Submit Your Nominations For 2009 Worst Company In America Contest

It’s that time of year again, folks. Brackets, Brackets, Brackets. Please help us out by emailing your nominations to us a tips@consumerist.com. Put “WCIA” in your subject or your nomination will not count. Please behave yourselves and nominate one company per email address. Nominated companies should provide goods or services to consumers. Thank you, and may God bless the United States of America.

Nominations left in the comments, sent to our personal emails, etc. will not be counted.

Comments

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  1. HunterZ says:

    AIG will probably win :p

  2. octopede says:

    Give me an ‘A’… give me an ‘I’….

  3. boxjockey68 says:

    You know I’m gonna say Walmart.

  4. Alys Brangwin says:

    Bank of America for Merril Lynch

  5. Christopher Greer says:

    AIG, FTW

  6. KarbonKopy says:

    My vote will always go to AT&T….

  7. ShyConsumeristFantasy says:

    every internet service provider that is putting a cap on our connection.

  8. Mr. Guy says:

    Is Bernie Madoff by himself eligible?

    Otherwise, my final 4 prediction is AIG, Comcast, Best Buy, and Monster Cable.

    • Papercutninja says:

      @Mr. Guy: While best buy isn’t a shining star, swap that for the defunct Circuit City and i think you’ve got it.

      • Mr. Guy says:

        @Papercutninja: i’d like to agree with you, but i think that voters will be reluctant to kick a company while its down (our out of business in this case). Best Buy is more odious in my book because they remain a “going concern” yet continue to treat their customers so badly.

      • Kogenta says:

        @Papercutninja: Who would you send the golden shit too? A place that’s out of business tends to not have a corperate head office anymore. At least with BestBuy they still exist and are still doing whatever they do.

    • PencilSharp says:

      @Mr. Guy: Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC
      No diggity, no doubt.

  9. ShyConsumeristFantasy says:

    Every internet service provider that is putting a cap on our connection!!!!!!

  10. TheMonkII says:

    AIG takes the cake, in my opinion. Not only did this company make terrible mistakes which put it into financial ruin, but then got tax payers to bail them out, only to in turn use that money to give top executives huge bonuses.

    Isn’t this what a capatalist middle finger looks like?

    • Con Seannery wants the azure F back! says:

      @TheMonkII: While I don’t like the bonuses for some of the execs, you have to realize that many of the divisions of AIG are profitable and the total bonus amount to meet their contractual obligations are less that 0.1% of the total bailout cash. Of course, to me, that means the bailout was too big, but my point stands. Did we throw a fit when we gave them the bailouts to screw over the free market and capitalism in general by rewarding the losers?

  11. INsano says:

    AIG eats all these companies for lunch and then insures their atrociously bad investments.

    AIG for the FAIL.

  12. johnva says:

    There is no way that AIG will not win this. Why is there even a need for a contest?

  13. rpm773 says:

    The US Government. It doles out large sums of money to questionable corporations with no strings attached, then tries to cover its incompetence by shaking said corporations down for information on how that money was used.

    It gives leadership positions to tax cheats. Multiple times.

  14. Ubik2501 says:

    What, no Peanut Corporation of America?

    • techstar25 says:

      @Ubik2501: What other company let birds and rats poop in their food, which came back positive for salmonella, and then knowingly sold it the public needlessly killing several elderly residents of a retirement home?
      Somebody try to top that. Go ahead. I’ll wait.

    • the lesser of two weevils says:

      @Ubik2501: I’d suggest the FDA get put on that list, as well.

  15. outoftheblew says:

    AIG is getting a lot of mentions, but I’m curious as to whether they’ve affected significantly more people than places like Walmart. Personally, AIG is just another name in the news that I have no relationship with. Like the Enron of the day … yes, it’s horrible, but does it really affect more people in worse ways than other companies? I don’t see it, but could be wrong.

    • JPropaganda says:

      @outoftheblew: This isn’t “which company has affected you most?” AIG foolishly floundered away money, took a bailout from the government, then intends to pay out $165 mill in bonuses? Foolishness.

