1. American Airlines
American Airlines (NYSE: AMR) made the list because of its dreadful customer service ratings and its poor on-time departure track record. These scores are surprising given that American is one of only a few large U.S. airlines that has not been involved in a merger or alliance – transactions that often lead to poor customer service. American’s stock has underperformed most of its peers during the last year. According to Glassdoor, only 36% of surveyed employees approve of CEO Gerard Arpey. American Airlines received a score of 63 on the American Consumer Satisfaction Index, the ninth-worst rating in 2010 out of 181 ranked companies. In the 2010 Travel and Leisure survey of best and worst airlines for delays, American Airlines was the worst large national carrier.
Although it is the world’s largest cellphone company, Nokia’s (NYSE: NOK) reputation for the quality of its smartphones is in tatters. The company received the worst possible grades in JD Power’s 2010 Mobile Phone and Smartphone ratings for customer satisfaction for physical design, ease of operation and overall satisfaction. The only smartphone company with worse scores was Palm. According to a recent Brandwatch study, Nokia received the third greatest amount of bad press on Twitter. In Brand Z’s annual rankings, the Nokia name has lost 58% of its value in the last year. Shares of Nokia dropped 20% in 2010.
Toyota (NYSE: TM) was known for thirty years in the United States for reliability that surpassed any domestic competitors. The automaker’s reputation was tarnished by defect-related accidents, lawsuits and an 8.8 million vehicle recall. Because of this bad press, Toyota’s U.S. market share dropped from 18% in 2009 to 15.5% in 2010. In the JD Power’s 2010 Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout Survey, Toyota received the worst possible marks in comfort, style, and overall performance and design.
4. Best Buy
Best Buy (NYSE: BBY) rates low on several surveys for both its bricks and mortar stores and its e-commerce site. Recent research by both the Consumerist and Consumer Reports gave Best Buy among their lowest rankings. According to Consumer Report’s December 2010 electronics store ratings, Best Buy ranked as the third-worst bricks and mortar store, and BestBuy.com was designated as the worst online store. Best Buy has disappointed Wall Street recently by missing earnings forecasts. Its shares are down more than 10% during the last year, which is below the DJIA and stocks in its peer group.
5. Charter Communications
Charter Communications received the lowest score given to any ranked company in the 2010 American Customer Satisfaction Index: 60/100. The company has long been plagued by customer complaints, often regarding improper billing practices and poor customer service. Charter has angered investors as well. The company filed for bankruptcy in late 2009, destroying the value of the stock.