A company can live or die by its reputation. Year after year, the vast majority of familiar companies and brands maintain — or build — their bond with the American consumer by offering dependable products and services and by cultivating a clean image.
Maintaining the public’s confidence is not a foregone conclusion. A single misstep — such as a price hike or tone-deaf tweet — can be enough to keep corporate public relations departments scrambling.
In other cases, corporate blunders rise above the threshold of an honest mistake. Public perceptions of an internal scandal, a toxic work environment, lax security, or unethical business practices can be enough to garner disdain from a large segment of American consumers — and in recent months there was no shortage of such revelations in the business world.
Reviewing a range of information, including major news events from the last year, customer survey results from the American Customer Satisfaction Index, employee reviews on Glassdoor, as well as our own annual customer satisfaction survey, 24/7 Wall St. identified America’s most hated companies.
Many companies on this list are struggling with discrete incidents that may be remedied with time and strategic public relations campaigns. For others, problems appear much more deeply ingrained within the company’s culture or business model.