    • Ron Mexico says:

      @outoftheblew: That’s what I was wondering too. AIG has repeatedly given the middle finger to the rest of the country, but are they worse than companies like Bank of America who take taxpayer money to stay afloat while simultaneously jacking interest rates and slashing credit lines for their customers?

  16. thrillhoV says:

    does ticketmaster AND live nation count as 1 or 2 nominees?

  17. valor77 says:

    OMG The United States Federal Government has to get this one – it’s the largest monopolistic company in the country, and the only one allowed to spend money that your grandchildren haven’t earned yet… AIG pales in comparison.

    • DeeKey says:

      @valor77: And I read somewhere that the reason for the govt bailout was because AIG holds the pension accounts for US Gov’t employees? Is this true? So they are one entity now….if the Gov’t pretty much pwns AIG. So my vote is for Gov’t/AIG…if this is true.

  18. mbgrabbe says:

    This one is obviously going to AIG for all the negative press its gotten over the last few months. Wouldn’t be very interesting if they won it…

    Rather than blame all of our financial misfortunes on a single company again this year, can we instead pick a company that treats its customer poorly, that sells a terrible product, or who’s entire operation is a complete scam?

  19. LegoMan322 says:

    CableVision! AT&T! AIG! Walmart……..There is 4 years worth.

  20. grapedog says:

    Uh, yes…AIG has affected everyone in our country who pays taxes. Taxes that could be going to something useful…like schools or roads or jobs or something that would actually benefit society.

    The vast majority of the money AIG owes is to European banks and companies. Large amounts of American tax money is going to pay for bad loans made to and from european banks…

    Thats epic failure…

  21. Yoko Broke Up The Beatles says:

    Some companies are perennial WCIA powerhouses, aren’t they?

  22. JPropaganda says:

    I’m just gonna put in yet another nomination for AIG.

  23. warf0x0r says:

    Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC

  24. Canino says:

    The USA Bailout Walmart Wall Street Derivatives Mortgage Circuit Buy Starcoffee Rusty Tools Taking-It-Seriously Corporation!

  25. KyleOrton says:

    Can it move a little more quickly this year? If memory serves it lasted longer than the NHL playoffs last year and I lost interest sometime in month 5.

    • mac-phisto says:

      @KyleOrton: seconded. if there’s a huge list, the first couple round should be 1 of 4 instead of 1 on 1. at least until you get to the not-so-sweet 16.

  26. Megladon says:

    While I laughed at suggestions of companys that screw many of us over, best buy, comcast and even the sue happy monster cable guys… I gotta agree AIG will take it. Does anyone actuly think that another company can win given just how bad they were and with the current news? I predict a very very short contest this year. The brackets should put AIG vs every other company together as you’d need alot of weight to topple aig’s massive failure.

  27. B says:

    @Mr. Guy
    Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC certainly is eligible, although it’s no longer a going concern.

  28. Gokuhouse says:

    Mediacom Cable
    AIG
    Pretty much everyone else…

  29. Robert Holt says:

    AIG ..

  30. MFfan310 says:

    Here’s my “Not-So-Elite Eight”:

    -United Airlines: Just for disconnecting their customer complaint number. Plus their staff at O’Hare is surly.
    -Comcast: Forget about the caps… poor customer service alone made thousands here in Fort Wayne switch to FiOS.
    -General Growth Properties: The reason why your local shopping mall is losing tenants. And have you checked their stock price lately?
    -Bank of America: Although they don’t have branches here, the Merrill Lynch purchase and Ken Lewis’ “I don’t know” attitude about bonuses would make me bank somewhere else if there was a BofA branch.
    -AIG: Need I say more?
    -Macy’s, Inc.: The only reason I shop there is because of their fragrance department. And as soon as a Sephora opens up here, I can finally kiss the big red star goodbye. (And no, my dislike of Macy’s is not due to the numerous Marshall Field’s fans.)
    -Sears Holdings Corporation: I hate to put them on the list, as I have a family member who works for Sears and the Lands’ End line is good. But Sears has been slipping big-time under Eddie Lampert & Co., and that’s why they’re on there.
    -Chrysler LLC: Again, it’s sad, as my dad worked at a Chrysler factory for about a year to earn money for college. But when you’re promising vaporware products and stifling the blogosphere, something’s not right about the future of this once-proud American automaker.

