Worst Company In America Final Death Match: Comcast VS Countrywide Home Loans

Well, folks. This one is for all the marbles and a beautiful lucky golden shit statue, suitable for display in the corporate headquarters of either Comcast or Countrywide (now Bank of America).

It’s been a long, difficult, and sometimes controversial road. In order to get to the final, Comcast defeated Menu Foods, The American Arbitration Association, Ticketmaster, Exxon, and Diebold. Countrywide took down Dish Network, Clear Channel, United Healthcare, Bank of America, and Walmart. Now, the choice is yours: Which company is the Worst Company in America?

Here’s what a few of you had to say about these two companies:

Comcast:

“THANK GOD WE’RE A MONOPOLY!”

“Comcast is a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad company.”

“Comcast deserves not just worst company but most evil.”

“Comcast, since I have no choice but to do business with Comcast, if I want cable.”

“Considering Comcast actually rigged a public hearing with paid schmo’s to prevent their opposition from being heard… COMCAST. “

Countrywide Home Loans:

“The evil they wrought on the economy will be felt for years to come.”

“Countrywide aggressively sought to cause evil…”

“Not only did Countrywide wreck the mortgage industry, they wrecked securities and investments market, thereby forcing investors to the commodities market and driving gas up to $4+ a gallon, thereby driving the costs of food and other products through the roof.”

“Countrywide has destroyed the housing market…well…country-wide.”

“Countrywide lent me 7750K on an undocumented, no income, no asset loan, while WalMart demanded an ID for a credit card purchase of $13.71, then wanted the receipt on the way out.”

This is a post in our Worst Company In America 2008 series. The companies nominated for this honor were chosen by you, the readers. Keep track of all the goings on at consumerist.com/tag/worst-company-in-america.

Comments

Edit Your Comment

  1. Nick1693 says:

    Go Comcast! (Who would think that sentence would EVER be said!!!)

  2. zigziggityzoo says:

    It’s Comcastic!

  3. Murph1908 says:

    The golden poo is a nasty thing.

    It kicked my ass in Blue Dragon.

  4. MFfan310 says:

    While both Comcast and Countrywide are evil, I voted for Countrywide for this reason: You can live without cable and/or Internet. You can’t, however, live without a roof over your head.

  5. Nofsdad says:

    I was voting for Comcast all the way, not having ever dealt with Countrywide. Now that Countrywide is officially a part of the Great Financial Satan, I may have to change my vote.

  6. dallasmay says:

    “Countrywide lent me 7750K”

    Just to be straight, that is 7.75 Million dollars. I doubt that is true.

  7. Average_Joe says:

    @dallasmay: I believe you missed the point of the quote.

  8. lua21 says:

    @MFfan310: bingo

  9. opsomath says:

    “Comcast, since I have no choice but to do business with Comcast, if I want cable.”

    Yeah, but you don’t _need_ cable. Countrywide, on the other hand, has induced a horrible chain of economic consequences that affect nearly everyone in the United States. I still can’t believe Comcast whipped Exxon and the arbitration guys, but let’s do the right thing here, people.

  10. trinidon2k says:

    Lets just be clear that this is Countrywide Home Loans (Bad) and not Countrywide Bank (Amazing).

  11. quirkyrachel says:

    Tough choice. Could there be, like, a little shit to give to the runner up?

  12. blkhwk86 says:

    I understand that Countrywide is evil and same with Comcast. I voted for Comcast because there is no choice for consumers and they are still around, ripping people off and treating them horribly. With Countrywide, people should have been conscious about what was happening to not only their money, but what they were doing with their lives. If you are earning $40k a year, should you really be buying a house for $750K? Tell me. Who is forcing you to go with Countrywide or even buy a house? I believe with the financial mess the country is in, it also includes the consumers who should have known what they were getting into.

    If it sounds too good to be real, it probably isn’t.

  13. blackmage439 says:

    I was going to go with the monopoly on this one; you can always go to another bank, but for some people like my parents, their only choice for cable is Comcast.

    However, Countrywide has ruined so many peoples’ lives with shady lending practices, falsifying information, and outright fraud. I recently closed my account with Countrywide. When I curiously asked the personal banker if their rates were going to change after the merger, she responded “pretty definitely.” She then added a large number of their clientele were former Bank of America customers who dumped BoA in favor of Countrywide’s better rates. BoA just bought-out Countrywide. What’s going to happen to the current CW rates? You do the math.

  14. We should be careful to separate the actions of the board members from the rest of the company.

    Bad, current leadership going in the wrong direction – but the company also consists of thousands of ordinary, good people doing their best at their jobs.

    Even in the case of a bad few, ordinary workers – there are thousands of others who are don’t represent their working styles

  15. dtmoulton says:

    Hmm… Monopolistic TV company or a company that could cause a depression.
    Tough one.

  16. Elvisisdead says:

    @MFfan310: Sure you can – it just sucks much worse than no lolcats or Consumerist.

  17. DrJimmy says:

    Countrywide all the way.

    I don’t think COmcast has thrown anyone out of their house yet.

  18. PunditGuy says:

    @opsomath: Yeah, but you don’t need to use Countrywide. There are dozens of mortgage companies, and they compete with each other everywhere. Those of us with a neighbor’s tree in the way of our southern view and lucky enough to live in a Comcastic Monopoly Area can either watch “So You Think You Can Merengue” and such ilk for free or pay too much per month to keep our kids in “Yo Gabba Gabba.”

    I haven’t voted yet, and I’m not immune to a good argument. Someone make one for Countrywide. Remember, they weren’t the only subprime lender out there.

  19. misterdisco says:

    Comcast FTW. Is Countrywide a monopoly? Absolutely not. There are other choices in most markets.

  20. Skiffer says:

    Awww… can’t they both get the award?

  21. Angryrider says:

    Countrywide. I watched that Bill Moyers PBS show last night, and I must admit they are part of the huger problem, the financial system of the US.

    [www.pbs.org]

    I have a gut feeling that Comcast is going to win, because people care about cable and internet more than people losing their homes because somebody wanted to earn a boatload of money by committing the sin of usury, which IS legal in our country.

  22. danman81 says:

    “THANK GOD WE’RE A MONOPOLY!”

  23. Angryrider says:

    @Angryrider: If only Deutsch Bank were up here. They’re more evil than Countrywide.

  24. failurate says:

    @blackmage439: you can’t actually just go to another bank, at least not without paying thousands in re-finance fees.
    A lot of people didn’t choose to be with CountryWide, Countrywide bought mortgages from other banks or the person went through a brokerage who didn’t disclose the final owner of the loan.

    The biggest complaint about Comcast is that they have talked about not letting people steal media as fast as they can possibly steal it. Boo freakin’ hoo.

  25. OminousG says:

    I voted comcast, the crap countrywide pulled is helping drop home prices like rocks, right when I’m looking to buy :)

  26. mbgrabbe says:

    Comcast, definitely. People are forced to deal with Comcast in many areas of this country if they want any type of cable/HD package. And Comcast is notoriously unhelpful, sloppy, negligent, and some would argue, criminal.

    Countrywide is one of many, many home loan agencies. It is the biggest, but you have other options to choose from. And even if you did get burned by Countrywide, you’re at least partially at fault as well for taking on such large amounts of debt (though I agree that they were extremely deceptive in the process). You cannot blame one company for our current recession. If Countrywide had avoided risky loans, then other banks would have filled the void, and we would still be in the same place today.

    Cable operators are a different story. There are several other decent, local companies in this industry, but Comcast does everything in its power to keep them away from us. Comcast is a terrible, horrible company. Comcast for the win.

  27. mac-phisto says:

    after seeing that picture, screw the poo. let’s send them both 20 kiloton bombs instead & call it a day.

  28. Audiyoda says:

    @DrJimmy: Plenty of mortgage companies have thrown people from their homes – Countrywide is simply the largest – thus the dumbest of the bunch. What did all these mortgage companies think would happen when you offered sub-prime loans to people with no verifiable income??? But it’s not entirely the mortgage industry’s fault – if you as a buyer were stupid enough to take such a loan knowing you couldn’t afford the payments when the rate adjusted you deserve what you got.

