Worst Company In America 2008: Round 2 Bracket

After a furious series of battle, the weaklings have been vanquished and the Round 1 champions in our Worst Company in America 2008 contest advance to the second round. See the full-sized graphic, suitable for framing or forming the basis of informal office betting pools, inside…


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  1. arras says:

    these match ups seem so strange – why not pit similar companies/services against each other? AT&T vs Verizon? Verizon FIOS vs Comcast? United Airlines vs Delta, etc etc.

    I like this idea and the voting has been fun, but a little tweaking would make it really meaningful, I think

  2. ajc308 says:

    What a surprise, Best Buy had the biggest “win” – 13,081 to 920.

    Are we calling these “wins” or “losses”?

  3. @arras: Hear, hear. We could have had a “regional” bracket for each category, just like March Madness. Capital One vs. Video Professor is a meaningless matchup. Capital One vs. Citibank would have been epic.

  4. bigdirty says:

    I’m looking at a final four of American Arbitration v EBay/Paypal and WalMart v Countrywide.

  5. Imakeholesinu says:

    My bet is a health-care company wins it all!

  6. sleze69 says:

    @arras: @Steaming Pile: Don’t you guys want to see Comcast vs. Verizon in the finals?

    WaMu and Video Professor are thanking their lucky stars to have been eliminated in the first round. Or perhaps it shows just how much they suck that US Air and Capital One could only beat them by like 1%.

  7. DeafChick says:

    I think we’ll have an upset: Monster Cable.

  8. Caroofikus says:

    @Imakeholesinu: My money’s on Wal-Mart.

  9. Caduceus says:

    *rolls up sleeves*

    Bring it.

  10. Verizon FTL

  11. huadpe says:

    @sleze69: Looks like DeBeers is gonna knock out Verizon. That whole killing tons of poor mine workers thing got to people.

  12. jswilson64 says:

    I said it before, and I’ll say it again: Blue Cross Blue Shield isn’t a “company” – it’s a “brand” that’s licensed by separate, independent companies. Depending on where you are, your BCBS may be good or terrible. If your friend across the country has a beef with BCBS because of some policy or coverage decision, your BCBS plan may be exactly opposite in their policies!

  13. Invisobel says:

    @Steaming Pile: I may be mistaken, but I think the idea is to pit dissimilar companies so it doesn’t become a case of simple preference. This way forces us to evaluate the company on its own and base our vote on how the company handles itself. *shrug* Maybe?

  14. PeteRR says:

    I don’t get Exxon being on the list. They make an 8.6% profit on something we all want and need. They aren’t screwing anyone and aren’t hurting anyone.

  15. ryanphips says:

    Where is UPS?

  16. zero_o says:

    I voted for Debeers but now that I think about it they shouldn’t be on the list because I don’t think that they are based in the United States.

  17. TheBigLewinski says:

    Ben, Ben, Ben, why didn’t you try organizing like companies (e.g., financials, cable, etc.) against one another, especially in the first couple of rounds. Putting Sears against Citi-Group? Come-on, where is the justice.

  18. TheBigLewinski says:

    I think Ticketmaster is going to win, they really suck the big one.

  19. DeepFriar says:

    Time Warner Cable vs American Airlines in the 2nd round?
    I call re-do. This has to be an elite 8 offering, if not better.

  20. Toof_75_75 says:

    Be careful, lots of people on here just see the amount of money that their 8.6% makes up and decide they are the cause of high gas prices…Yeah, I know, it doesn’t make any sense to me either!

  21. JustaConsumer says:

    Dell should be in the second round. Not only for lousy computers, but also for lousy politics.

  22. strixus says:

    Lets see





    Any one of these would rank Exxon in this list alone.

  23. AstroPig7 says:

    @zero_o: De Beers is headquartered in South Africa, but it’s a cartel rather than a company, so it’s based in quite a few places.

  24. AstroPig7 says:

    @Toof_75_75: It might be less the total dollar amount of the profits and more the “record” part of the profits.

  25. Toof_75_75 says:

    Isn’t that the point of a business? Perhaps it should be considered that the government is also making them pay “record” taxes.

  26. AstroPig7 says:

    @Toof_75_75: Yes, but when your prices are also at record highs, it looks bad to your customers.

