America’s Most Hated Companies

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Detailed Findings & Methodology

2017 was marred with revelations of corporate scandals. Allegations of sexual misconduct — often carried out or tacitly condoned by executives — did untold damage to the public image of multiple companies on this list. Fox News Channel, Vice, Uber, and The Weinstein Company each made the list this year, at least partially, due to sexual harassment scandals. While most of these companies’ reputations are likely redeemable, others, such as The Weinstein Company, will be forced to completely rebrand or dissolve as a corporate entity.

Other scandals that dropped a company’s reputation enough for it to rank among the most hated would not likely have been possible without social media. Viral videos of a customer being violently removed from a United Airlines flight, the former CEO of Uber berating a driver, and continuing revelations of Facebook’s role as a platform for misinformation leading up to the 2016 presidential elections were made possible by emerging technology and are relatively novel in a historic sense.

In contrast, nearly half of the companies on this list are hated for more traditional reasons, such as negligence and deceptive business practices. Equifax ranks among the most hated companies this year after a massive data breach exposed the personal information of millions of Americans. The company’s late and muted response did not instill confidence in its customers.  Similarly, both Wells Fargo and University of Phoenix make this year’s list due to ongoing fallout tied to deceitful, and potentially criminal, business practices.

Other companies infamous for overwhelmingly negative customer experiences, including Comcast, Sprint, and Spirit Airlines, are no strangers to this list. In other companies, such as Sears Holdings, employees are often more disdainful of the company than consumers.

To identify the most hated companies in America, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed a variety of metrics on customer service, employee satisfaction, and financial performance. We considered consumer surveys from a number of sources, including the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) and a Zogby Analytics poll created in partnership with 24/7 Wall St. We also reviewed employee satisfaction based on worker opinion scores on Glassdoor — this is not a Glassdoor commissioned report. We also accounted for current events that have impacted the public’s perception of companies.