Worst Company In America '08: Nominate

It’s time for Consumerist’s 3rd Annual Worst Company in America Contest! Last year, RIAA won. Before that, Halliburton took the prize. Who will climb to the top of the nadir this year?

Here’s how it works. Name your favorite company to hate in the comments on this post and why (or send it to tips@consumerist.com). Then we will all vote on the nominees to whittle down the field of contenders. After that, we make a big March Madness style bracket. Every day will be a new deathmatch of reader between two companies. The crown winner receives eternal infamy and a lucky golden pile of shit.

New rule this year: we will only accept nominations for companies that makes or sells products or services that consumers actually buy.

Let the bloodletting commence.

Comments

Edit Your Comment

  1. Phildawg says:

    Best Buy

    enough said.

  2. snoop-blog says:

    @Phildawg: seconded!

  3. picshereplz says:

    I can’t believe I’m typing this, but Best Buy has been getting better, at least in my area.

    Office Depot is much worse, imho.

  4. coold8 says:

    Best Buy!
    Thirded

  5. coold8 says:

    Best Buy
    Thirded

  6. bohemian says:

    Company that SELLS products or MAKES products you can buy? The requirement is a tad confusing.

  7. Kavatar says:

    Comcast. No need to explain why.

  8. Greasy Thumb Guzik says:

    @Phildawg:
    Damn!
    You beat me to it.

    But then there’s Wally World which has sent more US jobs to China & ultimately is the cause of the housing meltdown here because so many have lost good jobs.

  9. DrStarkweather says:

    Comcast? They sell a service right? They count.

  10. PeteyNice says:

    Does Best Buy count? Do they “make products”?

  11. DrBologna says:

    Does China count as a company “that make products that you can actually buy”?

  12. bonzombiekitty says:

    Comcast

  13. DoubleEcho says:

    @Kavatar: I came here to say the same thing. If you have to ask why Comcast deserves a pile of shit, then you need to spend some more time reading this site.

    Hell, I’d go one step further and send them a real pile of shit – They’d probably just melt down and sell the golden one, and figure out a way to add $5/month to their customer’s bills because of it.

  14. huadpe says:

    United Health Care

  15. Juliekins says:

    @Greasy Thumb Guzik: Best Buy millionth-ed.

    Exxon Mobil and their record setting profits can eat a dick too.

  16. soulman901 says:

    Here you go
    Sears

  17. boandmichele says:

    R I A A !

  18. Kos says:

    Can’t I also buy Blackwater’s services?

  19. billbillbillbill says:

    I don’t comment much but HANDS DOWN, COMCAST SHOULD GET THIS AWARD. After being given the run around for 3 weeks for cable install, 3 mistaken disconnects, and the same feelings by all my coworkers, we have 6 votes for Comcast!

  20. Coder4Life says:

    SPRINT

  21. Coder4Life says:

    MEDIACOM

    COMCAST

  22. smitty1123 says:

    Microsoft (Vista, propping up HD-DVD, 360 failure rates, etc.)

    Also, how about running in tandem with this, we have a Best Company in America thread? I know, optimism is totally counter to internet postings, but that doesn’t mean we cannot occasionally focus on the good.

  23. ncboxer says:

    @Greasy Thumb Guzik: I’d be interested to see what percentage of Consumerists readers shop at Wally World. You don’t hear much about them on this site. I personally haven’t stepped foot in one in years. Not for any high-handed reasons- their stores look like a train wreck. Stuff everywhere, long lines for checkout, more crappy merchandise than not. I prefer Target, more better quality crap and the stores are mostly clean.

    Oh, my vote goes for Time Warner, long wait times, higher and higher prices, dropping quality… though they don;t sound as bad as Comcast.

  24. Streyeder says:

    SPRINT!

    Thank God I got away…

  25. Amelie says:

    Considering that companies like Comcast and Best Buy are selling non-essentials, I will have to go with Haliburton for first place and United Health Care for second. Ruining people’s lives and/or killing them is far more grievous than than getting screwed over by Best Buy or having a technician not show up.

  26. nakmario says:

    Blackwater…
    EVERYONE in the US is paying for their services – and so far they are not really accountable to anyone.

  27. AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:

    I don’t expect it to win “worst company”, but I feel Microsoft should be nominated.

    We all agree the RRoD was a bigger issue than they acknowledged, they did to the right thing by extending the warranty. Unfortunatly they have had many more problems. Poor quality control on refurbished units that were shipped out, online content that can’t be used on the replacment units THEY sent out unless you are online. This means that for the next few years, if you want to play Street Figther II on your 360, you have to contiune to pay for broadband internet access even if you have no other need for it. As well, Live was down for quite awhile, which also resulted in Achievement points being lost, rankings getting screwed up, etc.

    Their first line of customer service is also known to be almost no help, which is why so many people just skip past it and contacted Bill Gates.

    While this many hardware companies have manufacturing issues like this, and many service providing companies have down time and subscription issues, it is rare to find both in one package.

    On top of that, this is for a video game console. What should be (compaired to PC gaming) an easy thing to set up and jump into. Did we have problems like this with the NES? Genesis? Playstation? While some may have had hardware bugs, sucessfuly playing a game was not nearly as stressful as it is with the 360.

  28. Amelie says:

    On second thought, maybe you need to have categories of the worst companies: communication, health care, debt collectors, private war mongers, etc.

  29. Amelie says:

    @nakmario: I forgot Blackwater. Yeah, they would be the worst overall in my opinion.

  30. meanwalrus18 says:

    verizon!!!!! these damn locked cell phones are a hindrance and sooo many hidden fees

  31. AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:

    Damn, I hate typing fast while I’m at work, my grammar is all out of wack!

  32. pandroid says:

    CompUSA. Let’s kick them while they’re down. Or we can nominate whomever is running their going out of business sale, which frankly leaves much to be desired in the way of discounts.

  33. meanwalrus18 says:

    how about a category for defective products? microsoft for xbox but chevy for cars

  34. deadlizard says:

    Bank of America

  35. skwigger says:

    Best Buy 456th’ed

  36. Phildawg says:

    I worked with Best Buy from 1999-2005. Before we became the number 1 electronic’s retailer about 2001-ish, it was such a great company! Not much changed between 2001-2002. But in 2003, the company really began to embrace an arrogant attitude as they were the supreme electronics store and they could do what ever the fook they wanted.

    They rolled out many aggressive strategies to take advantage of their customers in every way imaginable from eliminating the bad customers by tracking their purchases through reward zone and excluding them from offers.

    They forcefully signed up ignorant customers for internet contracts and magazine subscriptions without the customers knowledge (I was trained in the way of how to act like the credit card wasn’t recognized the first time through since we needed to scan it once for the contract and later for the purchase, and also to do a little X on the screen for them when they had to sign the contract).

    They give the run around on just about anything related to services and warranties. I remember when BBY corporate had to take over handling cell phone exchanges because if we found one single scratch on the phone, we would tell the customer it was sign of abuse and refuse their warranty (I think I saw 1 out of 20 phones handled under the service plan because of that? lol).

    They are completely relative on their policies and who they want to apply them too. You better be attractive if you want the easy road through a policy or friends with somebody. If you don’t have much on your side, you won’t qualify for a ‘case by case’ policy procedure.

    They do lots of false advertising and misrepresentation on services. I remember when best buy first started selling VPR Matrix Computers. The machines came with virtually nothing on them but the Operating system, yet we still heavily pushed a system optimization to eliminate background programs and make it work so much better. I think all we did on this particular PC was turn on automatic updates, and install the latest patches… There was no unnecessary programs on boot.

    Hmmm… should I keep saying more?

    Xbox / PS2 / Xbox360 forced bundling at launch. You want the 299 advertised core system? We have plenty in stock!!! But it’s only available in the package with 10 extra controllers, all 32 games, 15 memory cards, 2 extra hard drive kits, and the Replacement plan! Oh and 10 years of xbox live subscription!

    Yea like I said, “enough said”

    Any improvement you are seeing at the store level is directly related to this arrogance getting out of control and corporate seeing customers waiting for the next big retailer to emerge that they can jump ship too. The second they feel safe, these practices will all come back. Just like The Scorpion and the Frog, it is only the scorpion’s nature to do such things.

  37. coaster.n3rd says:

    Best Buy
    Comcast

  38. jaydez says:

    United Health Care. Why? All their rmployees upstairs got to the cafeteria before I did (at 11:55) and bought up all the Chicken Parm Rotellos for lunch. I really wanted one… I had to settle for crappy pizza.

  39. coaster.n3rd says:

    Toyota & Chrysler

  40. skwigger says:

    Best Buy

  41. ct03 says:

    Even though I’d probably vote for Comcast, I want to fill up the bracket, so…
    Ticketmaster.

  42. barrythelion says:

    Comcast every time. Price gouging, monopolistic behavior, incompetent engineers, abusive customer service, and I haven’t even mentioned P2P traffic interference. They deserve a lifetime achievement award.

  43. Dickdogfood says:

    How about Disney for being ruthless and hypocritical about copyrights?

  44. arch05 says:

    1800flowers. Look up my rant in past comments if you need an explanation. 1800fuckups.

  45. meanwalrus18 says:

    BY SMITTY1123 AT 12:21 PM

    Microsoft (Vista, propping up HD-DVD, 360 failure rates, etc.)

    Also, how about running in tandem with this, we have a Best Company in America

    i completely agree…..microsoft is practically sabotaging the market with hddvd and xbox360 using halo like crack. but best company hmm….thats a challenge, im going to take a random whack…Paul Newman’s Newman’s Own Food Line. It’s organic, affordable, good, and 2/3 of america is overweight.

  46. txinfo says:

    Wow, there are so many…

    #1: Best Buy
    #2: RIAA
    Tied for third: GexaEnergy, Discount Tire, Papa John’s Pizza, CitiBank, Chevrolet, AT&T…

  47. Montaigne says:

    COMCAST! ITS COMCRAPTIC!

  48. AaronZ says:

    @FitJulie: I’ll second Exxon Mobile. While gas prices go up and up and up, their annual profits match the rise, while their government tax incentives also keep going up.

    Not everyone in the country has comcast (and you don’t *have* to have cable tv, you choose to), and there are plenty of alternatives to shopping at best buy. But pretty much everyone uses gas or oil and is getting hit by their profiteering.

  49. bob9 says:

    Toyota for not fixing the sludge issue in the Camry, the tailgate on the Tundra, The Prius for accelerating under its own power, & building the Lexus GS400h and exploiting the Hybrid badge on cars.

  50. thedude2u says:

    I gotta go with Comcast. Or in my neck of the woods…Comcrap.

  51. mopar_man says:

    1) Wal-Mart
    2) Best Buy
    3) RIAA

  52. skittlbrau says:

    Countrywide.

  53. SecureLocation says:

    Sprint

  54. there should be different categories (i.e. retail, service, gov’t, healthcare, finance, etc)

  55. MDSasquatch says:

    I don’t use them, but I would like to nominate The Geek Squad

  56. bob9 says:

    @MDSasquatch:

    seconded

  57. cybercjh says:

    It would have to a subprime mortgage lender. I vote for New Centruy Financial.

  58. Dickdogfood says:

    As for best…I guess somebody will have to mention Apple and American Apparel eventually. So let it be ME!

  59. douchrti2004 says:

    Can I nominate the US Govt?

  60. MDSasquatch says:

    and let’s not forget about eBay

  61. sleze69 says:

    Countrywide

  62. Part-Time-Viking says:

    Comcast or AT&T

  63. Laffy Daffy says:

    comcast

  64. deadlizard says:

    There are categories where ALL the companies should be nominated.
    Health care, cable, cell phones (except T-Mobile), military contractors
    and credit cards. Also, most airlines and banks. In retail, seems whe
    have a winner (Best Buy) with Wal-Mart claiming their perennial post
    and soon-to-sink Sears.

  65. rolla says:

    toss up between Best Buy and MS…

  66. your_on_my_list says:

    I would like to nominate Blue Cross of California. They have made an art of denying claims and coverage to people with valid claims. So much so that they need to change their name to Anthem.

  67. APFPilot says:

    Sprint

  68. LatherRinseRepeat says:

    Comcast.

    For screwing around with their customers’ bandwidth and blocking bit torrent traffic.

  69. Jaysyn was banned for: http://consumerist.com/5032912/the-subprime-meltdown-will-be-nothing-compared-to-the-prime-meltdown#c7042646 says:

    1.) Haliburton

    2.) Wal-Mart

    3.) Best Buy

  70. sly100100 says:

    I have only shopped at best buy a few times several years ago. But the horror stories I read about on hear makes me glad I don’t shop there at all.

    I vote Best Buy

  71. Monsanto.
    Hands down, worst company in the world.
    It is unfathomable to me that the same company created DDT and Agent Orange.
    But they also created Nutra-Sweet, were involved in the Manhattan Project. PDB contamination. Roundup Weed Killer, Roundup Ready soybeans, and are the leader in genetically modified seeds.
    The company spews evil from its pores.
    I could write pages about how evil they are.
    Sure Best Buy sucks. Sure, I hate Wal-Mart with a passion. But Monsanto makes products that kill people and destroy our planet at a level above anyone else.

  72. RandoX says:

    Citibank

  73. noquarter says:

    I’m not sure if this fits in with the rules, but how about The American Arbitration Association? The largest arbitration organization in the U.S.

  74. B says:

    American Apparel. For being generally sleazy and disgusting.

  75. wouldn’t it just be better to list the few good companies & give the pile o’ turd to everyone else?

  76. rewind says:

    - Bank of America (can’t avoid them)
    - Comcast (a must in some places)
    - Sears (damn shame*)
    - Best Buy (don’t get me started)

    *Sears was one of the US’s most expansive companies (retail, vinyl siding, houses, etc) and one of the best retail brand names in the US yet that has all gone in the crapper as of late, and it is the sadest of the lot.

  77. MDSasquatch says:

    got an afternoon and want to spend it reading horror stories? go to Google and type: Direct Buy Scams

  78. AceKicker says:

    Another vote for Sears.

  79. tedyc03 says:

    1) Comcast
    2) Countrywide
    3) Microsoft

  80. laserjobs says:

    COUNTRYWIDE!!! For creating moral hazzard and helping to destroy our economy.

  81. Mr. Cynical says:

    How can you possibly pick just one? We need the worst company awardS for 2008 where you vote per category or something. A few that come to mind:

    Best Buy
    Health Care Companies- the ones that let people die.
    Oil Companies- Exxon Mobile.
    AT&T
    RIAA
    Microsoft

    God, it’s like an avalanche!!