  27. trecool95 says:

    goddamn this is going to take forever

  28. Toof_75_75 says:

    I don’t disagree that it “looks bad to customers” because the liberal media constantly blames gas companies. The problem, IMO, is just a lack of knowledge. People see record profits and record prices and automatically blame the company. What they neglect to understand is that the government is constantly imposing more taxes on them (Both Democratic candidates plan on imposing higher taxes on gas companies to punish them…) and profits and prices are not the only thing at all time highs. Consumption is also at record levels. Other countries are developing and using HUGE amounts more oil…supply and demand obviously leads us to see that prices are going to go up when demand goes up.

  29. trujunglist says:

    Holy shit, the hot one to watch is definitely United Healthcare vs Hallmark/Westland Meat Packing! That’s like the match of the century! One company’ll make you so sick that you have to go the hospital! The other one won’t allow you treatment once you get there! WoOOoOoo!

  30. Lambasted says:

    @Steaming Pile: I agree with making match-ups more industry specific. I would it be nice to determine the worst in telecommunications, big box retailers, computer/electronics, common carriers, shippers, healthcare, banking, etc. And then put those winners in final match-ups to ultimately determine the worst company of them all.

  31. pal003 says:

    I’m going with Comcast for the worst right now – because they are a monopoly who doesn’t give a crap about customer service.

    Walmart, BofA, Verizon – at least I have a choice to tell them to take a hike.

  32. AstroPig7 says:

    @Toof_75_75: I agree with the comment on supply and demand, but I wonder how much more public support an oil company could get by lowering its prices based on anticipated profits. Granted, they would see lower profits, but their public approval, and potentially their customer base, would rise significantly.

  33. Toof_75_75 says:

    I don’t see their customer base going down…Hence the record profits…

    I can see what you are saying, but I would be hard pressed to believe they would ever really get any public support. The whole “Green” movement has taken control and they would never be able to get any positive publicity…

  34. + says:

    No, no, no, you are all wrong.

    Good, God, Crocs are disgusting. Why would they vote it out the first round? People are generally idiots. Wow, and CNN is out too, proves my point.

    And how could Best Buy have the biggest “win” when they’re not really that bad, clean stores (*cough* Walmart *cough), unopened products, and average customer service.

  35. + says:

    I also want to point out that it’s pretty obvious Exxon is going to be the Worst Company in America of 2008 considering they are the company that basically affects everyone here. Only other company I can think of that will come close is United Health Care.

    In fact, I’m calling it now, The final two will be “Exxon vs. United Health Care”.

  36. Maurs says:

    Best Buy is the obvious favorite going into this, but I really think Monster Cable has the chance to be this season’s Cinderella story.

  37. RandomHookup says:

    Just like the Davis Cup, it’s the competition that never ends.

  38. womynist says:

    I’d like to see Countrywide Home Loans vs. Wal-Mart.

  39. @strixus: Yes, Exxon has a nasty environmental record, but, last I checked, this was “Worst Company 2008”, and the really nasty points you bring up, which are, yes, horrible (though, frankly, no worse than any other oil company– see: Shell, particularly in Nigeria)… all happened in the past.

    The reason people complain about Exxon these days isn’t environmental reasons, it’s high gas prices and record profits. This is stupid, of course– it’s not as though Exxon controls enough of the market to have any control over prices (the majority of oil production comes from national oil companies), so they’re selling their product at market prices and making a profit due to continued strong demand. I didn’t see anyone crying for their shareholders when they were losing money in the 90’s, so…

    If you really hate them, try driving less?

  40. JadoJodo says:

    I’d bet anything it will be eBay/PalPal FTW!

  41. diamondmaster1 says:


    They sell worldwide, and recently began opening direct retail stores in the US in relatively exclusive areas in Beverly Hills, Houston and Dallas.

  42. coren says:

    How did Google even make this list? That amazes me – I can’t imagine them up with the Best Buys and Blockbusters of the world

  43. @PeteRR: Naah, Exxon isn’t screwing us. That is, if you’re not counting the tax breaks they got from Bush, who they helped elect President. Oh, we’ll give Exxon a whole bunch of money, and they’ll bust their asses and find us a whole bunch more oil and we can continue wasting it for ninety cents a gallon. Yeah, right. They gave a large chunk of it to their retiring CEO. You know, Jabba the Hutt. That guy. I think Bill Maher called him Fat Bastard. The rest the other people running the company just put in their pockets.