    Comcast on the otherhand simply doesn’t play fair. Return a digital box and remote – and get a receipt as proof of the return. Comcast will still say you never returned it – send you to collections and make your life hell. Even after you visit the local franchise authority with said receipt, send copies of said receipt to the collection agency, Comcast’s corporate office and the like – they still claim the box cannot be located so it must be my fault. This has been going on for over 8 months now. Comcrap is a joke and should be permanently removed from the face of this earth like offending zit.

  29. arniec says:

    Come on people…again, Comcast is a MONOPOLY who invades human rights. Countrywide? You have a CHOICE to go with them or to not go with them. The person above who said/implied that Countrywide would start a depression didn’t look at the economic factors that went into play with the mortgage bubble, nor is Countrywide the only company doing those practices…they were simply the largest.

    They both suck so don’t get me wrong here, but Comcast is more evil due to LACK OF FREEDOM OF CHOICE. Countrywide offered low interest rates, but so did Wells Fargo and every other bank out there and people could choose which bank to use…

  30. KyleOrton says:

    @PunditGuy: @blackmage439:

    Even people who didn’t get a mortgage through Countrywide WERE affected by them when they were rolling out the free cash.

    The people qualified to purchase a home had to compete with heavily-financed hourly workers. They could either buy a cheaper house (similarly overvalued), rent (to their benefit as we see now) or make the popularly bad decision to overextend themselves. Countrywide et. al. took away the option to purchase a properly valued house.

    And now, even if these people settled for a smaller house they could afford, they won’t be able to break even for a decade or more and their neighborhoods are rotting because of abandoned houses and increased crime.

    Countrywide for Sure.

  31. godospoons says:

    I voted for Comcast because, well, they suck, they’ve always sucked and have no chance of not sucking. Countrywide, for all its faults, no longer exists as a standalone company due to its own stupidity and really should have been disqualified when they were acquired.

  32. floraposte says:

    Whether you chose to go with Countrywide or not or even whether you have a mortgage with them or not, they’re taking you down with them. You can opt out of dealing with Comcast, but you can’t opt out of dealing with Countryside’s effects on the economy. They screwed you whether you borrowed from them or not.

  33. hypnotik_jello says:

    @godospoons: Except the subprime meltdown, of which Countrywide was a major contributor, threatens to bring down the economy – What do you think is going on with Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae – Countrywide’s greed and fraud is not self contained to Countrywide/BofA alone. Joe Taxpayer has to bail out those entities because of this subprime mess. Comcast isn’t even remotely close to wrecking havoc on our economy or financial/credit systems.

  34. AaronZ says:

    @arniec: “Come on people…again, Comcast is a MONOPOLY who invades human rights.”

    There’s a convincing argument if I ever heard one.

    ‘All your base are belong to us!’

  35. coan_net says:

    I had Insight Cable Internet for a couple of years – and very happy. Well for about a month, I had bad connection where it would stop working on the weekends, and they always sent people out THE SAME DAY to climbs the polls (even at night) to check the connection & get things fixed…. and once they figured out what the problem was (something bad on a poll down the road), the connection worked great.

    Comcast comes in and takes over for my local cable – so now I have Comcast.

    Fast forward to 2 days ago, Saturday – connection is down. I call… and they are going to send someone out on WEDNESDAY! 4 days to get someone to come and look. I said something about trying to get someone out today, on Saturday or Sunday… well they start to tell me they can send someone out next Sunday.

    UGH – worse thing is that I do some of my work from home over the weekend – so I connect and do some important data backups during the weekend…. so now I got to waste gas Sunday driving to work to do a simple 3 minute thing….. plus probable working late for the next 3 days making sure I get everything done while at work since I can no longer connect from home to do the work.

    Grrrrrr…. So Comcast gets my vote since I have no other choice (except for very expensive connections) where I live.

    Countrywide…. well I can simply use someone else if they did not make me happy.

  36. Puck says:

    Screwing the country’s housing market is far worse than screwing people over cable and internet access, so add another vote for Countrywide.

    They’re both fucking awful companies though.

  37. Tmoney02 says:

    @arniec: Come on people…again, Comcast is a MONOPOLY who invades human rights.

    I didn’t know humans had the right to 180 crappy channels. Remind me again where that is written in UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights?

  38. josecmelia says:

    Comcast was supposed to install my cable on Saturday 7/19 between 11am and 2pm. Let it be known that as of today, 7/21, 9:34am CST, they have not come by or called. Thanks, Comcast!

  39. failurate says:

    We seem to be dealing with small picture folk…

  40. Kmoney says:

    I’ve never done business with either of these companies, but i voted for Countrywide. Comcast might provide sucky cable service, but Countrywide has ruined lives.

    Seriously, it’s a competition?? Seriously???

  41. failurate says:

    @josecmelia: Here’s a novel idea… call them!

  42. Trai_Dep says:

    Countrywide has, quite literally, wrecked havoc across the entire globe. Anyone aspiring to use credit the next several years or trade stocks in the next ten, is affected. Plus, they’ll be gone next year. Give them the proper send-off: vote Countrywide.

  43. stacy75 says:

    Countrywide. Bonus Plus, they are now B of A, which I also hate.

  44. magnus150 says:

    Both evil to be sure, but Countrywide has wrought more suffering upon our economy then Comcast could ever even imagine. Having to deal with poor customer service, technicians and bandwidth throttling pales in comparison to destroying the housing market, causing foreclosures on thousands of homes, and the effects on the economy will be felt for years to come. Why are there even VOTES for comcast???

  45. Parting says:

    I wish I could get undocumented loan… I’m not greedy, and I would buy a small condo that I’d now I can afford on a 20 year loan.

    Now all those greedy f@ckers, that bought McMansions, made getting a loan as a young adult (with a good credit) pretty impossible. Thank you irresponsible asses that did not read terms of your own mortgages.

    I’m all for personal responsibility. So Comcast gets my vote.

  46. TouchMyMonkey says:

    @blkhwk86: It’s like this for me. The banking industry swore up and down that they could self-regulate, and helped elect Republicans in order to make it happen. So all the safeguards and checks that were put in place during the Roosevelt administration to prevent the sort of shenanigans that caused the Great Depression, and what happened? Did the banking industry self-regulate? Did they behave themselves like they promised? Hell no! They went for the quick buck over the stable but smaller profit stream (and damn the consequences) as anyone who understands human nature might have predicted.

    The moral here is the same one we should have learned in the 1930s, which is not to pass laws based on trust. You get boned every time you do this. Sure, it would be NICE if we could trust the President of the United States, or the Fed, or the banks, or the individual homeowners, to do the right thing, but that is not the same thing as a guarantee, or an actual enforceable regulation that provides said guarantee. It just isn’t. Remember that when you report to the voting booth in November.

  47. failurate says:

    The problem is so far beyond personal responsibility. We’re talking fraud. Countrywide opened the gates to fraud hell, knowing that they (executives) would be made uber-wealthy and left untouched.
    You are a victim of the fraud they allowed/promoted, and yet you still pick your entertainment provider over your finances and housing.@Victo:

  48. mizmoose says:

    Were I to buy a home, I’d have a choice of what mortgage company to use.

    Where I live, I am too far from the phone substation to get DSL. I can get a T1 for about $300/month, or I can pay ComCrap cable $100 or less (more toward $100 if I want a ‘business plan’ [so I can have static IPs]). Period. That’s my choice.

    While the real guilty party is, of course, the phone company for not putting in more substations as the area grew in people, ComCrap has everyone over a barrel. And they know it. And they take advantage of it.

    I’m sure I’m not the only one in this situation.

  49. taylorich says:

    Countrywide.

    Guess what…your Comcast bill will go up due to the horrible loans made by Countrywide.

    Bad loans = rate drops from the Fed and Helicopter Ben to prop up prices and increase access to cash

    Rate drops like the ones we have seen = inflation

    Inflation = dollar is not worth as much.

    When you get your $4 gas and your food that costs 20% more than it used to, it can be traced back to companies such as Countrywide.

    Just as you have no choice with Comcast if you’re in their service area, the citizens of the United States have no choice but to pay for Countrywide’s illegal actions.

    I don’t have a mortgage or Comcast. But I am already paying for what Countrywide has done. This vote’s a no-brainer.

