Round 8: Allstate vs Verizon

This is round 8 in our Worst Company in America 2008 contest, Allstate vs Verizon.

A Bloomberg magazine investigation found that starting in the 90’s, AllState has been an industry pioneer in providing lower coverage, systematically lowballing and thwarting member’s claims.

Verizon was found in one experiment to misquote rates 93% of the time. Verizon FiOS techs sometimes accidentally create tiny fires on people’s houses. Sometimes their reps can’t tell the difference between dollars and cents.

Two service providers. Only one can emerge victorious. Choose! Fight!

This is a post in our Worst Company In America 2008 series. Keep track of all the goings on at

DeBeers vs 1800 flowers, Round 6: Starbucks vs United Airlines,
Exxon vs Crocs, Google Vs Sony, Ticketmaster vs Wachovia, Facebook vs The American Arbitration Association, Comcast vs Menu Foods


Edit Your Comment

  1. homerjay says:

    Where’s the votey thingy?

  2. MaelstromRider says:

    Where’s the actual poll?

  3. No_Pants says:

    1 man, no votes.

    I feel like Washington D.C.

  4. B says:

    Verizon recently tried to charge me a $175 ETF for getting out of my contract 1 day early. However, the CSR took the charge off my bill after only one call. At least she said she did.

  5. savvy9999 says:

    Consumerist is having trouble hearing me now.

  6. DeepFriar says:

    As bad as telecoms suck, the insurance companies are about exponentially worse.
    At least telecoms provide their service for the money you pay.

    There, I feel better

  7. AaronZ says:

    It’s apparently a write-in poll. In which case everyone should vote for ‘none of the above.’ :p

  8. mrbiggsndatx says:

    where’s the button majiggger????

  9. FilthyHarry says:

    Man oh man, do I hates me sum Verizon. In addition to their terrible customer service and stealin ways, add to it all the data they illegally gave to the gov’t with no warrant.

    On the other hand, fucking Katrina victims out of their insurance money is some downright evil shit.

    I haven’t decided yet, but leaning towards Allstate, despite my personal hatred of Verizon.

  10. Meg Marco says:

    Poll system=fail. Sorry. Working on it.

  11. sam says:

    button pleease

  12. mrbiggsndatx says:

    I would say allstate, but the black guy from The Unit might have me killed….

  13. humphrmi says:

    Yay! The poll works now.

    Go Verizon!

  14. Claystil says:

    the basic structure of pricing in verizon gets me. their v-cast network is simply retarded.

  15. yesteryear says:

    nice photoshop work. that actually made me laugh.

  16. elektrik says:

    AllState gets my vote!
    I got rear-ended in a car accident in 2006.
    Had to go to the hospital and the bill ended up to be like $3,000 dollars, Allstate tried to low ball me and give me $1,000 dollars. Bull crap!

  17. Gamethyme says:

    Much as I despise AllState, Verizon has (incorrectly) turned me over to collections twice, now.

    Yes, I’ve gotten it straightened out twice, but it’s time spent that could have been spent more productively.

  18. DrGirlfriend says:

    I am biased against insurance companies of all stripes. But these are 2 worthy competitors being pitted against each other, for sure.

  19. ChrisC1234 says:

    After Katrina, every day on the radio, you’d hear people complaining about how Allstate was screwing them. At least with Verizon, you know you’re getting screwed from day 1, but with Allstate, you get screwed when you’re already down.

  20. plustax says:

    Hmmmmm, which one? This is a tough one.

    I miss the contests between cute little fuzzy bunnies and AIDS.

  21. Bladefist says:

    why you guys voting for Verizon? Didn’t you read on gizmodo, they are going completely open. These guys are leading the way for innovation. And for absolute comparison, wouldn’t your insurance company not paying your claim be bigger then that 5 mins you spent on hold w/ verizon in 1995?

  22. IrisMR says:

    I voted Allstate. While I hate Verizon, I think that allstate’s wrongs are much worse on people’s lives.

  23. noquarter says:

    @Meg Marco: Do you know how the poll system determines who’s voted already?

    Every time I try to vote, it says my vote has already been counted.

