Special Report

Companies With the Best (and Worst) Reputations

The Worst Reputations

10. Sears Holdings Corporation (NASDAQ: SHLD)
> Reputation score:
64.69
> 2015 score: 59.79
> Industry: Department stores
> CEO: Edward Lampert

Sears Holdings Corporation saw one of the best improvements of any company on the Harris reputation survey, improving from a score of 59.79 in 2015 to a 64.69 reputation quotient this year. Despite the improvement, Sears remains one of the 10 major companies with the worst reputations. Sears is one of the most financially-troubled major corporations in America, posting more than $1 billion in losses annually over the last three years. Shares are down nearly 70% in the past 12 months alone. Poor financial performance has likely hurt the company’s reputation, as well as its apparently poor customer service. Only Wal-Mart rates worse in customer satisfaction among department and discount stores considered by the ACSI.

9. Bank of America (NYSE: BAC)
> Reputation score:
64.26
> 2015 score: 60.73
> Industry: Banks
> CEO: Brian T. Moynihan

Banks and financial services companies are among the most poorly-rated industries in the country. The subprime mortgage crisis and subsequent recession further worsened the reputation of Bank of America and the other large U.S. banks. A large segment of the American population blames the country’s big banks for the recession, believing they directly contributed to the crisis through negligence and greed. While the industry’s reputation improved on the Harris survey since last year, only 37% of survey respondents thought positively of the industry. Only the tobacco, pharmaceutical, and government industries had a more unfavorable rating. Like the industry, Bank of America’s reputation has improved somewhat over the past two years. The company, which had the worst reputation of any company considered by Harris in 2014, ranks ninth worst this year.

8. Dish Network (NASDAQ: DISH)
> Reputation score:
62.22
> 2015 score: 58.07
> Industry: Subscription Television Service
> CEO: Charlie Ergen

Dish was first launched in 1996 as an alternative to traditional cable television. The company has since grown to be the third largest U.S. television provider by number of subscribers. Satellite television providers tend to have higher customer satisfaction than cable providers, and Dish indeed outranks its main cable rivals — Time Warner Cable and Comcast — as well as the subscription television industry as a whole in customer satisfaction on the ACSI. Of satellite television providers, however, Dish Network has the lowest customer satisfaction score. The company also has relatively low employee satisfaction and was identified as one of 24/7 Wall St.’s worst companies to work for last year.