4. McDonald’s (NYSE: MCD)
Providing poor customer service is one of the most direct ways a company can lose esteem in the public eye. However, customers have different expectations, depending on the industry, and ranking a company against only its direct competitors can provide useful insight. McDonald’s has the worst customer service rating of all 17 industry competitors reviewed by ACSI.
Some of the dislike for the fast food chain may be politically charged. The company made headlines last year when ex-CEO Ed Rensi spoke out against the Service Employees International Union’s campaign to increase the national minimum wage to $15. However, two years prior, then-CEO Don Thompson implied he would support President Barack Obama’s initiative to raise minimum wage to $10.10 an hour.
5. Wells Fargo Bank (NYSE: WFC)
Wells Fargo had perhaps the most publicized fall from grace of any company in 2016. Under pressure to meet quotas, bank employees, over the last five years, created millions of fake credit card accounts to inflate sales numbers. When the fraudulent practices came to light, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau fined the bank $185 million and then-CEO John Stumpf was called to testify before congress, facing withering criticism from a bipartisan panel. Wells Fargo’s board is also currently investigating the company.
The bank’s share price tumbled as a result of the scandal, and JPMorgan Chase & Co. overtook Wells Fargo as the world’s largest bank by market capitalization in mid-September. Not long after testifying on Capitol Hill, Stumpf stepped down as CEO, forgoing a severance package.
6. Facebook (NASDAQ: FB)
Facebook has been a boon for shareholders since its IPO. The company’s stock is now trading over 200% higher than its 2012 Wall Street debut. However, not everyone is pleased with the social media platform. In recent years, the company has drawn significant criticism over its privacy policies and the mass data collection of its users. According the company’s statements, Facebook collects data on nearly anything it can, including who its users communicate with, users’ financial transactions, and the types of devices users are connecting with.
Recently, the company faced sharp criticism for not doing enough to curb the spread of fake news leading up to the U.S. presidential election. Since then, in an apparent attempt to mend public relations, the company announced a series of new policies aimed at identifying and flagging fake news stories on its site.