Welcome to Consumerist’s 7th Annual Worst Company In America tournament, where the businesses you nominated face off for a title that none of them will publicly admit to wanting — but which all of them try their hardest to earn. So it’s time to fill in the brackets and start another office pool. That is, unless you work at one of the 32 companies competing in the tournament.
Readers responded in record numbers to this year’s call for nominations. And it turns out that you all are still angry at the telecom companies, which dominate the brackets with a total of 9 slots, and the folks in financial services, which accounts for 7 spots in this year’s battle for the Golden Poo.
Even though Microsoft gets this year off — perhaps you all felt bad for them because of the whole Windows Phone debacle — there are plenty of other technology and Internet companies in the bracket. There is the always-divisive Apple and the perennial pugilist Sony. Since Facebook and Google are so good at tracking your browsing and reading history, they shouldn’t be surprised to be in the tournament.
This category also has two fresh-faced WCIA rookies. Video Game giant Electronic Arts and a company that not so long ago had a relatively sterling reputation among readers: Netflix, which saw its nominating votes increase tenfold after the company effectively doubled its monthly rate.
Also new to the WCIA tourney is Spirit Airlines. Someone might want to mention this fact to the company’s CEO Ben Baldanza, who has called it the “most consumer-friendly airline.” In the first round, tiny little Spirit will go toe-to-toe with Delta, the only other airline in this year’s competition.
The first round also sees a face-off between the U.S. Postal Service and UPS. As more and more people use the Internet to shop, the services that deliver those packages to your home are apparently struggling to deliver decent service.
If you want to share your brief testimonial on why any of these companies should win — or maybe you think they shouldn’t be in the tournament — shoot us an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For the first round, we’ll be posting three bouts per day (there will be four first-round fights on March 19). The full schedule is below if you want to mark your calendar to make sure you remember to vote.
ROUND ONE BOUTS:
* Target vs. Best Buy
* Bank of America vs. Chase
* Charter Communications vs. CenturyLink (Qwest)
* Wells Fargo vs. Citi
* EA vs. Sony
* Sallie Mae vs. Ticketmaster
* DirecTV vs. Dish Network
* PayPal vs. Capital One
* Sears/Kmart vs. Walmart
* Netflix vs. GameStop
* USPS vs. UPS
* Comcast vs. Time Warner Cable
* Spirit vs. Delta
* AT&T vs. Verizon
* Facebook vs. Sprint
* Google vs. Apple
* Bank of America vs. Walmart
* EA vs. AT&T
WCIA FINAL DEATH MATCH
The Golden Poo winner will be announced April 4