Worst Company In America 2008: Preliminaries: Frontrunners

Early leaders in Worst Company in America 2008 preliminary voting round: Comcast 21%, Best Buy 8%, Bank of America 5%, Fox News 5%, Walmart 5%, Countrywide 4%, Verizon 3%, AT&T 3%. Somewhere in our heart is a flicker of hope that dark horse Video Professor will pull into the running (currently with 0% of the vote). Voting for who gets to be seeded in the tournament brackets is still open, cast yours today.


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  1. BrianH says:

    Video Professor…. made me smile.

    Still, Bank of America for the win.

  2. Canerican says:

    Fox News? WTF?

  3. Skrizzy says:

    combuy of martwide&T should win

  4. kublaconsumer says:

    Fox news? What about the freaking Hallmark Channel. Those jerks!

  5. fluiddruid says:

    Fox News and Newscorp really shouldn’t be separate entries.

  6. nycaviation says:

    Why would a business that does not sell consumer products (Fox News) be counted for this award?

  7. dookas says:

    Where is the Coca-Cola Co.??????

  8. rpm773 says:

    Every time I try to take a PC to Fox News to have them fix it, they keep it for two weeks and botch the job.

    Fox News on the list…wtf?

  9. tape says:

    @nycaviation: it’s not the Worst Customer-Servicing Company in America, it’s just the Worst Company in America. any company.

  10. mattshu says:

    I agree with those who say Fox News doesn’t belong.

  11. homerjay says:

    There are so many sucky sucky companies. I wish I could vote for you all!!

  12. Rectilinear Propagation says:

    @nycaviation & @tape: The argument I was given in the previous thread was that the news they produce is their service/product.

  13. nycaviation says:

    @tape: This is allegedly a consumer-interests site. I feel like Fox’s spot would be better used for a company more deserving of mention for such a distinction, like an airline or another big box retailer. And before someone makes the argument that news is a consumer product and we do pay Fox News through our cable subscriptions, at the end of the day that is due to the cable companies refusal to adopt a la carte pricing, not the fault of Fox News.

  14. brent_w says:

    I still don’t really get the list.

    A number of companies clearly violate your eligibility requirements.

    And some of the companies,
    for example Nintendo, (known for its amazing customer service among other things)
    don’t have any place being on the list.

  15. amoeba says:

    My hopes were: Best Buy and Wal-Mart. They are under 10%, Bummer! Next time Ben, you should let us choose at least three companies, it would be more fun.

  16. ct03 says:

    I also don’t understand why Fox News is on there, especially when MLB, which has a product (MLB.tv, also baseball), isn’t.

    But I ventured into the comments to plead for people to fill out the bracket by voting for other companies than the frontrunners so that there is a decent bracket. Like Ticketmaster. Fuck them.

  17. valarmorghulis says:

    @brent_w: “preliminaries” being the key word here. you don’t think they belong…don’t vote for them. not all of these companies will be on the actual voting list. As others have said this isn’t the “Worst Consumer-Servicing Company,” it’s the “Worst Company [period].” Hell, I think Halliburton was on here last year or the one before. In any case even if it were a service-oriented company thingie, entertainment is a service, and Fox News is definatly that (by their own admission).

  18. homerjay says:

    @brent_w: Its not like this is a scientific Zogby poll. Its a blog… rules don’t have to be hard and fast.

    That being said, Nintendo?? JoAnn Fabrics?? Really???

  19. AmericaTheBrave says:

    I was going to vote for Comcast, being a customer of theirs and having to deal with their crappy products, however, when I stopped to think about which company is doing the greater evil, a cable company doesn’t compare to Fox News, who delivers the propaganda of a treasonous presidential administration.

    There’s no comparison. This country is in the shape it’s in because of Bush and company, and Fox News was the leader in their field spouting lies from election night in 2000.

    What Fox News is doing to this nation is far worse than the inconvenience we deal with from a retailer, or even Walmart helping to put competitors out of work. By touting lies as facts and helping to create passive, uniformed viewers, Fox is helping to destroy the nation, the economy, the air we breath, the water we drink, and everything else.

    Screw Fox. They belong in prison and need to be held accountable for their part in Bush’s crimes.

