Worst Company In America Round 3: Bank Of America Vs. Ticketmaster

For several years now, these two terrible titans of industry have been locks to make the Worst Company semifinals. But in a year with so many bad businesses in contention, only one of these perennial favorites will make it through to the next round.

It would be hard to deny that Bank of America is the heavy favorite in this quarter of the WCIA bracket. Not only has the now-second-largest bank in the country devoured digested and used its competitors to fertilize the tomato garden, BofA has also picked up steam.

In Round One, BofA put a steel-toed boot straight into the kidneys of Chase — the financial institution that actually usurped the U.S. banking throne — by winning with more than 82% of the vote. An impressive feat to be sure, but not as impressive as the way BofA threw Citibank into the WCIA wood-chipper and walked away with an astounding 87.14% of the vote in Round Two.

But much in the same way that ticket-buyers tend to not think of Ticketmaster’s exorbitant fees when buying balcony seats to see Britney Spears, they often forget about that company’s propensity for pushing consumers’ buttons.

How else do you explain Ticketmaster’s 60.58% Round One triumph over school loan dis-servicer Sallie Mae? Or the way it managed to secure more than 80% of the vote in its second-round bout against Spirit Airlines, in spite of a top Ticketmaster exec asking employees to vote in the competition?

Enough talk. Vote.

(Voting on this poll has now closed. Thanks to everyone who voted! Check back March 29 to see who made it through to the semifinals)

As we mentioned when announcing the Round 3 contenders, we want to add some suspense to the remaining contests so the results will stay hidden until we post the four victors on the morning of March 29. So be sure to check back Thursday morning to see if your least-favorite made the cut.

If you like competing for free stuff, there’s a sweepstakes on the Consumerist Facebook page that lets you pick who you think will win the Golden Poo. The prize packages includes the usual T-shirts and coffee mugs, but also our own Laura Northrup will knit you a little something nice. Go HERE for details.

This is a post in our Worst Company In America 2012 series. The companies competing for this honor were chosen by you, the readers. See the entire WCIA 2012 bracket and schedule of match-ups HERE.


Edit Your Comment

  1. Daniel Svoboda says:

    Oooh, tough choice…

  2. Doubting thomas says:

    Lets see, one is a financial institution that takes away homes it has no financial connection with, colludes to victimize the most vulnerable portions of society and then puts its hands out for billions of taxpayer dollars. The other puts a couple of extra fees on some luxury items.
    Tough choice

    • George4478 says:

      I’m voting Ticketmaster now, just to see if your head explodes when BOA loses.

    • zegota says:

      Well, to be fair, you can choose another bank than BoA. That doesn’t justify the horrible things they’ve done, but they don’t run the entire industry.

      TicketMaster, on the other hand, is inescapable. They run a monopoly, and I don’t know how it’s even remotely legal.

      • caradrake says:

        Sure, you can choose another bank. Then when that bank immediately turns around and sells your mortgage to BofA, you’re screwed.

        And you don’t even have to choose them, for them to foreclose on your house and cause all sort of bad stuff to happen.

      • Misha says:

        “you can choose another bank than BoA”? Can you? Let me ask, how many times has your mortgage been bought and sold without you having a hand in it? Our home was financed through a local bank, and that choice didn’t help us when it was almost immediately sold to Countrywide and then swallowed up by BoA.

        “Ticketmaster is inescapable”? Of course it’s not. You can choose not to attend a concert much more easily than you can get out from under BoA.

        • Bluth_Cornballer says:

          You can also choose to not own a home and rent. That argument is just as valid as telling somebody not to go watch their favorite sports team, take their kids to an ice show or circus, or attend a concert.

          Of course the difference is that I can choose which bank I deal with…

          • OutPastPluto says:

            You can also buy yourself a farm in Amish country. That option is equally absurd when compared to the one you just offered.

            “Completely retreating from modern financial life” is not a reflection of the ability to choose with whom you can do business. It is quite the opposite.

          • dpeters11 says:

            You can rent and be faced with eviction by a bank through no fault of your own. And not necessarily the fault of the landlord either.

  3. Cat says:

    I hate TicketBastard, But –

    BofA, all the way!
    BofA, all the way!
    BofA, all the way!

  4. Jfielder says:

    How TM even beat out Sallie Mae to get here is beyond me… but they don’t stand a chance against BOA.

  5. Kryndis says:

    Didn’t you used to be able to see the live results? Thought I saw them on all the previous votes… Was I imagining things?

  6. Gehasst says:

    TicketBastard all the way. Why do I need to pay $25 in ticket fees on a $35 ticket? Why do I need to pay you for the privilege to print on my very own printer?