  50. eekfuh says:

    This honestly was a very hard decision. I have my cable through Comcast and my home loan through Countrywide… but since I haven’t had any problems personally with Countrywide and tons with shitastic (not comcastic) Comcast, they get my vote.

    But they both should be awarded the golden shit award. They both are terrible/evil companies.

  51. DangerousLiberal says:

    @opsomath: Exactly. The very idea that Comcast somehow is worse than Menu Foods, The American Arbitration Association, Ticketmaster, Exxon, and Diebold. Can Comcast food poison you or your pet? Did Comcast shit all over Alaska and get away scot free? Did Comcast build buggy voting machines and give huge coin to the Rethugricans so that they could steal a third prez election? Puh-lease. Yeah, T’master is a pain in the ass, but you don’t need to go see the Dave Matthews band or your favorite “goes to 11″ band (Clear Channel, you listening?).

    Bottom line: we don’t need cable. We think you need cable, but we can meet all your primal needs–food, clothing, shelter, even sex (get out of mom’s basement, Poindexter)–without Comcast. Countrywide helped topple an entire nation’s and part of the world’s economy (not that King George and his regent, Herr Cheney, didn’t help). Comcast just makes people cranky. It’s Countrywide in a walk–Comcast doesn’t even belong in the quarter finals.

    Now Time-Warner, on the other hand….(LOL)

  52. Turcicus says:

    @mac-phisto: Nuke ‘em both from orbit. It’s the only way to be sure.

  53. josecmelia says:

    @failurate: Yup, thanks for the suggestion, but tried that already. Spoken with about half a dozen CSRs, each less helpful than the previous.

  54. hipersons says:

    comcast is worse if only because they actually touch more of the population. countrywide is not the only mortgage lender, and they’re not the only lender who used the same practices.

  55. DangerousLiberal says:

    @josecmelia: Damn, and without that cable, you’d have no way of knowing that Countrywide raped the entire economy. Good luck with that cable, tho’.

  56. SacraBos says:

    @PunditGuy: My God, you definitely have kids. Doesn’t Yo Gabba Gabba bring to mind some bad ’70′s acid trip for children’s entertainment?

    I voted Country-Wide. Yes, you can go to another bank, but many didn’t. They helped greedy buyers write loans that never should have been written. Then passed off the loans to other investors without them knowing that the loan documentation was often fraudulent or non-existent, and the loans were riskier than the documentation showed.

    Comcast has never been so bad as to infiltrate major financial investments. And Comcast doesn’t provide service to the homeless left behind by Country-Wide.

  57. Countrywide, now Bank of America. That BoA words seals the deal.

  58. JeffDrummer says:

    Countrywide…

    They bribed Chris Dodd (and 5 other Dems), lent to people who clearly couldn’t afford, now many are suffering at their hands.

  59. vladthepaler says:

    Easy call. Comcast is a monopoly, Countrywide is not.

  60. logicalnoise says:

    I voted for countrywide because I feel that comcast could be saved somewhere down the line eitehr by hostile takeover or getting busted up by every state attoney general in the country. Countrywide needs to f’n die though.

  61. desterion says:

    I can’t believe comcast is losing. I’ve lost all faith in the consumerist readers.

  62. SinA says:

    That reminds me, I gotta call Comcast because some of my channels aren’t coming in…

  63. Skankingmike says:

    I still find it incredibly sad that people here value Television over the entire economy and peoples well being.

    they are not a monopoly if you don’t like your cable provider , get Sat or phone company if you can’t get either, then don’t watch tv.

    How is Television this important to you people? It’s sad really.

  64. Marshfield says:

    Its a hard choice; Comcast would get my vote for day-in-day-out poor customer service.

    Countrywide for malfeasance and greed.

  65. moore850 says:

    I had to go with Countrywide because the subprime thing totally screwed up my financial stocks, and Comcast hasn’t directly impacted me financially in that way.

  66. A.W.E.S.O.M.-O says:

    Don’t get me wrong, Countrywide is no angel. But blaming them for the entire global financial crisis? Come ON. Is your awareness of financial markets that limited? It is the explosive growth of derivatives and that mindset that caused the current crisis, of which Countrywide is a part, but hardly responsible for the global meltdown or even higher cable bills, as someone inexplicably claimed.

  67. Geekybiker says:

    I am sort of surprised comcast got this far. Despite being a terrible company, their actions have a pretty narrow reach. Walmart really should have been here if people understood the widespread damage they cause.

  68. Kaisum says:

    I hate Comcast and all but Countrywide deserves the golden shit.

  69. failurate says:

    @Geekybiker: Wal-Mart deserves a lifetime achievement award.

  70. mzs says:

    One of these companies was so bad it no longer exists. There are plenty of options to comcast, rabbit ears, satellite, p2p, dvds, books yet the market has them remain, that should indicate something.

    BTW I haven’t had cable for at least seven years, that is how bad comcast is, and it is hard to imagine that Countywide is so much worse, but yes it is true. And this is coming from someone moving their line of credit away from Countrywide at the moment due to how bad the customer service is.

  71. Countrywide.

    You helped make the economy what it is today. Go fuck yourselves, all of you.

  72. nsv says:

    At least twice a week I get junk mail from Comcast telling me all about their wonderful cable service.

    I get that mail because I don’t have their service. I’m free to choose to not have cable. Keep your monopoly, I still don’t need your service.

    I’m not free to choose to not have a roof over my head. (Let’s exclude the homeless for obvious reasons.)

    Not only that, but it doesn’t matter to me one bit if you have cable or not. It makes a huge difference in my life if you had a Countrywide mortgage. And I don’t even know you.

    Countrywide it is.

  73. A.W.E.S.O.M.-O says:

    @nsv: You are free to choose a different lender for a mortgage. And if Countrywide is the only one to lend to you because of your income or horrible credit, isn’t that something in their favor?

  74. Comcast. The damage wrought by Countrywide is extensive and us peons will feel the repercussions for years, but 1) they were hardly the only lender making terrible loans (though arguably they were the worst of the worst) and 2) the company has been engulfed by BofA and will cease to exist once the digestion process is over (and that’s gonna leave a mess we’ll be cleaning up with our taxes for decades).

    besides, nobody held a gun to the heads of the frigtards who eagerly signed those mortgage paper, desperate to get in on the house-fetish/flip craze.

    meanwhile Comcast lives on and unlike Countrywide, you have no choice of service providers if you want TV/broadband (sure DSL is an option, but it will always be slower, and few people can actually get FIOS service).

  75. LatinoGeek says:

    Since in don’t live in a Comcast controlled area (thank god!) Countrywide gets my vote.

  76. coren says:

    @MFfan310: Get an apartment then? I’m not saying Countrywide isn’t bad, but to play it is as if there’s no choice is misleading.

  77. coren says:

    @nsv: Guess I should have read all the comments – see the one I just made to MFfan310

  78. theblackdog says:

    I went with Countrywide because someone else correctly pointed out that even if you have a choice in mortgages and went with someone else, Countrywide could still come along and buy your mortgage company. Therefore you end up stuck with them and can’t get out unless you fork over the equivalent of a few mortgage payments to refinance elsewhere. Plus they are more of a contributor to our bad economy than Comcast. I don’t think we have heard of too many people giving up their premium channels…yet.

  79. coren says:

    @DangerousLiberal: I thought we were done with Diebold stole the election two iterations ago. Guess not. Is there any actual proof that Diebold stole any election for anyone?

  80. nsv says:

    @A.W.E.S.O.M.-O: I’m not free to choose ANY lender for a mortgage right now because the economy is in the tank. Which is partly because so many people chose Countrywide for their mortgages.

    I’m told that Comcast has lousy customer service, and I believe it. In the grand scheme of things, what does that mean? Thousands of people inconvenienced every day?

  81. sporks says:

    Uh, look. I don’t have Comcast. My first experience with Comcast was on vacation in DC where I saw Comcast commercials.
    I live in semi-rural America where you have two options: Cox Communications or Dish. Considering my neighborhood has trees everywhere, the Dish can’t and won’t work. We’ve tried. So we’re stuck with Cox, who has ALL the same problems as Comcast, and there’s no FIOS or anything cool here as far as I know. People are charged out the ass for service calls unless they pay for a $5 a month “service plan”, and they wait around all day until one decides to show up. It’s a plain and simple monopoly. Yet, because it’s only fucking over a smaller population, it doesn’t get the same bad rep as Comcast. And it’s the same with DISH, and the same with any other cable provider. They all suck.