  31. keith4298 says:

    Sears!

  32. YouDidWhatNow? says:

    eBay/PayPal

  33. rubyfrog says:

    I nominated Paypal.

  34. Odiase says:

    AIG, Comcast, & Cash for Gold!

  35. maxx22 says:

    Time Warner Cable – for reasons known to anybody who subscribes to them.

  36. dddoistutter says:

    How can it not be AIG?

  37. starrion says:

    PCA or AIG.

    One killed ten people for profit the other has blackmailed the federal government for cash.

  38. sk1d says:

    that’s easy, who ever got the largest amount of the bailout, so AIG, chrysler, GM

  39. The_IT_Crone says:

    Usually, my stand-by is Wall-Mart.

    But for all that is unholy, AIG has pretty much won already.

  40. icntdrv says:

    AIG – because duh…
    AT&T – because of metered DSL
    TWC – see above
    Comcast – for well-rounded evil

  41. Sean Gamble says:

    I’m surprised no one even thought to nominate the now defunct Peanut Corperation of America who intentionaly distributed peanut products that they knew were contaminated with a deadly strain of Salmonella that killed 9 and sickend thousands more. Money can always be regained lives cannot be replaced or fixed easily

  42. jeblis says:

    Yeah no surprises this year. Lots of companies screwed us over, but AIG then took more of our money so they could pay bonuses.

  43. Sean Gamble says:

    @ Myself:
    Just to protect their bottom line! talk about greed at its worst

  44. Karl says:

    Nominated companies should provide goods or services to consumers.

    Unfortunately, this leaves out a LOT of evil. AIG’s customers are primarily other business. Visa and MasterCard’s customers are banks. The MPAA/RIAA’s customers are the media companies. And so on…

    • mac-phisto says:

      @Karl: umm…AIG is the world’s largest insurance company (or close to it). they most certainly provide services to customers. haven’t you ever seen their commercials? take a look at their website: [www.aig.com]

  45. chuloallen says:

    Yes i agree, i would nominate United States of America.

    They provide goods or services to consumers (tax payers)

  46. Blb3303 says:

    AT&T Greedy devils. Customer dis service.

  47. Razorgirl says:

    Since I figure the obvious choices will be taken care of by many others, I’m throwing Fireside Bank in the ring, just for giggles. Nasty predatory buggers.

  48. FessLove says:

    AIG. ’nuff said

  49. j-o-h-n says:

    Surely Standard & Poor’s, Moody’s Investors Service and Fitch Group all belong in the bracket.

  50. scootinger says:

    Wow, nobody’s nominated Citibank?

  51. stopNgoBeau says:

    Before someone nomintes them like last year, please understand that Blue Cross and Blue Shield is not 1 company, and does not sell any insurance of any kind. If you have a beef with your local BCBS (or other insurnace company that is an affiliate), please list them by name, like BCBS Arizona, or Arizona Healthcare Indemnidy, Inc d/b/a BCBS Arizona. There is a HUGE difference between the actual insurance providers and the national affiliation office.

    Of course, if you have a problem with the affiliation itself, feel free to nominate it :-)

  52. darthsodomizer says:

    Save yourself some time, crown AIG now.

  53. MissPiss says:

    The US Government! Thieves, cheats, & liars!

  54. Grrrrrrr, now with two buns made of bacon. says:

    I vote AIG.

  55. nataku8_e30 says:

    AIG, for needing so much tax money that the 165 million in bonuses they’re paying out actually sounds insignificant…

  56. SoCalGNX says:

    Chase bank!!! THEY ARE HORRIBLE!! THEY ATE MY WAMU!!! WAAAHHH!!!

  57. razremytuxbuddy says:

    I think you can just flip a coin between AIG and Merrill Lynch/BOA. I like the other suggestions of having “Best of” categories.

    You also could start a Consumerist Hall of Sham and induct someone each year who has reached lifetime achievement status. It has been a banner year.

  58. Eliot Schreiner says:

    Comcast. Nuff’ said.

  59. trujunglist says:

    AIG!

