Marketwatch has a list of the 10 most hated companies in America — but I get the sense its based on rather suspect bases (full list below):

10 Most Hated Companies

J.C. Penney
Dish Network
T-Mobile USA
Research In Motion
American Airlines
Sears Holding Corp.


J.C. Penney, really? Does anyone really care about them — or Sears for that matter? We don’t hate Research In Motion or Nokia, we feel sorry for them for having missed the boat. Same with Hewlett-Packard.(I guess we already forgot how much we hate AOL)

Yes, we hate the airlines, but not just American Airlines, because flying is an ordeal and they charge us for who knows what anytime we turn around. Where is dreaded Delta on the airline list? The cable companies are despised because, well, they suck — they don’t respect us or our time (12 hour windows?) and make it difficult to see the channels we already pay for conveniently on our own devices.

Sure, Facebook is the new Microsoft in terms of being a ubiquitous, evil company run by a snotty little group of shits — hey, come to think of it, where is the old Microsoft on the list?

Where are the banks? Sure, Citigroup is on the list — but where are the rest of the felons? HSBC and the Libor manipulations (Deutsche Bank and UBS and most of the majors) + JPM and their London whale. Where is Bank America and their brilliant purchases of Countrywide and Merrill Lynch? What about the Vampire Squid — why isn’t Goldman Sachs on the list, or for that matter, Bear Stearns (now part of JPM) or Lehman Brothers (now part of Barclays). Oh, and fresh off their latest acts of douchebaggery, where is AIG?


What companies do you think deserve to be on the most hated list?


Category: Corporate Management, Valuation

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

63 Responses to “10 Most Hated Companies in America ?”

  1. E says:

    I wonder if Comcast was left off the list because they have transcended beyond “most hated company” to “most hated organization outside of Congress”. Or maybe they already won a lifetime achievement award for most hated company and are no longer eligible?

  2. BennyProfane says:

    Gee, how about the great squid, Goldman Sachs?

    And RIM is a Canadian company.

  3. Captain Ned says:

    E, you beat me to Comcast.

  4. dang1 says:

    Apple – overhyped trinkets

  5. DiggidyDan says:

    All of the major cable and wireless companies. It’s crazy, they have done great things with technology that are downright amazing, such as 4g wireless, fiberoptic lines, DVR and on demand, etc. . . and yet, their customer service is so poor and they are always trying to gouge for endless extras and bend their customers over with fees and random charges that none of that great stuff matters. Can’t wait for more technological disruption like that Intel a la carte channel box I heard rumors about recently.

  6. nofoulsontheplayground says:

    Payday loan companies should be near the top of the list. It’s legalized loan sharking minus the broken kneecaps.

    If this were a few years ago, BP, Haliburton, AIG, GM, and Chrysler probably would have ranked high.

    If this poll were taken last summer, Bain might have even made the list.

  7. whskyjack says:

    Time Warner Cable, Google fiber is on my irritation list but only because they stopped their fiber net work 1 block from my house and I can’t give Time Warner the boot.
    And much like Time Warner, Bank of America manages to irritate me on a regular basis.

  8. DrFish says:

    COMCAST should be at the top of the list. At least Jacques Penne is not a monopoly!

  9. ZedLoch says:

    Comcast, Wells Fargo, Chase. “No Fees” apparently means “Fees” these days.

    How about a list of companies we love? I’d start with Amazon.

  10. Bob A says:

    that list was goofy. if it said ‘out of favor’ it might be closer to accurate.
    as far as hate goes

    ditto Dang1 and add Facebook to that

    every Tobacco company

    any Drug company that runs ads during the news hours

    Comcast.. the company that let’s you add a service instantly online but makes you spend an hour and a half on hold if you want to discontinue a service

  11. boogabooga1114 says:

    Weird — can’t speak for shareholders, but as an occasional customer, I like JCP’s new marketing and pricing policies.