  82. deadlizard says:

    Oh, and let’s nominate steroid-enhanced MLB, please!

  83. acordova says:

    Without a doubt, Comcast. Being assisted by the Board of Supervisors, they currently have a stranglehold on the entire cable internet market in my area in San Francisco. Not only that, but they are now threatening to cut my account off for a year because of “excessive use.”

    I hate these bastards more than anyone right now.

  84. sp00nix says:

    @Phildawg: Go to Circuit city, try and get help there lol

  85. meanwalrus18 says:

    1 ticketmaster 2 verizon 3 microsoft

  86. falc says:

    i have to go with Wal-Mart for their continued commitment to selling lead filled toys and clothes made in China which is slowly poisoning our nation.

  87. JStrulleh says:

    1) RIAA
    2) Best Buy

  88. Church of Scientology

  89. balthisar says:

    I’ll chime in for nominating Toyota, too. They falsely have this super image when the truth is much darker. They’re beloved as a green company, when in fact they still continue to tout and profit massively from their huge, gas-shugging SUV’s. Their new Tundra is disappointing people who try to do so little as use the tail gate. Someone mentioned sludge problems. Their quality is slipping — no, not just being caught up to, but slipping downward. They hate unionism and fight it with the same vigor that Wal-Mart does. They were against the new 35 mpg CAFE standards. Their only one, true claim-to-fame is the Prius, and 75% of Prius drivers are smug butt-holes, so Toyota’s also guilty of creating new butt-holes from thin air (as well as for clogging carpool lanes with people that drive 10 mph under the limit).

  90. mizj says:

    Best Buy, Comcast and Sprint should be made to fight to the death for the golden pile.

  91. Ramses says:

    Exxon Mobil.

  92. Okami says:

    Wow is it possible no one has mentioned Paypal yet?

  93. priorORANGE says:

    Comcast, Comcast, Comcast. Not only are they the worst, they’re actually proud of it. I do think there should be a special category for the Geek Squad though.

  94. 1. Bank of America (buying countrywide and arbitrarily raising interest rates)
    2. Comcast (torrent throttling)
    3. Sprint (cell phone company)
    4. Sears (incompetance)

  95. rkwadd says:

    Gawker Media Group for soliciting and publishing the opinions of the unwashed masses.

  96. goyzilla says:

    If I could vote a million times it would be for Best Buy every time. What can I say, the world really doesnt need a Best Buy anymore. Unless they want to be treated like a number, lied to via duplicate pricing, and treated like a general turd if you have a valid complaint. Best Buy just plain sucks. Worst Co. evah.

  97. Kifune says:

    Bank of America

  98. Nelsormensch says:

    Comcast’s hand-in-the-cookie-jar handling of the torrent throttling is pretty golden unko worthy. Really makes you wonder what else they’re doing that haven’t been called on yet.

    However, Verizon does keep setting people’s houses on fire installing FIOS …

  99. Ann-Marie says:

    I vote Comcast!

  100. smitty1123 says:

    @idledebonair: Well, they do have a monopoly on E-Meters…

  101. warf0x0r says:

    Best Buy is the Wal*Mart of electronics for every one person who hates them there is 100 who just shop there because the stores are pretty and the prices are competitive with other retailers.

    I’d have to nominate Comcast for the bit torrent throttling, but I suspect that Contrywide or another nasty sub-prime lender should win.

    Bad internets requires that you have a home to internet from.

  102. tigerjade says:

    Bank of America (aka Band of Assholes in our family)

  103. nihil67 says:

    Sprint. Cox. Sears. United Healthcare. Bank of America.

    At least those are the ones I have first-hand experience with.

  104. Buran says:

    Toshiba. For inhibiting the end of the hi-def DVD war. They can’t see when they lost and keep fighting, and are therefore inhibiting customer choice (there are movies I want that are on a dead format only).

  105. royal72 says:

    not like you’d ever put it on the list, but how about the country itself?! with bazillions of dollars wasted on ridiculous shit. like wasting my tax dollars on steroids in baseball, but then you let big business screw the layman on daily basis with no recourse, etc. etc. etc… but since that will surely be too controversial for this list, i’m betting on bestbuy/geek squad to take the cake.

  106. hellinmyeyes says:

    I say Bank of America with Comcast in close second. I’m surprised there’s so much Best Buy here; there really aren’t that many stories running about them lately other than the dry-cleaner/laptop story.

  107. forever_knight says:

    AT&T

    They spit on the U.S. constitution getting in bed with the NSA to spy on citizens of this country, pay lobbyists to bribe politicians to grant them “retro-active” immunity, and then raise rates on their overpriced services.

    AT&T!

  108. @warf0x0r: Excellent logic, my friend. In fact, we couldn’t even bitch and moan about being spied on but for the roof over our heads.

    Subprime lenders it is!

  109. deb35802 says:

    United States Congress. Even when they pass a bill they manage to screw over the taxpayers.

    (And YES this is a business! They have free medical and retirement funds which is more than most taxpayers have!)

  110. cindel says:

    Best Buy, Comcast, Sears, Verizon, Arlines(United, Spirit etc etc), TJ Maxx, Walmart, BOA and the rest of mortage companies.

  111. thesuperpet says:

    Best Buy
    perhaps Fredrick’s of Hollywood.

  112. mike says:

    Worst companies:
    1. Cox Communication (cable provider): Cox offers cable for ~$30 for basic cable. It’s about 12 *local* channels without HD. This is not to mention to get HD costs and additional $60.
    2. Chase Credit Card services: raises rates without notice, etc.
    3. MySpace (I’m okay with NewsCorp, but I absolutely hate MySpace).
    4. PayPal (it’s not a bank, not insured by FDIC, can pretty much take your money and run at any time.)

    Best Companies:
    1. Verizon Wireless: (I know I’ll get flack for this) Anytime I’ve had an issue, they were more than willing to either offer a refund, discount, or something acceptable. I’ve never had a bad experience with them. The fact that they spend a lot of money on customer service training says something.
    2. Newegg.com: great prices, good service.
    3. Google: Granted, google is just like Microsoft, except with a better PR firm. But so far, they are doing things right: from fighting the government when they wanted searches of some people to hitting the price trigger for the C-Band.

  113. johnva says:

    Either Comcast or any of the big health insurers. Comcast has given me personally the worst customer service, but I feel the health insurers are more evil overall.

  114. OKJeff says:

    CountryWide.
    Poster Child of the subprime meltdown

  115. matto says:

    best buy ftw

  116. vastrightwing says:

    Tough question, so many horrible services out there.
    1) Bank of America cost me hundreds of dollars in bogus fees plus the hassle of trying to straighten out their mistakes and then my time to change my bank accounts to a different bank. After I left them, they still rip me off for $3 each time I need to use one of their ATMs.
    2) Best Buy screwed me by not honoring their costly extended warranty and that cost me $65 plus the headache of dealing with non responsive employees.
    3) U.S. government for costing me thousands of dollars each year and wasting our money on making themselves and their friends rich.
    4) Sprint always messes up my billing whenever I make any kind of adjustment to my plan. This usually takes months to fix and many calls to their CSRs.
    5) Comcast internet went down constantly, their CSRs were never helpful and they were more expensive than FIOS.

  117. LochNess says:
  118. ncognito_13 says:

    ShopNBC and Renato Watches. They lie about the diamond quality that is used in the Renato Watches that are sold on ShopNBC and neither company could care less. They make megabucks on their customers who are diamond illiterate and are trusting them. Do not buy any diamond Renato Watches that are represented as G color and VS clarity as they are not….they are much worse in quality than represented.

  119. ClayS says:

    In my opinion, the worst company should be one that you have little choice in doing business with, such as a cable company. It’s all too easy to avoid a Best Buy or Sears, but if you want cable service or broadband, your choices are usually limited.

  120. PaulMorel says:

    How can it not be Countrywide? It HAS to be Countrywide. I mean, Best Buy has problems, but they’re not scamming people out of their homes. Comcast is less than amazing, but that depends more on what area you live in.

    The only competition to Countrywide is Blackwater, but since they neither MAKE nor SELL a product that we buy, they are out of the running.

  121. savvy999 says:

    Another vote here for Major League Baseball

    Give them a poop pile this year, making up for years of past utterly fraudulent behavior (the McGwire vs Sosa race especially).

  122. Flame says:

    Ever hear of a little-known ISP called Direct Communications? They are my vote. Somehow, last year, they magically decided to send our bill to someone else. Who? We don’t know. All they will say is that they have a different address for our bill. So, of course, they turned us off because we didn’t pay them. Then, when we do pay them, the internet still doesn’t work. We ditched them and went with Big Dog Satellite. Anyway, I vote for them.

  123. CuriousO says:

    Xx_Any_Health_Insurance_Company_xX

  124. dapuddle says:

    I don’t care if the new rule is in place. The RIAA should win it again, hands down.

  125. AbsoluteIrrelevance says:

    Best Buy. If you still shop there and expect any to actually know what they are doing, you’re brain damaged.

  126. aislynn85 says:

    a) Joann Fabrics -idiot employees waste your time.
    b) Circut City -good luck finding employees to assist you!
    c) Best Buy -asses.
    d) Bank of America -what do you mean my ex can still charge my credit card?! You won’t permanently close my account either?! 16.99% is NOT the lowest you can go on a credit card!
    e) Walmart -for wasting my life in long ass lines and being exposed to the sick and needy who somehow have enough $$ around for booze & smokes after using the food stamps on goodies and snacks!
    f) RIAA -I will always continue to be a pirate… ARRRRRRG!
    g) Frontier -thanks for taking my $277 and not rendering any services you frakken crooks! Sure you’re not best friends with Bank of America? They didn’t care what I had to say when I fought the charges. Hmmm.

  127. magus_melchior says:

    @douchrti2004: Can I second that?

  128. BigBoat says:

    Paypal.

  129. LeopardSeal says:

    Walmart, for generously helping to destroy the US economy.

  130. Scalvo2 says:

    Bank of America.

  131. topgun says:

    If you look back over the last 12 months I’m sure it has to be Best Buy. They get my vote followed by Bank of America and then K-Mart/Sears.

  132. geekfather says:

    My gut says to go with AT&T for illegally wiretapping your phones & internet while simultaneously lining the pockets of the cowards and traitors in congress who gave them immunity.

  133. PhilR8 says:

    RadioShack. Paypal. Bank of America.

  134. rkwadd says:

    @sohmc: “1. Cox Communication (cable provider): Cox offers cable for ~$30 for basic cable. It’s about 12 *local* channels without HD. This is not to mention to get HD costs and additional $60.”

    That’s like claiming Rolex is a horrible company because their watches are expensive.

  135. adamsummers says:

    1) Microsoft
    2) AT&T

  136. hi says:

    Federal Reserve

  137. PDX909 says:

    Fry’s Electronics

  138. hilighter says:

    Exxon Mobile…um record profits, and crazy high gas prices? Rat bastards!

  139. boandmichele says:

    @idledebonair: that is a good one. one more nomination here for the Co$

  140. stacye says:

    Please oh please let it be Bank of America.

  141. quieterhue says:

    I think Best Buy takes it. Objectively, they may not be as evil as some, but they’ve certainly had a very bad year in the public relations sense and haven’t seemed to attempt to rectify the problems on a global level. Offenses include: secret in-store website, company employees stealing data from people’s computers, losing a woman’s computer and getting sued for $54 million as a result, etc. This is pretty bad stuff.

  142. jbalsle says:

    Wow. So many choices. Do I nominate Comcast? Do I nominate Great West. Do I nominate CompUSA, who dies a justly deserved death this month?

    No. I have two for the top spot. I’ve only done business with one, though, so I nominate it in the spirit of American Freedoms.

    AT&T, boot-licker of the Federal Government, bad custodian of my liberties and rights, and tool of the right-wing fascist cabal that has taken control of the United States. I nominate them as Worst Company of 2008. Verison gets dishonorable mention as well for being like AT&T.

    On the contrast, Qwest is a good guy for protecting our liberties. Unfortunately, you defy the Bush Cabal, and you pay the price…as Qwest’s being locked out of government contracts shows.

  143. m4ximusprim3 says:

    Sears, best buy.

  144. Anitra says:

    Countrywide

    Bank of America

    Sears

  145. Greeper says:

    All those companies that make profits. BOOOO profit! Yay losses!

  146. crunkbear says:

    Not sure if they’re the worst, but Mattel has to be up there for their inaction with regard to lead tainted toys.

  147. Angryrider says:

    Big Health Insurance. Like Blue Cross Blue Shield, or Kaiser. One of those companies let a child die because she didn’t go to one of THEIR hospitals.
    Smithfield, other meat companies, for creating feces lagoons, killing off all the fish, and dropping property values like crazy.

  148. pdxguy says:

    United Airlines.

  149. Angryrider says:

    @royal72: Yes! Exactly! Most of the worst companies hail from America! What better way than to blame the source!

  150. SaraAB87 says:

    I am going to say Gamestop. They sell opened games as brand new, mark up the price on most Nintendo DS games by 5$ (hello 34.99 for Professor Layton and the Curious Village, MSRP 29.99) not to mention selling tons of scratched up, used games for 5$ less than the new price of a game. Another thing they do is frequently sell pirated games, especially when it comes to Game Boy Advance games. They have no policy against checking for or selling pirated games, and the employees are not trained to check for pirated games. They do not check or clean games that are traded in, they just put them on the shelf as they get them, so when you buy a used game there, you are basically getting someone else’s junk.

  151. lightaugust says:

    I’m gonna second (or third, fourth) Countrywide. The symbolic damage they’ve done to this country alone oughta be enough. Best Buy’s close, but for them, I think it’s time to institute a Lifetime Achievement Award.

  152. AT203 says:
  153. rkwadd says:

    @Greeper: You’ll notice Chevy on these nominations as well. So we’ve learned: 1. companies that make profits are evil. 2. Companies that make losses are evil.

  154. dp3 says:

    DirecTv. They have raised rates a ton this year, ditched Tivo, Switched to a “leased” receiver policy (that still costs between 100 and 200 dollars) and have horrible customer service.

  155. winstonthorne says:

    United Health Group! Their service is abysmal, and they’re currently being sued for it. They intentionally underpay both medical providers and consumers.

