Round 35: Exxon vs United Airlines

This is Round 35 in our Worst Company in America contest, Exxon vs United Airlines.

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This is a post in our Worst Company In America 2008 series. The companies nominated for this honor were chosen by you, the readers. Keep track of all the goings on at

STILL OPEN FOR VOTING: Sony vs Ticketmaster, Comcast vs The American Arbitration Association


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  1. ThunderRoad says:

    A recap of WHY these companies are so bad would be helpful!

  2. homerjay says:

    Boy, I forgot about the oil companies. We should just end this thing now and hand it to that entire industry.

  3. NewPerfection says:

    Seriously, what has happened to the recaps?

  4. Serpephone says:

    Both are bad. Hard to choose which is worse.

  5. blackmage439 says:

    I will be repeating this for every half-@$$ed poll Consumerist posts:

    What’s going on, Ben? What happened to the nice, stream-lined voting app you had during the earlier rounds? On top of that, we’ve been seeing some lame descriptions of the companies, if any at all. It’s either:

    1. “No reason for this submission was given [but we’re putting it out there anyway]”, or

    2. No description of either company’s wrongdoing.

    As it stands right now: Consumerist “Worst” voting? EPIC FAIL.

  6. blackmage439 says:

    Ooops I forgot to note: Exxon, by a mile. At least United sometimes has cheap airfare…

    Exxon is part of the oil cartel that can actually get away with INCREASING their profits while their product’s price continues to inflate geometrically.

  7. pmcpa2 says:

    The voting once again doesn’t work… first attempt to vote, it just reloads the home page, second attempt, you get a big fat 404 ERROR

  8. hilighter says:

    Well, I know that I nominated Exxon Mobile, as I’m sure many did, so here was my reason: Record high oil prices (and this was back when the record was $100/barrel), record high gas prices, record high profits. The price of gas and diesel is driving up the cost of consumer goods, most notably groceries, and causing our already strained economy to be even moreso. Plus, they got off pretty easy for the Valdez spill. And I’m surly.

  9. BigElectricCat says:

    Exxon. You might be able to avoid air travel, but it’s not always easy to avoid the gas pump.

  10. gomakemeasandwich says:

    Wow, Exxon is winning with 77%. I wonder why.

  11. rmz says:

    @gomakemeasandwich: Undercover United Airlines employees on the Consumerist, of course.

  12. jeblis says:

    Looks like we have some Exxon employees voting

  13. trk182 says:

    I love all you people who hate oil companies so much that you still drive your car and buy gas. I have no problem with Exxon, most people who had enough brains to buy stock in oil companies have no problem with them being successful. Cry more that really helps. Oh and if you’re really “Green” the best thing you can do for the environment is…Suicide.

  14. gomakemeasandwich says:


    You must be like some type of uber retard from the future.

    Do you really just want someone to tell you that you’re really awesome for buying oil stocks, like no one could see from a mile away that oil companies would become more profitable?

  15. gomakemeasandwich says:


    Of course.

  16. Jaysyn was banned for: says:


    Cause we all know it’s about the bottom line & nothing else matters, right?

    Greed got us into this mess, greed can’t get us out.

  17. Trai_Dep says:

    While Exxon gets brownie points for casting Jabba the Hut as their CEO, unfortunately they’re too tone-deaf to realize most of the world is rather fond of that Wookie fellow.


  18. Propaniac says:

    You can click on the “WORST COMPANY IN AMERICA” tag and go back to these companies’ matchups in Round 1 to read the reasons that were posted then. This is the third contest in Round 2, so it’s #5 and #6 in Round 1. (Although it appears #6 actually didn’t get tagged. But you can find it under the Previouslys for #7.)

  19. Propaniac says:

    @Propaniac: That is to say, to use the vernacular of the site, you can look at their match-ups in Tier 1, which were Round #5 and Round #6. This vote, Round #35, is the third round in Tier 2.

  20. gomakemeasandwich says:


    That dude is the epitome of greed…and Exxon coincidentally.

  21. Toof_75_75 says:

    I like how everyone overlooks the ridiculous taxes that are placed against oil companies and blames oil company profits for the high prices. I’m sure the same people will be voting for the democrats who look to increase taxes against oil companies, which will obviously make the price of gas even more expensive…

  22. Nealjs says:

    Which is worse? An apple or a watermelon???