    Haven’t added up my receipts, though …

    More love-hate, but definitely Google.

  12. theexpertisin says:

    OptumRX, the old Prescription Solutions (and AARP’s preferred Part D prescription provider) is a disaster.
    Poor service, inadvertently cancelled prescriptions, lost prescriptions, five-seven day fax delays for prescription orders from physicians and a web site that creates frustration for senior citizens.

    If folks haven’t already died from the neglect this company shows it’s customers, I’d be surprised.

  13. Tarkus says:

    The most hated companies are the ones that gave the world a 2nd Great Depression.

    The MarketWatch list is an amateur attempt at distraction.

  14. jaymaster says:

    Wow, what a crappy list! 10 off the top of my head: Monsanto, BP, Exxon-Mobil, Wal-Mart, McDonalds, Chick-fil-a, GM, Chrysler, News Corp., Time Warner.

  15. Mike in Nola says:

    If you are talking about “a ubiquitous, evil company run by a snotty little group of shits,” where is Google. It’s much worse the MSFT ever was and about to get even worse now that the FTC has given them free rein to try to get all users to live inside their ecosystem so that Google can sell their personal info.

    I notice Eric “don’t be evil” Schmidt just went to North Korea. I was hoping he was selling them the rope to hang him, but apparently they didn’t use it.

  16. whskyjack says:

    How can I forget, my health insurance company. Who will pay for my insulin but not the needle that is needed to get it in my body. They won’t pay for my test strip through my pharmacy. Because of that for the last 5 years I thought I had to cover my cost. I found out last week that they only pay through certain medical devices companies. They have a list of approved companies but they can’t tell me which ones sell the strips and which ones don’t. (as I quietly beat my head against the wall)
    My job tomorrow is to take the list and start calling………grrrrr


  17. contrabandista13 says:

    4 out of 10 ain’t bad…. I’m long 4 of these and making oodles of money… Keep on hating….!

  18. peacock says:

    All of the Starbucks in my town have a worn down look. They are dirty. They never learned how to make a proper cappuccino, latte or au lait, like in Europe. In their favor, they still create a community feeling.

  19. gordo365 says:

    USBC – launder drug money and work with US enemies. Traitors. Suspend their business license for doing business in US.

  20. phoneranger says:

    The only companies worth hating are those with genuine market power. The good ones are very efficient in taking everything they can off the table in the shortest amount of time. AAPL? ORCL? The bad ones are incompetent/lazy/arrogant/bureaucratic and succeed in not only taking everything they can off the table but spilling a lot on the floor as well. T? DAL?

  21. Molesworth says:

    We used them because Schwab, where we have money, suggested they would awesome because of their relationship. It has been the worst experience for some time.
    But as not everyone needs or uses a loan company, how about
    Such a shitty experience at BBY, we left empty hand and ambled across the parking lot, to SEARS, only to have an excellent shopping experience, so excellent we sent an email to Ron Boire to applaud the saleslady–Leyde, pronounced Lady, with the hopes she’ll get a pat on the back.
    If that is the new Sears, then they are back on track.

  22. Molesworth says:

    Ditto E and others: COMCAST
    They are dishonest. They lie. They are not good.

  23. bergsten says:

    Barry: Wasn’t the original Nixon line, “tawdry little shits”?

  24. Rightline says:

    No mention on the list or comments to this point about property insurers? I want to break my tv every time I see the AIG infomercial now. I can’t tell you how many Sandy stories I have heard in NJ about refusals to pay. Also, no car companies. This list is bullshit.

  25. AndrewShaw says:

    Car Rental company’s hidden profit centers.
    Timeshare Sales companies.
    ESPN/Disney for stealing broadcast college football.
    Sports team owners who hostage negotiate for stadiums.
    Best Buy and their crazy monster cable and product insurance business.
    Sears service calls.
    AAPL’s pricing power for nice products.
    Big Medicine and their Taj Mahal health facilities feeding 10% annual health spending increases for twenty years.