  20. kublaconsumer says:

    s/Fox News/CNN/gi

  21. boxjockey68 says:

    I still and always will vote walmart, but man, there ARE alot of really sucky companies out there aren’t there?

  22. bearymore says:

    I notice that 5 of the top 8 contenders begin with one of the first 3 letters of the alphabet. I wonder if the voting would be different in you inverted or randomized the list of companies?

  23. MyCokesBiggerThanYours says:

    This a liberal blog so the list is going to be pretty predictable.

  24. CamilleR says:

    I didn’t vote for Comcast and wished I had after I got the bill today. They’re getting rid of the protection plan cable guard which cost $.42 a month and are replacing it with a new protection planning costing $3.95 a month. The first of the three reasons they list for getting the new plan is “Low Cost!”. I hate when companies insult my intelligence.
    The only tempting part of the new service plan is that they’re offering free Showtime and HBO for six months if you sign up for it. $3.95 a month for two premium channels is a good deal, but I know Comcast is offering it banking on the fact most people will forget to cancel those channels at the end of the six month period.

  25. bnb614 says:

    Can you re-name the award the “RIAA’s Worst Company in America” award?

    As in, the RIAA is so horrid that it goes without saying that if they were eligible every year they would win?

    Pollstar has a music venue award called Best Outdoor Music Venue. Red Rocks in CO won it so many times they are no longer eligible and the award is called The Red Rocks Best Outdoor Music Venue award, or something like that.

    Same premise here.

  26. SportsCentre says:

    I can’t BELIEVE Greyhound wasn’t nominated. Is it too late to start?

  27. chuloallen says:

    I think we should all have 3 to 4 votes each – since we know there is more than 1 crappy company we would want to vote for. That way we can truly see which is the worst

  28. fuzzymuffins says:


    indeed. prelims should get multiple noms.. .there are so many ‘good ones’….

  29. stinerman says:

    The voting will be representative of the people who vote. And last I checked it’s just for fun. It’s not like Fox News or whoever is going to be taken out back and shot after the voting.

  30. stinerman says:

    I read somewhere that regular watchers of Fox News were more likely to vote Republican than any other demographic. That is to say if you were a regular watcher of Fox News you’d be more likely to vote Republican than an NRA member, a born-again evangelical Christian, or any number of traditional Republican constituencies.

    I happen to think that Republicans and conservatives gravitate to Fox News, not that Fox convinces people to vote Republican, but that’s just my gut feeling. I have no clue if I’m right. Perhaps some of our resident Republicans/conservatives could share their experiences.

    That being said, Rupert Murdoch is a genius. Fox News occupies a niche for conservative-leaning editorials, news, and the covering of stories that appeal more to conservatives.

  31. Canerican says:

    @stinerman: It still shouldn’t be there. I mean, if there was a good reason for Fox News to be there… fine. But I mean Fox News is a right-wing channel and it is included, yet MSNBC which is left-wing isn’t. I wouldn’t vote for MSNBC despite the fact that I disagree which them because they aren’t doing anything wrong.

    Nominating Fox News because you disagree which their product would be like voting for Nintendo because you don’t like video games.

    We can assume that some left-wing sites have decided to spam this poll, I mean, just like if Ron Paul was in this poll he would win it hands down.

  32. HaloZero says:

    Always remember, the internet is not a randomly distributed cross sampling of the population. There will always be bias (Thus the Fox News).

  33. Canerican says:

    “I happen to think that Republicans and conservatives gravitate to Fox News, not that Fox convinces people to vote Republican”

    I think that your statistic is likely wrong, but I watch Fox News because CNN and MSNBC is too Liberal for me. So you are right. Just like Liberals gravitate to MSNBC Conservatives gravitate to FOx. If the channel that brings you your news changes your political views completely you are an idiot. I watched MSNBC for about 2 years because Fox isn’t carried on Dish’s basic pack, and MSNBC is in my area, for some reason. Watching MSNBC certainly didn’t make a Liberal out of me, sorry to all of those who think that Fox or any other channel is brainwashing them, because you are nucking futs.

  34. 01208500 says:

    Circuit City should be on this list as they are dreadful. I would have voted for them but I did not see them listed.
    They did fire all of their knowledgeable reps and bring in a bunch of know nothings. Then again I guess you took them off because they have to make an effort?

    Fox news should be removed, but they are the devils minions.

