Worst Company In America: Walmart VS HP

A controversial retailer VS a computer company with a black hole for a warranty repair operation. Which will you choose?

It’s #9 Walmart VS #24 HP.


This is a post in our Worst Company In America 2009 series. The companies nominated for this honor were chosen by you, the readers, and seeded according to number of nominations. Keep track of all the goings on at consumerist.com/tag/worst-company-in-america. Download the bracket here.

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  1. Thaddeus says:

    I’m going with WalMart becasue not only do they suck, but you can get HP products there. It’s a two-for-one. Everyone wins!

  2. MostlyHarmless says:

    Fairly easy win for Walmart, but I expect it to be closer than Peanuts v/s Amex.
    Not as close as Chrysler v/s Dell though.

    And I am betting on BestBuy for the yet-to-be-opened second matchup of the day.

  3. noone1569 says:

    These rounds have been too easy . . .

    • failurate says:

      @noone1569: Like Louisville vs Morehead State?
      It’s a four bracket seeded tournament. So the first round features the worst companies vs companies that might not belong in this competition (good companies) and progresses toward the mediocre companies vs mediocre companies. The next round, baring upsets, will be worst companies vs mediocre companies and more mediocre vs mediocre. And eventually we will get to worst vs worst in the semis and finals.

  4. mechfluff says:

    One of my friends screwed up his HP laptop to the point where it would shut down randomly. The first thing I did was to try and update the BIOS, but the HP website was crap. Not only did they NOT have any sort of support for the new 22 digit alphanumeric serials on the robo-crap support part of their site but when I tried the [www.dialahuman.com] trick to get a person, they wanted me to PAY to talk to someone before the problem was even solved. On a laptop that was under warranty!

    • Anonymous says:

      @mechfluff:
      HP makes great printers. That’s what they do best. I have always bought printers from them and they work great. I would never buy any other type of electronics from them though.

  5. ezmobee says:

    I voted for HP mainly because PC World recently did a big survey on the customer service of the major tech companies and HP failed spectacularly. They were dead last by a HUGE margin.

    • howie_in_az says:

      @ezmobee: I voted for Wal*Mart because HP doesn’t sell items with Nazi symbols on them after they’ve been asked to remove said items and assured the public that they have.

    • Trai_Dep says:

      @ezmobee: Well, that surely trumps off-shoring tens of millions of American mfg jobs, nuking local commerce nationwide, providing a fast-lane for poisoned toys to US kids and imprisoning their union-busted workers overnight without pay!
      Although, the HP stores don’t subject us to morbidly obese people wearing too-tight clothing, so that’s a BIG point in their favor…

    • sporks says:

      @ezmobee: I voted HP even though I put Walmart over HP in the bracket. Fuck HP and their substandard service, black hole of warranty centers and their horrible products. I sent my old laptop in for service and it took them an entire month to fix it, but didn’t fix it and instead told me it wasn’t covered by the warranty. Screw HP. They deserve to be dead last in customer service.

  6. Rectilinear Propagation says:

    Trampling Death
    Shoppers laughing while the man died

    It might not be fair to hold the second one against Wal-mart…but I’m gonna anyway.

    Did anyone get held responsible for what happened?

  7. ultmontra08 says:

    I am abstaining from this vote because those are two of my favorite companies.

  8. vastrightwing says:

    I wanted to get two for one, so I voted Walmart.

  9. battra92 says:

    What’s wrong with HP besides being expensive. Walmart are a necessary evil so I honestly can’t really pick.

    • mac-phisto says:

      @battra92: in terms of customer service, i’d say they deserve to be here.

      there was a time when HP product support was great – i remember having faulty units under warranty replaced in 1-2 business days.

      i don’t know when that changed, but things have gotten pretty bad over there. one example (i have many): i had a faulty HP drive under warranty (inside a perfectly fine HP tower). tried to get it replaced…first they denied my replacement b/c “opening your tower voids your warranty”. right. so, i escalate. they wanted me to send the whole tower in for troubleshooting. 4-6 weeks. not gonna happen. escalate again. now my choice is to pay to have a tech come out & troubleshoot the problem. the earliest he can be there is 3 weeks out & he won’t have a new drive with him (even though i know the drive is the problem), so i get to wait another week for him to come back out if it is the drive. oh, & i have to pay for the in-home service. get bent.

