Worst Company In America 2008 "Sweet 16": Bank of America VS Blue Cross Blue Shield

Here’s your seventh “Sweet 16” match-up: #7 Bank of America VS #23 Blue Cross Blue Shield

Here’s what some of you had to say about these two companies:

Bank of America:

“BoA is not just “a” bank, they’re a bank with some of the least customer-friendly policies in America. Re-opening closed accounts then charging $35 for it? That’s not a courtesy, that’s fraud.”

“Can u say overdraft? Lets take billions from the poor every year and feel good about it!”

Blue Cross Blue Shield:

“Any health company that tries to screw their own customers in a proactive way deserves to burn in hell.”

“Blue Cross Blue Shield just dropped my 85 year old grandparents with no warning. Oh yeah, my grandmother just was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Coincidence? What a bag of flaming @*&%#s!”

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 consumerist.com/tag/worst-company-in-america.


Edit Your Comment

  1. ptkdude says:

    button no workey

  2. highmodulus says:

    No vote yet- Vote for BofA, Satan’s Bank!

  3. @ptkdude: button now worky!

  4. tqbf says:

    Hey, people — you can CHOOSE A DIFFERENT BANK. Many of you are stuck with BCBS. And boy, do they know it.

  5. AceKicker says:

    @tqbf: Thanking you for pushing me to one side of the fence I was sitting on.

  6. Amy Alkon000 says:

    Bank of America tellers gave away $12,000 of my money to a woman with missing teeth and a fake driver’s license in my name. On SEVEN occasions. In places I never go. And I never take out cash in large sums and almost never go to a teller window (maybe once in three years?). They clearly have lied about their “multiple layers of security,” and are now doing everything in their power to prevent me from getting the tape of the missing teeth woman so I can get a private detective after her (she doesn’t just have my ID, I’m sure, and guess what: the other people’s she has probably don’t have their credit frozen, so all those Walmart and Target and Sears and Kmart instant credit aps are probably going right through).

    Moreover, because I’m tight with my data in a way most people would find hard to fathom, I have good reason to believe the data breach was within the bank, when I filled out a form to update the driver’s license info they have on me in early April. The fraud started days afterward.

    Please vote for BofA as the big horrible here.

  7. Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg says:

    This contest is starting to get down to the nitty gritty – this was the hardest selection for me to date.

    But even though tqbf makes a good point (that you can choose another bank), I just can’t not pick them in this round – Bank of America is pure, unadulterated evil.

  8. ColoradoShark says:

    OK, this was a really hard one.
    But screwing with someone’s money versus their health made me go with Blue Cross/Blue Shield.

  9. hellinmyeyes says:

    I personally have used BCBS here in Florida for years with good results. I definitely can understand some of the horror stories on an individual basis with any conglomerate, especially when they’re dealing with people’s very lives. I just wonder how many as a fraction that really is; are we only hearing the high-profile cases?

    On the other hand, I went with Bank of America. They screw everyone senselessly, without regard. Their policies are meant to fleece anyone they can in any circumstance possible. It seems fitting they’re hooking up with Countrywide.

  10. hellinmyeyes says:

    OK and seriously, this Guanabee ad is really getting on my nerves. So creepy!!

  11. Triborough says:

    Blue Cross/Blue Shield are multiple franchisees, so one’s millage may vary.

    On the other hand, Bank of America is a monolithic tower of evil.

  12. I'm a tweeple too! says:

    Bank of America is the bank of Hell, though I doubt even Satan would think them worthy of the Branch of Hell. Yes, I didn’t choose to stay with BofA but my paycheck is still drawn on that hellacious bank. While Wamu isn’t much better in finding customer service at least the branch manager is at her desk and findable when something goes very very wrong.

    BofA all the way!

  13. EyeHeartPie says:

    You ALWAYS have another choice of a bank, but some people are stuck with BCBS as a health provider.

    BCBS = Fail.

  14. SuffolkHouse says:

    BC/BS kills people, folks. This is a no brainer. Steal my money all you want, as long as it prevents the deaths or hard working premium-paying people.

  15. bohemian says:

    Blue Cross differs from franchise to franchise. Some are cesspools of evil and others are fairly reasonable as far as insurance goes.
    So I had to go with BofA. They have no redeeming qualities at all.

  16. blackmage439 says:

    Without money, you can still have good health, for a time.

    Without good health, you can end up paying out the ass for terrible, dishonest, bureaucratic, insurance. In the end, you have jack $%^&.

    BC/BS, FTL/W.