  35. richtaur says:

    Damnit :( I’ve got Internet with Comcast, a $150 gift card with Best Buy, a bank account with Bank of America and both Verizon AND AT&T cell accounts!

    I fail a lot.

  36. WhiteTrashLegend says:


    You just go ahead and keep living in your little fantasy world where Bush is to blame for every little problem in your life, and America is to blame for every damn thing in the world. And keep the poison of the far left out of the comment section here. Many people are questioning why Fox News is on here, and they are totally justified in it.

    “We can assume that some left-wing sites have decided to spam this poll, I mean, just like if Ron Paul was in this poll he would win it hands down.”

    I think you’re absolutely right. This is just despicable that my favorite consumer issue website is turning it’s comments section into a political debate. Just because some people on here don’t agree with the views of Fox News, doesn’t make it a candidate for worst company in America.

  37. Bladefist says:

    @stinerman: wow I’m going to get slaughtered for this, but I was conserv/republican before I ever watched Fox News, I gravitate to it for many reasons.

    I just watched O’Reilly, and while I know he is more right then left, he spends time on both sides, presenting the news. Sure he enters in his little biases, which the average intelligent person reconizes it. But its a more broad spectrum news program, where I don’t feel like I’m being sold lies. The other media channels love to fear monger and create scares, be there a scare or not. They capitalize on bad news. Also like that the majority of his guests are liberal, thus giving the show more balance, and making it more entertaining. Do I really need to see NBC bring on guests and agree with each other? Yawn-Fest

    Let the slams begin. Yes im a bigot, keyboard warrior, right wing nut job, i should probably die because i think people who work harder live in bigger homes. I’m a terrible person, and I feel all kinds of shame for living in this country with this racist constitution.

  38. coreyander says:

    C’mon folks!! Vote for the credit reporting agencies:


    These corporations exist to shit on your future!

  39. floydianslip6 says:

    Where’s the love for Kevin Trubadau or whatever…

  40. bmwloco says:


    Ask anyone who has worked in Antarctica in the last 9 years.

    Thank Gawd, they’ll lose the contract soon.

  41. disavow says:

    Fox News pisses me off. Not the conservative slant, but how they try to portray opinion as fact. For those in doubt, please watch the documentary Outfoxed (before flaming, preferably), which shows some of the tactics they employ.

    Pragmatic libertarian here, fwiw.

  42. Canerican says:

    @disavow: What about MSNBC, they do the exact same thing.

  43. RvLeshrac says:

    @Rectilinear Propagation:

    If people are looking at news as a “product,” that explains why Fox News is so popular.

  44. raceroh says:

    Dells customer support either phone or web based is an absolute joke.I not only have to converse bilingually in the states with freeloaders on my dime,but having to learn pidgeonhinduanenglish is a language that changes from call to call and day to day.The idiots complaining about fnc ought to brush up on the dnc lap dogs at mnbc…olberdork comes to mind.

  45. forgottenpassword says:

    I never even got to vote ! The poll was never working!

  46. Rectilinear Propagation says:

    @forgottenpassword: You can still vote!

  47. Rectilinear Propagation says:

    @homerjay: I figure JoAnn ended up in there because of that story about the woman who needed a bathroom.

    We can assume that some left-wing sites have decided to spam this poll…

    @Canerican: Why? Because Fox News has 5%? I don’t think that’s high enough to assume it’s the result of anything other than normal voting.

  48. disavow says:

    @Canerican: @raceroh: I haven’t really watched MSNBC’s editorial stuff enough to comment. If they’re guilty of the same, then that pisses me off, too.

    Too bad we can’t enter our top or three instead of just one. Curious whether that would change the outcome any.

  49. disavow says:

    @disavow: Btw, for those bitching that Fox News was listed but MSNBC wasn’t, blame your fellow commenters:


  50. cuiusquemodi says:

    @homerjay, chuloallen:
    Approval voting FTW!

  51. cuiusquemodi says:

    @homerjay: Approval voting FTW!

  52. Snowblind says:

    @disavow: MSNBC had David Shuster who said Chelsea Clinton was being “pimped out” for her mom’s campaign.

    They also ran the video made by the Virgina Tech assassin, and the Don Imus show controversy.

    Politics aside, they make some very bad programing choices.