      $40 on-sale at a b&m for a new, faster, non-hp drive that’s been working ever since. still pissed that they wouldn’t support their product. not only did they waste my money, but also ~4 hours of my time on the phone.

      i still buy from their business division, but i won’t touch any of their home products ever again.

    • LandruBek says:

      @battra92: HP used to be a superb brand. Their lab equipment, and everything they sold, was absolutely top notch. But then they sold out. They’re the Phineas Gage of technology companies. I voted for them because of how low they have fallen.

      Walmart is truly evil (mistreating their workers, suppressing unions, checking receipts, pressuring manufacturers to lower quality, killing mom-n-pop stores) and they deserve to win this round, but I wanted to vote for an upset.

      • ZekeSulastin says:

        @LandruBek: If checking receipts is a mark of true evil, you REALLY need to get your priorities in order. Quality sinking and worker mistreatment? Evil. Checking your receipt? Not so much.

        • LandruBek says:

          @ZekeSulastin: Well, we’ve chewed this one over many a time on The Consumerist, but I just don’t feel like playing right now. Suffice it to say that some people, and I too, think receipt-checking is a bad thing.

  10. pkoutoul says:

    I personally have had nothing but positive experiences with HP products. I have owned 2 HP Laserjets and they were both outstanding. I shop at Walmart regularly and while I have had a few frustrating experiences, they are no worse than any other discount retailer IMHO. So I will abstain on this one.

    • supercereal says:

      @pkoutoul: Pretty much this.

      I’ve also only had minor frustrations with both of them, but not really more than any other store/brand out there.

  11. SDreamer says:

    I understand that HP has horrible customer service (luckily I bought mine through Costco, so I have to deal with Costco’s wonderful customer service concierge, and also bought it with AMEX, which were wonderful and helped me with a credit card warranty for my previous Gateway laptop). I love most of HP’s computers and designs as well, whereas I just have not had pleasant experiences shopping at Wal-Mart, and the things I’ve heard about Wal-Marts policies with employees, I’ll have to go with Walmart on this one.

  12. dragonpup says:

    Yea know, I don’t like this year’s bracket. For the ‘likely suspects’, AIG, Peanut Corp, Ticketmaster and Walmart are on the same bracket half with no one in Comcast’s league on the other half. It’s almost as if it is weighted…

    • failurate says:

      @dragonpup: Pretty poorly drawn up brackets. Looks like a half hearted effort at seeding. Who is on their selection committee?

      • lowercase says:

        @failurate: You are. They seeded based on nomination frequency, says so on here somewhere.

        • failurate says:

          @lowercase: I guess that makes sense.

          Bank of America is by far the worst company on that side of the bracket. I just can’t bring myself to consider an entertainment/luxury company like Comcast or Ticketmaster when there are companies out there that through greed and laziness have done real damage to people and the economy.

          What’s the worst thing Comcast can do to anyone? Waste your time?

          • MostlyHarmless says:

            @failurate: Rat you off to RIAA who would then sue your ass into oblivion, making you default on your mortgage, thus foreclosing your home.

  13. slinky22 says:

    You can’t walk into an HP “store” with your hair in curlers, fuzzy slippers, and wearing a dirty sweatsuit, and feel “overdressed” in comparison to other shoppers.

  14. conquestofbread says:

    Walmart for labor issues.

  15. Corporate_guy says:

    Although both are weak competitors. It’s dumb to vote walmart after reading about the customer service issues HP had. The problems people have with Walmart are largely made up, while the problems with HP support are real.

    • snowburnt says:

      @Corporate_guy: I don’t like how Walmart runs their company. They give gobs of money to religious right charities, they endorse (not publically, though the class action lawsuits have brought them to light) sexist and racist policies. They bludgeon their vendors.

      On the plus side their bludgeoning of vendors has led to an increase in efficiency, but at the extreme cost of quality.

  16. razremytuxbuddy says:

    I’m going with Walmart because of Thaddeus’s great comment, and because I would have voted for Walmart anyhow. But Slinky22 has an excellent point, and shopping in sweats is darn comfortable,….but no, I’m still voting for Walmart. They have become a blight on our retail industry.