  26. jonhendry says:

    As far as JCP, they might be thinking of “Twenty-Odd Moms With A Fax and a Facebook Account” who keep demanding boycotts of JCP over the hiring of Ellen Degeneres for the commercials. A lot of media attention, but no real influence.

  27. slowkarma says:

    I guess they mean “Most hated by other people.” I have no particular reaction to most of the companies on that list. I even have Dish at my cabin, and they’re just sort of crappy, but not actually evil, as far as I can tell. American Airlines? I fly American in preference to Delta.

    But you wanted a suggested list?
    Fox, CNN, CNBC, CBS, NBC, ABC, NYT, WSJ…these people do more damage in a couple of hours than those other companies do in a couple of months. Promote the fiscal cliff? Check. Rape/murder/child molestation of the day? Check. Senseless promotion of celebrity? Check. Phony debates on critical political/economic/scientific issues, featuring nuts, goofs and crazies on both sides? Check. (Yes, we’re still debating global warming, children, even as the Arctic melts.) Celebration of the rich? Check. “Reality” TV? Check. (Wanna see some goobers chasing alligators? We got that.)

  28. donna says:

    My Most Hated Company has varied over time, but includes American Airlines and United Airlines for obvious reasons, Microsoft, for obvious reasons, Oracle for destroying the object-oriented database market and pretty much anything else to do with databases, which I used to love working with, and JP Morgan, who I fought with for five years over my mom’s estate. Oh, and Lockheed, for winning the F22 and destroying a huge contract for ViaSat that would’ve provided the entire U.S. with satellite Internet services.

  29. A says:

    It’s a toss up.

    Monsanto or Ford.

    I had to go with Ford, given that they knowingly put the Pinto on the road, despite knowingly estimating the potential number of deaths due to collision fires.

  30. bandit2ski says:

    AT&T is gotta be pretty high on my list…

  31. Mike in Nola says:

    Rightline: you ain’t seen nothing yet from the property insurers.

    Property claims dragged on for years following Katrina and Gustav. I expect the same for Isaac and Sandy. People don’t like punitive damages against insurers, but it does create an incentive for insurers to not jerk people around like they have done in Louisiana where there are pretty minimal penalties.

  32. louis says:

    I’ll go with Verizon, REM, Walmart, CCR, Countrywide, and The Doors.

  33. Jojo says:

    I’ve actually had a good experience with Comcast. I switched ot their cable internet service a few months back. They had 2-hour appointment windows, 7 days-a-week! and I could log on to a web page to change the schedule (which I had to do 2 times and the there were frequent open slots immediately, not weeks out).

    Try that with AT&T! Cancel an appointment and you’ll probably have to wait one to two weeks for another. You want a Saturday or Sunday appointment? Surely you jest? Plus they told me I HAD to buy THEIR $100 modem and pay $150 for installation of their U-verse setup. Whew.

    On the hated companies list I would suggest Intuit. Their help forum is useless, they rarely fix problems that have been reported for years and years and they had the audacity recently to tell me that my electronic downloads were going to stop working in April and that I needed to buy a new updated version of Quicken or else. Seems they only support the download service for the current version and two prior versions.

    Then there is Virgin Mobile which has some pretty poor customer service alone but just awful phone service in general. This despite solid, dark green coverage maps where I live! But “I live in a coverage hole” (which of course, is not represented on the map), the tower is having maintenance problems (and they have called Sprint to take a look) and/or “they don’t guarantee service quality IN A HOUSE”! (how about a tent?). [roflol] Stay away from VM.

  34. yuan says:

    definitely apple. i hate that company more than any other corporation on this planet.

  35. SilasLang says:

    Monsanto and Dow Chemical

  36. eliz says:

    Hated by whom? Bizarre list.

  37. Rightline says:

    I suggest next week a list of hated websites. My pick is Seeking Alpha. Locked down unless you submit to their data mining.