    Countrywide has played a role in fucking up the economy. Plain and simple, I happily vote for them.

  82. JN2 says:

    A big warm bowl of cheese-flavored suck for Countrywide! You can keep my house and the ex-wife that is living in it!

  83. synergy says:

    I can’t vote in this one since Comcast isn’t available where I live. Countrywide and that whole issue I think isn’t alone in being blameable, so I can’t really vote for them. So. Yeah. Sitting out.

  84. OKJeff says:

    This is a tough one for me. Comcast’s incompetence and awful customer service have directly caused me grief. So much so that I would never think of doing business with them.

    My mortgage was recently sold for the third time and Countrywide picked it up. I haven’t had any major issues with them yet, but their greater sin’s of aiding in the disruption of the whole mortgage industry cannot be overlooked.

  85. AceKicker says:

    Comcast is a bad company that has horrible customer service, increasing prices, decreasing service, is borderline infringing on Constitutional rights, and holds an iron grip monopoly on much of its service area, giving the consumer little recourse.

    But they still have something resembling a functioning product.

    Countrywide borked the system so hard in order to collect more cash from poorer households, they brought the whole damn roof in on everyone including themselves. They’re not alone in fault, but they are definitely the poster boy.

    Countrywide wins at losing. The trophy is rightfully their’s.

  86. Comcast for sure. They are a monopoly in most markets and can do whatever they want for the most part, crap service included.

    The meltdown is a two way street: lenders may have lent to people they shouldn’t have, but what kind of person gets a loan they can’t afford? An idiot, that’s who. They deserve to lose their house (that they never should have had in the first place). Most people who got burned by Countrywide had a large part in their own undoing (the loan terms were the loan terms, and didn’t change if Countrywide bought the loan from another bank).

    I get burned by Comcast all the time simply for living in Pittsburgh.

  87. bobosgirl says:

    I really want to vote for Comcast- desperately. I have never reached such incompetant phone reps, and I have had better customer service from the mini-mart down the street from us , where hardly anyone speaks english.
    Have had our mortgage with Countrywide since 2001, their service sucks beyond belief, and when my husband was laid off twice in the last 2 years ( lumber market), we fell behind, wiped out our savings, wiped out most of his 401K, and when we told them there was no way to add more to our payments to catch up faster, because we had kids to feed, their customer service rep “Mandy,” had the audacity to say “Maybe you should just eat less.” WTF??? Yeah, I’m going to tell my already tiny 8 year old “Sorry, sweetie, you have to have a little less food today, so we can send Countrywide an extra $3.”
    Filed for bankruptcy finally, and now they are falling all over themselves to be human- in fact, our attorney said ” Wow, they’re becoming major brown-nosers!” So I’m voting-
    Here’s to you Countrywide! May you take the golden poo and shove it where the sun don’t shine!

  88. A.W.E.S.O.M.-O says:

    @nsv: Then rent an apartment. You don’t care about thousands of people inconvenienced, but they don’t care that you can’t own a house. You’ll survive.

  89. bobosgirl says:

    LOL- thank you for my chuckle for the day- and Amen!@JN2:

  90. ConsumptionJunkie says:

    cue music;

  91. timmus says:

    Well, this appears to be pretty cut & dry. If there’s a company that goes out of their way to be evil, it’s certainly not Countrywide. I don’t see any 75-year old grandmother smashing computers in Countrywide.

  92. timmus says:

    (but after reading these comments, I am willing to concede on this one!)

  93. failurate says:

    One of the big problems with Comcast can be fixed by something that Time Warner now does, Customer Service call backs. Instead of holding for hours on end, you simply leave a message and someone actually calls you back.
    This has totally changed my view of Time Warner customer service. It used to be wait, wait, wait, disconnected. Now it is wait, leave a message, get a call back in around 30 minutes or less. The CSRs even seem less stressed and more helpful.

  94. wildness says:

    Wal-Mart is the worst company with Diebold a close runner up.

    These two here are just battling for third place.

  95. Fly Girl says:

    Wow. This was hard. I was Comcast/BofA all the way, but then Countrywide got thrown in there… Had BofA made it to the final death match, they would have had my vote hands down– shoddy lending practices AND terrible customer service… *DINGDINGDING… WE HAVE A WINNER!*

    But to choose between Comcast and Countrywide?… Well, that’s like Apples to Oranges. I mean, Comcast never gave a minimum wager a $750,000 cable package and then took their house away when they (inevitably) couldn’t pay for it. On the other hand, Countrywide isn’t a monopoly and didn’t have a terrible customer service reputation (before the whole “we’re taking your house away now” thing) and no one was FORCED to buy the overpriced house that they really couldn’t afford.

    In the end, I went with Comcast. Why? Because I felt like Comcast truly represents what the Worst Company in America award is supposed to be about– companies that have terrible customer service, terrible prices, and monopolies over larges swaths of the nation. They overcharge, treat people like shit, and, when communities try to step in and alleviate some of the burden, they sue the potential competition into oblivion.

    So, ya, Countrywide’s lending practices (along with the lending practices of countless others) has led to mass foreclosures, a devastated economy, and (quite possibly) a massive depression but… The Consumerist in me knows that a great deal of that was because of greed– greed on the part of the CONSUMER, not just the company. And so, because of the lack of personal accountability on the part of consumers, I voted for Comcast.

    Comcast: The Worst Company in America.

  96. arniec says:

    @Tmoney02: Not the cable, the interfering with network traffic. The snooping. The logging. The turning over records to companies and courts without even the slightest bit of resistance…

  97. juri squared says:

    Can we send a silver poo statue to whomever comes in second?

  98. Hawkins says:

    This is extremely difficult.

    But I have to go with Ms. Poste, and Puck, and the others, who’ve pointed out that, while Comcast embodies anti-consumerism (Fly Girl explained this most clearly), their avarice didn’t actually cause a recession.

    So I cast my vote for Countrywide. But a hearty “Burn in Hell!’ to both.

  99. JustaConsumer says:

    WAL*MART!

  100. Angryrider says:

    You’ve lost your home, homeless shelters are crowded, neighborhoods are barren and empty, drugs dealers might be in what was left of your house, but how are you going to survive w/o cable or internet? Answer it and your choice will appear.

  101. Consumerist, you HAVE to call a press conference to announce the winner of this award. You can’t just mail it to their CEO, or light it in a paper bag, ring the doorbell and run.

    Surely the media would show up for something like this.

    Or maybe you could do it on the Today show or some other “Hard News” outfit like that.

  102. Darren W. says:

    @postnocomments: Same here. Comcast’s utter stupidity has screwed me out of countless hours waiting for someone to answer the phone, or actually show up to fix a problem that THEY created. But now that BOA and Countrywide have joined forces, how can I NOT call them the worst company in America?

  103. Tmoney02 says:

    @arniec: Comcast is a MONOPOLY who invades human rights.”
    @arniec: the interfering with network traffic. The snooping. The logging. The turning over records to companies and courts without even the slightest bit of resistance…

    Uhhh maybe I missed an article but the only thing I am aware of is the throttling of bit torrent’s. While not cool and should be against the law, it is not a Human Right’s violation. I assume the other things you mention are in regards to john doe subpoena’s by the RIAA. Every other cable provider does the same thing because they have to, it is a legal subpoena. If you want to blame someone, blame the courts for allowing such subpoenas on such flimsy evidence.

    So please cut the dramatics about Comcast marching over human rights. They haven’t even broken a law let alone trampled over yours or anyone elses inalienable rights as a person. Plus I don’t think you can “invade” human rights.

  104. Elcheecho says:

    I wish BOA would just buy Comcast and put us all out of our misery.

  105. Puck says:

    It’d be more appropriate to deem them as civil rights violations; trying to label it as a human rights violation is an extreme stretch, if not completely absurd.

