Worst Company In America 2007: Prelims

The Worst Company In America contest rolls forward, much like the inexorable jackboot of industrial might!

Readers submitted over 34 companies. Now we need to winnow out the weak and only keep those that truly suck…

Here’s how it works. You get one vote. Vote for the one company you really want to remain in the contest. Based on the results, we’ll throw out the companies that get a bunch less than the others…. Unless there’s a company that’s super deserving to be up for review, in which case we reserve judge/jailor/jury privileges to keep it in there. Nearly all of the companies that were submitted in the original call for entries are here, except for a few ridiculous ones like, “The Federal Government” and “The Boston Police.” If we’re going there, how about Man’s Inability to Colonize The Moon? I Can’t Find My Keys, Inc.?

Vote now!

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Edit Your Comment

  1. rachmanut says:

    wish those were check boxes instead of radio buttons.

  2. darkoline says:

    AT&T and Cingular are in fact, one now. They’re not even calling it Cingular anymore. Can we merge the two?

  3. RandomHookup says:

    I think you should consider some categories, so you can more greatly reward the suckage that exists in this great country of ours.

    You could do:

    * Worst company in America — Employer division
    * Worst company in America — Consumer division
    * Worst call center in the Universe (let’s not forget India)

  4. any such name says:

    i would like three votes:
    altria (which everyone may not know all of the companies under that name)

    runners up:
    bank of america and the riaa.

  5. faust1200 says:

    Comcast baby Comcast! I haven’t felt this alive since day 3 of waiting for a Comcast tech!

  6. xenth says:

    A lot of bad companies up there but none make me fervently wish every member goes bankrupt like the RIAA. You can’t top their spiteful drain on society short of committing murder.

    Dear RIAA, you are an outdated distribution channel that is farther behind than the newspaper syndicates in getting with the times. I will give a toast to justice and all that is good in the world when you disappear.

  7. Ben Popken says:

    Merged Cingular and AT&T together. Shoulda caught that (but that’s the other benefit of doing these prelims, weeds out mistakes).

  8. Johann says:

    The RIAA is a trade group, not a company. I don’t like them, but I’d feel silly voting them “worst company.”

  9. xenth says:

    They act in unision and treat their customers the same way, so they might as well be on the list even if they technically are not a single entity.

    If you want to really break it down, should franchise based companies be on there?

  10. Corydorf says:

    Honestly, I don’t see how there’s any competition here. Only one of these companies base their whole business model upon suing their customers. (Or so it seems)
    Personally, I can see how each one of these is insane, and while most have their bad points (News corp? what the hell have they done wrong?) I just don’t see how anyone on this list can hold a candle to the RIAA.
    At least Mcdonald’s won’t sue you for “sharing” a hamburger.

  11. saikofish says:

    I voted for U-Haul because of my personal experiences with them before I saw that the RIAA was on the list. I didn’t know they counted, because I’d switch my vote for sure if I could. See, U-Haul is a minor annoyance, in the grand scheme of things, and there’s plenty of competitors out there. The RIAA, on the other hand, strangles an entire industry, targets innocent people who have nothing to do with them or their products, and treats artists and customers like garbage. And given their power and reach they’re a far more insidious evil than U-Haul. Down with the RIAA!

  12. dead9uy says:

    I can’t get past Exxon. They have raped our country with the government’s approval and made more money doing it than any other corporation in history.

  13. wyldhoney says:

    Holy crap, so many horrible companies, and only one vote!

    RIAA, Exxon-Mobil, CinguTTC. I just don’t know which to choose.

  14. Rick Rockwell says:

    It’d be more interesting if the contestants were judged more on their actions rather than what they represent. Halliburton was preordained the winner last time based on the political statement involved, even though few readers are likely to have any consumer experience with them.
    A company named “Worst” is more likely to be shamed into improving when the vote can’t be attributed to political or cultural attitudes.

  15. dohtem says:

    No AOL?