  38. richf says:

    I gotta go with Koch industries. Warming the planet, polluting the political discourse, busting the unions. They are sort of a universally destructive set of enterprises.

  39. tsokol1 says:

    Apple, EVERY TBTF Bank, Cablevision, Dish Network, Best Buy, Costco, Payday Loan(sharks), Lockheed Martin, NewsCorp (all of it), CNBC, CNN.

    I have some personal most hated — Pizza Hut, P.C. Richards, Domino’s, Target, In ‘n Out Burger, Wendy’s, Chick-Fil-A, Albertsons — that’s about it for now.

  40. jankynoname says:

    I’d like to nominate Corrections Corp. of America (CCA), AstraZeneca (AZN) and to the list. CRM only because I’ve lost so much money trying to short the stupid thing over the years.

    The market also seems to hate Smith & Wesson right now (SWHC). I’ll echo that AIG is basically the most despicable company since the Plague… shoulda let them go BK instead of Lehman.

  41. GeorgeBurnsWasRight says:

    I hate, Hate, HATE every company who has a recorded voice which endlessly repeats, “Your call is very important to us . . ”

    Almost as bad are the ones with a phone tree which never gets you to either where you want or a human being.

  42. softdev says:

    If corporations are people (and you have to be either supremely ignorant, or bought and paid for to say they are), then most corporations tend to be, by design, sociopathic. “Love of money above all else”, etc.


    The parent company of Marketwatch! ;-)

  43. znmeb says:

    My most hated:

    1. Rupert Murdoch’s “News Corp” – *both* pieces!
    2. Huffington Post – yeah, I know, they’re part of Aol but there are some *good* parts of Aol
    3. Verizon and AT&T – wireless bandwidth is overpriced
    4. Coke and Pepsi and McDonalds and all the other obesity sponsors
    5. Tobacco companies – nuff said
    6. Google – they try so hard to be cool but underneath it’s just a monopoly.

  44. Syd says:

    The TBTF banks, for being criminal organizations.
    The big telecom/cable/internet companies (Comcast, AT&T, etc.), for price gouging and crappy service.
    The big health insurance companies, for various despicable practices.
    Walmart, for being so stingy to their employees.

    Why shouldn’t telecom/cable/internet be low cost publicly-owned utilities? Other countries manage it and have better internet service than us.
    A public medical insurance plan, as an option open to everyone, would be great IMHO. Maybe Cali will get it done some day. Obama – Fail.

  45. dan10400 says:

    I am glad to see Comcast got multiple mentions.

    I am surprised to see any company that writes health insurance policies didn’t make it.
    Health care providers should be on as a group.

  46. Moopheus says:

    Corporations aren’t worth hating. That requires too much anthropomorphification. It’s one thing to be angry that Dick Fuld walks the earth a free and wealthy man, or that Rupert Murdoch uses his wealth and influence to spread idiocy, but abstracting that to the corporations is pointless.

  47. JimRino says:

    Goldman Saches: the New “Rothchilde” conspiracy.

  48. Moss says:

    Not a very scientific list. Have not seen the Forbes most admired list lately. I guess Forbes assumes we always have some measure of admiration. Can a company get ‘less that zero’ ?

  49. Init4good says:

    “E” gets my vote for most popular reply.

    Barry: Have you considered a “thumbs up” vs “thumbs down” indicator for your blog?


    BR: Yes, but I am trying to reduce negativity in my life — that didn’t fit into the plan

  50. Robert M says:

    This is a local pick but probably exists everywhere; PGW a quasi private government company responsible for natural gas distribution. Rates are among highest in country, should you smell gas(RUN do not walk to the nearest EXIT. DO NOT COLLECT YOUR VALUABLES) and customer sevice is a what is that?

