Special Report

America's Most Hated Companies

Source: Courtesy of Mike Mozart via Flickr

6. Frontier Communications

Like many modern corporations, Frontier Communications provides several services to its customers. Yet none are well reviewed. On the 2018 ACSI, three of the six worst reviewed services are Frontier’s: the company’s internet service scored a 54, the second lowest overall score. Frontier’s subscription TV service scored a 56, and its fixed-line telephone service scored 57. Frontier acquired Verizon’s Fios phone, TV, and internet services in several U.S. states in 2015, replacing those services with its own. In the following years, the ACSI scores of all three of these Frontier businesses have declined.

According to its employees, Frontier is also one of the worst places to work. It has a 2.3 out of 5.0 rating on employee review site Glassdoor, the second lowest of any large company. Just 23% of employees who left reviews on the site would recommend that their friends work there.

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7. CBS

The #MeToo movement has reached all corners of the entertainment industry, implicating many powerful men in incidents of sexual harassment or sexual assault. But CBS has been hit particularly hard by allegations of sexual misconduct at the company’s highest level. CEO Les Moonves was ousted in 2018 after The New Yorker published a report containing allegations from a dozen women that he harassed and threatened female employees for decades. He called the accusations “untrue.”

Days after Moonves left CBS, Jeff Fager, who was the executive producer of “60 Minutes,” also left following accusations by half a dozen women of inappropriate touching. Some also said that he shielded male employees from consequences when they were accused of sexual harassment themselves. Fager denied the allegations. Several other writers, showrunners, producers, and actors associated with CBS programming have also been accused of inappropriate behavior.

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8. Spirit Airlines

Many Americans consider flying a major hassle, and certain airlines can make that experience worse. According to the ACSI, Spirit Airlines has the worst customer experience of any airline in the country. Its score of just 62 was significantly below the airline industry score of 73.

Though Spirit Airlines’ public perception has slightly improved over the past several years, it is still the airline Americans least enjoy flying. Fliers are nearly three times as likely to lodge a complaint against the no-frills, discount airline as they are against the average airline.

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9. Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo has the worst customer service score of any of the major banks rated by the ACSI, at 74. While many national banks sustained serious damage to their reputations in the years following the subprime mortgage crisis because of their involvement and complicity in the events leading up to it, Wells Fargo’s PR woes continue.

The bank took a much more recent hit to its reputation after it came to light that company employees had been creating fake customer accounts in order to meet quotas and inflate company revenue. In the aftermath of the scandal, Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf stepped down. But even after Stumpf left, revelations about the company’s underhanded dealings continued to pile up. In February of 2018, the city of Sacramento accused the bank of engaging in illegal lending to low-income communities.

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10. GE

According to a BrandZ report, General Electric lost nearly a third of its brand value in 2018 as a result of repeated failures and setbacks across the conglomerate’s numerous business units. GE’s tough year began when it announced insurance liabilities from a past venture would cost the company $6.2 billion right away and $15 billion over the next seven years.

The company was investigated by the Securities and Exchange Commission for misstating financial reports over two years. These issues, combined with mounting debt, have taken a toll on GE stock. Over the past year, GE’s share price dropped from $18.54 to $8.56.

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