  156. eightfifteen says:

    1) Walmart

    2) RIAA

    3) Country Wide

    Possible back to back for RIAA? Dynasty?

  157. BP2012 says:

    Comcast and Blackwater :-)

  158. Part-Time-Viking says:

    Is Best Buy really the best you people can do? Negative press aside, I feel that this site really blows what press it gets way out of context, most of the stories (Lost laptop aside) are more of a result of an idiot in the store, not the company itself. Every company will employ a group of idiots. Does BB need some work? Yes, I can personally attest to that. But a few spoiled eggs does not make a company bad, much less the worst.

    Oil Companies, Pharmaceutical Companies, Insurance Companies, Cable/Internet Providers and Credit Card Companies… Those kinds of companies screw more people over in an hourly basis than Best Buy has screwed over in the entire length of its existence.

  159. myzenthing says:

    Microsoft.

  160. Howie999 says:

    Pains me to say this, but Sears.

  161. Shannon says:

    BEST BUY, DUH!

  162. Bladefist says:

    Gawker!

    j/k.

    Bestbuy gets my vote, maybe sprint too

  163. ct03 says:

    @deadlizard: I second MLB, but more for their copyright bitchiness and their antitrust exemption than the steroids, although that’s bad too.

  164. Bladefist says:

    @royal72: Dont make this political, get over it.

  165. iDevin says:

    I’m going to have to go with either Countrywide or any one of the health insurance providers.

  166. choinski says:

    Exxon-Mobil, posting record corporate profits for all time, instead of reducing the cost of their products in a way that would boos tthe rest of the economy. Why settle for excessive profit when it can be for obscene profit?

    (too bad about the contest ‘product’ requirement, or I would have nominated Blackwater)

  167. valthun says:

    Wal-Mart for reasons not needed to explain

  168. technotica says:

    Sears (legendary craptastic service and sending brand name down the crapper)
    Best Buy (tasering and snooping laptops, general nonsense towards customers)
    Countrywide (or any subprime lender)
    Sony (still miffed about rootkits and other offenses)
    Commercial airlines (United, AA, take your pick)
    Cable companies (Comcast, Cox, etc – I’m just glad I don’t live in those areas!)

  169. choinski says:

    … ooh, and Countrywide, for enabling the credit crisis.

  170. Omi says:

    I also vote for the Church of Scientology, for obvious reasons.

  171. nightsweat says:

    Whoever did the “clearance sale” at CompUSA.

  172. aeproberts says:

    Microsoft….I am not sure how it is even close.

    Vista is a dismal failure that is filled with bugs. There is a massive problem with thousands of people who can’t update new security patches and Microsoft is doing nothing to help them. It has been months. It is a security problem and a customer service problem all in one. Lord knows that any Windows machine needs security updates.

    Lets look a a few reasons why Microsoft should be named the worst.
    Windows VISTA
    Windows Defender
    Windows Update
    Windows Firewall
    Attempted Takeover of Yahoo
    Monopoly
    Zune
    Red Ring of Death
    Poor Customer Service
    Predatory Practices
    Privacy Concerns
    Windows Live
    Patent Violations
    Bill Gates
    Security Updates

    I could keep going. Feel free to add your own. I need to get back to work.

  173. ekasbury says:

    Comcast.

  174. Bliz says:

    Comcast!

  175. JohnMc says:

    As a former customer, I would have to say Comcast.

    Second up is Best Buy.

  176. zibby says:

    Video Professor, no doubt.

  177. SpenceMan01 says:

    Merck for their lobbying for government mandated, forced Gardasil injections to make up for the Vioxx debacle.

    Comcast for the throttling and BT blocking.

    MTV because I hate every aspect of them.

  178. OminousG says:

    TicketMaster!
    Only company I know that gets away with charging $23+ for tickets they advertise are $15.
    65% markup? eat shit.

  179. aeproberts says:

    To anyone who voted for Best Buy….just don’t go there. Vote with your wallet. A lot of people don’t get that chance with things like Telecoms, Cable Companies, Credit Cards, Microsoft, Mortgage companies etc. You are stuck with those companies, there are plenty of places to buy electronics and you are never tied to a particular store.

  180. NoNamesLeft says:

    I nominate the Federal Reserve. Whithout them, the dollar might actually be worth something.

  181. IndyJaws says:

    The New England Patriots (Spygate, anyone?)

    (hey, what do you expect from a Colts fan?!)

    Put me on the Best Buy evil train as well.

  182. dwhicks01 says:

    Yeah, Best Buy can screw you over every once in awhile. I have a brother and good friend who work there. They are both on working to fight the, “everyone who works at Best Buy is an ignorant electronics fool and wants to sell me a bunch a crap I don’t need, and especially don’t want”. My brother is a certified A+ Comptia tech(not huge qualifications but he knows a system inside and out), and my friends is an Electrical Engineering student with me (I am a Computer Engineering student).

    My vote is for Comcast. I have had them for a year and lets say my traffic has been thoroughly throttled!

  183. Jeepman says:

    Hmmmm, hard choice:

    1) Best Buy (for all the obvious reasons already cited – but mostly because they REALLY SUCK)

    2) Chrysler Corp (for refusing to replace parts that fell off my Jeep under warranty because I didn’t have the old parts – hey, if they hadn’t fallen off on the trail I’d still have the old parts, but wouldn’t need them – but mostly because they REALLY SUCK)

    Pat

  184. StevieD says:

    In no particular order:

    Starbucks

    Amazon

    Target

  185. Starbuck says:

    Comcast seconded

  186. the_wallbanger says:

    Blackwater, Comcast, Haliburton, Circuit City, and the RIAA.

  187. CPC24 says:

    Best Buy
    Comcast
    Best Buy
    Bank of America
    Best Buy

    P.S. No one has nominated Dish Network yet?

  188. supesguy says:

    AT&T Wireless – the NEW Cingular!!!

  189. Jeepman says:

    @dwhicks01: Sorry, but “screwing the customer” is Best Buy corporate policy, not the result of some yahoo in a local store. We dealt directly with corporate headquarters for 2 months and were repeatedly told they “just couldn’t” honor their extended warranty. It’s funny, but after 1 letter from a lawyer and – what do you know?! – they could honor their warranty after all.

    Pat

  190. MissPeacock says:

    I’m with all the other Countrywide haters.

  191. animenick65 says:

    Exxon Mobile for sure.

  192. hornrimsylvia says:

    Cigna – for denying liver transplants, in effect killing people. murder by spreadheet. ([blogs.wsj.com])
    Really, any health insurance company, but especially United Healthcare.
    Blackwater – murder for hire.
    AT&T – volunteering to domestically spy for the government/NSA, and then buying off Sen. Rockefeller to convince the senate to let them off for it.

  193. Frank Grimes says:

    @choinski: OK, Exxon makes a lot of money but keep this in perspective:

    ExxonMobil 2007 Profit Margin: 10.04%
    Apple 2007 Profit Margin: 14.56%:

    ExxonMobil 2007 Operating Margin: 17.42%
    Apple 2007 Operating Margin: 18.37%

    ExxonMobil makes money becuase they had 400 Billion in revenue last year. In reality, their profit margin shrank from 12% in 2006.

  194. hornrimsylvia says:

    I second Church of Scientology, with all of the lawyers and trade secrets, they are totally a corporation.

  195. MDSasquatch says:

    … and the company that manufactures SPAM; no food should come with a protective layer of jelly and the smell of barnyard shenanigans.

  196. mantene says:

    BoA or Comspastic!

  197. Buran says:

    @Phildawg: Wow, thanks for admitting that you committed fraud by deceptively signing people up for things they don’t want. I hope future possible employers find out about this and retract job offers if you ever have to handle money again. That’s illegal and unacceptable.

  198. jbalsle says:

    @Frank Grimes:

    Right. We’re supposed to excuse them for their obscene profits simply because they’re doing alot of business. And according to Bladefist, I shouldn’t make this political. Right.

    Nice try to shape the debate. May I be so bold as to say the reason they have so much income is that they benefited from the political and economic climate that allows them to take in $90+ per barrel of oil? Oh, yeah, the ‘Terrists’ that Bush is in such fear of? Yeah, they reap those $90+ per barrel oil prices too.

  199. arthurat says:

    Aetna Health Insurance, I could write a novel about the problems I had last year. Any way they could come up with to not honor coverage, they have thought of it.

  200. EvilSwine says:

    AT&T and Microsoft

  201. EricLensherr says:

    United Airlines.

    Comcast.

  202. Phildawg says:

    @Buran: And it’s why I no longer work for an unethical company and it’s also why Best Buy currently has lawsuits against them and Microsoft over this practice that was trained throughout their corporation.

    Welcome to Corporate America.

  203. mwwilk says:

    Countrywide fo’ sho’.

  204. mrbiggsndatx says:

    Anything that Rupert Murdoch touches, Haliburton, Blackwater, KBR, Best Buy, Sears, Office Depot, Amazon and their partner who supplies boxes, and your MOM!! She sucks the most, but thats the sucking we all have come to LOVE!! happy v day from best buy. While you think we are working on your computer, one of our techs is making love to pictures of your loved one! <3

  205. nrkelly says:

    ***COMCAST*** by a landslide. I hope they got out of business!

  206. Part-Time-Viking says:

    @Phildawg: Dude, this is American, everyone and their mother have lawsuits against them these days.

  207. Phildawg says:

    P.S. You seem to be a fairly knowledgeable person and might even be in the engineering profession. Have you ever taken the time to look over the IEEE code of ethics vs say maybe the NSPE code of ethics?

    Let’s put it this way, the IEEE code of ethics can be summed up in 1 short page and many ethical engineers have major complaints over this. So please do not fault a whistleblower, fault the corporations and all the dishonest people. I can’t believe you would attack me over admitting the horrible tactics used against you and others unwittingly.

    If I had to take a guess, you are maybe suggesting all the unethical company’s should not consider me for employment over being a whistleblower. Fortunately for me, I work for an ethical company.

  208. Mr. Guy says:

    Hallmark/Westland Meat Packing Co

  209. choinski says:

    exxon mobil, blackwater, countrywide

  210. Rectilinear Propagation says:

    Well, I’ll second Monsanto for screwing up the food we eat.
    Also:
    Credit Bureaus

    There was some company that did something awful early in January and I seconded someone’s suggestion that they be the Worst Company but now I can’t find that post. Does anyone remember that? I think several people seconded that.

  211. Thorzdad says:

    MEGA Health Insurance.

    Sleazy-ass scam. Two words…Balance Billing

  212. Brad2723 says:

    Comcast and Verizon (all businesses)

  213. Coelacanth says:

    Bank of America. How could it lose? Between now owning Countrywide and shafting its credit card users, it’s a no-brainer.

  214. AdamthePugh says:

    The greatest place I have to shop, but hate to:

    Best Buy

  215. homerjay says:

    Its easy to go after Comcast or Best Buy, but I’d like to see Menu Foods in there for killing all those dogs.
    If the mood strikes you, one can always argue that a country is a company, in which case, I nominate China.

  216. Maia-Bittner says:

    another vote for Comcast

  217. MFfan310 says:

    Here’s my top six:

    1) Comcast: This one’s easy… for excessive rates, throwing sand in the face of net neutrality, and their “Putting Fans… We Mean Profits First” stance on the Big Ten Network. Makes me glad I have FiOS (which will be getting the BTN in April, from what I hear).
    2) Macy’s: They destroy decent department stores (Marshall Field’s for one) with overpriced, shoddy private-label merchandise, clueless employees, and cluttered store layouts. Way to shop? More like way to stop!
    3) Microsoft: Windows Vista. Need I say more?
    4) NBC Universal: Must-Flee TV… they refuse to put TV shows on iTunes, they’re prolonging the high-definition format war by refusing to go to the Blu-ray side and dump Toshiba’s HD-DUD format, and they continue to pump out crap shows that no one watches.
    5) Halliburton: They deserve to be back for an encore just for screwing American taxpayers every year with no-bid contracts.
    6) Countrywide: Because 12% of your loans being subprime can cause 120% of your troubles (and nearly wreck the American economy in the process)

  218. arniec says:

    They don’t get much play on this site but Hasbro and their direct sales area…they sell things they don’t have, they ship product that is 3 years old rather than items actually ordered, they use no packing materials so virtually all items arrive damaged, but then they provide zero customer service. When you get a bad item they won’t even refund you the money it would cost to buy it on their site.

    I don’t expect it to win, there’s a ton of Comcast and BB haters posting, so it will be a toss-up between them, but Hasbro deserves to be on this list.

    I just think not a lot of Consumerist visitors buy toys…

  219. xamarshahx says:

    while exxon, sprint, best buy all suck, no one is still as bad as halliburton as they continue to screw the tax payers. no one is forced to buy from best buy, but we are forced to pay haliburton’s bills. also, could we nominate the bush administration since it is run like a corporation ;-)

  220. Dibbler says:

    Apple.

  221. Phildawg says:

    @homerjay: China’s problems are almost completely because of corporate America. They produced products exactly to the standards required by their American employer. This is why China is becoming so frustrated over the blame game on them, they just produced what they were told to produce. What do you expect from companies manufacturing in China to begin with? Of course their going to cut corners and hope nobody finds out.

  222. tgrove says:

    comcast, you all know why

  223. axiomatic says:

    My worst:
    1. RIAA
    2. Comcast
    3. AT&T
    4. Best Buy
    5. Randalls/Safeway (Grocery)

  224. ideagirl says:

    I have two–Walmart, and Charter

  225. SkittleKicks says:

    Comcast. By far.

  226. Logan26 says:

    RIAA
    MPAA
    Best Buy
    Comcast
    AT&T
    T-Mobil
    Sprint/Nextel

  227. ct03 says:

    @homerjay:
    @Phildawg: I would love to see a China vs. America match up in here. Seconded.

  228. Greasy Thumb Guzik says:

    @suburbancowboy:
    This normally wouldn’t be the place for this, but you started it with your bullshit statement.
    There was nothing wrong with being involved in the Manhattan Project!
    But there is something very wrong with being a historical revisionist!