  17. MFfan310 says:

    Even though I’m shopping at Walmart less often (even though I like Walmart, I’m finding that Kroger’s has better sales on groceries as of late), I picked HP for their non-refillable, overpriced ink cartridges that self-destruct if you don’t install them on-time.

    As an owner of an HP printer with the lousy #02 inkset, it’s HP FTW!

  18. snowburnt says:

    Walmart is a terrible company. They have racist and sexist values, work to drive their vendors beyond reason and encourage censorship.

    Plus they’re the embodyment of a genetic wasteland.

    I occasionally walk through the local walmart to see how it’s changed and in a word: it hasn’t in over 5 years, the aisles are trashed, the employees are useless and worst of all they have a receipt checker.

    HP is the leading manufacturer of computers, my main dealings with them have been on the enterprise business side and from all standpoints they have been nothing but stellar. The contacts I have made on that side of HP have helped me in navigating through any problems I have run into on the consumer side as well. HP rocks and I am frankly surprised it’s on the list.

    • FooSchnickens - Full of SCAR says:

      @snowburnt: That’s more than a word.

    • LandruBek says:

      @snowburnt: The embodiment of a genetic wasteland? What does that mean?

      • snowburnt says:

        @LandruBek: Everytime I walk into a walmart no matter where it is, I see the same kind of people. The ones that stand out are the families that roll 3 or 4 generations deep. with the grannie in a scooter who has no concern for anyone around her, her large son in the home made A shirt with his large wife in the mumu and their son and daughter running around in dirty clothes that are falling apart (probably bought at walmart the week before). There are worse examples but I’ve seen that particular collection at a number of walmarts (in different states)

        • puddleglum411 says:

          @snowburnt: Oh, good point. Those poor idiots should be made to shop at more expensive stores, and pay proper respect when they are in the vicinity of superior beings such as yourself.

          • snowburnt says:

            @puddleglum411: the point isn’t that they’re not expensive it’s that they’re “cheap” and they’ve driven good names to produce what amounts to crap.

            By cheap I don’t mean that they cost very little (even though that is also true), I mean that the product will not survive expected wear and tear, they aren’t produced properly and just don’t fit right. You could probably shop at an outlet or overstock store and get better quality for the same prices. in some locations, its your only option also since they’ve driven out all the other businesses, another reason to dislike them.

            In my location, there are hundreds of other choices than walmart…rather than take a minute to look elsewhere, they go to walmart.

            Another story: I went to James Madison University in Harrisonburg VA. With school in session the population of the town doubled and it wasn’t a terribly large school. They had 3 Walmarts. In Monroeville PA, they built 2 Walmarts within 20 minutes of each other. As soon as they built the first one, the local children started getting sick from the unsanitary way they disposed of their garbage and the extra traffic they didn’t plan for.

            when Walmart has to leave a location, they leave behind an empty warehouse that is nearly impossible to fill.

    • supercereal says:

      @snowburnt:

      …worst of all they have a receipt checker.

      If that’s the worst thing you can come up with about a company, then I think you need to put some priorities in order.

  19. nudger says:

    Wal-Mart (#281) over HP (#48). or so we predict .

  20. BacteriaEP says:

    This is easy: Wal-Mart.

    While HP’s customer service sucks, Wal-Mart is internationally known for:

    - Not paying overtime
    - Locking their employees in stores
    - Driving out mom and pop shops (purposefully) across the country
    - Forcibly shutting down and firing any and all employees who think about starting up a union.

  21. jake7294 says:

    Consumerist: If they’re so evil, why do you consistently point readers to Wal-Mart via the morning deals?

    • mbz32190 says:

      @jake7294: “The deals are posted as a benefit to the Consumerist community, The Consumerist is not responsible for content blah blah blah”

  22. BigFoot_Pete says:

    These both don’t even belong in the same ballpark as AIG. This year is going to be a runaway.

    • failurate says:

      @BigFoot_Pete: You will be shocked. If Ticketmaster or Comcast or one of the other big entertainment companies comes up against AIG, the vote will be close. To some, destroying the economy (or even willfully sickening/killing people) is far less an evil than having to pay $20 extra for a ticket to a Buffet concert.

  23. SacraBos says:

    Had to think about this one. I had an HP printer with a problem, so I called technical support. The rep was hard to understand, really didn’t seem to know anything about the product, and actually gave me information blatantly incorrect. Promised a call-back and a replacement CD – neither of which occured. Ended up fixing the problem myself.