    I was going to nominate gamefunk.com, but destroying the entire economy and possibly the world is much worse than not delivering my $22 worth of crappy xbox games. Sorry gamefunk, maybe next year?

  60. CoarseLive says:

    CITI, CitiMortgage, CitiBank, CitiFuck.

  61. RosalieCabatan says:

    the SEC. they are the regulatory body that sat back and watched madoff, AIG, goldman, etc bring the entire world to its knees

  62. Benjamin Tom says:

    MPAA-RIAA cartel ~ evil indeed

  63. techstar25 says:

    Peanut Corporation of America

    Here are some quotes from Wikipedia:

    * This company had no conscience in its production practices, sales and distribution. That they would knowingly ship products tainted with salmonella to our nation’s children almost defies belief.” – U.S. Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Tom Harkin (D-Iowa)[17]

    * “I’d like to see some people go to jail. This was a company that should have shut things down immediately.” – Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.)[88][89]

    * “The actions by the Peanut Corporation of America can only be described as reprehensible and criminal.” – Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.)[90][91]

    * “They tried to hide it so they could sell it. Now they’ve caused a mammoth problem that could destroy their company – and it could destroy the peanut industry.” – Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Tommy Irvin[91]

    * “We’re going to be doing a complete review of FDA operations. At a bare minimum, we should be able to count on our government keeping our kids safe when they eat peanut butter. That’s what Sasha eats for lunch. Probably three times a week. I don’t want to worry about whether she’s going to get sick as a consequence of eating her lunch.” – President Barack Obama[92][39]

    * “This is a clear and unconscionable act by one manufacturer.” – American Peanut Council statement[43]

    * “It is unacceptable for corporations to put consumers’ health at risk and then simply declare bankruptcy and go out of business when they get caught. PCA’s declaration of bankruptcy will, among other things, shield it from liability suits filed by consumers who became sick or whose loved ones died as a result of eating PCA’s peanut products.” – Jean Halloran, director, Consumers Union

  64. Meathamper says:

    We can’t vote AIG… they’ll be soon anyway.

  65. emptydarkone says:

    Oh damn it, Consumerist! I thought you were doing a story on television station WCIA channel 3 in Champaign… They are marginally better than our own WCIS news channel 20 in Springfield. It’s not news unless we can sensationalize it and blow it all out of proportion. Now back to you in the news room.

  66. bobloblawsblog says:

    PAYPAL!

  67. Jesse in Japan says:

    Are there any companies that AREN’T the worst company in America this year? And yes, I’m being facetious.

  68. synergy says:

    Will we get to find out who’s #1 before the NBA season starts again?

  69. Pixelantes Anonymous says:

    I say we forgo the formalities and announce the winner right away.

    There’s absolutely no way any other company than AIG deserve the title this year.

  70. Brittany Stewart says:

    Is there another Golden Poop award in it for the winner? Or is it loser?

  71. Corporate-Shill says:

    Is the criteria a poor consumer company (ie poor customer service such as any internet, telephone or just about any consumer electronics company), a weak moral values company (AIG) or just because you don’t like their pricing model (Monster Cable)?

  72. FrankReality says:

    Re: “Rather than blame all of our financial misfortunes on a single company again this year, can we instead pick a company that treats its customer poorly, that sells a terrible product, or who’s entire operation is a complete scam”

    Sounds like the United States Federal Government!

    AIG, Bank of America, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, the US Congress.

  73. Johnny Cache says:

    Direct TV. I just had a roof put on the house.1 week to get someone to aim the dish. No credit for no service for that time. 150$ for a tech to spend 15 minutes on the roof + take a day off,since they have a 4 hour window on their appointment times.

    It be hilarious, if his ladder blew down.

    I could tell him I’d be there between the hours of 2p.m.& 6P.M., to put it back up.
    to put it back up

  74. Johnny Cache says:

    *hiccup*

  75. burnedout says:

    Is anyone else thinking AMERICAN EXPRESS?

  76. 2Wheelsor4: The Moto-Stig says:

    GM, Chrysler and their Subsidiaries.. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (possibly applicable) Wall-Street as an amalgamation of Bank of America, AIG, Bear Stearns, Washington Mutual and a few others, and the ubiquitous Comcast.