    1. There wasn’t any doubt that Nazi Germany was working on a nuclear bomb.
    2. We had no idea of their progress, but certainly knew about the V-1 & V-2 operations from the damage done to London. The V-2 was expected to carry an A-bomb.
    3. The original target for the first A-bomb was Berlin, but the Red Army ground up the Wehrmacht a lot faster than anyone could have predicted.
    4. The work continued because Japan had no intention of surrendering. Their best offer prior to the use of the bombs was that their troops would stay where they were, meaning a continued occupation of China & Korea.
    That was unacceptable to all of the Allies. Japan was also working on the bomb, but their effort went nowhere, due to a lack of resources & scientists.
    5. After the second bomb was dropped on Nagasaki, Hirohito finally came to his senses & gave that surrender speech, which was recorded on a 16″ disk & taken to NHK for transmission to his subjects. A small group of junior officers tried to intercept the disk & destroy it & stage a coup, so that the war would continue on.
    6. There was no way that Truman could allow an invasion of Japan, one that would have dwarfed the D-Day landings by a factor of ten & casualties that would have gotten him executed for treason when the knowledge of the bomb’s existence came out. That is, if he wasn’t assassinated first!

    7. And most importantly, those two bombs not only saved a million American lives, they saved at least 10 million Japanese lives!
    The Japanese military government was determined to have their country go down in one gigantic suicidal effort!
    Just look at the insane defense of Iwo Jima, Saipan & especially Okinawa, where they sacrificed their giant battleship, Yamato, in that insane defense of that island, & managed to kill at least 100,000 Okinawan civilians in the process.
    That forced Truman’s hand!

  229. BlackestRose says:

    1) Haliburtan

    For screwing my and my kids into debt larger than I could ever imagine.

    2) RIAA

    3) Exxon

    Largest profit in history while us consumers are spending far more on energy than every before.

  230. Rectilinear Propagation says:

    I’d like to see Menu Foods in there for killing all those dogs.

    @homerjay: Seconded!

  231. redhelix says:

    @AlteredBeast: Just a heads-up, but the original 1st-gen NES actually had massive failure rates.

  232. bohemian says:

    How about the entire health insurance industry. Killing people to make a huge profit is far worse than the obnoxious stuff Best Buy and Sears have been up to.

    Comcast screwing up your bill constantly isn’t going to matter if your dead.

  233. pauljunk says:

    Spank of America

  234. phalex says:

    KBR

    Monsanto

    Blue Cross

    And American Apparel for their pornified ads and sleazebag CEO.

  235. TechnoDestructo says:

    @Greasy Thumb Guzik: Uh, what? Walmart killing jobs doesn’t have anything to do with housing prices getting run up to unsustainable levels. All it did was lower the level of sustainability. But it wasn’t doing that fast enough to kick the chair out from under the housing market.

  236. TechnoDestructo says:

    @sohmc:

    Seconding Chase. They also like to play musical payment-due-dates.

  237. univision says:

    Best Buy!
    For the following reasons:
    1. Fake web site
    2. Raelyn’s laptop
    3, Price gouging people on the Gateway P-6831FX
    4. Charging more for opened products then new ones
    5. Ruining Jennifer’s Super Bowl party, and being dicks about it
    6. Mislabeling/switching CD’s, DVD’s, Hard Drives, etc
    7. Automatically assuming their customers are thieves, liars, and brainless.
    8. Refusing to honor 2 for $25 DVD sale as advertised.
    9. Ruining a former manager’s chances at getting a job elsewhere
    10. Charging for free repairs
    11. Exploiting Heath’s death
    12. and for all around just sucking ass when it comes to customer care

    the list goes on, but I have to get back to work…

  238. yonajon says:

    I’d have to vote for CapitalOne! Vicious company with worst customer support I’ve ever experienced.

  239. mclare08 says:

    Charter Communications.

    They delete email accounts and only give a $50 gift card, change plans without the customer’s permission and refuse to go back to the original plan, lie, lie, and lie again.

    I would also say Bank of America for arbitrarily raising interest rates on credit cards and charging an additional fee for customers using other banks’ atms as well as being a lousy company in general.

    Ameren is also pretty lousy. Last year they drastically increased rates when their inability to maintain their systems led to blackouts. Now they’re trying to raise rates AGAIN.

    and I suppose I would rank Best Buy and Sprint as tied for fourth. :p

  240. maxhost says:

    The U.S. Government – the worst company in the world.

  241. mclare08 says:

    @smitty1123:

    In that case I’d nominate Woot. Despite their crappy shipping they have great service!

  242. Kathlene says:

    Well, since 2007 was the “Year of the Tainted Product”, I’m going to have to nominate companies that brought sickness and death to America by failing to have Quality Assurance procedures in place to ensure they are importing safe products. And since I can’t nominate “China” (it’s not a company), I nominate:

    (1) Mattel. The nation’s largest toy manufacturer had the majority of recalled lead-tainted toys last year. On top of that, they recently flat-out refused to recall a known tainted product.

    (2) ConAgra foods – They generously provided us with salmonella-tainted peanut butter and pot pies.

    I’d like to include the company responsible for the tainted pet food that killed so many pets, but alas, it is Canadian (not eligible).

  243. mclare08 says:

    @Angryrider:

    Heave you heard of Blue Cross sending physicians letters requesting them to spy on patients? It helps them find new ways to drop avoid paying their clients’ claims. Tsk Tsk

  244. royal72 says:

    @Bladefist: “Dont make this political, get over it.”

    how can you not, when they’re inseparable?!

    take the stimulus plan, it’s point in simple terms is, hey america, the corporate numbers aren’t looking so good, so go buy more stuff. who does it benefit? big business. who pays for it? we the united consumerists of america.

  245. nysports says:

    mlb and bestbuy

  246. MEoip says:

    Do the presidential candidates count as companies? They have millions and plenty of people are buying the crap they are selling?

    If not I’ll toss AT&T’s hat into the ring.

  247. csdiego says:

    @suburbancowboy: I second Monsanto: don’t forget their rBGH.

    Walmart.
    Bank of America.

  248. DashTheHand says:

    Circuit City for being even worse on customer service, lies, and dishonest tactics than Best Buy multiplied by 20.

  249. jlewis93454 says:

    I sumbit Alienware. I spent over $3,200 on a gaming laptop. Within a week the graphics card was overheating and crashing my system.
    I called tech support, and after 90 minutes of painful and pointless troubleshooting the tech told me to “put the laptop on 4 bottle caps to increase the airflow to the computer.”
    You read it right. I spent over 3k on a laptop and when it broke I was told that propping it on bottle caps was the fix.

  250. femmeknitzi1 says:

    I would like to nominate Sallie Mae Student Loan Servicing. Setting aside the general customer service issues they have–non-responsiveness, excess marketing and poor customer service, I have a particular issue with their way of doing business.

    Outsourcing causes problems, ethically and practically in any business. However, the idea of outsourcing to a foreign country when you’re in the business of financial aid is so outlandish that I have no faith in Sallie Mae’s concern for their customers.

    The financial aid industry is complex and poorly understood by the average borrower, yet student loans are often a student’s first financial venture.

    Sallie Mae thinks that adding a cultural barrier to this mix is a good idea for their customers. In my experience, this isn’t about understanding foreign accents. The people that I have spoken to are quite understandable. But culturally, they have no concept of the higher education system and simply cannot answer complex questions.

    We have to do better by our students since they must have an education to get ahead and thus we are sending them off into the world already in debt. Shame on you, Sallie Mae!

  251. Frank Grimes says:

    @jbalsle: I never excused ExxonMobil; they have problems themselves that qualify them for this list. Payment of $250 million to the departing CEO, still fighting against taking more responsibility for the damage done to Prudhoe Bay, and generally being anti-green in any and every way possible. But just saying they had obscene profits are a non-starter when other “evil” companies being bantered about either had lousy years or suffered enormous losses. Exxon deserves the title because their business practices are the worst, NOT their profits.

  252. bgrigson says:

    So does China count?

  253. toddiot says:

    I think the big contenders are Best Buy, Bank of America and Sears. EVERYONE hates Best Buy, but it’ll be a bit boring if they win.

  254. SirDidymus says:

    ANY AIRLINE

  255. Superborty says:

    Wow, Best Buy and Comcast will certainly be squaring off in the finals. I however nominate Toys R Us for their bad prices and terrible returns policy, oh and their super rundown stores.

  256. huginn says:

    Circut city just for the fact they sued cheap ass gamer.

  257. rustyni says:

    Comcast.

  258. Joafu says:

    Since RIAA isn’t a formal company so much as it is a mob, and I’m not sure if they’re able to run after last year’s victory. Okay, then I nominate the internet. Yes, the entire thing.

  259. whytee says:

    ExxonMobil, for taking monopolistic greed to such hubristic extremes with the help of its friends in Washington. (It could just as easily be ChevronTexaco, but whatev)

  260. whytee says:

    @MEoip: Indeed. It’s too bad they can’t be included in this!

  261. Joafu says:

    @Joafu: Yikes at that run-on sentence; you get the idea.

  262. evilfremen says:

    Clear Channel or possibly News Corp.
    But definitely Clear Channel, as they have destroyed so much of this country I love.

  263. mrosedal says:

    I would like to nominate Chase. There are several reasons, but I got a credit card with them that was supposed to be 0% interest. The first time I carried over a balance they charged me interest. And than I have received no end to the special offers that they offer through their card. They are the most annoying credit card company out there.

  264. mrosedal says:

    Best Buy for hiring arrogant idiot workers!

  265. ryes says:

    DirectTV: trying to reach live telephone tech support is agonizing. You must first sit through a 10 minute (no joke) troubleshooting lecture for a “snowy screen” even if that’s not what you’re calling about BEFORE you get to the queu. Even the tech reps say they get lots of complaints but the higher ups are oblivious.

  266. schiff says:

    Best buy or buy.com

    Best buy for their bait and switch tactics with regards to ad and website prices differeing from the actual store prices.

    buy.com for their black hat practices, like selling refurbished products as new OEM, and then denying returns or refunds.

  267. schiff says:

    I really dont understand everyones hatred toward bank of america. I hav dealt with them for years and have never had a problem (except for account links to their investment services).

  268. SuffolkHouse says:

    I nominate Verizon. Their Fios system is absolutely terrible. 50% of my calls are dropped. They lie. They say things will be sent that they won’t send. They not only forgot to show up to install, but had no recollection of the order. They have several different systems, some of which can’t recognize you – good luck calling in. They suck!

  269. Rectilinear Propagation says:

    I’d like to include the company responsible for the tainted pet food that killed so many pets, but alas, it is Canadian (not eligible).

    @Kathlene: But they sell goods in America. It’s “Worst Company In America” not “Worst American Company”. (Besides, America = Continent, USA = Country)

    Perhaps one of the editors/mods can clarify but I think companies based in countries outside the United States are eligible if they sell goods or services in United States of America.

  270. MasterShake says:

    wachovia for doing business with know frauds and celebrating the rise in income they realized from this shady practice.

  271. ninjatales says:

    Microsoft for continuing to support the doomed HD-DVD and buying other companies to take over the world.

    BestBuy for being deceptive.

  272. ideagirl says:

    @homerjay: Good call, I second

  273. failurate says:

    Bank of America
    CountryWide
    ADM
    Monsanto
    LaRoma’s Pizza (You know what you did!)

  274. Benstein says:

    Microsoft, cause my 4th xbox just f$*%ing broke.

  275. mrsultana can't get a password to work says:

    Since I have my fingers crossed that my connection lasts long enough for this message to get through, I have to go with Comcast.
    Then again, even if I get the connection, who is to say they won’t “throttle” this message because they object to my morals contained in it?

  276. MsFeasance says:

    Best Buy.

  277. kizzle says:

    Let’s compare here.

    Comcast – illegally throttles p2p traffic
    Microsoft – xbox360 RRoD (though they did the right thing with the warranty extension) and Vista.
    Oil Companies – make obscene profits.
    Geek Squad/Best Buy – horrible service, $54 million lawsuit, porn-smugglers.

    Blackwater (from Wikipedia, take with grain of salt but check sources) –

    On September 22, 2007, U.S. federal prosecutors announced an investigation into allegations that Blackwater employees may have smuggled weapons into Iraq, and that these weapons may have been later transferred to the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), a Kurdish nationalist group designated a terrorist organization by the United States, NATO and the EU.[108][109][110] The U.S. government was investigating Blackwater for these alleged crimes.[111] On October 4, 2007, the FBI took over the investigation.[112]

    In January 2008 Marshall Adame, a Democrat running for Congress in North Carolina’s 3rd District, took part in a live question-and-answer forum where he was asked a question about Blackwater. Adame who had served as a State Department official in Iraq recounted; “I saw them shoot people, I saw them crash into cars while I was their passenger. There was absolutely no reason, no provocation whatsoever.” He then stated “There is no place in the American force structure, or in American culture for mercenaries, they are guns for hire; No more, no less.”

    Now I understand the stated caveat that the nomination must be a company that sells goods or services to the average consumer so Blackwater is excluded, but Blackwater should have won this competition hands down. No matter how shitty the sub-prime market is or how shady the companies are that contributed to the meltdown, no matter how shady Comcast is in illegally hurting our ability to download the new linux distro (*cough* porn *cough*), no matter how much the oil companies are screwing us over, these all pale in comparison to the company that is under investigation for smuggling weapons that ended up in terrorists’ hands as well as shooting innocent Iraqi civilians without being held accountable.

  278. mpg31337 says:

    Besy Buy

  279. Jamie Beckland says:

    OK, I am sure I am contributing nothing new here. My nominations are:

    Countrywide – for consumers and investors both!
    GAP (no explanation needed)
    Google (just wanted to see if you were paying attention)
    Congress (I know they are not a company – their financials prove it, but boy have they been useless in the past year)

    I am not including any electronics retailers, cell phone companies or WalMart. Enough with the repeats already!

    This nominating in the comments must be hell for the intern! I am so sorry you have to read and edit all of these posts. My hats off to the intern!!

  280. nacio says:

    I HATE AIMCO PROPERTY MANAGEMENT!!!! WORST COMPANY EVER, when i moved out of my apartment they charged to clean the windows from the outside!!! I LIVE ON THE THIRD FLOOR, they never heard of wear and tear and I only lived there for 6 months good riddance. i got tired of the obscene 140$ + water bills. (they charge you what they see fit)

  281. I think I would have said Sears, but that’s like kicking something that’s already fallen down. Plus, they’re already admitting that they’re a shitty company, unlike Comcast or the Mortgage industry that are still pumping out positive propaganda like there’s no tomorrow.