    Still, I ended up voting for Wal-Mart. My wife will hardly set foot in there since it has this really dirty feel to the store. She feels like she need a Purell Body Wash afterward.

  24. HPCommando says:

    @snowburnt: HP is on the list because most HP products people deal with ARE the “Consumer” side.

    Small businesses especially, thinking that they are getting a ‘great deal’, go to Costco or Walmart and buy 3-10 Pavilion desktops with Vista or XP Home, and can’t figure out why the networking doesn’t work like it does at the “home office” of their franchise or branch.

    In my experiences, 2/3 of the “complaints” are founded in the basic choice of the customer to “do it on the cheap”, then blame it on the inability of equipment to do what it was never designed nor intended to accomplish.

    DISCLOSURE: I work with a computer systems/service VAR, and HP is one of the product lines we carry. I’m also qualified to repair almost every system HP makes except handheld and non-computer devices.

    • Sandaasu says:

      @HPCommando: I’ve found that PCs marketed to consumers are generally of a woefully low grade. It’s not just the OS, but the hardware in the proper workstations from HP, Dell, etc seems to tend to be quite a bit better than in their consumer offerings. I still remember the first time I cracked open a real Dell workstation and thought to myself, “Wow! So they do know how to build a decent PC!”

      If the average consumer wants a good PC, they’re best off avoiding the big brands and instead having one built for them by a friend or family member if it’s at all possible. Barring that, you’ll generally get a better piece of equipment from a mom and pop store than you would from a retailer.

  25. TVGenius says:

    How can HP be losing? Their computers are crap and full of crapware that constantly causes problems, their printers are designed to fail, and they screw you on ink!

  26. Anonymous says:

    HP is the worst company I’ve ever dealt with. They stole my computer “‘for repairs” and sent me a new 1 after not admitting they lost my original, after 5 months of bouncing me around and not addressing my phone calls. Oh, and the replacement they finally sent? It had a broken internet card.
    I’m praying for an upset (especially since I kind of like Wal-Mart).

  27. jc364 says:

    To me, it seems hypocritical to vote for a store I shop at on a regular basis.

    HP on the other hand, pissed me off with the most recent computer I purchased. I used to be a hard-core HP fan, but I have to say that I am not impressed with a lot of their newer models. And for goodness sake, ship the laptops with an adapter with the angled connector that doesn’t break so easily! I’ve gone through 2 power cords already because of that, and those things aren’t cheap.

  28. JulesNoctambule says:

    None of the communities in our area have been damaged by HP trying to bypass zoning restrictions and getting away with it because of financial clout, so Mal-Wart gets my vote.

  29. quail says:

    Had to go with HP due to personal experience.

  30. CoarseLive says:

    Too easy.

  31. Hadoken3 says:

    Anybody here watch South Park? My vote is Wal-Mart. That was a classic episode.

  32. Anonymous says:

    @TVGenius: I agree about the crapware, which is why one uses the PC Decrapifier program to remove it all if they’re not savvy enough to do a clean install.

    I’m fortunate. I own two HP laptops and two iPAQ pocket PCs. The older of the two laptops finally had a hardware problem, five years after I bought it (dead optical drive). Bought a secondhand drive from a computer dealer. I’m good to go.

    The newer laptop runs Vista Home Premium, and as is normal HP practice these days, they only provide a restore partition that you can create discs with, unless you want to pay for discs. That restore partition puts all the junk back on the computer which is not a good thing. Fortunately at the time, HP was providing Windows Anytime Upgrade discs, and after doing a bit of looking via Google found out that some enterprising soul out there wrote a bit of software that could find the OEM key on the computer, extract it to a file, and then reintegrate it into the installation after using the Windows Anytime Upgrade disc to install Vista.

    Check it out here. The guide has Lenovo laptops in mind, but it works on HP, Gateway, and Dell as well.

  33. ElizabethD says:

    Jeez, I don’t get all the hate for Wal*Mart, especially in this awful economy. Yes yes, I know they pay low wages and are maybe not the world’s best employer. But this is a *consumerist* forum, and as a consumer whose financial circumstances have taken a nosedive in the past two years, I appreciate the deals I can get at Wal*Mart.

