Special Report

Companies With the Best (and Worst) Reputations

5. Dish Network
> Reputation score: 58.06
> 2013 Reputation score: N/A

Poor customer service and disappearing channels have helped Dish Network Corp. (NASDAQ: DISH) earn a mere 58.06 reputation rating from the Harris Poll. Last year, 19% of respondents to a Zogby Analytics poll deemed Dish’s customer service “poor,” among the worst percentages for any company. However, Dish outperformed a number of other major cable and satellite companies, including Comcast and Charter, in the ACSI. While Dish is hardly the only TV service provider that customers dislike, it also suffers from poor relationships with its employees. Based on a 24/7 Wall St. analysis of data published by career website Glassdoor, Dish was rated as the worst company to work for last year.

4. Halliburton
> Reputation score: 57.29
> 2013 Reputation score: 52.51

Halliburton Co. (NYSE: HAL) was the target of controversy in the 2000s, after Dick Cheney resigned as chairman and CEO of the company to run for Vice President of the United States. However, outrage against the company reached a pitch during the Iraq War, when a number of groups alleged the company’s Kellogg, Brown & Root subsidiary received lucrative, no-bid contracts for work done in Iraq. Not helping Halliburton’s image, the company was also involved in the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf Coast. It had worked as the cementing contractor on the rig up to the 2010 blowout and oil spill. The company’s cementing technology director later pled guilty to deleting data related to a post-spill review of the disaster.

3. Monsanto
> Reputation score: 57.27
> 2013 Reputation score: 61.70

Although Monsanto Co. (NYSE: MO) is not a consumer-facing company, few businesses have had such a long-running negative public perception. The company’s promotion of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) has been controversial because many consumers remain suspicious about crop engineering. Monsanto has also actively worked to protect seed patents, including suing farmers who have used its seeds without permission and proper payments. The company’s opposition to proposed GMO labeling laws, which require that foods sold to consumers containing GMOs include a label, has also not helped its image.

2. BP
> Reputation score: 57.00
> 2013 Reputation score: 56.55

BP’s PLC (NYSE: BP) reputation took a major hit in 2010, after an explosion on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig killed 11 workers and leaked an estimated 4.9 million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. The fallout against the company was immense. In late 2012, the Environmental Protection Agency barred BP from bidding on oil leases in the Gulf, although, that ban has since been lifted. In 2013, the company pled guilty to manslaughter in connection with the Deepwater explosion. BP paid billions in regulatory fines, Clean Water act payouts, and settlements with area residents.

1. Bank of America
> Reputation score: 55.34
> 2013 Reputation score: 55.85

Bank of America Corp. (NYSE: BAC) is the least reputable company in America, according to the Harris Poll. Since the financial crisis, the bank, as well as its acquisitions — mortgage lender Countrywide and investment bank Merrill Lynch — have repeatedly had to settle cases brought by regulators, states and investors. Aside from its role in the financial crisis, which damaged the reputation of many firms in the sector, the bank is also unpopular with many of its customers. No major bank received a lower ACSI score last year. Additionally, 23.4% of customers rated the bank’s customer service as “poor” in a Zogby Analytics poll — a higher percentage than any other company.

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