  282. TheBard says:

    I nominate the Church of Scientology

  283. IdleMercutio says:

    Best Buy. They have consistently had the worst customer service of any retailer I shopped at last year. On top of which they do not stock on items very well: they rarely have much more than the few current hits for any software, games, music or movies. Customer service at almost all big retailers is pretty much nonexistent these days, but Best Buy employees take the cake for the way they combine rudeness with ignorance. And I haven’t mentioned the stores marketing and sales policies yet.

  284. Anonymous says:

    The Bush Adminstration

  285. Annonam says:

    Church of $cientology

  286. Savage says:

    Halliburton and RIAA are still bad and still get my vote. I’d also like to add 1800flowers, as they’ve continually messed up year after year for me and I stupidly go back to them. “That guy gypped me; he put daisy stems on my roses!”

  287. mavrc says:

    How about Best Buy and some sort of special “Lifetime Achievement Award” for Wal*Mart?

  288. IdleMercutio says:

    Best Buy, hands down. Cumatively speaking last year was a collection of the worst experiences I ever had with a company. I even hate them more than Verizon now (and I NEVER thought I would say that about any company). Best Buy sucks. They really need to win this award–perhaps it would even wake up the retail sector to how sick and tired consumers are of their shtik.

  289. Multi-Nomination Here.
    I’ve got a few companies to nominate. Here we go:

    Comcast No need to explain why.
    Verizon They half-ass build networks and then tease those without accessibility to their service with advertisements to sign up for their service. It pisses me off that they claim they are available in Baltimore County and for the past 3 months, I’ve been seeing advertisements for it while for the past 3 months, I have yet to see the service as available in my area.
    RIAA Same reason as last year.
    Every healthcare company no need to explain why
    United States Congress (Both House and Senate) For having no testicular fortitude. And there is no way anyone can tell me they don’t provide a service.

  290. seawall says:

    Sprint, US Airways, Air Canada, Comcast

  291. Imhotep says:

    @suburbancowboy: Couldn’t agree more. Monsanto = Pure Evil. No amount of bad customer service can compare with the level of life-destroying bile this company produces.
    What? BestBuy destroyed your laptop?? Well, Monsanto is destroying the food sources that life on this planet depends on. They genetically modify seeds to be sterile and force farmers around the world to buy them;Monsanto makes GMO corn with the ebola virus and doesn’t tell you! etc, etc, etc…
    Please watch “The Future of Food” to get a glimpse of the destruction this company is doing to the planet.
    Monsanto IS the worst company.

  292. polyeaster says:

    Comcast, WalMart

  293. jscott73 says:

    National Association of Realtors

    For profiting off the American Dream with lies and half-truths and being one of the the key players that caused our current housing meltdown.

  294. Amelie says:

    @Greasy Thumb Guzik: The Consumerist isn’t a forum for your political agenda. If someone wants to hate on Monsanto and has issues with what they’ve been involved in, that’s their choice. The only saving grace is that you wasted all that time trying to enlightment people, when most of us quit reading after the first sentence.

  295. Moosehawk says:

    Hilary Clinton

    Um, for seriousness though, I’ll nominate comcast.

  296. Greasy Thumb Guzik says:

    @TechnoDestructo:
    While Wally World didn’t cause the price of housing to go up, it caused the pay of the average working person to go down, thus causing them to have less to pay for their mortgage. many people bought houses when they had a good paying job, only to see it sent to China when the bastards in Bentonville became over a third of their employer’s business. Wal-Mart then demands a lower wholesale price which can’t be met without closing up shop in the US & then the job goes to China. Thus the guy making $18 an hour plus benefits is suddenly making $8 an hour & on Medicaid! He then has the problem of paying the monthly mortgage that he got when he was making more than twice as much.

    It all started there!

    So I’ve changed my vote to Wal-Mart, not the worst company of the years, but the worst company of the last 60 years!

  297. Bill Brasky says:

    Wal Fart.

    Shitty CS

    Shitty to work for.

  298. gmanj says:

    Bank of America, Chase, Wachovia, what the hell, let’s just nominate all non-credit union financial institutions.

  299. ikimashokie says:

    Best Buy.

    I not-so-secretly make a daily wish that all of their stores and related services/franchises/holdings will simultaneously combust.

  300. gmanj says:

    @arniec:

    I bought a bad hasbro star wars toy in Disney. They promptly sent me a return label. I did have to email and bitch at them 8 weeks later but we did receive replacements of higher value because they didn’t have the broken toy any longer. So my experience was not too bad with them.

  301. djkevo says:

    Cablevision is charging me 22c to rent their remote. How could they not be on this post, am I the only with Comcast ?

  302. goodkitty says:

    I nominate Microsoft, for the Vista “launch.” Forcing your customers to buy the new software, even when it doesn’t work, then discontinuing support for the old one is pretty evil. It might not be the most “evil” thing ever, but it probably has the largest financial impact world-wide.

    Runner up would be Bank of America, for sheer wickedness in how it views its customers (or should I say serfs).

    The RIAA is so easy, it should simply have an honorary 1st place award every year. But it’s such a shoo-in, that it would be unfair to all the other horrible companies out there to have to “compete” against them.

  303. djkevo says:

    Cablevision is charging me 22c a month to rent their remote control. That’s aside from the $75 they’re docking me for family cable. How could they not be on this list ?

  304. Sixxtwo says:

    best buy

  305. baronofgreymatter says:

    Exxon Mobil reported Friday that it beat its own record for the highest profits ever recorded by any company, with net income rising 3 percent to $40.6 billion, thanks to surging oil prices. The company’s sales, more than $404 billion, exceeded the gross domestic product of 120 countries.

    Exxon Mobil earned more than $1,287 of profit for every second of 2007.

  306. mammalpants says:

    google.
    they are the government with a marketing department.

  307. JustHisWordsdotcom says:

    Blackwater* (which, in military terms, means “human blood”; “black water”)

    *I’m bored with submitting Halliburton.

  308. ExtraCelestial says:

    While Sprint and Comcast are fantastic contenders my vote goes for Best Buy. Not only is their EXECUTIVE customer service terrible, they overcharge, manipulate, and flat out lie to even their most loyal of consumers. Having a transaction with Best Buy is like being gutted and spat on by a mugger.

    I also vehemently despise ATT but I guess they’re rather small potatoes in the grand scheme of things.

  309. viksr says:

    I have to vote for *BEST BUY* ..it’s definitely the first company I thought of when reading the post. From past experiences (even after working at a store) I’ve never been treated so badly. I have made my own personal policy to ban a store after multiple customer service/other issues (3 strikes, you’re out), and Best Buy was the first to receive that award on my behalf. They lie to you about whether items are in stock based on their perception of whether youre buying the service plan or not, for just one example (i know this after working there).

    I also nominate Comcast and RIAA…

  310. 8abhive says:

    I’ll give my little emotional votes for Comcast, Microsoft, and the Best Buy sleazes, but they’re really amateurs in the minor leagues.

    For their outstanding achievement in gaining from others’ pain and the erosion of our country’s foundations:

    1) All health insurance organizations

    2) The banking/credit industry, world bank included

    3) AT&T

    4) Exxon

    5) Monsanto, a truly global affliction

    Change begins at home. Roll out the guillotines.

  311. deadlizard says:

    @gmanj: Cigna, United Health, Aetna, Humana,
    Bluecross, what the hell, let’s just nominate them all health insurers
    too. And while we’re at it, let’s have Pfizer, Lilly and Merck joining
    them.

  312. JustHisWordsdotcom says:

    I add to my previous nomination, whatever parts of the Church of Scientology that exist as public corporations.

    TheBard, I just saw that video (YouTube) of the Church of Scientology having a celebration gathering of some kind and part of it was a progress report on some of the “campaigns” they are engaged in around the world. Scary stuff! They are clucking so loudly. The language is downright imbecilic, just as their war on psychology is taken to imbecilic degrees. Check it out if you haven’t seen it, everybody. Should be easy to find, not so easy to follow.

  313. deadlizard says:

    @mammalpants: I love Google. If the government worked as well as Google we’d have social services for no taxes.

  314. Jasmo says:

    nthing Gawker Media.

  315. drester says:

    Bank of America, they are the worst!

  316. kwsdurango says:

    Um, dumb question but do any of the people mentioning Halliburton (not former division KBR) actually know what they do? Guess not, huh? I mean if you’re typing away on plastic computer keys, driving a car, using anything made from any sort of oil derivatives…

  317. hussein persepolis hussein says:

    United Health. NO CONTEST

  318. zwill says:

    Wal-Mart. There are many great nominees but nobody can claim the same level of widespread destruction that WM can. Cheap, low-quality yet overpriced products. Poverty-level wage depression. Product censorship. Waste of government subsidies. And on. And on. It is the undisputed king.

  319. Hackoff says:

    HANDS DOWN !!

    ———————

    THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION

    ———————

    With all that special interest money and back room deals, I think they qualify as a company. They suck bigger than just about every other company out there. The Bush administration is helping all of these “Worst” companies make more money off the backs of us “working class” folks!

  320. pigeonpenelope says:

    can i put RIAA.. because preying on poor college students makes you nasty like walmart.

    1. riaa
    2. walmart
    3. bank of america
    4. washington mutual

  321. pigeonpenelope says:

    @mavrc: i second the lifetime achievement award for walmart. it takes a special kind of evil to do what they do.

  322. pigeonpenelope says:

    @deadlizard: i heart google!

  323. jarchie219 says:

    FCC.
    For selling our bandwidth.

  324. @Greasy Thumb Guzik:
    It wasn’t a bullshit statement. All I said was that Monsanto was involved in the Manhattan Project. That is a true statement, regardless of whether or not you think that was a good thing.

    That said, Monsanto has had their hands in an extremely long list of things that have hurt a lot of people, and nothing you say can convince me that they are not the most evil company in the world.

  325. I nominate the White House and its fucktard CEO.

  326. justdan says:

    Best Buy. Because I’m a poser.

  327. boxjockey68 says:

    walmart

  328. bigmac12 says:

    Cox……..just nearly doubled my in-state long distance rate…..no explanation, just “have a nice day”

  329. Michael Belisle says:

    Monster Cable.

    People do actually buy their products, they are actually overpriced and mostly worthless. But most importantly, they sue everyone who uses the dictionary word “monster”.

    My favorite lawsuit? Suing Mike Shkolnik who sold stuffed monsters online in his “Monster Shop” at monster.biz, who responded:

    Would a reasonable person confuse a giant alien creature with an analog interconnect? [www.madmartian.com]

    Also see his response to their eventual self-serving apology:

    Number of times “monster” appears in the script for Young Frankenstein: 185
    Number of times Monster Cable Products Inc is referenced in the script for Young Frankenstein: Zero

    Number of children who imagined there was a monster under the bed: probably millions
    Number of children who imagined there was an audio interconnect cable under the bed: probably none.

  330. AtomicPlayboy says:

    Best buy, bar none.

  331. WolfDemon says:

    let’s see:

    Best Buy, RIAA still, Verizon, and Comcast

  332. garykung says:

    Best Buy…Worst Sell

  333. Vanvi says:

    Circuit City, I think they’re worse than Best Buy.
    Also, United Airlines.

  334. MARTHA__JONES says:

    Countrywide

    Wal-mart

  335. Moklomi says:

    RIAA still persecuting the innocent and “cutting fruit from the low hanging branch”

    Can we nominate Scientology as one? I mean they sell all sorts of nonsense right?

  336. dj_skilz says:

    COMCAST!!!!

    Chase is on my shitlist too

  337. oregongal says:

    In our world, DELL. I’m shocked no one has mentioned them yet.

  338. drdom says:

    Chase Bank
    For all of the obvious reasons. Their customer service sucks, they abuse their employees and they are one of the big four behind the Payday Loan industry. Far worse than any of the others by a mile

  339. zippyglue says:

    Best Buy Best Buy Best Buy Best Buy Best Buy Best Buy Best Buy Best Buy Best Buy Best Buy Best Buy Best Buy Best Buy Best Buy Best Buy Best Buy Best Buy Best Buy Best Buy Best Buy Best Buy Best Buy Best Buy Best Buy Best Buy Best Buy Best Buy Best Buy Best Buy Best Buy Best Buy Best Buy Best Buy Best Buy.

    Why? Becuase they’re not a-holes because of poor communication, or just simply bad corporate policies, being an a-hole is the major function of all Best Buy employees. No excuse. Best Buy is the absolute worst.

  340. faxmachine says:

    Blue Cross of California (or anything owned by WellPoint Inc of Indiana) for sending out those letters to get Dr.’s to rat out any patients that they think might have had a pre-existing condition when they signed up, no matter how long it’s been since they signed up, and then lying about it in a press release. I won’t even touch on their capricious rate increases and cancellations of the past.

  341. biledemon says:

    Comcast, Best Buy. Please..please..dont even work at Comcast.

  342. MYarms says:

    Best Buy, Comcast, Sprint. I don’t know if any of those actually count. We all know whats wrong with Best Buy. One of my friends works for Comcast and I hear all about their ridiculousness first hand. And Sprint service blows and they reupped my contract without asking. Where’s the class action lawsuit?

  343. BugMeNot2 says:

    @ncboxer:

    the lines at walmart are about average when u compare them to albertson which usually has huge lines and aveeraging albertsons with gay stores with no line walmart has medium sized lines, which is a good thing for a store to have.

  344. mjsager says:

    @Kathlene: excellent post.

  345. Daemonati says:

    Wal-mart: No other company has more contempt for its employees and apathy for its customers. It rapes the areas it moves into and becomes the Company Store of the new era.

  346. RSD says:

    Sears, Best Buy, Countrywide, Comcast, Bank of America, AT&T, Sprint, Blockbuster.

  347. aliasofpunk says:

    Comcast, they’re craptastic.

  348. Exek says:

    Comcast
    Best Buy
    U.S. Congress

  349. bnosach says:

    Best Buy for outrageous prices. One would think that such a popular store chain should have low prices due to the quantities they sell, but the just rip people off. I went to my local “mom-and-dad” so to speak computer store and their prices are much more competitive even though they don’t buy their stuff from manufacturer as cheap as Best Buy does. I hate Best Buy. This is not a good business model.

  350. latormenta says:

    Time Warner!!!!

  351. Pilam69 says:

    Exxon by far. They are making record profits and they have NEVER PAID the fine for the Valdez oil spill in Alaska.

  352. VikingP77 says:

    1.) FORD
    2.) Hewlett Packard….for moving tech support to India!
    3.) Scientology……..L. Ron Hubbard is widely rumored to have said “The way to make a million dollars is to start a religion.”
    4.) US Airlines…..Customer service even worse than Wal-Mart…They make the skies unfriendly!