  53. Hyflyinman says:

    I can’t believe that Norwegian Cruise Lines hasn’t been mentioned here yet. Just came back from one of thier cruises and what a rust bucket POS it was. The “service” crew couldn’t have been worse at addressing our concerns on the ship. Now the wait staff and house keeping staff couldn’t have been nicer but the customer service weren’t…..

  54. stinerman says:

    I don’t have a citation for the stat, but I can recall reading it somewhere. It may have been on The Daily Kos, so take it with the requisite amount of salt.

    I’d love a news channel that reported nothing but facts with as little spin as is possible. I also want actual journalism — not a bunch of “Democrats say X, but Republicans say Y”, but actual research into what a piece of legislation actually says. For some reason this is hard to find.

  55. nevergod says:

    get fox news out of this.

  56. Michael Belisle says:

    @kublaconsumer: My mental regex parser defaults to sed, which returned an error:

    sed: 1: “s/Fox News/CNN/gi”: bad flag in substitute command: ‘i’

    Please remember the shebang line next time.

  57. CumaeanSibyl says:

    I want to know who on earth nominated Jo-Ann Fabrics. I mean, really? They don’t spend enough money keeping their stores nice in some areas, but… REALLY?

  58. 17-A says:

    I don’t watch Fox News, MSNBC, or any other channel that shrouds news in a giant cloud of sensationalism. The American media has been obsessed with the “if it bleeds, it leads” concept for too long now and it’s become painfully obvious that most news agencies are more concerned with ratings than with sensible reporting. That alone makes Fox News and its competitors worthy of this list.

    What makes Fox News stand out, however, is its commitment to distorting the truth in the interest of getting people to yell at each other. Does anyone recall just over a month ago when producers misled Cooper Lawrence into thinking Mass Effect featured explicit sexual content? That woman made herself look like an idiot, debating a position the network assured her was sound. Plus, there’s the fact that Fox News is a consistent soapbox for a certain Florida attorney/massacre chaser.

    …why yes, I comment almost exclusively on Kotaku. How did you know?

  59. Coelacanth says:

    Shouldn’t Countrywide’s votes now be merged with Bank of America’s?

  60. pibbsman0 says:

    I can’t believe how many people are talking about Fox News… It is one of the easiest things on the list to avoid. ‘Click’

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


    LOL, “I think you’re wrong but I do exactly what you just suggested.”

    That ladies & gentlemen, is the definition of Doublethink.

  62. Angryrider says:

    blergh, none of the healthcare companies?

  63. Canerican says:

    @Jaysyn: THAT is not what I said. Don’t put quotation marks around something that I never said. You are dishonest. WTF is wrong with you?

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


    Stop it, you’re killing me. Funny stuff!

  65. Aphex242 says:

    Fox News here, I believe, is being taken to task over hype journalism, and a lack of credibility on specific stories over the past year. The Mass Effect game issue was probably one of the bigger ones where paid commentators for the network outright lied about the content of the game based on hearsay and a lack of first-hand experience, which was not admitted.

    They abused a company’s IP without doing a shred of research. While I’ll be the first to agree this was just a video game, it speaks volumes about their lack of journalistic credibility and shows that they’ll basically say anything if they think it fits with the mindset of their demographic. That’s the real shame, and that’s (I think anyway) a good reason for them to be on there. They are a news organization, and their product is reporting the news. They claim to be ‘fair and balanced’ but time and time again that has been proven wrong.

    Where I’m from, that’s called false advertising.

    Having said all that, I voted for Clear Channel. Not a terribly popular choice I know, but their attempts at blocking the XM/Sirius merger are just sad, when they claim that sat. radio isn’t their competition.

  66. Rectilinear Propagation says:

    @COELACANTH: They weren’t a single company in 2007. I think it’s fair to keep them separate in this since we’re considering their actions in the previous year.

  67. SoCalGNX says:

    Fox News claims it is “news”. If you go to its website (for example), you will find lots of things about battered wives, murdered women and children, Michael Jackson, Britney Spears etc. Lots of eye catching trash. No real objective news about the goings on in the country. If they have something political to say, it is never objective. It is always slanted. Therefore, it does not provide news. It should be called “Fox Opinion”.

