America's Most Hated Companies
Few industries are as widely detested as the insurance industry, and American consumers appear to dislike health insurance giant Cigna the most. In a Zogby poll commissioned by 24/7 Wall St., some 34% of respondents reported a negative customer experience with Cigna – the largest share of any other company in the industry. Additionally, the company scored only 66 out of 100 on the American Customer Satisfaction Index, well below every other American health insurance company.
Allegations of fraud do not help the company’s public image. In recent years, Cigna has been the subject of multiple lawsuits alleging the company artificially inflated medical costs, causing some customers to pay as much as 10 times the true cost of their medical services. Even many of the company’s own employees are dissatisfied. Negative employee reviews on Glassdoor regularly cite inadequate health insurance benefits.
9. Spirit Airlines
Because flying can often be stressful, many airlines attempt to make the experience as comfortable as possible for their customers. Spirit Airlines follows a different philosophy, aiming to strip air travel down to its basics by ensuring no frills, inexpensive flights.
This business model, however, is not always appreciated. Spirit has the absolute lowest customer satisfaction score among airlines, according to the ACSI, with a rating of 61 out of 100, compared to the industry average of 75. Additionally, 44.4% of respondents in the customer service poll commissioned with Zogby reported a negative experience with the company. This is the third largest share among all the companies considered.
8. Vice Media
Known as a cutting-edge — and deliberately edgy — media organization largely aimed at the millennial market, Vice has been a disruptive force in the world of digital news content. Like a number of other better-established competing news organizations, including NBC and Fox, Vice has recently been embroiled in a public relations crisis due to allegations of systemic sexual harassment.
A New York Times investigation published in late December 2017 uncovered multiple settlements in sexual harassment lawsuits dating back to 2003. The accounts detailed a toxic culture of sexism and sexual harassment, permitted and often carried out by senior members at the company. During the course of the Times’ investigation and amid the company’s own probe into the allegations, Vice fired three employees. The sexual misconduct outlined in the Times expose also led to the suspension of two senior executives — president Andrew Creighton and chief digital officer Mike Germano.
Some 44% of respondents in Zogby’s poll conducted in partnership with 24/7 Wall St. reported a negative customer experience with Sprint – the fifth largest share among the 150 companies included in the survey. This is a higher share than all other mobile telephone companies surveyed such as AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon Wireless.
Poor customer experiences are likely due in part to lackluster service. According to wireless network performance insight company RootMetrics, Sprint ranks behind all of its competitors in speed and data, and second to last in calling, texting, and overall reliability. The company’s customer service may be improving, however. According to data from the American Customer Satisfaction Index, satisfaction with Sprint has increased 4% from 2016 to 2017.
6. Foxconn Technology Group
While the name Foxconn may not be as familiar as some of the other names on this list, the company is responsible for manufacturing and assembling consumer electronics for some of the biggest brands in the world, including Apple and Nintendo. The company captured the world’s attention in the last decade with a series of employee suicides and suicide attempts that were apparently driven by poor working and living conditions on the company’s compound in Shenzhen, China. In what most considered to be a tone-deaf response to the suicides, which were mostly carried out by workers throwing themselves from the building where they worked, the company installed safety nets.
The company has recently made headlines once again in the United States. Currently, homeowners in Wisconsin are suing the company for improperly using eminent domain — the power to take private property for public use — to build a complex in Mount Pleasant. Foxconn wants to build the complex in an area where multiple homeowners will lose their land. By some estimates, the new complex will cost taxpayers and state and local governments $4.5 billion in road improvements and tax incentives for the company.