  16. Deryn says:

    My thoughts exactly, dohtem. Although I guess we could vote for Time Warner Cable and stick it to the company another way.

  17. spanky says:

    As much as the RIAA pisses me off, DRM for music isn’t quite as odious as DRM for crops.

    I’m voting Monsanto.

  18. Frank Grimes says:

    Exxon Profit Margin 2006: 11.46%
    Apple Profit Margin 2006: 11.74%

    We need gas and a way to have fun, Exxon needs to get its head in the game with alternative energy but they have the same profit margin they’ve had for years, just a lot more revenue. Apple also has Hon Hai Industries, aka Foxconn; make their Ipods for them in China. Same guys that had two Chinese journalists thrown in jail for questioning their labor practices.

  19. crayonshinobi says:

    I have to agree with Johann, as much as I dislike the RIAA, it is a cartel not a company, so it doesn’t really fit the category.

  20. “Readers submitted more than 34 companies.”

    So does that mean they submitted 35?

    Anyway, U-Haul is teh suck.

  21. Pelagius says:

    Isn’t having the RIAA on that list as ridiculous, or more so, than the Federal Government? At least most of the readers here have been ‘consumers’ of federal services over the past year. Since RIAA is just an industry lobbying group and not a provider of services or goods, I don’t see the logic.

  22. acambras says:

    Yeah, I like Random Hookup’s idea of having several categories. Maybe in addition to Worst Employer, Worst for Consumers, and Worst Call Center, we could have some like Worst Airline, Worst Wireless Provider, Worst Bank, etc. And then we could have an all-around prize for Worst Ever. It could be like the Oscars, except winners get golden poop.

  23. jeblis says:

    Hmmm sadly I see the RIAA is tops here. Although I think there a bad organization, it really points out that people tend to vote for companies that personally affect them. There are worse companies that are doing much more harm, yet somewhat below the radar.

    Really as far as evil I’d point to AT&T (wiretaps) and Haliburton.

  24. pambamboo says:

    Even though this is the worst “American” company, I think global horror needs to be the checkpoint and Haliburton comes close to the top – maybe even equals the worst global offender: Exxon. Every company on the list is greedily horrible but Haliburton and Exxon are globally horrible.

  25. MedianHater says:

    I appreciate those of you who are voting in a holistic manner. You demonstrate civic ideals and a deep concern for the wellbeing of society. I, on the other hand, am taking a more individualistic approach and voting for Uhaul because of the extent to which I have been personally violated by their anal assault tactics.

  26. ShortFuse says:

    I don’t know if Cingular and AT&T should be together. Most of the AT&T issues happened before Cingular was even part of AT&T not to mention we are considering worst company of 2006. They merged at the very end of 2006 in December.

  27. Big Poppa Pimp says:

    I don’t understand how voting for Haliburton or Exxon Mobil has anything to do with forwarding the mission of this website. There are plenty of other places on the web to blast Bush-Cheney and “big” _____. I doubt more than a handful of consumers have done business with Haliburton or had a memorable customer service experience buying gas at the local Exxon station.

    I would have to vote for U-Haul based upon an experience that I still cannot talk about without turning blue.

  28. Seeingred says:

    I have a comment about Family Dollar stores.They are rude and insensitive morons!!!!

  29. Don Roberto says:

    I agree with a couple of posters here. The energy sector companies are just hated for being politically connected with the current administration.

    In fact, these companies Halliburton and Exxon create great high-paying engineer and management jobs here in the US and EXPORT a lot of services to other countries, which improves the US balance of trade.

    AND… if they screw around with their customers (Halliburton, mainly, being a services company) they get fired and lose potentially millions!

    Exxon, well they jack up prices, and I avoid them, because they have some of the higher gas prices in town. But with exxon, YOU HAVE A CHOICE. Just look accross the street, and there’s probably a shell, chevron, valero, or others, unlike with a broadband provider, for example, who truly screws the consumer who has no choice.

    Vote however you like, but politically motivated votes seem silly.

    Don Roberto in Houston.