  106. xamarshahx says:

    these companies are bad, but definitely not the worse

  107. t3rminal says:

    Comcast will just screw you over and their wide monopoly leaves you with no choice but to accept their service, but the bigger evil has to be Countrywide. While it’s true that Countrywide customers should have known what they were getting into, one has to look into the company’s business practice. Getting a screwed up loan without knowing it, mainly because the person placed their trust on the company, has to be the worst of all. One can be quick to judge the person for getting the loan, but if you put yourself in the situation where a company like CwHL is telling you “yes you CAN do this” knowing the danger of it, is just irresponsible.

  108. narf says:

    Seriously folks – you can live without cable. It’s not the end of the world.

    Countrywide, while not the only lender that led to this mortgage mess, was a major contributor to it. One might not have dealt with them directly at first, but ended up when their loan got resold to them. They didn’t care that many were fraudelent … because they in turn just resold them to other investors. End result what we see nowadays.

    Besides, BofA buying them out just reinforces how much more horrible they really are.

  109. BugNet says:

    Countrywide is affecting every single person in the USA and to some extent even on the entire planet earth by its patently irresponsible actions. Comcast cannot touch that. I do not have Comcast and will not, now that I ave the choice to do so. I use DirecTV. But the price of homes in my area shot up past ridiculous and then down through abysmal due to (in large part) Countrywide’s having lent huge sums of money on huge numebrs of loans that any sane lender would have laughed out of the building.

    As was said above, Comcast only has affected those who have used or been forced to use them. (And I wonder if they ever considered satellite, for their TV at least?). But Countrywide has affected the entire national and international economy.

    To paraphrase Pulp Fiction, it’s time to get medieval on their ass.

  110. @MFfan310: You can certainly live without financing one from CountryWide. :-)

  111. rexmorgan says:

    Countrywide has made many bad mortgages but they’ve also made many good ones. We bought our first house in March (yay for plummeting prices!), we had excellent credit, a sizable down payment, and exceeded the necessary income by more than 50%. Countrywide had the best fixed rate out of half a dozen banks; their loan officer, located in our area, was unbelievably helpful – stayed on the phone with me from 9pm – 11pm twice and was patient and explained things slowly, was great about my ignorance through the entire process. Other banks I dealt with tried to speed over the process to try to get me to say yes as quickly as they could.

    I’ve never heard of anyone who was happy they have Comcast.

  112. 3drage says:

    Saying “Comcast because there is no other cable choice.” Is kind of lame and not really a good reason to decide that it’s the worst company. If that were the case, PG&E or AT&T would also have to be worst companies.

  113. Weirdsmobile says:

    Monopoly or Usury! Thank God for America, land of choice!

  114. Morac says:

    @Elcheecho:
    I think that would signal the coming of the apocalypse.

    This is a tough choice.

    I’ve had plenty of experience with Comcast and the customer support for the most part is horrible. I’ve been lied to, talked down to and basically had to contact their corporate department to get things fixed. They spend tons of money building a giant video screen in their new HQ, but doesn’t have any money to fix the lines in my area.
    Comcast also keeps swallowing up other cable companies and then dragging them down to Comcast’s level. They even tried to swallow Disney a few years back.

    I’ve had no experience dealing with Countrywide, but from what I’ve read about them they are one of the worst in their industry, an industry that has helped drag the economy into the toilet. But Countrywide, by itself, did not caused the financial mess we are in today, was a combination of issues. In the end Countrywide’s practices caused it to collapse and be taken over by BofA.

    In the end though I voted for the evil I know, Comcast since unlike Countrywide they are getting stronger every day.

  115. sleze69 says:

    This was a tough decision. Comcast is a monopoly in most areas. You HAVE to deal with them and they are horrible.

    Countrywide is one of a number of mortgage lenders. But because they were the worst of the worst with tanking this economy, they get the vote.

    The fact that Countrywide is owned by BoA is just icing on the cake.

    Countrywide for the poo!

  116. josephsherry says:

    You think 7 3/4 million ia an impossible loan to attain ask Senator Chris Dodd Democrat from Conn. He got a 3 million dollar loan with a “friendly rate” from Countrywide and oh by the way he is the head of the Senate Banking Com. who is investigating Countrywide. He tried to push down out throats that he was not aware what a friendly rate was and he is the head of the Senate Banking comm. Hey people from Conn. vote for Dodd again when his term is complete. One of two things is happening either he is lying or if he is telling the truth (LMAO) he is the dumbest person in Washington, D.C. Oh no there is a third position he thinks the voters of Conn. are the dumbest people on earth. I guess we will find out the next time people of Conn. vote for US Senator.

  117. Breach says:

    Im going Countrywide, just because at least Comcast didnt wreck the f******* country with its unspeakable evil.

  118. ogman says:

    Amazing, people vote for a dead company instead of sending a message to a monopoly that screws people every day. Either Comcast employees are stuffing the ballot box; or Consumerist readers, as a group, aren’t nearly as savvy as one might think.

  119. JanetCarol says:

    I would personally like to thank Countrywide for helping F our economy and a ton of lives. Thanks Countrywide.

  120. TouchMyMonkey says:

    @Hawkins: THIS. My 401K is down something like 8% for the year so far, and most of this is attributable to the likes of Countrywide and the mess they’ve gotten us into. You don’t have to have a mortgage with Countrywide or even own your own home to be affected by their shenanigans. No cable company can possibly match that, no matter who’s running it.

    There seems to be two schools of thought on worthiness in this competition. The first has to do with competence (or lack thereof), the second has to do with the company’s overall impact on people whether they’re customers or not. I tend to favor the second of these, since you don’t have to own a car to be affected by dirty air or the price of oil, but getting hosed in such industries as cable/satellite TV pretty much requires actual customer participation. The latter criteria implies a certain sense of helplessness on the part of the public that the former one lacks.

  121. coren says:

    @3drage: Maybe if they sucked as bad as Comcast…

  122. desertdust says:

    @Hawkins: This vote is like the difference in the smell of a fart or the poo. They both stink. It is just difficult to figure which is worse.
    I have to vote comcast.

  123. oregongal says:

    Just think of it like this. A vote for Countrywide is also a vote for BoA now. They are both evil.

  124. The_Legend says:

    At least the people that have to fight with Comcast can go to another service (Dish, Direct TV) and watch TV. Look at the the people that got shafted by Countrywide who have no home to complain about their cable service.

  125. SigmundTheSeaMonster says:

    I feel Comcast deserves this more. Countrywide is to blame as much as the buyer “You don’t KNOW what you make and can afford?” Please. And having the taxpayer bail-out your failure to want something you can’t afford?

    Comcast on the other hand is just lies. From tampering with Vonage VoIP, to blundering contractors, to blacking out sports events (they own) and horrible customer service, they have grown beyond the annoying corporation.

    Can we do a worst Politician award next?

  126. AngryEwok says:

    “It’s Comcastic!”

  127. Definitely Countrywide for raping the economy. :)

  128. hypnotik_jello says:

    @SigmundTheSeaMonster: Actually you’re wrong. Tax payers are bailing out the banks, not the schmoe who couldn’t afford the mortgage. He’s getting foreclosed on no matter what.

  129. ElMonoGrande says:

    As much as it hurts me, I can’t vote for Comcast. Everything everybody is saying is true BUT I just signed up with Direct Tv and dealing with their lying, ignorant, byzantine customer service far surpasses any bad experiences I’ve ever had with Comcast.

  130. DustoMan says:

    Comcast does NOT care!!!

  131. theczardictates says:

    For crying out loud, people, the thing Comcast’s wires hang from is a “pole” not a “poll”. And what Countryside did to the economy is “wreak” havoc, not “wreck”. And don’t even get me started on “lose” and “loose”.

    Yes, I hate people who confuse similar-sounding words. Does that make me homophonic?

  132. unravel says:

    I couldn’t bring myself to vote earlier -Comcast’s inclusion makes this feel like such farce!- but in the end, I couldn’t stay away. I’m so glad Countrywide is winning, and those of you who’ve voted for it leaving me feeling like there is hope for us, after all. *dabs at eyes, reaches for a Kleenex*.

  133. yashichi8bit says:

    @MFfan310: “You can live without cable and/or Internet. “

    Yeah, if you call that “Living”.

  134. nicklogan says:

    I hope they both win… is that possible?