  17. Cap'n Jack says:

    Blue Cross Blue Shield.

  18. Cervantes3773 says:

    I grew up on BCBS of MI and now have BCBS of IL. No problems with either so far (knocks on wood).

    My LaSalle account just converted to BoA and while I have experienced anything hellacious yet, I’ve heard enough horror stories to make me start looking for another bank.

  19. tape says:

    you know, the “you can use another [bank/retailer/whatever], but people don’t have a choice when it comes to [cable/health insurance/other pseudo-monopoly]” is a bunk argument. just because there is or is not a choice in a given market has no specific bearing on whether or not a company is awful (or more specifically to this argument, not awful). it might be one cause of the awfulness, but it having competition doesn’t make them any worse.

    that said, I vote BoA all the way on this one.

  20. TamiBB says:

    Since you’re not specifying which BCBS company, it makes it rather difficult to vote for them as the “worst company”.

    I enjoy this site but the fact that you’ve repeatedly ignored when people have pointed out that BCBS franchises are separate and independent companies makes you look, at the very least, like you don’t have the integrity to correct a mistake. At the worst, it makes you look dishonest.

  21. JDAC says:

    Just to remove any doubt (because I know everyone cares), I’ll be voting for BofA for as long as they’re in this race.

    @tqbf: I did switch banks, but it doesn’t erase the hate.

  22. SuffolkHouse says:

    I don’t think you got the point. The company may be awful, but its awfulness is mitigated by the fact that you can go elsewhere. You don’t experience the effects if you aren’t there. You do if, by your own volition, you choose to stay with them.

    BC/BS kills people. Bank of American never denied anyone treatment, ever. They may not have allowed you access to your own money, but they don’t contribute to deaths or reason that the average life is worth a $50,000 annual expenditure.

    Blue Cross/Blue Shield is the absolute worst company in America.

  23. parad0x360 says:

    God I hate Bank of America…

    My girlfriend had a credit card with a bank that was bought out by BOA. Her monthly payments went from $20 a month to $170 despite the fact that she never missed a payment and always paid more then the minimum.

    Her interest also jumped by about 10% so I stepped in and paid the account off. I was 1 day late sending in a payment for $5000 and they charged her a late fee and would not remove it despite it being the first ever on not only the account but her whole line of credit anywhere.

    So I paid the late fee and closed the account. About 2 months later an auto pay was withdrawn from the BOA account. She had forgotten to change one thing over and instead of declining the charge they reactivated her account, never sent a bill and then charged a late payment fee again.

    I called up and got them to remove the late fee. I asked them why they would accept the payment and they say they do it as a courtesy…how this is suppose to be a good thing I will never know. I escalated to a supervisor and asked that whatever it is that lets them open an account again after its been closed to shut it off on her account. They agreed.

    I dont know if they really did anything at all as we made sure nothing would ever be drawn on the account again. They have terrible service. They dont care about customers. After making a $5000 payment they refuse to remove 1 late fee? Give me a break.

    If a bank is bought out and you have an account with them it should be made a law that you have a choice to keep your rates and payments locked in at which point they close the account until its paid off or you can keep your account open and be subject to whatever they change.

    Its not fair that they can swoop in buy up a bank and then screw over its long term customers without a second thought.

  24. parad0x360 says:

    Oh and I voted for BC/BS because despite the fact that alot of banks suck..BOA more so then most.

    The health care industry in this country is a sham and needs to be replaced. People get sick and die because of money when our Government could foot the bill if they werent so wastefull with spending.

    FEMA gave away something to the tune of 80 million dollars worth of goods that were for Katrina victims. Who did they give the goods to? NOT KATRINA VICTIMS!!!!

    Think about that one for a while, im sure the victims of Katrina are. Lots of them live in tents.

  25. DrJimmy says:

    Tough, tough call. Digital Decision Generator (flipping a $1 coin) sez:


  26. sleze69 says:

    BoA FTW

  27. Euglenas says:
  28. Leohat says:

    This one is a no brainer. BoA.

    I’m surprised that BCBS is getting as many votes as it is.

  29. beavis88 says:

    This is a really tough one. Yes, BoA is a Really Crappy Company(R), but do they have legions of staff members devoted entirely to denying you life saving medical treatment? I think even BoA falls short in that area. Plus, you can always choose another bank – sometimes you can’t (reasonably) choose another health insurance provider.

  30. I thought after the Countrywide purchase Bank of America was a shoe-in for winning the whole thing. To me, they just had to buy MBNA, the most abusive credit card company ever and poster boy of universal default, random rate hikes and short window of paying statements.