  77. working class Zer0 says:

    Definitely AIG. But there should be some dishonerable
    mentions for some of the other finincial institutions,
    I mean they really put some effort into it this last year. It’s just that in the end AIG was the biggest of the “to big to fail” companies, so they win by default.

    I can’t believe that the golden turd has become so coveted that companies are not only willing to destroy their business over it but the whole world economy as well. Go Consumerist!

  78. TCTH says:

    Bank of America simply because it IS Bank of America.

  79. Hyman Decent says:

    @HunterZ: But: Nominated companies should provide goods or services to consumers. The subsidiary of AIG that serves consumers didn’t fuck up.

  80. Charlotte Rae's Web says:

    This should be called the Enron Yearly Achievement Award

  81. ageshin says:

    AIG is my choice as it enabled the growth of the dirivitive market and the meltdown that followed.

  82. Montaigne says:

    AIG, Comcast, Circuit City…

  83. JohnDeere says:

    skynet.. i mean Apple

  84. K J says:

    Citibank, AIG, Goldman Sachs, Washington Mutual (R.I.P.), Circuit City (good riddance), Best Buy, Comcast.

  85. vermontwriter says:

    You know I would say AIG. I always was just reading this story about Citi and MorganStanley and am adding them to this list.

    [news.yahoo.com]

  86. Anonymous says:

    It has to be Direct TV. They absolutly have no idea about customer service and I don’t think they really care. I wish they were evaluated by JD Powers because they would receive the worst score in corporate history.

  87. dallasmay says:

    Tesla, for laying off hundreds of employees with a blog post. That should get them an honorable mention at least.

  88. savdavid says:

    Comcast

  89. Cicek Neftci says:

    I know there are worse companies, but I can’t stop mentioning Sprint

  90. Jonax says:

    AIG, Merrill Lynch, Bank of America…

    Are we going to end up with a category known as “The Graveyard”? ;)

  91. hi says:

    FEDERAL RESERVE – This is not a government agency. It is a corperation made up of international banks and they are ruining our country and economy.

  92. opsomath says:

    Hmm. Round up the usual suspects.

  93. JanDuKretijn says:

    Just going through the motions with this one, eh? We all know it’s going to be AIG.

  94. Rectilinear Propagation says:

    Peanut Corporation of America

    Any company “too big to fail”

    Cigna

    Wal-mart
    Wal-mart shoppers (should get a bad consumer mention)

    Telsa, for the reason dallasmay gave.

    • dallasmay says:

      Thanks for the shout out! That really hacked me off that day, because Dallas ISD was doing the exact same thing that week, and I had a lot of friends told that they were being let go by in an article in the Dallas Morning News.

  95. Soultrance says:

    AIG, easily.

  96. econobiker says:

    Sears’ poor customer service looks absolutely angelic compared to the evil nimrods who either crawled out or were pulled out from under their scum covered rocks over the course of 2008

  97. econobiker says:

    BTW- I would give it to AIG just on their synthetic coal tax credit ~scheme~ alone…

  98. vladthepaler says:

    I was going to nominate the US government, but someone already did, so I thought I’d nominate some other candidate… but I can’t think of any even half as deserving. The government takes money from the people it is supposed to be working for, and gives it giant corporations that have been proven to be incapable of making responsible financial decisions. The bailouts are reprehensible, and we’ll be paying for it for generations to come.

  99. Froggmann says:

    My nom goes to Chase and AIG.

  100. HeatherD says:

    Let’s see, ATT is awful, and AIG is paying massive bonuses with my cash. That definitely makes them my two main entries.
    However, I’m going to have to go with Target instead of Walmart on this one, because Walmart treats it’s employees better.

  101. stevgex says:

    I don’t even know where to begin…

  102. Papa Midnight says:

    I’ll be sending in my nominations but why only one? That seems so unfair to all the other candidates. I have so many to nominate.

    American Insurance Group
    AT&T
    Bank of America
    Best Buy
    CitiGroup
    Charter
    Comcast
    eBay (PayPal along with it)
    Monster Cable
    Peanut Corporation of America
    TicketMaster
    Time Warner
    Wal-Mart

    SO MANY MORE…!