  353. baudzilla says:

    Comcast. I’m having AT&T U-Verse installed on March 8th, If it sucks half as bad as Comcast I’m still doing better.

  354. AndyAgent87 says:

    Comcast!
    Worst. Commercials. Ever.

  355. nevergod says:

    1. Comcast- they are so terrible i got rid of my cable.
    2. CitiBank- always a hassle. refuse to lower my rates, and i have great credit. bastards.

    and personally, i know a few people who work at some best buys in MA, and most of the people i know have always had a good time at best buy in the south shore area.

  356. Joedel263 says:

    comcast definitely

  357. magnus150 says:

    AT&T easily. No service, shitty customer “support,” and just plain evil.

  358. nrwfos says:

    @zouxou:
    That’s a good idea…just like the AKC(American Kennel Club – in case “AKC” stands for anything else). There could be categories with one company winning “Worst of Breed”. I also like the Best Company idea just because I don’t like to be totally negative.

  359. leftystrat says:

    I think it’s a tie between the cabal that owns the federal gov’t and the federal gov’t itself.

    If we want to take on a slightly, but not much, less wealthy target, Microsoft stands tall and proud. Even with updates turned off, they can reboot your computers.

    Bill’s will be done.

  360. PoleMan14 says:

    For a change of pace….one of my personal least favorites: Crocs

    Seriously though, as a new Comcast “customer” they are the worst.

  361. ogman says:

    Countrywide. Who else has been so completely destructive to the entire economy. Bank of America is a close second and soon the two will become one.

  362. tozmervo says:

    Oh, Comcast without a doubt. I’ll never deal with cable ever again because of that company.

  363. jfischer says:

    All the telcos except Qwest, for knowingly helping the post-Constitutional Corruptocracy implement the best attempt to make “1984” by Orwell a non-fiction work.

  364. ministan says:

    Ah man, it’s got to be the RIAA again… I mean, their ship continues to sink but, rather than build a new one, they continue to (wait for it) *actively antagonize and sue their customers*.

    A company with a business model this flawed deserves to go down in flames as spectacularly and decisively as they continue to.

  365. neight718 says:

    United Health Care

    Any company in the business of letting people die is a bad one.

  366. shimshimminy says:

    EMBARQ or SPRINTBARQ whatever. Dig this logic, COMCAST which you all hate is now the 4th biggest telco which use to be EMBARQ which in conclusion means they BLOW!!

  367. davethebutcher says:

    Although all of these companies are bad, I’m going to have to vote for Halliburton. Yeah, inconveniences, bad customer service, and overcharging are all bad…but I’d have to say killing people is worse…

  368. shimshimminy says:

    BANK OF AMERICA worst out of all the banks which is big reason the economy stinks right now.

  369. madeinguam says:

    Countrywide and any other sub-prime mortgage lender for causing this shitty market by preying on the uninformed.

  370. Cary says:

    HP

    They will be rising to the top of the bottom very shortly.

  371. Darren W. says:

    Fox News. Is that allowed?

  372. ShawnD says:

    Best Buy for segregating there customers by social class through “customer centricity”

  373. Kenneth says:

    RIAA

  374. Kenneth says:

    @Darren W.: yeah i agree, NewsCorp as a whole?

  375. meneye says:

    halliburton was as stupid choice anyway. There are way more companies screwing over the consumer worse than them. Good idea consumerist.

    I vote for Circuit City. They suck

  376. WesFromMaine says:

    As a former Best Buy employee, I am going to have to agree that Best Buy make this list. As far as ethics are concerned, this company turns a blind eye on its employees and its customers. Profiling customers as ‘Devil’ and ‘Angel’ customers based on their purchases/returns is WRONG Best Buy, LEARN THIS.

  377. DaveScoundrel says:

    Boost Mobile- They are ultimately criminals. They have always screwed with me and the last time was the worst. I put $60 on my account with my bank card online and they charged it 3 times so they took $180 out of my account. I called them within 5 minutes of the mistake and they said that it was a glitch in the computer and they would have my money back to my account in 48 hrs. I was happy and then 48 hours later I was sad, they money was not back yet. I gave it one more day just in case the money was slow coming through. It never came so I called them and they said give it 48 more hours. When the money still didnt come through I called again and this time they said that it should take 15 to 30 days and they dont know why someone quoted me 48 hours. I was pissed but I said okay whatever I will just deal with it. After about a week I got a call from a lady named April in the escalation department and she said she picked up my case and would stay on it until it was completely solved. She continued to call every week to check if it came through. She eventually promised to give me a credit worth a month of service since I explained that I had to borrow money from family since Boost Mobile stole my money, and I have bills to pay. She even gave me her direct phone line so I could call her with any problems. After a few weeks she stopped calling and I called her and left at least 10 messages and she never returned them. After more than a month went by I called them and they just told me that they show that they sent the money and I should have it already. I went to the bank and they said that there was nothing pending and I was able to file a chargeback . I did and then the bank went to battle with them and after a little bit I called to check in with the bank and they told me that Boost Mobile doesnt believe that they are a bank and that I paid someone to pretend to be a bank to get money. My bank ended up issuing me a credit and they kept fighting Boost Mobile and I am guessing they won because I havent heard any more about it.The REAL SLAP IN THE FACE was after 2 months of all this I called them and told them about the credit I was promised they said there was nothing in my file and then they offered me a $5 “courtesy” Credit, Which was far less than the $60 credit I was promised.
    Sorry this is so long-winded but I needed to get this off my chest.

  378. dazzlezak says:

    Anyone running for political office.

  379. suspectdevice says:

    Blackwater has to be on there technically we can’t buy there services but they done so much to contribute to the corporate takeover of our democracy they have to take the award.

  380. Jeepman says:

    1) Best Buy for all the reasons listed over and over again.

    2) Chrysler for refusing to replace parts that fell off my new Jeep on the trail because I didn’t have the old parts. Good thing my transmission didn’t fall out. No wonder they’re in such trouble.

  381. Jeepman says:

    Sorry but screwing the customer is Best Buy corporate policy, NOT the result of “some idiot in the store.” I say this after having spent 2 months trying to get their corporate headquarters to resolve an extended warranty issue and being told “We just can’t do that.” It’s funny, but after 1 simple letter from a lawyer they could do it. @Part-Time-Viking:

  382. Jesse in Japan says:

    I nominate the Bush Administration, which is as much a for-profit company as any of the other corporations mentioned on this list.

  383. nebraskabill says:

    Alltel!!!!!!! The worst customer service and poorest cell phones in the business!

  384. fisherman23 says:

    Love the Slowski’s but Comcast has to be the worst!

    My vote, Comcast.

  385. Ashcan says:

    Comcast. If what they are doing to internet users manages to stand, we could eventually find ourselves unable to reach the Consumerist because Comcast is doing “traffic shaping”.

  386. martyz says:

    Comcast Comcast Comcast Comcast Comcast Comcast

  387. 4ster says:

    SPRINT

  388. bdgbill says:

    I would vote for Comcast based on what I have read here and elsewhere on the net but I have never actually done business with them (thank god).

    I vote for Sprint. I successfully escaped about two years ago after being with them for over 10 years. I feel like a VIP with Verizon Wireless after Sprint’s horrible service.

  389. bdgbill says:

    Most of the Best Buy comments seem to be about their extended warranty.

    If you are smart enough to be reading the Consumerist you should be smart enough to avoid extended warranties.

    Has anyone ever heard a positive story about extended warrAnties from ANYWHERE?

  390. Y3ll0wJack3t says:

    Sears. I have never (in my lifetime at least) seen such a ruinous downfall of a once great company. Somebody needs to put this company out of its misery.

  391. BOO_BOO_HOFF says:

    1. The entire health insurance industry

    2. The entire airline industry (except Singapore Airlines)

    3. The US Postal Service

  392. US Air – And I’ll give my own personal reasons:

    1 – I accidentally bought two tickets for the same flight. I realized this 10 days later and called them to clear it up. No refunds. $100 change fee. You don’t get your money back.

    2 – I tried to use a portion of the money, minus the $100 they took out. After the new ticket was purchased with the old funds (less $100), I’d have another $75 left. Except no – US Air takes that money too.

    3 – My future brother in law had a relapse of his lymphoma and needed inpatient chemotherapy. His folks called US Air to cancel their flight. “Can we get our money back? Our son is going to go through chemotherapy.”

    “No.”

    US Air – Chemotherapy? $100 change fee!

  393. MotherFury says:

    Best Buy is who I vote for

  394. TheNewDecider says:

    Crime Warner

  395. gfinakoma says:

    COMCAST
    AT&T UVERSE

  396. yukonrye says:

    You can count on my vote Best Buy!

  397. aaronk says:

    Sprint by far.

  398. james275 says:

    comcast for abuse of their monopoly position, terrible customer service, torrent throttling, constant rate raising, refusal to carry the big ten network, to name just a very few.

  399. milesabove says:

    Despite all the votes for Best Buy, Comcast, and other corporate ogres, I think Wal-Mart takes takes the prize. They haven’t been named Worst Company yet and I rank them up there with Halliburton and the RIAA. They consistently bend rules, violate ethics, and encourage mass-consumption of cheap, shitty goods (excuse my French). Wally’s Waste World is a beacon of uncompromising evil in the vast corporate-feeding structure that is our economy.

  400. rmz says:

    Going to have to go with Comcast for this one, I think.

  401. rmz says:

    Actually, I’d like to place a second (and third) vote for Video Professor as well. Their profit model is completely based around sending people shit they don’t want and charging their credit cards without permission.

  402. milesabove says:

    One more nomination – Blackwater USA, or as I like to call them, ruthless modern mercenaries publicly abusing people’s most basic right – the right to live.

  403. killthepoodle says:

    @Phildawg:

    Best Buy- I cannot agree more. I cannot for the life of me understand how the stores even function with so many of the employees and management completely incapable of even trying to do their jobs.

  404. JustaConsumer says:

    JP Morgan Chase. Pure evil. Nothing about their credit cards is good. They are legalized loan sharks.

  405. Baz says:

    DeBeers

  406. jstonemo says:

    Ebay, ebay, ebay!!!!!

  407. Mills says:

    Walmart, for selling Nazi T-shirts, Juniors panties that compared sex to credit cards, and because it’s as close to nominating China as we’re going to come.

  408. victor9000 says:

    Comcast
    Customer Service is horrible, techs have a low success rate, and you can’t schedule an appointment beyond the next six or seven days, within which you usually have about two extremely inconvenient options.

  409. ppiddyp says:

    KBR FTW!

    [www.nytimes.com]

    Service-wise, you’d be hard pressed not to go with Comcast or any other utility, for that matter.

  410. Ayo says:

    Most definitely Blockbuster Online’s customer service. I am on the phone with them AS WE SPEAK, and have been on hold for 28 minutes and 34 seconds.

    And to put in your credit card information they prompt you to SAY it outloud. Which I refuse to do while at work. So you have to wait until the 4th oppourtunity to dial it in.

    Horrible.

  411. mobbo says:

    It’s gotta be a healthcare company this year. I’d say United Healthcare.

  412. Bank of America.

    [Isn’t it a shame we have to go through this…]

  413. hexychick says:

    Verizon and/or Comcast

  414. IrisMR says:

    I think Best Buy deserves the award!

  415. Trai_Dep says:

    BofA. For many sins, but their buying MBNA, then using a series – five, more? – separate letters, each 5pp long, hiding a paragraph contained within that says that they’re changing MBNA’s already crappy terms with even worse terms. Plain, boring-looking envelopes, naturally.

    Jack up the APR? Check! Submit to binding arbitration? Check! Change how average daily balance is figured? Check! Jack up late-payment penalties? Check!

    If you manage to find the paragraph explaining how they want to rape you, you then have to send them a letter (no calls, no emails). To a separate address. In its own envelope. Written to specific conditions. Within 30 days. To basically tell them, “No, I don’t want you guys to sodomize me even worse than MBNA tried to over the years. But THANKS for asking!”

    Makes rebate schemes seem upfront and straight-forward.

    **

    And, needless to say, AT&T, for the spying, we’ll-sell-our-customers’-data, but only if the price is right, and to Hell with Federal law thing. Then wrap ourselves in the US flag when caught. And use our lobbyists to carve retroactive immunity because we know we’re criminal bast*rds who will lose in any court in the land.

  416. Trai_Dep says:

    Oh, Ben & Company -

    I think you’re sorta whiffing on the “only direct-to-consumer” thing. As many have pointed out, entities like RIAA impact consumers in fundamental, unfair ways. And tax-supported companies contributing to cluster-f*cks that lead to $3.50/gallon gas impact consumers FAR more than, say, sketchy rebate schemes.

    I HEARTILY plead you have two tracks: one direct-, one indirect-to-consumer.

  417. missmicrophone says:

    Sprint!!!!!!!!!!

  418. MPHinPgh says:

    To those who said Best Buy, I’m with you. I’m sure Wal-Mart will make it to at least the Final Four…

  419. HOP says:

    BEST BUY SUCKETH……..

    best buy is a misnomer …..

  420. RvLeshrac says:

    Apple.

    TotallyFakeAd [consumerist.com]

    Leopard wreaking havoc on machines. [www.tomsguide.com],review-1028.html (comma in the URL :'( ) (Wouldn’t mention this, but Apple “solved” the problem that MS had with Vista by simply not allowing you to buy a copy of Tiger ever, period, end of story, after Leopard’s launch. Why aren’t people downgrading? Because they have no frigging choice.)

    SlightMisrepresentation [consumerist.com]

    Look at Those iPods Go. [consumerist.com]

    LCDs! [consumerist.com] [consumerist.com]

    Not accepting gift cards. [consumerist.com] [consumerist.com]

    What the crap? [consumerist.com]

    [consumerist.com]
    Oh, wait, those are different apples.