  31. dotyoureyes says:

    How is this race even this close?

    BofA is almost single-handedly keeping Consumerist in business with its unbeatable combination of obscene fees and customer disservice.

    In the grand scheme of health care companies, BCBS is about the middle of the pack as far as suckage goes.

  32. tc4b says:

    BCBS, because when they screw customers, the customer might actually die.

  33. Angryrider says:

    Are you effin’ kidding me? No one is forcing you have BoA as your bank.
    @tc4b: Agreed!
    And besides, they actually work hard to make sure you don’t stay healthy. I mean a yeast infection can disqualify you from insurance? WTF?

  34. La-la says:

    Who has stories about BCBS screwing over customers? I’m curious.

    Personally, I am very much missing my BCBS coverage after switching to UHC in a new job. For the same type of plan, BCBS was MUCH cheaper, at least for my every day visits and prescriptions, and so much easier to deal with.

  35. Mike8813 says:

    BCBS for sure. I had them for 2 years, and they will refuse just about any claim. I’d guess they rejected about 80% of our doctor visits, all of them for no reason.

    It’s been well documented that BCBS (and other medical insurance companies) deny claims regardless of whether or not they are valid. They bank on the subscriber not raising hell to get them to fork over the dough.

    I’ve spent too long on the phone with these assholes to get them to pay what they should have paid in the first place…

  36. Squeezer99 says:

    if you like both companies, do you just not vote?

  37. Trai_Dep says:

    Cannibalistic pedophiles breathe a sigh of relief that BofA is around to make them look just a bit better by comparison.

  38. Cervantes3773 says:

    I think I’ve missed every BCBS hate thread on the Consumerist. BCBS has never denied any of my, or my family’s, claims. The only beef we currently have with them is one mildly impolite CSR.

  39. synergy says:

    Neither! I have both, have had them for 5+ years and no problems thus far.

  40. mythago says:

    Blue Cross/Blue Shield is the absolute worst company in America.

    Compared to other evil health insurance companies, like Aetna? Dunno about that.

  41. Shaneniganz says:

    Hmm…sorry gotta go with BoA, horrible bank. As far as BC/BS, my children are covered by BC/BS of Al. Never had a single problem with them. My health insurance provider Van Breda Intl. is horrible. They are based in Belgium and while they have a US contact number as well as a contact number for the main office in Brussels, NO ONE EVER ANSWERS THE PHONE-DAY or NIGHT! I didn’t receive my card until end of Jan. (coverage began in Oct. 07!) Purse was stolen in Mar. and I cannot get in touch with anyone to get a replacement card. So I would gladly take BC/BS over what I have now any day, at least they will ANSWER THE PHONE!

  42. TwoScoopsRice says:

    Very true about the BCBS differentiation by market. In my home state, the affiliate is the big dog and is generally all right.

    I can’t say the same thing about the mandatory BCBS coverage parents of some college students in certain other states are required to buy for their kids. Submission of claims is well nigh impossible and CSRs don’t understand the concept of providing [required] proof of coverage so that benefits can be coordinated. Took 3 months to receive an insurance card.

  43. hi says:

    button not working….

  44. photodesign says:

    I realize that the BofA hate has reached personal vendetta levels on Consumerist (yet they still push “deals” from Butterfly Photo, which is impossible to reconcile), but I’ve had BofA for 15+ years and they’ve been perfectly fine at every turn…

  45. Amy Alkon says:

    but I’ve had BofA for 15+ years and they’ve been perfectly fine at every turn…

    Consider yourself lucky that nobody’s printed up a fake driver’s license in your name and walked up to a teller window and withdrawn $12,000 of your money from your BofA account. I’m guessing if you get a friend to do this, your money will be dispensed pronto, to your friend.

    Happened to me SEVEN times. This tells you something: laxity with your money and data is POLICY for this bank and their ads about “multiple layers of security” are multiple layers of not true.

  46. photodesign says:

    I would be curious to see this tried at BofA and a bunch of other banks.

    I don’t doubt that BofA has problems, but I don’t know how they compare. I think there is a skewed perspective here.

  47. I'm a tweeple too! says:


    Wouldn’t a dollar coin be Analog?

  48. How the hell did a bank beat out a health care company?

  49. tybeedawg says:

    I have a BofA credit card, which I have been paying off through a debt consolidation company for a couple of years now. After my last payment, there was a seventy-five cent balance, which took me four calls, six people and two lectures on the purchases being my responsibility before they finally waived the charge.