    BOFA – anyone in their right mind stays away from the mindless beast that has shown time and time again that it has no disreguard for anyone but themselves. If you use BOFA, its your own damn fault. There are many other choices out there, many of you are just too damn lazy to move your accounts.

    • philpm says:

      So all those people who have had their banks taken over, mortgages bought, or just been screwed over by BOA through no fault of their own deserved that?

    • Misha says:

      “If you use BOFA, its your own damn fault.”

      Our home was financed through a local bank, and that choice didn’t help us when it was almost immediately sold to Countrywide and then swallowed up by BoA.

      Please, please, explain how that’s my fault.

      Please, victim-blamer, explain how the people with paid-off homes, or with mortgages that have never seen a BoA office, are at fault when BoA still manages to wrongly foreclose on them.

    • tbax929 says:

      This has already been replied to twice, but it needs to be repeated because someone always says this whenever the B of A shows up in an article or in this tournament.

      Mortgages get bought and sold all the time. I bought my current house in December 2010, and am now on my third bank. The last bank that had the mortgage was B of A. I didn’t pick them!

      Why is it so hard to explain this concept to people?

    • ninram says:

      I have been with BofA for 25 years, have a small business account and pay no fees. I have had nothing but good experiences with BofA. I maybe in the minority, but I see no reason to leave and am happy right here.

      • BackInBlack says:

        You must be lucky. Got this story from a friend:
        “IDK if I told you, but we recently switched from BoA to Bank of [State]. Lots of little reasons, mostly just poor service but was triggered when they charged me $2 for a a $20 roll of quarters & $0.50 for breaking a $100, hemmed & hawed about notarizing our signature for real estate papers, and us with a commercial account running $25k balance…and that without letting me know there was going to be a charge. We just took our marbles across the street, where they’re nicer but we sometimes have to wait for someone to finish their lunch. LOL.”

  7. petepuma02 says:

    I can’t avoid Ticketmaster and their B.S. fees if I want to attend an event.

    BOA- I can easily find another bank to deal with.

    Have to go with TM…

    • Misha says:

      Can you? If there’s a way to change what bank holds your mortgage (after it got sold away from the local bank you purposely chose), why have I never seen anything about doing so?

  8. vdestro says:

    Yeah, no contest. Played a major role in almost destroying the world economy vs. ripped a bunch of people off on concert tickets.

  9. jsl4980 says:

    I’m voting for the monopoly here. BoA has competition if you hate them you can usually go to someone else who shows less incompetence. If you want to go to a concert Ticketmaster is usually your only option. The field is full of banks and companies with monopolies in their markets.

  10. eddison72 says:

    How can one possible choose between these two titans of evil? It’s a bit like choosing which is more disgusting to eat: a pig vomit smoothie, or a menstrual debris omelet. I say it ends in a tie!

  11. Ashman says:

    BOA all the way. They screwed families out of their homes. no contest.

    ticketmaster, ehhh. they charge high fees, but it is your choice to buy tickets from them to see an event. if the event is worth it, then who really cares if it costs a bit more.

    • chancyrendezvous says:

      In most places, there’s no getting around using TM if you want to attend an event. There simply isn’t an alternative. And when TM fees double the overall cost of the ticket, I certainly care. Sure, attending an event is a luxury but it sucks when an affordable luxury becomes unaffordable due to fees. BofA certainly has a wider and more severe reach, but I don’t think you can discount the inherent suckitude of TM.

  12. mikesanerd says:

    Hmm…what’s worse: a serial killer or a mosquito? *Pulls BofA lever*

  13. suez says:

    A no-brainer. I’m one of the countless many who quit BoA last year after nearly 18 years.

  14. mh83 says:

    I don’t think BoA really needs a lot of “help,” but I’ll just leave this link here…


    • Jfielder says:

      Agree. Anyone who voted for TM should read this.

      TM makes buying concert tickets a terrible experience, BOA ruins lives and global economies.

  15. longfeltwant says:

    After I vote, I don’t see the results. Don’t the results show up even as voting happens? I’ve tried two different browsers. Always before today I saw the results when I voted.

    • Misha says:

      Take a look at the Elite Eight announcement article from earlier this morning, where it was clearly stated that the results will not be shown live during the final rounds.

    • BackInBlack says:

      Wow, I’m glad I read this comment! I’ve been exclusively in FireFox, with AdBlock Plus and Ghostery, as I’m wont to do. In the Google voting, with others ranting about Google tracking and targeted ads, I was like “Ad? What are ads?” But when I saw this comment, I said, “Buttons? What buttons?” All this time I’ve thought I’ve been voting by posting down here! Imagine my surprise when I opened an IE session and all of a sudden, there’s a voting box! I guess AdBlock and Ghostery are two-edged swords. I still love ’em. But now I’m voiting.