    Yeah, that’s safe. [consumerist.com]

    YOU SHOULDN’T FREAKING HAVE TO DO THIS. [consumerist.com] [consumerist.com]

    Huh? [consumerist.com]

    Frequently not honoring AppleCare or the standard warranty (even when they should). [consumerist.com] [consumerist.com] [consumerist.com] (Oh, damn, that last one was 2006. It was really late 2006, though.)
    (I have more, but since they’re rejected claims through the ASP I work with, I can’t exactly provide them. MacBook Pro LCDs cracking spontaneously, more iPod LCDs, defective 25″ Mac screens…)

    Bad [consumerist.com] Customer [consumerist.com] Service. [consumerist.com]

    Look, even HP will send it back. [consumerist.com]

    Oh come ON. [consumerist.com]

    iPhoneiPhoneiPhoneiPhoneiPhoneiPhoneiPhoneiPhone
    iPhoneiPhoneiPhoneiPhoneiPhoneiPhoneiPhoneiPhone
    iPhoneiPhoneiPhoneiPhoneiPhoneiPhoneiPhoneiPhone
    iPhoneiPhoneiPhoneiPhoneiPhoneiPhoneiPhoneiPhone
    iPhoneiPhoneiPhoneiPhoneiPhoneiPhoneiPhoneiPhone
    iPhoneiPhoneiPhoneiPhoneiPhoneiPhoneiPhoneiPhone
    (I could link to all the articles, but that was less time-consuming.)

    Lastly: [www.overlawyered.com]

    Sure, that one is way late. But come ON. Not even Microsoft…

  421. FredTheGreat says:

    The US Government. If WE could get them to do their jobs correctly all these other companies wouldn’t be so damn shitty. I guess we have no one to blame but ourselves.

  422. Manji Kengo says:

    I went to a Best BUy just recently and asked about the sort of markup I would be seeing on a certain tv. The Supervisor started shitting bricks and quickly claimed that the TV market was becoming like the computer market.

    He claimed the markup wasn’t very high. AHHAHA I told him that I knew about the monster cables markup.

  423. snwbrder0721 says:

    I think there should be a best and worst category, I’d be curious as to who’d get the best.

    Worst: monsanto, microsoft, us govt (bush admin)

    Best: Zappos.com

  424. rad_matter says:

    I also suggest the RIAA, Best Buy and Wal-Mart.

  425. deadlizard says:

    Can we have a “worst consumer” category, so I can nominate the
    people who do business with paycheck lenders, buy Monster cables and
    those horrible Crocs?

  426. n8srq says:

    I’d really like to nominate Nintendo for the Wii. However, this is not actually a product that is for sale.

  427. filmtheory says:

    All these corporations are pure EVIL:

    AT&T
    Best Buy
    Time Warner
    Microsoft
    Wachovia Bank
    WalMart
    Pfizer
    Home Depot

  428. HooFoot says:

    Mattel for continuing to support the Chinese Poison Train despite having millions of their toys recalled because of lead.

    And the usual suspects: Monsanto, Comcast, Bank of America, Halliburton, any health insurance and pharmaceutical companies, etc….

  429. quentin says:

    NewsCorp. The company that brings us Faux News, crappy reality series on Fox and the hive of scum (idiot self-centered teens) and villainy (sexual predators) that is MySpace. Oh yeah, and the Post too! Not only they want the WSJ, they want a piece of Yahoo! as well.

  430. RvLeshrac says:

    @n8srq:

    But other than the product shortage, has there really been a *bad* customer service or product story about Nintendo?

  431. Kevin says:

    Verizon Internet – For making me call THREE different geo-locations (India, Pennsylvania, Missouri) just to get my DSL bumped UP to 3.0Mbps…

    AND then to have them call me five days later to inform me that since I am more than 13,000 feet from the central office I cannot realize the full potential of 3.0 thus I am saddled with my pre-order speed of 1.5Mbps with the ADDED BONUS of a FULL YEAR CONTRACT!

    GO VERIZON! GO!

  432. seventyniner says:

    I wonder if there’s any coincidence involved here:
    Sprint and Comcast keep showing up here in the comments.
    Sprint and Comcast both have almost all of their customer service/tech support lines outsourced out of the U.S., and in Sprint’s case, often out of the hemisphere altogether.
    nah, probably not.

  433. Trai_Dep says:

    And happy Consumerist crew? Can you jump headfirst into that zany YouTube Generation (Gen-U?) thing and hand-deliver the award to the corporate offices, with a video crew? Refuse to leave until a well-coifed PR person accepts the prize and (blanches at the chance to) comment?

    Flee before police arrive, of course. Or, for better video, challenge them to tase you. (Someone must always suffer for good art). Your call.

    Bonus points if you make Carey try to look like Michael Moore in Roger & Me.

    Seriously: if it’s possible, it’d be a GREAT video. Well worth the effort. Taser burn scars – not so much.

  434. Jeepman says:

    Agree with those who think we should cover both ends of the spectrum, good and bad:

    Absolute BEST Company To Do Business With: BH PHOTOVIDEO, an Internet company selling cameras, electronics, etc.

    Hands down the best company I’ve ever done business with – as good as Best Buy is bad (sorry – couldn’t resist) Best prices anywhere, spectacular service, great inventory. Never have had a problem with an order (out of probably 50 individual orders) so can’t comment on what would happen if there was a problem, but I’d bet money it would get resolved immediately.

    Second best: Amazon.com I buy a lot from them and almost never have a problem of any kind. Fast shpment, answer questions quickly, one small problem I have had was resolved immediately and money credited to my account immediately (none of the 3-4 week crap you usually see.) I have the membership that lets you have inexpensive 1 day shipping or free 2 day shipping and every one of my orders have arrived as scheduled.

    Pat

  435. Paul_Blackstone says:

    Ticketmaster gets my vote.

    Time Warner Cable comes in a close second.

  436. LucyInTheSky says:

    Why are there so few nominations for walmart? wtf consumerists? i nominate the king of evil big box stores.

  437. Misztrez_Mish says:

    1)United Health Care
    2) Oxford Health Care (UNited is their partent company – so no big shock here)
    3) Chase Bank

  438. Misztrez_Mish says:

    and just to be fair, here’s 3 companies that I consider good:
    1) Natural Choice Dog Food
    2) Sprint (had Cingular but switched – they weren’t really concerned with nice things like manners, customer support, or common courtesy)
    3) Local neighborhood hardware store (okay, not a big business – but every single neighborhood that I lived in – the local Mom and Pop hardware stores owners were among the nicest people you could ever have the pleasure of meeting)

  439. Stephen Colon says:

    WALMART!!!

  440. I don’t think this is going to be insightful or original:

    Comcast, go fuck yourself.

    There, I feel better.

  441. bellgong says:

    Blackwater, Halliburton, Exxon, Diebold, Fox, CNN and the NY Times.

  442. Jest says:

    NewsCorp

    Allah/God/SpaceInvaders have mercy on you morons that don’t know why.

  443. PatrickTulskie says:

    Damn… I must be one of the rare people who actually likes Bestbuy. I think they have their dark secrets and they practice the same crap every retail chain does but for the most part their sale prices are kickin and if you know what you’re doing you can walk out of there with some awesome stuff really heavily discounted.

    My vote for worst company of the year goes to Comcast. They are just awful.

  444. m1tch37 says:

    Apple

  445. Mr. Damage says:

    1. Time Warner. Here in L.A; they somehow manage to be worse at everything and everything than Comcast (which they took over sometime last year). Try to wrap your head around that one.

    2. Apple. They do make good products, but be honest. Their products are no longer revolutionary (save the iPhone, but still managed to screw up on several key features), charges premium, wrecks the environment, and we love them nonetheless. Is Apple truly a bad company? No. But at the same time, they could’ve done so much more (Amazon was the first with no DRM music… Major labels) for the end consumers. In some ways, they are more reactionary than Microsoft and that to me speaks volumes.

    3. Speak of the Devil, Microsoft. Vista and 360 weren’t bad products, but they could’ve used more refinement and polish before release. Had they been making cars and airplanes… Wait, they make softwares for Cars and Airplanes now, right. Ah Crap!

    And Starbucks for selling burnt coffee and good coffee. But I need it every once in awhile, nonetheless. And for making me actually like espressos… Damn you Starbucks!!

  446. Eliamias says:

    EBay for the recent change of seller terms. Add in the fact that they own PayPal and have not bothered to fix what was broken with it for so long just adds insult to injury.

    AT&T. Their malfeasance was more long term and not in the last year per se, but the whole wiretapping fiasco and the recent complete whitewashing/absolution of their complicity makes the veins in my head throb. Though they were not the only Telco involved, they are the bigger target.

  447. I hope the CEO of Comcast is made “humble” by the Iron Sheik. Repeatedly.

  448. guy_jin says:

    Cigna. As bad as Comcast and Best Buy are, at least they don’t kill people.

  449. 11hawkinst says:

    Comcast has my vote for worst company!

  450. kepincus says:

    Comcast – I just filed a complaint against them with Georgia Consumer Affairs for false advertising. They’ve been advertising a promotion for months that if you order, they will tell you is “no longer available” [even though they are continuing to advertise it] and promptly tell you that the real price is double. Bait and switch, clear and simple. I hate them.

  451. Fist-o™ says:

    COMCAST!? Damn! My cable provider (Insight) just gave up my area to Comcast. Guess I’m in for some Fun Times in the future!!

  452. Kendra says:

    1. Sprint (actually telling their customers to use a competitor!)
    2. Best Buy (you apparently need to have a BS in Computer Science to buy a system without a monitor and printer).

  453. butterfly98 says:

    Best Buy

    for NOT honoring their warranties!

  454. AllenK says:

    Regions Bank
    Best Buy
    Suddenlink-They suck!Their cable tv is fine, but their cable internet sucks!
    Wal-Mart-I hate that place for far too numerous reasons to ever list here.
    Lowes
    Ford
    Toyota

    I was a very loyal Best Buy customer for years and years,but my last experience with the Geek Squad a year ago ticked me off big time. I haven’t stepped foot in a Best Buy since, and I have spent untold thousands of dollars with them. I do have a gift card from there for Christmas,but I haven’t used it yet. It will be an online purchase for sure though.

  455. LoLoren says:

    Live Nation and/or Ticketmaster, for only bringing big “money making” bands to huge venues and adding on ridiculous fees to ticket prices.

    Wal-Mart for being a horrible company in general.

  456. Tomahawk214 says:

    Apple.

    From shorting people with a too early iPhone price drop, to constantly breaking the jailbreaks, keeping people held to AT&T, Jobs saying the idea of Zune was made by drunk people, crappy, misleading, unfunny ads, a sub-par OS upgrade comparable to a service pack, lack of HDD touches, lack of Wi-Fi in the classic or nano, shorting iPod touch owners of five apps that were already made, unless they paid, a laptop that lacks features like a disc drive or enough ports, and a lackluster tech support, as well as the elitist mac fanboys that don’t know how to keep their mouth shut about how great their Mac is.

    Now come and get me Stevedrones.

  457. Comcast – with a close second to the handful of competing companies who pepper our mailbox with offers when they don’t even offer basic service in our neighborhood.

    It’s like mailing pictures of steak to the starving.

  458. Spookyooky says:

    1) Sears–good company gone bad

    2) Countrywide–what housing bubble?

    3) RIAA–It’s not downloading killing the music industry, it’s the suck that is today’s music. And 17 bucks for a CD.

    4)Microsoft–They must be in cohoots with the RIAA, with the footprint Vista has, who has room to download songs?

    5) The Chinese Government–Polution, human rights abuse, profit above all else, and of course the Poison Train. The Chinese government has a stake in most industies so that counts as selling goods and services.

    I have no problem with Blackwater. Am I missing something? They are mercinaries, plain and simple. “Contractors” is just another word for hired soldiers. They get paid to kill, guard, or whatever. Yes they are expensive, but that is in the contract the Government signed. Now should the U.S. Government employ mercs is a discussion for another thread, but I don’t think they have commited fraud or not provided a service they were hired for.

    And for the record, you can hire Blackwater, if you have the money, and you can find them…oh, wait, that’s the A-Team. My bad…

  459. microbreak says:

    Count me in for AT&T.

  460. IttyBiggy says:

    How does Monsanto keep escaping this prize? More than any purveyor of crap you don’t need, they’re the ones that can kill us all.

  461. Ikea
    Crappy products, crappy service.

  462. Bertwo says:

    1) United Health
    2) Blue Cross California
    Both companies operate on “screw the customer” as their guiding principle. United Health offers the additional service of making life miserable for actual health care providers.

  463. Comcast Dammit!! I hate them soo much!! Thanks for an entire year+ of shitty service, me paying for services that work intermittently or mostly not at all, and thanks for numerous visits to my home only to have the issue unsolved or re-appear shortly after. COMCAST FTW!!!!

  464. trinidon2k says:

    Comcast, Bestbuy, Sprint, and United Health Care. Emphasis on Sprint.

  465. liposome says:
  466. rolandansgar says:

    Microsoft. For its long-term, absolute cluster-fucked operating system, Microsoft Windows. And in typical fashion, Vista seems to be a crowning achievement in this paradigm of selling a product that isn’t ready. I couldn’t count the number of manhours devoted to fixing my PC over the last 15 yrs., due to Microsoft’s kluge OS. Yesterday, I got an email from my son who told me his computer will not even boot anymore after doing a Vista update from Microsoft. Who’s going to sue them over this type of problem? No one. And they know it. And they operate their company like the have everyone by the balls. They are the typical “company from hell.”

  467. Hijitus says:

    How about State Farm? This is company that has shown little regard for its customers and in many times, even its own agents.

    While they did not pay many of the Katrina claims, Pantagraph.com reports that “State Farm Insurance Cos. rewarded its leader with a $5.26 million, 82 percent raise after posting a record profit last year. Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Ed Rust Jr. earned $11.66 million in 2006, including a base salary of $1.77 million and results-based bonus of $9.89 million, spokesman Dick Luedke said Friday. Rust made $6.4 million in 2005 and $5.5 million in 2004.”

    Also, think about the lavish trips that State Farm organizes for its agents every year. They spend untold amounts of money on these “spare no expense” trips. If people only knew the kind of money that is spent on those trips in light of how they are denied claims, well, they would be in an uproar.

    You can do your own research and check what State Farm customers are saying. . . even customers that have been with them for many, many years.

    P.S.1 If you ever get a call from your State Farm agent to come for an Insurance and Financial Review (IFR), then run as fast and far as you can because otherwise you will have to hear how you need the extra life insurance, or loan (yes, they have a bank), or upgrade the limits you already have, or etc, etc, etc.

    P.S.2 All is not lost, some justice is being done as this news snippet shows: On January 11, 2007 a federal judge ruled that State Farm must pay $223,292 in damages to a couple whose home was damaged by Hurricane Katrina. The judge also ordered State Farm to pay $2.5 million in punitive damages for the company’s failure to pay the claim. Less than two weeks after this ruling, State Farm entered into an agreement to settle hundreds of other suits brought by angry policyholders. Under the settlement, 300 homeowners who lost everything will receive their full insurance coverage. It has also bee reported that 1,000 other policyholders would receive at least half of their full coverage amounts, with an opportunity to negotiate for more.