  135. elislider says:

    my only argument here is that Comcast is a terrible company because is a giant corporation that will inherently end up being terrible and hard to manage and keep everyone happy, and they just especially suck at it. Its not necessarily a bad thing, since if you dont have comcast then you arent affected. However Countrywide is actively fucking the entire nations economy

  136. tedyc03 says:

    Is Countrywide even qualified for this award? Being bought out they’re technically not an independent company anymore…they’re not a company at all.

  137. The_Legend says:

    According to their website they are a subsidary of BofA. Just like other companies in the Worst Company competition may be owned by larger corporations. They should be double qualified, considering they are a part of another Worst contender.

  138. Ein2015 says:

    You know, I still do not understand why the two are so close in the polls.

    One company is very bad, has horrible service, hires bad contractors, and hates net neutrality.

    The other company has tanked the American economy, spawned IndyMac, told people to lie, and has wasted a LOT of taxpayer’s money.

    Is it really that tough of a choice?

  139. evilhapposai says:

    Comcast? How the hell did it make it this far? All the gripes and complaints are missing the point of IT IS FREAKING CABLE TV!!! For God’s sake quit complaining and go read a book or get your fat butt off the couch and do something outside. Not even a monopoly since there is free broadcast TV and satellite available.

    Countrywide however DOES deserve the golden poo, it ruined the lives of many people and its effects are being felt by everyone else through $4 gas, expensive food, and poor economy…….well unless you are a rich prick that has a disposable income and nothing better to do than gripe that your cable isn’t quite as good as someone else’s.

  140. puka_pai says:

    I used to be a Comcast customer. They were the only choice in the area where I lived if you wanted broadband. I still have a (disputed) ding on my credit report because of them. When we moved away, I swore I’d watch a blank wall before I’d deal with them again.

    However, when I got the mortgage for my house, I told the broker “anybody but Countrywide”. A friend worked for them and was treated badly, so I didn’t want to have anything to do with them. This was long before things started going south, it was strictly a personal preference. And it worked, we got our loan with somebody else. Until Countrywide bought them, of course.

    Now we’re wrangling with them because they say we didn’t pay them in May and June: Here’s the receipts for the payments, guys. “Oh, okay, well, maybe it was March you didn’t pay us.” Nope, here’s March. “Oh, maybe it’s December, then.”

    I’d vote for them twice. And once for BoA, too, just because.

  141. homerjay says:

    I can’t remember who won last year but did anything ever happen after the award was presented? A response? Any press?

  142. PunditGuy says:

    @evilhapposai: A good number — possibly the vast majority — of those “many people” are to blame for their own lives being ruined. (Dammit, I’m a card-carrying Liberal, but even I have a hard time getting teary-eyed for people who don’t read what they sign.) Cases of fraud on the part of Countrywide, I’m willing to wager, are relatively rare compared to the number of people who fell behind on their mortgages out of either a lack of planning or circumstance. And either of those possibilities can make you lose your house regardless of your mortgage company.

    I understand that people want Countrywide to stand in for the whole mortgage industry, but wishing don’t make it so. Evaluated as the company that it is, rather than the symbol it isn’t, it’s merely a greedy company that capitalized on the greed of its customers and offered some lousy service in the process.

  143. TwoScoopsRice says:

    @PunditGuy: Perhaps this line of thought will help sway you. Many people chose Countrywide, this is true. But what about those whose notes and/or servicing of same were purchased by Countrywide?

    Customers who do their homework and select a good lender really have no control over when and if their notes or the servicing of their notes gets sold. Now, I can’t speak to how Countrywide services notes, but I can say from personal experience that a sloppy servicer should have a special circle of Hell reserved for it.

  144. drjayphd says:

    @ConsumptionJunkie: Dammit, now I’m expecting Bryan Danielson to deliver the golden poo.

  145. alice_bunnie says:

    Comcast may have some customer service “issues”, to put it mildly. However, Country Wide has some fraud issues that has the potential that has put a major burden on our economy! There just is absolutely no comparison!

  146. DangerousLiberal says:

    @geeniusatwrok: Comcast isn’t the only way to pipe 24/7 trash sports, skin flicks, and shitty network sitcoms into your house, either. There’s DirecTV for that. So much for that monopoly

  147. AgentTuttle says:

    Shouldn’t the second place company get a trophy of some kind too? Perhaps a smaller golden shit or just a shit with no gold? My dog always has a second little poo and when I played soccer there was always a small trophy for 2nd.

  148. 2719 says:

    I just can’t believe Comcast made it this far. Obviously they have some issues but majority of their customers are probably satisfied with their service. Despite (false) claims of being a monopoly, they could not reach #1 spot in the cable industry by being as bad as some people make them out to be.

  149. PunditGuy says:

    @2719: I wondered how long it would take a Comcast employee to show up.

  150. dirtyblueshirt says:

    Comcast killed TechTV. Enough Said.

  151. Meathamper says:

    I want to see Comcast win here!

  152. JDAC says:

    It’s Bank of America by proxy, I get my wish! Yay?

  153. FrankReality says:

    Comcast just screwed over their customers, employees and stockholders. Countrywide hurt their customers, employees, stockholders and our entire US economy.

    The quote “The evil they wrought on the economy will be felt for years to come.” fits.

  154. drjayphd says:

    @josephsherry: Well, to be fair, we did re-elect Lieberman, so you can’t very well overestimate the pain threshold of CT voters. (It should be noted the Republicans threw in the towel almost out of reflex, so even though Leebs used to be a Democrat, he’s not that liberal.) On the other hand, Dodd seemed to actually be willing to make the big promises on the Presidential trail.

    Although I’m guessing you’re not from CT?

  155. Archavious says:

    If I were Countrywide or Comcast, I would think this a joke.

    Comcast 42% (2943 votes)
    Countrywide Home Loans 58% (4068 votes)

    7011 accounts on some website(that is assuming the poll only allows votes from people logged in) say Comcast and Countrywide are the worst company in America. 1125 anonymous people on the internet think Countrywide is worse than Comcast.

    This is a neat little drama for regulars on consumerist but don’t think this has any clout outside of the consumerist culture.

  156. Canino says:

    I would like to thank Countrywide. My property taxes dropped this year and will drop further next year because of them. The “housing crisis” is saving me $100 a month in taxes because my valuation fell.

  157. joepa1 says:

    @DrJimmy: No but they sure did ruin my lawn and landscaping as well as the food in my house when then cut my power lines…sad thing is I don’t have comcast.

    Sadder yet, when I called to complain they denied that they cut the lines and caused the damage…fortuneatley, I got a bus card from the workers who were waiting for the power company to come fix the lines. Had the power company gotten there earlier I’m confident that Comcast would have split the scene.

    With the physical damage they cause, the underhanded filling hearing seats with paid employees, and the throtteling of their all you can eat internet Comacast must be considered the most evil company ever…..

  158. chrisjames says:

    Inadvertently catalyzing economic turmoil vs. making me cancel my cable subscription and read more. Profit-mongering vampires vs. poor customer service. Countrywide, I choose you!

  159. Underpants Gnome says:

    Comcast is making a push for my vote. Last week they somehow deleted all of the series recordings off of my DVR, and this week none of my recorded shows will play. Still not enough to push them over the top though, Countrywide still has my vote.

  160. BustedWheel says:

    I personally have never dealt with Countrywide, but I live to hate comcast. But I guess any company that can claim such a huge part of our current housing meltdown deserves this one.

    I am sure that comcast will be back in force next year to take the throne.

  161. failurate says:

    @Archavious: Are you throwing down a challenge to the national media?

    Someone call Andy Rooney!

  162. Bladefist says:

    @Archavious: What’s your point? You’re probably right, but the point is, 7000 people know now not to do business w/ Comcast or Countrywide, or atlest if they do, what to expect.

    I think some misinterpret the point of this site. I will say though, it has been extremely effective with some companies. While others, don’t care.

  163. balilanai says:

    Comcast is worst because of their illiterate employees

  164. erratapage says:

    Comcast. I have a choice of who to use for my home loans, but if I want cable tv, I have to use Comcast.

  165. ephdel says:

    comcast may be a horrible company, but they screw over individuals more often than not. Countrywide boned the entire economy, and in doing so every American and every person in the world effected by the economic slump in America.

