No matter what industry a company is in, its most important asset is its reputation. Companies can spend millions of dollars each year on public relations, advertising, and brand research. A scandal, failed product rollout, or any misstep that draws the public’s ire can cost businesses millions, or even billions, of dollars.
24/7 Wall St. reviewed major news events from the last year, customer survey results from the American Customer Satisfaction Index, ratings on employee review website Glassdoor, and more, to determine America’s most hated companies.
Many of the companies on this list are in sectors that are generally more disliked. Airlines and cable companies are among the most widely despised industries, so it makes sense that the least liked companies in these areas will rank as the least liked companies overall.
Other companies made the list because of the conduct of its leadership teams. Throughout 2018, numerous corporations had the bad behavior of those in upper management exposed. In some cases, corporations concealed important information about the company from investors and consumers. In others, employees came forward as part of the #MeToo movement and exposed cultures of sexual harassment by powerful corporate executives.
To identify the most hated companies in America, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed a variety of metrics on customer service, employee satisfaction, brand value, and financial performance. We considered consumer surveys from a number of sources, including the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI). We also considered large declines in a brand’s value from sources like BrandZ and Interbrand. 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 the companies.