  34. RStui says:

    HP gave all their employees a 5% reduction in pay this year, after posting “losses”, resulting in profits of “only” 28.8 BILLION.

    F*ck You, HP.

    • Trai_Dep says:

      @RStui: Yeah, because Wal-Mart is famed far and wide for its lush benefits, progressive employee policies and its absurd over-paying of its associates.

  35. jaschwa says:

    I can think of a few far worse companies…AIG, Chrysler, CountryWide, WaMU, nearly any airline you can think of, any credit card company you can think of.

  36. crichton007 says:

    I really detest both companies here but Walmart wins this one.

  37. KTK1990 says:

    I vote for HP.

    Just because we got a replacement order and screwed up the order and now say they have no reccord of anything. Also because our case manager is not returning my calls.

    They did say a few times that my laptop was never in the shop and that I did all the damage myself… when it has been in the shop 5 times in the last 2 months… I got it back with a cracked case, screen case is attached with half the screws and is falling apart, speaker cover has marks where they pried it off with a screwdriver…. And what hurt the most…. When I went to close the laptop and the HP logo sticker came off and was stuck to my hand.

  38. Jebster says:

    This is bullspit. Both are good companies when compared to the fecal matter in this bloated stinking government. THERE is were you should be directing your hatred, for the disgusting political whores trying to turn us to socialism and who want to run every aspect of your lives. Not companies who are PROVIDING JOBS to America.

    I am sick of you people out there jumping right on the bandwagon of socialist/fascist propaganda like this.

    • Traveshamockery says:

      @Jebster: This isn’t the “Worst Government in America” contest, it’s the “Worst Company in America” contest.

      We’re all aware of the failings in our government. Bad companies like Wal-Mart should not be spared our criticism only because you can point out something worse.

      • Jebster says:

        @Billy Gillispie’s Unsigned Contract That May Soon Be Void: My problem here is you big dummies are easily conned into attacking companies providing Americans with jobs just to take your eyes off the realy target here; this government that is doing all they can to DESTROY American jobs and the very fabric of this great country.

        You weak minded fools would just turn your lives over to the government and let them tell you what to do in every aspect of your lives. To the very government, this marxist administration, who would turn you into slaves to the government with your acquiesence. They want to push us all back to the dark ages, living out of huts and caves…except for the political whores who get would allow themselves all the things you would allow them to deny you.

    • You Cannot Untoast says:

      @Jebster: Hmm…you understand there’s a difference between fascism and socialism, right?

      Right?

      Fuck it.

      • Jebster says:

        @You Cannot Untoast: Duh…yeah. The point is that they are both at the left side of the spectrum. It’s complete government control. On the right, we want LESS government control. That is NOT fascism, as the brainless lefties like to say.

        • bluepotatoes66 says:

          @Jebster: All the rights you take for granted are provided by that government. Without government the freedom of speech enjoyed on this site wouldn’t exist for you to post your bloated rant on.

          Oh and take a look at Europe. The countries that are doing the best (best quality of life, happiest people, healthiest people) have governments that practice democratic socialism. So stick that in your pipe and smoke it.

        • Trai_Dep says:

          @Jebster: Under your champions, Bush & Reagan, the size of gov’t increased significantly (as did their dizzying deficits). So if you want a larger, more intrusive government, facts on the ground say, “Vote Conservative”.
          C’mon: Wal-Mart’s support of Nazi shirts – doesn’t it give you just a little tingle? More than a little?

        • You Cannot Untoast says:

          @Jebster: Sigh. The last bunch of goons running the country were probably the closest thing America has ever had to fascism.

          Look up fascism for me, and see how many pieces of the description match the goals of the latest crop of Republicans.

          Of course, when you’re that entrenched in your worldview, facts don’t really matter do they?

          • You Cannot Untoast says:

            @Jebster:

            For shit’s and giggles, here’s an excerpt about fascism from Wikipedia:

            a form of political behavior marked by obsessive preoccupation with community decline, humiliation or victimhood and by compensatory cults of unity, energy and purity, in which a mass-based party of committed nationalist militants, working in uneasy but effective collaboration with traditional elites, abandons democratic liberties and pursues with redemptive violence and without ethical or legal restraints goals of internal cleansing and external expansion

            Wierd, huh?