    Way to go Countrywide, you brought SUCK to a global level!

  166. ivy99 says:

    you gotta vote for c-wide, as a current employee of the afore mentioned “great financial satan” who used to work on subprime loans, let me tell you that the golden poop is well deserved!

  167. nutrigm says:

    The CW vote means you are overlooking the fault of the homeowner. CW is still very active in the mortgage banking arena warehousing billions of dollars and their warehousing facility is one of the best in the industry so they still do something good. Comcast is a different story, they are a SERVICE provider that provides horrible service to the customer. So in other words if you blame CW you’re also blaming the consumer, we can’t do that on the consumerist!

  168. As much as comcast sucks, they haven’t played a part in one of the worse economic situations of the past 100 years. You don’t need cable as much as most people need a mortgage to get a home.

  169. TouchMyMonkey says:

    @erratapage: But you don’t need cable TV anymore. There’s YouTube and Netflix, and the local news never went away.

  170. chrisexv6 says:

    No offense to the Comcast haters, but….

    Having a decent sized hand in destroying our economy (not 100% all them, but they were a big part) trumps bad customer service for you cable TV/internet/phone.

    Worst Company In America: CountryWide Home Loans

  171. JustaConsumer says:

    I still want to vote for Wal*Mart…watch “the High Cost of Low Prices” it was free on Comcast “On demand”….

  172. Athenor says:

    Okay, I just voted out of pure spite.

    Without any prior notification or warning, our local Comcast station moved National Geographic over to their digital service, when we can only afford the bare minimum. NatGeo is one of our favorite channels, and at the very least they could have given us some head’s up!

  173. pigbearpug says:

    I’m in line with everyone who is of the opinion that Countrywide is terrible, but they didn’t INTEND to cause a recession, or to make people lose houses (that they shouldn’t have been in in the first place). They were just greedy. Comcast is greedier, and there is a definite element of INTENT in their terribility.

  174. kapow! says:

    I vote for Comcast, as they are a terrible monopoly among other things.

    While I hate CW with a passion, they are not the only company in America who did crappy loans. Just check out mortgageimplode.com…. The downturn in the housing market is a result of many contributing factors. While CW definitely played a part (one of the biggest), they can hardly shoulder the entire burdon alone.

  175. 2719 says:

    @PunditGuy:

    I am not a Comcast employee and I am not affiliated with them in any way. There are some horror stories out there just like with any other company but I just don’t see Comcast in the same category as Countrywide and few others.

  176. Since Countrywide never came up with a slogan dumber than “That’s Comcastic” it just can’t win.

  177. caj11 says:

    My vote is for Comcast, hands down, although it really isn’t a fair fight from where I stand because I’ve never had any business dealings at all with Countrywide. I have plenty of things to say about Comcast but I won’t bore anybody with them.

    One interesting thing: I’m willing to bet there have been far more stories about Comcast than Countrywide on this site and far more people reading this site have done business with Comcast than with Countrywide, yet Countrywide is currently running ahead in the polls, 58 over 42%. I really really want to see Comcast “win” that Golden Poo, I’m cheering for them all the way, so people you know who to vote for!

  178. nicemarmot617 says:

    @sparks
    You pretty much summed up exactly what I was going to say. Much as Countrywide was merely one of many crappy mortgage lenders which helped crash our economy, Comcast is merely one of many crappy monopoly cable companies. The final vote has come down to these two. Somehow, I find the economy more important than bad cable television.

  179. taylorich says:

    I called Comcast and told them I couldn’t afford their cable service. They cut the cost in half to keep me as a customer, with little hassle.

    The reason I couldn’t afford their service?

    Housing downturn.

    Countrywide FTW!

  180. deadsalmon says:

    “Countrywide lent me 7750K on an undocumented, no income, no asset loan…”

    Huh? I’m no fan of Countrywide, but if you took out a loan of 7 million (or even 750k, if that was a typo) that you weren’t capable of paying back, the failure lies largely on you. Sure, Countrywide (and many, many other lenders) have been making foolish loans that have landed the U.S. in a crisis, but this avoiding responsibility garbage is embracing the same irresponsibility that got people here in the first place.

    It’s the bank’s fault that you lived beyond your means? Nah. They didn’t force a loan upon you, you took it out. Yeah, their practices are awful… but it takes two to play the game, and you’ve got your hands in it just as much.

  181. theczardictates says:

    @Rosstafari: I’m no fan of Countrywide, but if you took out a loan of 7 million (or even 750k, if that was a typo) that you weren’t capable of paying back, the failure lies largely on you.

    I am so sick of hearing this from people who can’t tell “lucky” from “smart”. Do you really think people took out these loans anticipating that they would default?

    Look, most people have no idea how much mortgage they can afford. They finance a mortgage once every seven years on average — that’s not a lot of experience. Many of the victims have never had a mortgage before at all. They don’t understand about income to expense ratios, debt servicing, or other factors. They are bombarded with advertising extolling the merits of mortgages and other debts. They are probably woefully overoptimistic about their other bills and future income. And if they were capable of accurately forecasting future interest rate movements on a variable rate loan… well, I don’t think they’d need to be working for a living.

    So yeah, if their broker told them “you can’t really qualify for this loan, but if we fudge your income a little…”, then sure, they’re culpable.

    But if their mortgage company, which has done this calculation millions of times and appears to be running a successful business doing it, and supposedly has a vested interest in them being able to repay their loan, tells them “yes, people in your circumstances can handle this much debt”, should they be faulted for relying on that expertise?

    Because you know what? Those of you blaming the victims for being greedy: most of you probably did exactly the same thing. You took what the lender offered. Very few of you, I’ll bet, got an independent evaluation of the debt ratios or the loan terms of your mortgages, or educated yourselves enough to expertly appraise the loan yourself. The only difference between you and the victims is that you got lucky and they didn’t.

  182. TouchMyMonkey says:

    @theczardictates: People are greedy. It’s human nature. Countrywide exploited this fact simply because they could. Deregulation, that is, removing the safeguards put in place during and after the Great Depression, enabled CW and others to do what they did and get away with it long enough to create a very serious problem, the full impact of which might still be coming.

    They gave self-regulation a bad name, and that is something ‘good’ banks (if there is such a thing) ought to be vilifying CW for. They insisted that the banking industry could self-regulate out of self-interest, and CW proved them to be completely, utterly full of shit. It’s like saying, “yeah, we can smoke while pumping gas. I haven’t been blown to smithereens so far.”

  183. @misterdisco:

    Comcast FTW. Is Countrywide a monopoly? Absolutely not. There are other choices in most markets.

    Has Comcast wrecked the US economy? Absolutely not. There are worse things in the world than a cable monopoly.

    And cable isn’t even a monopoly – get Satellite. And no, your HOA can’t prohibit this, by Federal law.

  184. @theczardictates:

    Look, most people have no idea how much mortgage they can afford. They don’t understand about income to expense ratios, debt servicing, or other factors. They are probably woefully overoptimistic about their other bills and future income.

    Can I afford a mortgage?
    Question 1: Can I afford the monthly payment?
    Question 2: Will the mortgage adjust, potentially to a rate I can’t afford?

    These are the only two things someone needs to know. Don’t overcomplicate the issue. The BS about debt ratios, etc. is for the banks. A person can and should know what they can afford per month.

  185. Ausoleil says:

    BofA bought Countrywide. That’s two evils rolled into one.

    Comcast, despite what most people seem to believe, is not a monopoly. Call up DirecTV or Dish and more than likely, you can tell Comcast where to go.

    Given the combined forces of evil that BofA and Countrywide now form, they have my vote.

  186. CalebReptar says:

    You know what… Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae are flush with cash. That cash they have will be moved to bailout the banks/investors and we taxpayers will have to replenish freddie/fannie. Don’t believe me, then read… Freddie and Fannie were not doing subprime lending… all of their borrowers had to pay at least 3% down and document their loans. As far as the accounting scandal of some years back when Franklin Raines was running the place, the restatement was because to present accurate figures up not down. The media and the whitehouse/treasurer wants us to believe the two companies are in financial trouble… Naw. Mr. Paulson and W want to put their hands on the liquid cash thats in FHA’s portfolios and transfer it to help the bankers. We folks, yes us taxpayers will be left holding another bag of hot air… How come this country is no longer the manufacturing giant? The bankers decided its better we manufacture debt! Get it
    _________________________________________________________________
    Keep your kids safer online with Windows Live Family Safety.
    http://www.windowslive.com/family_safety/overview.html?ocid=TXT_TAGLM_WL_family_safety_072008

  187. james says:

    this contest goes on too long.