  51. steveh18 says:

    Facebook is the new Microsoft. he he

  52. r0llr says:

    1) Comcast
    2) Koch Industries
    3) Unitedhealth Group
    4) Citigroup Inc.
    5) Walmart
    6) The Renco Group
    7) Ticketmaster
    8) SBUX
    9) Apple
    1o) Lockheed Martin

  53. James Cameron says:

    > Marketwatch has a list of the 10 most hated companies in America

    Actually, I thought this list bordered on the inane . . . composed by 24/7 Wall St:

    “Why are some companies hated? The answer often depends on who is asking. Corporations can anger their customers, fail their shareholders, and mistreat their employees. 24/7 Wall St. analyzed each of these angles to pick the 10 most hated companies in America”

    and clearly the claim isn’t based on any more than their own highly insular and off-the-mark methodology . . . whence the reaction above.

  54. Slash says:

    Yeah, the list sucks. Almost nobody hates most of the listed companies. My list of hated non-governmental entities is:

    1) Banks
    2) Insurance companies
    3) Phone companies
    4) Cable companies (most of which are now also ISPs)
    5) Electric companies
    6) Oil companies
    7) Automobile dealerships
    8) Airlines
    9) Pro sports team owners (ie, NFL, NBA, MLB)
    10) Facebook

  55. cjcpa says:

    Most of the commented-hated companies have some form of (partial) monopoly. A utility or quasi utility like Comcast. High barriers to entry like airlines, cars, stadiums.

    My comment is that our government should not give out these monopolies, or should limit them. And as we see with a state that builds a stadium and then lets the operator rip off the citizens to get in– the terms that are negotiated on our behalf are often woeful.

    See, e.g. the tax breaks given to the Comcast Building in Philadelphia. Corruption, or, uh, campaign contributions are usually behind this.


  56. lalaland says:

    I loathe all the rentier class – big oil, big pharma, big ag, big cable, big guns, big real estate and of course big banks. In my world they are using their accumulated power to tilt the playing field against the little guy, and the little guys, and I champion the little guy as much as I loathe the big ones.

  57. BillG says:

    Any “most hated” list that doesn’t include Comcast is obviously relying on flawed methodology. And many of the items on here are pretty suspect as well. Sears and JC Penney? If you don’t like them then don’t shop there. Its not like there aren’t at least fifteen other places in any town where you can buy clothes. No reason to hate. I pretty much agree with everything Barry’s saying here.

  58. FormerML says:

    BEST BUY– Customer service, phone and in person, is awful. Phone reps have NO ability to help with anything other than the most basic questions. Local employees have no time to help at all. IMHO, it is just a matter of time before BBY is out of business (remember Circuit City?). People locally use BBY as a place to look at products before they go to Amazon and make their purchases.

    BANK OF AMERICA: A conglomerate of basic thieves and criminal activity. Constant fees associated to every account possible, and when the customer finally adapts, a new fee is charged, mainly because the customer has been successful at avoiding fees. Very poor phone services when calling in for help. How many subsidiaries can be found to buy that skirt laws and screw with “customers”?

  59. Francois says:

    Wal Mart can die AFAIAC

  60. viplav says:

    It is an attention grabbing headline jouralism. I also was curious to see the “Americas most hated companies” list only to get disappointed to see the usual suspects(pointed out by many) missing. It should have read “Walstreet’s” most hated companies as almost all of them performed badly last year.

  61. lololol says:

    “Sure, Facebook is the new Microsoft in terms of being a ubiquitous, evil company run by a snotty little group of shits — hey, come to think of it, where is the old Microsoft on the list?”

    So true. I too was surprised M$ wasn’t in the top 10 but I guess Facebook has eclipsed them.

  62. AHodge says:

    for wrongly treatening to foreclose on me cause i wont pay their lying and extortionary claim for forced place insurance
    their excellent worst company in america credentials arent just Ctywide and WAMU inherited
    im about ready to burn their headquarters down, at night with nobody there, for now :0