  24. forgottenpassword says:

    Isnt allstate one of the insurance companies that were denying hurricane Katrina claims on technicalities (basically lies) & just screwing over those people? Because IF so… I KNOW who i am voting for!

    I HATE insurance companies that do everything they can to weasel out of holding up their end of the bargain. Its just pure evil IMO.

  25. CPC24 says:

    @mrbiggsndatx: He was President Palmer on 24 before he on the Unit.

  26. forgottenpassword says:

    I am having a problem with the poll. When I voted (only once) I get the message. “Thank you, we have already counted your vote”

  27. AceKicker says:

    This one was a tough one for me, but ultimately I went with Allstate. Even if the transgressions were equal, the tie breaker would be the very nature of insurance business.

    At least with Verizon, you are paying ‘x’ amount of money for ‘y’ amount of service. Even if it’s bad service, you are at least getting something tangable for your money, and if you aren’t, you can easily show that in a court.

    With Allstate, and all insurance, you are paying ‘x’ amount of money for… the service of paying you ‘?’ amount back? First of all, the very idea of insurance is that you are paying them money to pay you the money back when you need it. It could be tomorrow, it could be 20 years from now, could be never. Whether or not it becomes worth the investment is a complete toss up. On the street, that’s called gambling.

    Except in Vegas, the tell you the odds and the potential payout upfront. They are completely honest about the fact that everything is in the house’s favor. With insurance, they drag you through court and fight tooth and nail to give you the smallest amount of money they can get away with. And after they do that, they hike the price. If they did that in Vegas, the strip would dry up pretty damn quick.

  28. humphrmi says:

    @noquarter: I’m not on the consumerist staff, but I’m guessing you go through a web proxy? I see this a lot at work, most poll software tracks who has already voted by their IP address. If someone on your proxy already voted, the IP address you two share on the internet might already be tagged as “already voted.” Just a guess.

  29. I almost wish the consulting firm they hired, McKinsey & Co., was a nominee. After a quick googling, I’m thinking they might be mainlining evil over there. []

    On McKinsey’s homepage there is this information:
    “McKinsey research reveals a wide gap between the aspirations of executives to innovate and their ability to execute.”

    That’s almost the funniest thing ever.

  30. @alphafemale: “They” being Allstate.

  31. warf0x0r says:

    @mrbiggsndatx: They only hired him after screwing over all of LA after Katrina/Rita.

    You’re not in good hands with Allstate

  32. MidniteMerc says:

    This is a tough one for me. My personal experiences with verizon are numerous, but the thing that bothers me the most is how they cripple their phones. And no, “opening” the network does not address this.

  33. deadlizard says:

    Both are worthy opponents. Verizon has the power of reaching more people to screw so for me it has a slight edge.

  34. m1k3g says:

    At least with insurance you can choose from many different companies. They may all suck, but you can do some research and find the one that sucks the least. With Verizon, you’re screwed. In our area, there’s only one other ISP – Comcast. So it’s get screwed by Verizon or get screwed by Comcast. Not even the opportunity to pick the lesser of two evils…

  35. TechnoDestructo says:

    This is the first one thus far that is even a contest.

    Yeah, but Allstate never actually set fire to anyone’s house.

  36. JeffCarr says:

    I see Verizon getting better… Allstate though, not so much…

  37. Hmmm… crappy cell phone service v. re-classifying a flood that resulted from a broken levy as an “Act of God” in a twisted, illegal, and immoral effort to nullify any and all claims to loss of life and/or property?

    How will I ever choose?

  38. sleze69 says:

    This one looks to be pretty close.

  39. psyop63b says:

    This one is actually tough to choose between. If it were Verizon Wireless, that’d be my vote.

  40. freirefishing says:

    i have both products and like most companies nowadays, customer service has been placed on the back burner.

    but for allstates sake, if you want to throw in hurricane katrina, read up on your facts, state farm is the one providing most of the insurance policies in the area, they were the ones denying coverage, because of not having flood insurance which is not provided in any home owners policy, and state farm was the one in court getting sued by katrina victims.

    as for verizon wieless, i havent had any issues in 2.5 years, only a few dropped calls, and it may have been from the other person.