  39. Traveshamockery says:

    It’s a bad year when WalMart barely breaks into the top 10.

  40. impetus says:

    HP lovingly bundles a crapload of unnecessary resource-hogging bloatware into every computer.

  41. theblackdog says:

    I’m going with Wal-Mart, my HP Pavilion is still running strong after 7 years, with the only change being a RAM upgrade.

  42. theblackdog says:

    These are the initial matchups I think will run close:

    Verizon vs Sprint
    Home Depot vs Citibank
    AT&T vs Circuit City
    Sears vs Chase

  43. mewyn dyner says:

    I have to say Wal-Mart all the way. While HP’s consumer computer product line and support is horrible, I couldn’t live without my HP35s calculator or my server room of ProLiant servers.

    • finite_elephant says:

      @mewyn dyner: You never used an HP49. Craptastic.

      But the HP50 makes it seem like they got the message.

      • mewyn dyner says:

        @finite_elephant:

        Nope, never touched the HP graphing calculators. Besides the fact that I don’t like graphers to begin with, my areas of academia always pushed TI for them, therefore making me used to those. Shame, because later I did notice that the HPs had a lot more power under the hood. (But in the case of the 49, it was squandered ;)

  44. Nighthawke says:

    I have to say Walmart as well. Their hiring and employment practices are riding on the razors edge between illegal and discriminatory. Their store to store management varies so widely you can go from one town to the next and the differences will be as clear as night and day. One store will be clean and will organized, the next cluttered and stock poorly chosen or missing essentials.

    I went into one for an interview, the interviewer walked me through their break room, it was like walking through a funeral. Everyone was glum and down, acting like it was their own death that was impending. Talk about an eye-opener. I never, ever seen such a dreary atmosphere like that before.

  45. puddleglum411 says:

    The fact that Walmart is even in the discussion of worst companies in America does not speak well to the credibility of this site. What a joke.

  46. snowburnt says:

    @supercereal: Sorry, just a little humor dashed in there to lighten up my post.

    I don’t like receipt checkers, but I really don’t think they’re a big deal.

  47. The Dude says:

    This is a said commentary on Consumerist readers if they think Walmart may be the worst company in America. Are they really worse than most any other retailer out there? They have innovated more in the retail sector than most any other company in history. They are willing to hire people who wouldn’t get jobs at most other places.. (sneer at that if you like, but those employees are happy to have a job and the shot at some kind of health-care)

    Consumerists are becoming so touchy and whiny, it’s sad.

    • Super Moose says:

      @The Dude: I remember the Walmart episode of of Penn and Teller’s Bullshit and they make a good point.

      People berate Walmart as a way to feel socially superior to the people the both work and shop there. But now that people worry about their budgets look where they go.

      I for one love my local Walmart. It is clean, and the staff is helpful; a stock boy offered to check the back for a tank of peanut oil for me, and brought it right out for me. Everyone should fry their turkies

      My best walmart story is that I was able to afford a pair of steel toe boots there for $28 and not three weeks later I was working on a 900 square foot deck and a 6 by 12 fell on my foot. It bruised up may ankle but I didn’t suffer any broken bones. Had it not been for Walmart I probably wouldn’t have bought my boots and could very well have suffer a sever injury. Walmart allows for opportunity for their shoppers and employees that they might not have had available to them.

  48. Jebster says:

    So true. This is turning into a crap site…more like DU now…

  49. Frank Murphy says:

    Walmart. Really, what sort of parameters are you using to choose them?

  50. ChemNerd says:

    Wal*mart has never done anything to me really. I know they’re not the best company and they do some shady things but I dislike HP, mainly for their printers.

    Bunch of greedy bastards, and why are the drivers for my printer over 1GB? Oh that’s right, so you can install your crappy software.

    I’m bias, I admit it, Wal*Mart will take the lead.

  51. Natalie Rodriguez says:

    Neither of these are, in my opinion, all that evil.

    That said, I voted for Walmart, because my local Walmart overprices things I actually want to buy (like video games and toys). When a store sells a toy for twelve dollars that they had last week for seven? I stop buying things there and go to Target.

    And my experiences with HP haven’t been horrid. I’ve had two HP laptops, and both have treated me very well.

  52. Anonymous says:

    Walmart wins easily.

