t think it’s so much the feeling of the customer, but that the company knows the customers don’t have much choice, so can treat them accordingly.

josefinastrummer (#1,850)

I’m surprised Wal-Mart isn’t on the list. They hold my number one spot!

BananaPeel (#1,555)

One time when I was working at JCP in high school, a customer was mad that her catalog order hadn’t arrived yet (it probably wasn’t even late, just wasn’t there when she wanted it to be) and she told me she hoped the store closed and we all lost our jobs.

octagonfudge (#2,838)

AMERICAN AIRLINES. They are dead to me. Once we missed a flight by about 2 minutes past the check in time (series of errors for a morning flight) to San Diego so they rerouted us to Dallas (it’s their hub, so i guess that’s why?) but didn’t actually find us a flight out of Dallas. THEN after waiting there for 10 HOURS we were told that we wouldn’t ever make it to the top of the stand-by list becaus we were not “priority” since we hadn’t purchased our tickets directly from the airline. So basically they sent us to Dallas with no possible way to get out of that city. We ended up having to spend a godawful amount of money on other tickets at another airline just so we could get out of Texas on thr last possible flight of the night because we were afraid of being stuck in Dallas with no luggage, no accommodations, nothing for who knows how long. We wrote them a letter after all was said and done about pur terrible experince and their reply was basically “suck it, suckers.” NEVER AGAIN.

atruck (#1,312)

Sprint and British Airways. Any company that requires you to re-sign contracts multiple times or costs you money out of your own pocket due to their idiocy and lousy websites (I’m not even talking compensation for errors, but just normal service) is the worst. Sprint is the WORST.

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