    But I guess there can only be one, right?

  103. Sparerib says:

    Is this contest going to take 3 years to complete like it has in the past or is it going to be a little more concise? Because seriously, last year I just ignored it after about 5 weeks.

  104. pal003 says:

    Citibank, Bank of America – because they took Taxpayer Bailout money – then screwed the consumer twice – raising interest rates and fees.

    JP MorganChase – took Bailout money, screwed the consumer raising interest rates and fees, – and is increasing their outsourcing of IT Jobs out of the US to India by another 25%.

    Comcast – always for raising cable rates, eliminating channels from Basic and Expanded Basic – but forcing stupid channels on consumers. Can we pay for Only the channels we watch?

    Walmart – for still treating their employees badly and selling too much crap from China.

    All Health Insurance companies, especially Aetna and UnitedHealthGroup – for raising insurance premiums again, more denials of coverage (more small print), and in general – Not Caring about People who Get Sick.

  105. altcountryman says:

    A perennial “winner” of this award in my book is UHaul, for their unsafe vehicles and the fact that they don’t honor reservations.

    Of course, had I known about the unsafe trucks the time they failed to have my “reserved” truck on moving day, I would have thanked them. But that still doesn’t get them off the hook.

  106. vastrightwing says:

    I submit the U.S. Government.

    -A monopoly that dictates the services it will provide, how much you will pay, and will not tolerate any competition.
    -Merchandise is shoddy, over priced, no warranty, hard to understand, no support and there are never any returns.
    -Very little value for my money.
    -Customer service: on par or worse than Circuit City & Comcast
    -Sells us stuff knowing it will never work. Ever!
    -The organization is insolvent: it spends more money than it collects and pretends it’s rich.
    -Corruption is manifest at the highest levels of the organization.
    -Hurts the very denizens it is supposed to be protecting.
    -Predatory practices: invades other companies and government authorities.
    -Pays its executives excessive wages compared to its denizens. Gives raises to management when budgets are shrinking.
    -Hires employees based on connections; not based on their ability to perform their duty.
    -Hurts stock holders by devaluing the money supply.
    -Charges for things and won’t deliver.
    -Not accountable for its actions: the government can destroy its denizen’s lives and is held unaccountable for its actions.
    -Allows its subsidiaries to do business in other counties and break their laws with impunity.
    -Spies on its own denizens and uses the information to coerce them.
    -Raises prices of everything with little or no notice, no way to back out of the deal and demands that we pay without question.
    -Will not investigate any charges brought against it for any reason, but will accuse and investigate its customers often without just cause.
    -Makes many promises of reform and benefits, yet never delivers on any of them.
    -Treats some customers better than others.
    -Looses applications and makes you pay again because of their mistake.
    -Selectively enforces some policies and creates new policies when caught.
    -Makes you wait years for any benefits and often never delivers.
    -Lies by advertising many great benefits and changes terms at the last minute with no warning.
    -Often throws its poorest customers in jail for minor policy infractions while allowing its richest customers to loot the treasury.
    -Does business with fascist dictators even when they publicly decry their policies.
    -Encourages prices to rise because they are a monopoly and management makes extra money from kick backs.
    -Contracts have so much fine print, you never have time to read it all. Even if you have time to read it, it’s totally incomprehensible.
    -Shirks its fiduciary responsibility: its return on investment is negative.
    -Confiscates and raids private property, often without just cause.
    -Is not subject to its own policies.
    -Its services degrade over time and are rarely updated or modernized.
    -Costs always go up and never come down.
    -Business practices are shady and misleading: contracts are negotiated for one price, but end up costing many times more than proposed and take many time longer than promised, if they are fully executed at all.
    -They sneak spyware into your communications and endorse harmful DRM in almost everything they produce.
    -You may not opt-out of any offer.

  107. jeffbone says:

    Seems like this post should be “stickied” to the top of the front page.

  108. darkryd says:

    AIG as a one seed, please.

    GM

    BofA

    Monster Cable

  109. Jesse Stein says:

    Apple.