    I’ve purchased from both companies, and even though many people have had problems with HP, I was able to get my computer repaired several times and they even sent me a replacement computer, more than once, and each time with a fresh 3-year warranty.

    Sometimes they were a pain to deal with, but they did manage to live up to their customer service needs.

    Walmart on the other hand does not.

    I purchased a tent from walmart for a camping trip. I specifically asked the employee in their outdoors department what tent would be sufficient to stand up to some harsh conditions I would be camping in. (strong winds)

    He confidently helped me choose and assured me that it was a great tent, even though it was pretty expensive.

    Needless to say the tent was up for about 5-minutes before it got torn to shreds in the wind.

    Luckily we had friends nearby that took us in and even had a good trip.

    But when I returned to Walmart with the destroyed tent they refused to take it back and blamed me for intentionally damaging it.

  53. HoooooooT says:

    @snowburnt: Here in lowly Texas, the Walmart that I go to is always clean, the employees are nice and I can buy my laundry detergent and socks generally without issue.

    But then again, I’m trashy.

    • Illiterati says:

      @hooooooot: Ha! Ditto here in rural NC. Plus, the people who work at my local WM are all my neighbors and are friendly, helpful folks. And lucky to be employed in a county with a 13% unemployment rate. I might be joining them if things don’t pick up in our household.

  54. Anonymous says:

    I voted for HP because they just screwed me over on my laptop.
    They never heard motherboards over heating and dying until it happened to me, go figure. Although Walmart is truly awful. I try to limit going there to only a couple of times a year.

  55. Rey Trejo says:

    Wal Mart has great items at great prices and yes every retailer treats their “associates” the same way if you don’t believe me try working for Toys R Us.

    HP has the worst service since if you dare to dial the 800 number you get someone in India that you can’t even understand half the time.

  56. TerribleDecade says:

    Are you kiddin’ me? I’ve a five year old HP computer, and it still hasn’t died on me. But Walmart makes small businesses die.

  57. veg-o-matic says:

    @snowburnt:
    You know, I was with you there for a while, but you lost me when you turned a potentially legitimate critique of Wal-Mart the soul-sucking company into an ugly classist rant against people who may or may not live below the poverty line.

    I refuse to shop at Wal-Mart because of their horrendous labor practices.. not because the people who shop there are somehow “genetically” subhuman.

    But you stay classy, and thanks for making it more difficult for the rest of us with a cogent argument.

  58. Anonymous says:

    Business Week just listed HP in its Top 10 Companies with the Best Customer Service, and referenced it’s outstanding warranty service in doing so. Meg Marco is a crack-smoking mugwump. One person in a million has a bad customer experience, and suddenly it’s the worst company in the world. Based on that cogent logic I can also deduce that it will never-ever stop snowing in Northern Colorado. So either Business Week is off — way off. Or you people are all living in a parallel universe in your Mom’s basement. I’ll go with the latter.

  59. Sandaasu says:

    Voted HP. I deal with consumer PCs all the time though, so I’m kinda biased.

  60. MBEmom says:

    Honestly, I have never bought anything from HP so I have no real complaint with them. But I have never had a problem with Wal-Mart, so I won’t vote against them.

    I shop there all the time, in fact I was just there today. I have never had a problem with a return. Just this month I returned unworn Underoos (I can’t believe they still make those) and a bicycle. Two different transactions, no issues.

    Almost all of my encounters with staff have been helpful and friendly ones. Maybe it’s just that folks where I live are friendly. Lucky me.

    Finally, they have the best prices on all sorts of mundane items I buy all the time. Life isn’t all about electronics. This month alone I have purchased lotions, soaps, make-up, bicycles, gardening supplies, toys, movies, books, medicine and I don’t even remember what else. I shop around and Wal-Mart is routinely cheaper with these types of items, beating my local grocers, drugstores, hardware stores and toy stores. If I can’t find a coupon for something, I can go to Wal-Mart and often save more than the value of a typical coupon for the product I wanted anyway.

    While I agree that their unwillingness to price match their own website is ludicrous, it certainly doesn’t make it worthy of the worst company in America. I think being anti Wal-Mart is a fashionable thing for people who think they are for small businesses and individuality. Besides, what kind of idiot picks on the little guy? Wal-Mart is a massive organization and many people believe that in and of itself is wrong. I happen to disagree. I am glad Wal-Mart is out there making my life easier. Selfish? Maybe. Still, I’m a happy customer.