    How motherfarking hard is it to run an oil company? People are lining up to buy what you’ve got. Idiots are bidding up the price to north of $130 a barrel. How can you not make a shitload of money? Do these people deserve tax breaks? Hell no, but they took them. Gladly. They asked for them, pleading poverty, for Christ’s sake. They’re bleeding the American economy dry. It’s grand theft on a colossal scale, and I bet they wound up killing more people over oil than DeBeers killed over those stupid shiny rocks.

  44. @Invisobel: Seconded.

    Also, I think the point is to compare the business practices, quality of service, etc. among the companies, which is product- or industry-neutral, and not to simply compare multiple companies’ efforts within the same segment.

  45. reflection717 says:

    Going with Walmart Vs Best Buy(or Ticketmaster ) final 2 (Based on the matchups and the tendencies of people on this site to hate certain companies)

  46. I will be receptive to any anti-Big-Oil gas-costs-too-much arguments after Americans prove this is actually important to them by no longer having a preference for insanely fuel-inefficient SUVs. If you think you need a 16mpg main battle tank to drive your toddlers around the city, then too hell with you when you complain about gas prices. Supply and demand, people.

  47. Hopefully this contest will end by 2019

  48. Corporate-Shill says:

    How were the companies originally seeded?

    By preliminary votes? Editorial disdain? Prior consumer comments?

    My favorite company to dislike was a lowly 15 seed if I am reading the chart correctly.

  49. 17-A says:

    @AtomicPlayboy: SUV sales are plummeting in the US, as are their general value. Some car dealerships won’t even accept SUVs as trade-in vehicles because they’re too hard to resell. They’re officially out of style.

    Also, I would love to know why I’ve started seeing labels on gas stations’ pumps saying my fuel now contains 10% ethanol, yet the price is still climbing steadily toward $4/gallon.

  50. rhambus says:

    Great, this voting is back so that we can all see the political preferences of Consumerist readers that have little or nothing to do with actual performance to consumers. (For instance, how often does the Exxon gas in your car not work? Compare that to how often Comcast screws up or US Airways is late or loses your luggage – come on, there is no comparison at all.) This sort of crap is why I rarely read this blog anymore, and probably won’t after this…

  51. texicali says:

    I can’t believe the Federal Reserve isn’t on the list, AND at the top of worst companies!

  52. Daniel says:

    @rhambus: Then don’t read it? The idea isn’t performance so much as finding out the opinions of reasonably informed consumers. And to rank companies.

    This isn’t anything scientific, so don’t act like it is.

    As for separate polls for each area, that wouldn’t really rank which industry is the worst…

    Comcast will win/lose. IMHO (although I haven;t personally had any bad experiences with Comcast).


  53. etfp says:

    omg monster cable might be the worst company on earth. i put them up there with sierra leone diamond mine overseers and racist cops.

    how the FUCK do you charge someone 200 bucks for 13 feet of hdmi cable?

    who the fuck buys this shit?

    it’s all coiled and braided and covered in some sort of copper or black metal fishnet stocking shit and 200 FUCKING DOLLARS.

  54. If we’re talking about companies that dick you over, selling average quality products for a ginormous mark up just because it has a sweet name… monster would win hands down. I buy the same quality cable off ebay for $5. you sell them for $100 just because it’s a “monster”? The only monstrous thing here is the mark-up.

    @arras: Agreed, completely.

    As for winner, it’s too early in the game to call that one. There’s a LOT of really bad companies still left.

  55. PeteRR says:

    @Steaming Pile:

    Exxon made $40B last year in profit. They also paid $30B in taxes. That’s more than the bottom 50% of Americans paid in taxes.

    As for the tax breaks you’re complaining about, it consists of $17B for the entire oil and gas industry over a 5 year period from 2007 thru 2011. Even if Exxon got 100% of that, which isn’t possible, that’s less than $3B/year.

  56. GiantEnemyCrab says:

    Comforting to know that Diebold, one of the “Worst Companies in the World” now controls out elections…

  57. Davan says:

    Kinda late, but perusing the list it struck me, there are like zero food-service corporations on this list. What, McDonalds, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, Krystal, KFC, Subway, NONE of them are as bad as *cough* Crocs? :P Kind of peculiar, Im wondering how that happened.