  68. zibby says:

    I know Video Perfesser doesn’t have the scale of a lot of these sucky companies, but they get my vote. Pure thievery.

  69. zibby says:

    I also agree that there are a lot of companies that have no place on that list sucking up votes. Toyota? Seriously? I mean, I guess people might not like that they make cars, but they do it well.

  70. DraconWolfX says:

    Can I PLEASE nominate HSBC? They have got to be the worst credit card company in existence. I’m so happy that I have no association with them anymore.

  71. guspaz says:

    I’m missing the RIAA.

  72. timsgm1418 says:

    agreed, I watch Fox news because I am a conservative, they didn’t turn me into one…@stinerman:

  73. timsgm1418 says:

    @WhiteTrashLegend: Im also a little concerned with people that allow the media to tell them how to vote at all. All media is biased in one way or another, because they are a business, there to make money, they cater to the advertisers. I have the same problem figuring out why people will vote the way their favorite celebrity votes, um they are actors, singers, etc, not political science experts.

  74. timsgm1418 says:

    @coreyander: now that is the best comment here, agreed, they have us as slaves to their little world and control everything you do

  75. timsgm1418 says:

    @stinerman: when you find that, please post, I’d be interested in that as well

  76. Trai_Dep says:

    Fox/Newscorp is fair game. They helped (mightily) to get us into Iraq, with it’s America-destroying effects that will erode our country for a generation. Which, by then, the Canadians and Chinese will rule the world.
    The mass global shift from using the US dollar as the global currency alone will impact our economy negatively. For ever.
    Much worse impact than, say, Comcast.

    Exxon didn’t make the list? W.T.F?!

  77. forever_knight says:


    pissing on the constitution and claiming it was due to the ‘terrorists’? that’s right:


  78. Treblig says:


  79. krom says:

    Actually, I think this poll ignores the fact that some businesses will get more votes just because they are bigger and more people are familiar with them.

    Since, for example, WaMu only has branches in the Northwest, it will like get many less votes than BoA, because BoA is all over the place.

    Despite the fact that WaMu sucks incredibly hard.

  80. stinerman says:



    An audience that decides for itself, based on “fair and balanced” coverage, ought not to reach monolithic conclusions. Yet, in our 2004 polling with Media Vote, using Nielsen diaries, we found that Fox News viewers supported George Bush over John Kerry by 88 percent to 7 percent. No demographic segment, other than Republicans, was as united in supporting Bush. Conservatives, white evangelical Christians, gun owners, and supporters of the Iraq war all gave Bush fewer votes than did regular Fox News viewers.

    Take it for what it’s worth.

  81. royal72 says:

    woohoo, an unpopularity contest! what is this, high school?

    … and wtf is fox news doing on here? i certainly agree they’re by far the worst fear-mongering advertising machine, but wtf?… and why isn’t the good ol’ u.s. of a. on this list or at least congress? they rape more tax dollars from us on useless shit, than the tsa makes from selling stolen… err, confiscated goods from travelers.

  82. stinerman says:

    The USA and congress aren’t companies…

  83. Canerican says:

    @royal72: I agree, lets put the government on there, the whole thing. The corrupt Senate, the corrupt House, the corrupt White House, they are all not serving we the people. The government has become a for profit venture, for sale to whoever has the cash. No party is exempt. From Jack Abramhoff, to William Jefferson corruption is corruption.

  84. CyberSkull says:

    I’m surprised Nintendo is on the list. I have always had wonderful customer service from them.

  85. Rectilinear Propagation says:

    @krom: Yeah, but WaMu has had negative stories about them posted on Consumerist.

    I don’t own a pet but I still voted for Menu Foods.

  86. -J- says:

    I wish Sallie Mae would get voted up more. They just managed to get me fired again from a job I was able to keep for almost a year before they started to threaten my boss with lawsuits and court orders for wage garnishments. What do they do after they got me fired? They didn’t follow through with the default they claimed they would do, they auto-forbear my account again and added another $10,000 to the principal. Which was what raised my originally $35,000 loan to over $100,000 in less than 2.5 years!!!

    I am now on state assistance, food stamps, and Unemployment. After 5 lost jobs from their incessant calling, taking up all my working time and my co-workers time and my bosses time, you have managed to nearly ruin me and my wife. Thank you Sallie Mae.