  61. H3ion says:

    FWIW, I’ve had HP products for decades, starting with their financial calculators, printers, scanners and computers. I can’t say that I’ve ever had a bad experience with an HP product. Some of them are 20 years old and still functional. They’re sometimes a bit more expensive than a competitor’s product (for example, Epson) but I think the quality is worth it.

  62. Anonymous says:

    I vote HP! Their entire line of 9700 laptops are defective and they’re refusing to even acknowledge it, let alone do anything about it. Mine is still under warranty but they want to charge me $450 to correct the problem with the monitor.

  63. Anonymous says:

    I work for Walmart, and drink their Kool Aid by the Gallon. They hire people that couldn’t get jobs anywhere else except for the Drive-thru at Taco Bell. They prize diversity and innovation, and root out bad treatment more than any company I’ve ever worked for. They produce results, not excuses, for their shareholders (including me). And they sold me a pair of Levis that fit quite nicely for less than 20 bucks. Call me a hapless prol, but I loves me some Walmart…

  64. bluemoose says:

    I vote HP!
    A while ago the power jack fell off the back of my laptop. I thought it was just my luck, but it turns out that so many people had the same problem that there was a (successful) lawsuit against HP. Sadly, I couldn’t participate in the lawsuit because I live in Canada, not the U.S. A sympathetic phone agent on the Canada side told me that I was entitled to a new laptop and they’d mail me one. Should I really have been surprised that it never came? In the end, HP told me it was my fault for buying an “American model” laptop. That must mean that their policy is to sell crap to “Americans”, and send their best laptops to other countries. Right.

  65. ninjatoddler says:

    If Carly Fiorina was at HP, I would’ve selected the HP radio box.

  66. Mark Edward says:

    Wal-Mart. Don’t forget the NAZI shirt fiasco that took them months and months to resolve. Or did it every actually get resolved? I honestly don’t know, because it took so long for them to not do anything.

  67. Anonymous says:

    I am an Australian that was recently holidaying in Canada and was unfortunate enough to be taken to the local Walmart. I walked in to be shown the DISGRACEFUL display of an older doormen being castigated in full view of customers and staff by a very young and unattractive person masquerading as a manager. He was actually asking the older guy to answer with “yes sir!”.Disgusting. Never in Australia are staff members treated in such a demeaning manner. Shame Walmart.

  68. suburbancowboy says:

    Wal-Mart should win this entire competition. Yes, even beat AIG and Peanut Corporation of America.

    For years now, Wal-Mart has been one of the biggest forces driving manufacturing jobs out of the U.S. to China. If you want to do business with Wal-0Mart, they give you a book called “How To Do Business with Wal-Mart”. Wal-Mart does not care about quality of goods. They only care about the final price. To achieve that price, the main recommendation they make is to move factories to China.

    Wal-Mart puts Mom and Pop stores out of business, and mom and pop stores and factory jobs are two very important building blocks for our economy.

    China will defeat the U.S. without ever firing a bullet. They will take us over economically. They are already doing a good job of it. Wal-mart is helping them.

    If you are a patriotic American, you would never ever shop at Wal-Mart.

  69. suburbancowboy says:

    Save Money, Live Better is such a bullshit slogan. Shopping at Wal-Mart is a downward spiral which forces you to shop at Wal-Mart.

    People shop at Wal-Mart because that “is what they can afford”, but it is all they can afford because they shop at Wal_Mart. Wal-Mart drives down wages and raises unemployment rates by destroying the American factory. If no one shopped at Wal-Mart and bought American, there would be more factory work here, and more people employed by mom and pop stores.

    Live Better? The exploited workers and the children living in towns polluted by the factories which have no environmental regulations, enabling us to have our cheap shoddy lead tainted Chinese products from Wal-Mart would probably disagree.

    And when you have to buy that product again in 3 months because it was made so poorly, you proabably aren’t really saving that much money after all.

  70. Anonymous says:

    I fell down on the ice and broke my arm. Walmart said, sorry, we’re not liable because we’re not required to salt IN BETWEEN parking spots!! How do these idiots think we get from the car into the store?? Guess what – I now go to Meijer, no ice there!