  16. legolex says:

    In the grand scheme of things Bank of America is the worst versus Ticketmaster. I have no experience with BofA so I voted Ticketmaster because I hate the necessary evil that is Ticketmaster. I think BofA will blow Ticketmaster out of the water.

  17. Kimaroo - 100% Pure Natural Kitteh says:

    I doubt it makes much difference, but I voted for Ticketmaster because they tried to rig the voting with their employees. Shame on them.

    Not to mention the fees for printing with my own stuff. WTF, Ticketmaster. WTF, indeed.

  18. macnbc says:

    While they’re both shitty companies, I tend to vote for monopolies over non-monopolies.

    While BoA might be one of the nation’s largest banks, there ARE still some alternatives. (Chase, Wells Fargo, etc.)

    If you want to go see a concert and it’s at a Ticketmaster venue? Good luck. You’re hosed.

    • Misha says:

      Seriously, is there a way to change who holds your mortgage once it exists (other than banks trading and selling it like a baseball card)? Because if not, then no, now that my mortgage has been sold twice (originating with a local bank) and wound up in the hands of BoA, there IS no alternative.

      • stranger than fiction says:

        Yep… refinance.

        Before you apply, ask if they keep their mortgages in-house. Hint: most credit unions do.

  19. finbar says:

    Tough Choice. Bank of America was my first experience in terrible customer service, as a young kid attempting deposit gift checks I encountered a nasty, condescending lady at the counter. Kind of put a damper on the “good kid saving his money” vibe I had walking in. I came back a week later and canceled the account, never to look back.

    But Ticketmaster’s policies and customer service are simply the worst they could be, and since they’re a monopoly you can’t get around them. Ticketmaster is definitely more evil.

  20. PhiTauBill says:

    Too early for this matchup, and I had to vote for BoA, but I still believe it is a travesty to let TickerBastard off so easily by putting it in the bracket with all the banks. Time for seeding, Consumerist!!! In other bad news, see this… Live Nation has no monopoly on rock concerts, says L.A. judge (http://newsandinsight.thomsonreuters.com/Legal/News/ViewNews.aspx?id=43199)

    • working class Zer0 says:

      Couldn’t agree with you more. I hate TicketMasterbation with a passion.

      I would love to see Consumerist do an in depth article on this company and their anti-consumerist antics. I’d also like to know how much of a profit they make in a year and where this money goes. On the surface it looks like some serious price gouging going on.

      As for the contest between them and Bank of Armenia, even though Bank of Armenia is a low life corporation at least their are other banks to compare with so it’s easier to point the finger at them when they stray to far from the norm. TicketMasterbation is pretty much the only game in town so if you want to go to an event, in almost every instance , you are forced to deal with them.

      TicketMasterbation for the WIN!!!!!!

  21. wrbwrx says:

    Tough choice, One personally screwed me and the other screwed thousands.
    Do i choose based on personal experience or the collective experience of those affected?

  22. BackInBlack says:

    I’ve been telling family and friends about WCIA, and nearly everyone I’ve told has their own BoA horror story! I’ve saved two of those for this round and next round (as I’m sure BoA will advance). My sister said although she hates TicketMaster and they are awful, she wanted to contribute this story, courtesy of her rommante:

    Here’s what happened: NEA (Nat’l Ed Assoc.) had a deal with BoA where NEA members could get a higher rate of return on CDs. [Redacted] took out 2 CDs but found out later that on each anniversary date, if you didn’t tell them AGAIN that you were a member you did not get the higher rate. That wasn’t a biggie but when [s/he] redeemed the first CD, BoA would not send the funds to [OtherBank1] electronically. They insisted they had to send a paper check, which they did, however, it did not thave the amount “written out” on that line, just the numercal amount on that small line. So [s/he] tried two other banks where [s/he] had accounts. [OtherBank2] would not even cash the check or allow [him/her] to deposit it in [his/her] account there. [OtherBank1] called BoA and they confirmed the amount so [OtherBank2] accepted the check but [s/he] had to put it in a separate account for 30 days. The 2nd CD [s/he] redeemed came (paper check) complete so no problem. It was a major hassle. I hope BoA wins the contest!!!

  23. HogwartsProfessor says:

    BoA! BoA! BoA!


  24. somegraphx says:

    you don’t HAVE to buy tickets, you do have to have a bank (usually). And, you definitely need a bank to use ticketmaster.

  25. missminimonster says:

    I have a feeling that BofA took this one….

  26. JLyles says:

    the Poll closed really fast.

  27. Sir Winston Thriller says:

    Well, I see running a crappy company pays Well.

    Bank of America CEO got six-fold raise last year.