    This is seriously what you guys are asking on a daily basis. This is a ridiculous method of polling. Try pairing up companies with comparable services.

  23. Gann says:

    I for one will no longer vote until I get the recaps back. Yes, I am that lazy.

  24. ToddBradley says:

    This lineup is interesting in how different these two companies are.

    One company (Exxon) reliably delivers a good quality product at extremely high prices. They make so much money people hate them.

    The other company (United), in an attempt to deliver a product at extremely low prices, is neither reliable nor of good quality. They make so little money people have to bail them out of bankruptcy.

    No doubt Exxon should win if the name of the contest was “Most Hated Company in America” but it’s “Worst Company in America.” Has Exxon really ever failed to provide the quality of product you expected when you bought it? I doubt it.

    So, as much as I dislike Exxon, I have to admit they do a good job of meeting their customers’ needs. The same can’t be said for United.

  25. Lambasted says:

    This one is easy for me. Exxon is greed personified. Record profits while gas is at an all time high and people are struggling to fill their tanks! Exxon posted the largest annual (2007) profit by a U.S. company: $40.6 BILLION, which one article broke down to earning about a little over $75,000 a minute.

    While it’s true Exxon is not the only player in the oil game, they are the worst offenders. Rotten greedy bastards.

    If I have to run out of gas passing an Exxon station, I will. NEVER will I give them a dime of my money again. One Texas town had it right then they boycotted Exxon as well.

  26. dotyoureyes says:

    It really does come down to the definition of “worst.”

    Worst in terms of serving their customers? Clearly United.

    Worst in terms of tanking the American economy, raising food prices, and destroying wildlife while raking in the largest profits in world history? Ummmm. yeah.

    Exxon’s gonna sweep the floor with the remaining companies.

  27. gomakemeasandwich says:


    Good point.

  28. gomakemeasandwich says:


    Part of the increase in food prices has to do with that bullshit ethanol that Corporate America is trying to shove down our throats.

  29. gomakemeasandwich says:


    Well the problem is that Exxon’s product is the fuel or device that powers our cars. Now, considering they’re using basically the same product (gasoline) for the past 100 years with little innovation, I would have to say their product sucks too.

  30. gomakemeasandwich says:


    How would it make gas more expensive? They could tax Exxon at 70% and it would still turn a profit, as most people need gasoline.

    Am I only one that’s tired of the bullshit “taxes” argument for why gas rices are so high?

  31. Bobg says:

    I haven’t dealt with Exxon since the Valdes disaster. Exxon gas is always about two cents higher than any other brand in my area. I can only assume that Exxon is trying to make their customers pay for the cleanup. Amazingly, many customers are falling for it.

  32. Squeegoth says:

    Format above is crap. At least link us back to the original posts, eh?

  33. AaronC says:

    @gomakemeasandwich: umm…. no

    Exxon is making a ton of money. I believe they made like 4 million dollars in revenue a second last year. Something like that. I do not know what their profit margin is, but i do know they are making a killing right now. Never the less, Taxes always plays a part. You have to be an idiot not to realize that. When you go to the gas pump, you are basicly paying .45 federal, 1.00 local, and sometimes .50 County taxes.

    Obviously those numbers are not correct, but they do exist and federal is the lower of the three if i remember correctly.

    : P

  34. JustaConsumer says:

    Ben, please fix the voting. Come on.

  35. JustaConsumer says:

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  36. Moosehawk says:

    @homerjay: With gas $3.63 a gallon now, I really find it hard to vote against Exxon in any situation.

  37. karmaghost says:

    I don’t understand this “Oil companies are just doing business, that’s why they’re profitable. Go cry about it, etc.” attitude the minority of people seem to have. It’s the “Worst Company in America” poll, and I define “worst company” as “they don’t do me any good/I hate them.” Exxon gets my vote.

  38. bhall03 says:

    not going to waste my time with these votes anymore…

  39. bhall03 says:

    they never work…

  40. mavrc says:

    @JustaConsumer: What he said. Please fix the polls.