  188. pigbearpug says:

    @theczardictates: That’s a really lame argument. All they had to do was ask, “What is the monthly payment?” and, “Will that change?” I signed a mortgage a year ago, but it was at a fixed rate of 6.25%, and the monthly payment was easily manageable. Are you saying I got lucky? Why do people sign things they don’t understand?

  189. Dabigkid says:

    CW took a dump all over Milton Friedman’s permanent income hypothesis, which now has to be revised for rational agents only, so Countrywide takes my vote. If it weren’t for that, I’d vote for Comcast.

  190. @pigbearpug: Great minds…

  191. pigbearpug says:

    @InfiniTrent: Indeed.

  192. razremytuxbuddy says:

    If only this really was a death match…oh well, a trophy of golden poo will have to do.

  193. warf0x0r says:

    Common guys, we cannot let comcast think their safe! Keep voting comcast.

    I say this with sincere apologies to all the people Countrywide screwed over.

  194. theczardictates says:

    @pigbearpug: @InfiniTrent: Assuming you are two different people and not one person and a sock puppet… Do you actually realize that you just said *exactly the same thing over again* as if you were making a new point?

    You: “People should know what they can afford”
    Me: Most people are not very good at the concept of ‘afford’
    You: “But… but… people should *know*!”

    Want to go around again?

  195. No_Moleste says:

    Comcast is the bane of my existence. I wish I could bill them for the hours and days of my life lost to their unrivaled incompetence. Could you even put a monetary value on it? The suck thing is Verizon has no plans to bring FIOS to the Bay Area…so I’m stuck. But maybe that says something about Verizon too…no plans to bring FIOS service to the most tech heavy region in the world…

  196. fuzzycuffs says:

    Countrywide wouldn’t have been in the situation if it weren’t for people who thought that a new coat of paint meant that their house was suddenly worth $100,000 more than they paid for it.

    And the idiot folks that took Countrywide up on these ARMs that they couldn’t afford in the first place.

    Don’t get me wrong, Countrywide sucks, but my vote goes to Comcast. In their case, they’re basically the only game in town and can do whatever they want, and screws over the general population. Why is it we are the number 1 country and yet we lag behind all these other countries with regards to our internet speeds and infrastructure?

    (it also has to do with lots of municipalities giving monopoly contracts to Comcast and them thinking there’s no reason to innovate and compete since, well, there is no competition)

  197. TheCheez says:

    Countrywide is responsible in some part for the overall collapse in the real estate industry and again in some part responsible for the recession in the American economy.

    Comcast being completely inept pales in comparison.

  198. dottat1 says:

    don’tcha think by now people are starting to vote again for their second and third times using new IPs?

  199. betatron says:

    Countrywide has caused between 100K and 100Meg more damage to the economy than Comcast. advantage: countrywide.

  200. betatron says:

    @betatron: garg! 100k to 100 million times more damage… mas cafe, por favor!

  201. @theczardictates:
    My point was that it isn’t so complicated. People should make and keep budgets. They shouldn’t just “guess” what they can afford, especially with a 15 or 30 year commitment to the largest purchase they’ll ever make.

    They’re more than welcome to just “guess”, but they shouldn’t cry when the consequences arrive in the form of financial hardship or foreclosure. You said:

    But if their mortgage company, which has done this calculation millions of times and appears to be running a successful business doing it, and supposedly has a vested interest in them being able to repay their loan, tells them “yes, people in your circumstances can handle this much debt”, should they be faulted for relying on that expertise?

    YES. They SHOULD know what they can afford. The mortgage company doesn’t evaluate their monthly bills, or whether they’re going to buy a new car in three weeks, or consider their fluctuating hours at their job. It ABSOLUTELY is the individual’s responsibility to protect their own interests against a FOR PROFIT mortgage company.

    Mortgage brokers are SALESPEOPLE, not consultants or advisers. They have no fiduciary responsibility to the customer, and are out to make a commission. They are selling a product, and the buyer should beware.

    Because you know what? …most of you probably did exactly the same thing. You took what the lender offered. Very few of you, I’ll bet, got an independent evaluation of the debt ratios or the loan terms of your mortgages, or educated yourselves enough to expertly appraise the loan yourself.

    Uh…no. I dictated to my lender that we would only talk about 30 year Fixed Rate loans, and then spanked them until they gave me the rate I deserved.

    Independent evaluation? I independently took a look at my BUDGET and my evaluation said “yup, I can afford that, with enough headroom that this home will not become a burden.”.

    Sure, I could lose my job tomorrow. But I have an emergency fund for that occurrence as well.

    The only difference between you and the victims is that you got lucky and they didn’t.

    That is EXCEPTIONALLY offensive. I was personally responsible for my finances, not lucky.

    There are some people, granted, that were taken advantage of by lenders, or have fallen on legitimate hard times, but the majority simply bit off more than they could chew. I’m not sure why people are making so many excuses for folks who bought a $600,000 house making $40,000 a year. “They didn’t know the rate would adjust.” Seriously? People are buying the largest purchase of their lives, spending $100k to $1MM on a home, and they don’t know what ARM stands for?

    People are feeling the consequences of their own actions – unfortunately, responsible homeowners are feeling the consequences too, and we did nothing wrong.

  202. @fuzzycuffs:

    Why is it we are the number 1 country and yet we lag behind all these other countries with regards to our internet speeds and infrastructure?

    Yes, this is definitely more important than a company taking the primary role crashing the US economy.

  203. basket548 says:

    So, uh, when is this vote over?

  204. I was teetering, but now that a vote for Countrywide is ALSO a vote for BofA? NO CONTEST. Comcast certainly rules the roost in terms of evil things one can do with media-access products…but those don’t hold up to the evil one can do with banking and home loans, IMO.

    Both of these companies deserve a Poo for trying just as hard as they can to be evil within their industries, though.

  205. pigbearpug says:

    @theczardictates: I don’t recall any exchange like that. It was more like this:

    You: It is the responsibility of everyone except me to know what I can afford. Blah blah, debt ratio, blah blah I don’t understand things I sign.

    Me (and Infinitrent): No, you should probably know that if something costs more than you make each month, or might in the future, it’s probably not a good idea.

    Infinitrent is spot on. You have a lot of nerve calling responsible people “lucky.” It kind of sounds like you signed a crappy loan. If that’s the case, that sucks, I’m sorry. But it’s your fault.

  206. pigbearpug says:

    @theczardictates: Also, Infinitrent and I are not the same person. Unless I am secretly taking Ambien and somehow have an alternate life. You’re right, we did say the same thing and I should have read all the comments before posting mine, but your rant just really pissed me off.

    Now ask me how I feel about my tax dollars going to bail out dipshits who got in over their heads.

  207. taylorich says:

    @warf0x0r: That’s what people don’t understand. If you’re a taxpayer in the US, Countrywide screwed YOU over.

  208. alysbrangwin says:

    I’ve never dealt with Comcast. From what I hear they’re just like Time Warner Cable anyway, but nothing matches Countrywide’s wholesale destruction of the American economy.

  209. hoffmeister_hoff says:

    @dallasmay: You’re correct, the ’0′ was a typo.

    They lent me 775K

  210. JeffM says:

    @taylorich: Seriously though- wasn’t the the government that dipped into our taxes to pay for these idiots?

    Countrywide sold a product and some folks bought into it, you can only blame them, it doesn’t take but 30 minutes of research to understand how much house you can afford and you’re borrowing 10 years of your gross salary- you might want to be careful what you sign up for. I’m sure there was some deception involved but caveat emptor- people will always try to trick you out of your money it is your job to be aware of this and protect yourself.

    That said I just don’t think Countrywide is all that evil- evil for sure- but surprised they edged out Comcast and a few other in the Elite 8. Countrywide was just a broker of destruction- the financial community as a whole seemed to create the demand for the unreliable products they sold that are sinking the US economy.