    Unfortunately, State Farm has an army of attorneys fighting these cases, and the average person has little change against the giant.

  468. nativeangelina says:

    I nominate all of the major credit card companies. They sell a service: lending of money. They are all now engaging in a number of awful practices: egregiously high late fees, overlimit fees and sky-high interest rates. They try to make you incur these charges. Note that they could tell you when you are about to go over your limit (e.g. by sending a message when the vendor runs your card) or they could decline the charge; instead, they approve the charge and then tack on a $39 additional fee. You might not have purchased that latte if you had known it would cost 42.95 instead of $3.95. In addition to charging late fees of $39 (even if your (late) minimum payment is relatively small), your late payment may also up your interest rate to over 30%; some cards will increase your interest rate if you are late on a different credit card account(a practice called universal default).

  469. bloodnok says:

    at&t for being the corporate hand that enabled warrant-free spying, plus being totally useless about providing decent broadband coverage whilst denying anyone else access to their last mile links.

    comcast takes second place for their traffic shaping but basically earn my ire for being the only option (that’s an option?) for broadband in my neighbourhood. never wanted my internet from the useless cable guy …

  470. borjo says:

    google
    becau

  471. borjo says:

    google
    because after buying doubleclick all our base belongs to them

  472. bitchincamaro says:

    1. GM
    2. Ford
    3. Chrysler

    All had at least 30 years to learn from the oil embargo; didn’t learn shit. I’ll see them in hell. (if i believed in it.)

  473. captainleah says:

    @sp00nix: what are you trying to say? haha jk i agree whole heartedly baby. ccity: worst week of my life.

  474. gibbersome says:

    United Health Care, absolute bottom of the pile insurance company.

  475. mokona7 says:

    Comcast…. by far

  476. spamtasticus says:

    Comcast:

    For bad ISP service for 1 month (40 percent to 80 percent packet loss) and taking 12 truckrolls and over 70 phonecalls to finally fix the problem. Then raising my rater from the “intruductory” $20 to $47 right after they fix the problem. I told them to give me another introduction to why I should stay with them and they refused. So now I do business with ATT. I’m getting a premonition…. something about a frying pan…. and fire… not sure.

  477. Ben Popken says:

    Nominations from the email line:

    Nick: RIAA
    Carrie: Blackwater
    Billybobgeorgebob: For me it’s Sears. I had to go through hell and back to get them to fix my refrigerator (thank god I had an extra one in the basement). Their repair guy was incompetent at best and took four visits to my house to try and fix it when he finally took our suggestion and replaced the compressor.
    Barrett: Comcast.

    The categories where Comcast excels for the worst company: Abysmal customer service, manipulation of their own networks, and just plain stupidity over their own operations.

    It started when I moved down to my new place in Miami which was previously inhabited by my mom. First, Comcast came with a requisition form to pick up my mom’s old cable receiver and the internet modem. After looking over the form that seemed legit, I procured the cable box and the internet modem left by my mom and handed it to the Comcast guy that showed up at my doorstep at 9:30 p.m. After conversing with my mom about a week later, my mom wonders where her internet modem went. I discover the internet modem was hers, bought through a non-Comcast affiliated party, yet it was on their requisition form anyway. Through her own dealings with Comcast’s customer service and after 6 months of dealing with them, she has yet to receive her modem back.

    Of course there’s the whole torrent manipulation thing too. You guys already know about that one, so I won’t even bother.

    This part is dedicated to my own experience with Comcast’s award winning customer service. I was taking online classes but lacked the internet. I had an online exam coming up within the week, so I was debating between AT&T’s DSL and Comcast’s internet service. Because Comcast had already wired the house for my mom, plus the fact that they promised to have the internet up and running by the Sunday when I needed to take the exam, I went with them. They promised to arrive Thursday to hook up my internet. They came and set up the cable, but no internet. The technician said he couldn’t install internet in my house, saying my house wasn’t properly configured (my mom previously had internet not a month before). I wasn’t there and my wife was watching the baby, so I couldn’t bitch the guy out. I called Friday and spoke to a guy named Jeremy, I believe, who said the technician was a “retard”, and that he would send someone on Saturday to have my internet set up between 8a.m. and 12p.m. Well, 1 o’ clock rolls around and I’m on the phone with a lovely associate named Nelonge or something and she tells me she doesn’t know wtf this Jeremy guy did to my account, but that I was shit out of luck because I wasn’t getting internet that day, or by Sunday when I needed to take the exam. Lovely. I ask to speak to a supervisor and she tells me in the rude ebonics that they apparently train their staff to communicate with, that no one can do anything.

    Comcast promised me timely service twice before giving me the middle finger and telling me to roll over. On Monday, with Consumerist’s assistance in procuring e-mail addresses, I e-mailed the CEO my gripe who then forwarded my e-mail to executive customer response. Mel, the associate assigned to me told me she understood my situation and would get the internet hooked up the next day. The next day I still had no internet. I politely remind Mel that I still have no internet, and I’m quite upset over the way Comcast has treated me. She swears she’ll get right back to me. No call the next day. I call back and find she’s on vacation for a week. Nice. (Meanwhile, I get my first bill. So it seems at least one person knows how to do their job…unfortunately that person works in billing.) After she returns, Comcast decides that for my troubles I can get a whole month of free cable. At least I got something, and thankfully I was able to take the exam with the help of my friend’s Verizon-wireless equipped laptop, so I wasn’t too upset in reality and finally let the issue go. However, if it wasn’t for you guys I would have been truly shafted up the rear like many poor fellow consumers who don’t have the knowledge of your website.

    Comcast deserves the award for worst company in America because it seems to be the only company that is capable of making money without knowing a single thing about its own operations. No one seems to know or want to know how to do their jobs (technicians, schedulers, executive customer response reps., etc.), their reps are consistently rude and reliably inept, and in many places in the United States, people have no other option than to choose Comcast or to live in a nice apartment filled with static television and computers equipped with little more than solitaire. Not to mention I think your site has more articles exposing shitty Comcast customer service than any other company out there.

    It’s Comcastic.

    Martin: Bayer. 22,000 died amid delayed Bayer drug recal. My nomination for the worst company of the year. As bad as the rest of
    them get, they don’t kill this many people by withholding information
    about their products.

    [news.yahoo.com]

    Ivan: ‘d like to nominate Allstate please.

    Twice that I’ve been in an accident they’ve put me through hell (one sided phone tag) and I never saw a single penny from them and my car is sitting in my garage crashed. The worst customer service I’ve experienced in my life.

    And I’m not just complaining because it happened to me. I’ve been through hell with BestBuy and Chase credit services, but not as bad as Allstate.

    ipinguping: AT&T

    Bob:
    Why don’t they just make the concerts free!

    Okay, if I want to go to the show, I’ve got to get not only a Citibank card, but an Amex. And I’ve got to join the fan club too. So in this rolling wave of pre-sales, maybe I can get a seat. Which won’t be too close to the stage, because those seats NEVER go on sale to the general public!

    And Live Nation is rebranding all of its smaller venues “Fillmore”, to trade on the good will of the man who helped build this glorious business. Bill Graham is rolling in his grave. Live Nation doesn’t give a shit about the public, and neither do the Police.

    As for the band, rather than leave a good taste in the public’s mouth, they want to eke every last dollar from the landscape with a scorched earth policy. And if you believe this is the band’s last tour, then you’re betting that one of the three croaks in the dead pool. Because money will bring them back. Are you aware of Sting’s OVERHEAD? And the other two, while not homeless, can’t make a dollar on the road without Mr. Sumner.

    We need a concertgoers bill of rights. What can it contain?

    Well, let’s start off with a seating plan that illustrates which seats never go on sale, so people won’t buy fan club memberships in hope of buying these ducats.

    A rebate if the final tour is not. Or guaranteed seats up close and personal if the band goes back on the road.

    No t-shirt over $25.

    No parking fee unless you’re in an urban center. Even if the lot is paved. Unless space is at a premium, parking is free!

    Fan club fees must guarantee a seat within a certain area of the building. So people know what they’re getting.

    One on sale date. No rolling dates based on privilege. Isn’t this what’s wrong with America? The division between the haves and the have-nots? Not everybody can afford an American Express card. Not everyone QUALIFIES for a Citibank card. Even if you have the cash, you might be shit out of luck. You end up sitting in the back no matter what.

    No seat over $125. I’d say $100, but the industry would freak out. As for prices higher than that, those seats must be auctioned from the get go. The act can reap the reward of the upside, but it must be clear what seats are auctioned and how many of them there are, so the fan can make an informed decision.

    But Live Nation doesn’t give a shit about the fan. Live Nation is as bad as radio. Live Nation is playing to Wall Street, not the concertgoer. Just like Clear Channel is playing to Madison Avenue, despite lip service to the listener. Hell, did you see that Clear Channel is increasing the number of minutes of advertising on the radio? Why not turn every station into an infomercial. Make the whole CHANNEL an ad!

    And you wonder why terrestrial radio is dying and the concert business is a minefield. Grosses might be going up, but the key is to get people in the habit of attendance. That’s how you grow the business. But we’ve got the labels not wanting any more people to own music than in the CD days. New technologies allow more people to own more music at a lower price? FOUL! We’re married to the old business model!

    The music business is fucked up. If you’ don’t believe this, you’re part of the problem.

    [www.billboard.biz]

    [www.privatepass.citi.com]

    [online.wsj.com]

    Tom: I’ve got to nominate Charter Communications. Their cable internet is
    up-and-down, considering they sign up more customers than their hub in
    Atlanta can hold, which means everyone in the southeast gets horrible
    ping times. Cable TV is notoriously bad, especially their HD TV. And
    their customer service lines are restricted to only phones from their
    service area, which means a transplant from the NE like me can’t just
    call up customer service. I have to call their billing department and
    get them to transfer me over.

    Brandon: DirecTV.

    Shoddy service on install, channels being added/subtrcated at will. threat of early termination fee, shoddy equipment, prmised loacl channels in HD-Lied, I can keep going you get the point….Once my “contract” that I never signed is up I am switching back to Time Warner Cable

    Max: If it hasn’t already been nominated then I have to put up Best Buy. As a former employee for 2 years I can easily state more about BB and the GS then your blog has written about them. When I started there it was a decent job, they already treated their customers like garbage but the job wasn’t too bad if you could get past that. When I finally left it was absolutely unbelievable how bad they treated people. I had to fight just to get my vacation time paid. I had more than one occasion of them changing my time cards without my knowledge. This lady with the $54m lawsuit was a long time coming. I dealt with someone in that same situation or even worse at least once a month. She should have started a class action.

    G: Best Buy

    Why?: Cheating customers (me) out of rebate checks, after doing everything by the book.

    Don: 1.Comcast/Time Warner
    2.ATT

    Jay: AT&T. Why? NSA Wiretapping.

    Robert: I nominate best buy for worst company in america. Laughed in my face
    regarding my computer-building plans, among other regular best buy nonsence

    Andrew: I’m voting for Sprint as the worst company in America. My drummer has
    Sprint and his phone is often screwed up, making scheduling rehearsals
    difficult. Sometimes that’s just his own fault though. :)

    David: Paypal – because of their warped sense of fairness during a dispute resolution. The buyer is always right if he claims the item isn’t as described. No matter how much proof the seller provides, it is ignored. Same with chargebacks. Paypal says you can contest a chargeback. They then charge you a fee…and then decides they don’t want to follow through with your chargeback escalation (no reason given)…but they won’t refund the chargeback fee. Classic bait and switch…or even “significantly not as described.”

    Jonathan: My nomination for Worst Company in America is Facebook.

    (I’m surprised nobody nominated them).

    Although they offer a free service, they also keep data on their servers after you’ve canceled your account (until you email them requesting to delete those). And let’s not forget the little marketing ploy-slash-invasion of privacy that is Beacon.

    Linzi: Has to be Countrywide Financials for their part in the sub-prime mortgage mess.

    Zak: I vote Haliburton/KBR for using sleazy lawyers and slim loopholes to get the men who gang-raped that woman off the hook. This is the most terrible thing I think I’ve heard of a company doing in a long time, even beats Wal-Mart sweat shops by a mile. Additionally they are evil by association with Dick Cheney. Haliburton/KBR is fully capable of a second year sweep.

  478. AmandaFoster42 says:

    Bank of America. I am sick of being @$$ raped by their non-boa ATM fees. Sometimes, I go to areas (in the US) that have NO boas and I still get punished. I am sick of all their hidden fees. (NEVER get a savings account there.) Also, arbitrary rate increases? Please.

  479. SoCalGNX says:

    Fox news! Its like the National Equirer on steriods. No real news, just sensationalism.

  480. Logan26 says:

    Comcast gets my vote.

  481. mmaxfield says:

    #1 worst Sprint! #2 would be Bank of America.

  482. laxmom2000 says:

    I vote for Sears for total incompetence when it comes to customer service, but AT&T gets a close second. It is amazing how many hours a person can spend on the phone trying to resolve issues with these two companies, getting cut off, listening to computer voices, being told it is resolved only to discover it hasn’t been. I thank everyone for the head’s up about Best Buy. I will definitely not do business with them. What is the alternative to Comcast?

  483. Chazon says:

    Comcast by far, ATT and their wonderful takeover of Bellsouth is second . . .

  484. Wortavious says:

    1) Best Buy — may they rot in hell for the busted TV they sold me. It took me nearly ONE YEAR of phone calls and house calls (and countless hours of my life I will never get back) for them to finally admit this and then replace it. Never EVER again will I buy more than a CD from this pile of dung.

    2) Comcast — they have a near monopoly where I live (Chicago) and are impossible to deal with. Not to mention if I even call with so much as a question they try to upsell me to death.

  485. friendlynerd says:

    Comcast. totally.

  486. Jeepman says:

    Y’all can complain about WalMart all you want but . . .

    I can get a prescription filled there for $4 that would cost me 5 or 6 times that much elsewhere, even with medical insurance.

    I bought a video game disc at a WalMart 300 miles from here. When it stopped working (got scratched) I took it in to a Wal Mart here and they exchanged it immediately – no receipt and no questions asked. To me that’s Customer Service with a capital C.

    Pat