Special Report

America's Most Hated Industries

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Americans want to speak to the manager more and more. Despite the effort and money companies put into customer satisfaction and retention, Americans are fed up with the service companies provide, and that leads to poor perceptions of certain industries overall. (Here are America’s most hated companies.) 

To identify America’s most hated industries, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed recent data from the American Customer Satisfaction Index. The ACSI model estimates customer satisfaction based on survey-measured inputs of customer expectations, perceptions of quality, and perceptions of value and survey-measured outcomes of customer complaints and customer loyalty.

Admittedly, the pandemic did not help consumer feelings about companies. Still, the ACSI notes the decline in customer satisfaction began before COVID-19 hit. From 2010 to 2019, 70% of companies tracked by ACSI had either declining or flat customer satisfaction scores. By the fourth quarter of 2021, nearly 80% of companies had a lower customer approval rating than in 2010. (Some companies are loved. This is America’s favorite retailer.)

The rise of dissatisfied customers comes at a time when companies have more data at their fingertips than ever before about consumers. The problem lies with interpreting the data in a way that pinpoints where the problems lie for consumers, the ACSI contends.

Another consumer survey by marketing outfit Hubspot had some insights into the most annoying aspects of dealing with companies’ customer service. About 57% of those surveyed said long wait times on the phone irked them the most, followed by speaking to a bot at 21%. 

Perhaps that is why internet service providers and subscription television services are the least-liked industries today. Interestingly, those businesses were probably the most used during the pandemic as people worked from home or were looking for at-home entertainment. Any interruption in service would have probably angered users even more than usual. Each of these industries has a satisfaction score of 65 out of 100.

Click here to see America’s most hated industries

26. Airlines
> Satisfaction score (out of 100): 76

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25. Car Rentals
> Satisfaction score (out of 100): 76

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24. Credit Unions
> Satisfaction score (out of 100): 76

23. Drugstores
> Satisfaction score (out of 100): 76

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22. Search Engines & Information
> Satisfaction score (out of 100): 76

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21. Supermarkets
> Satisfaction score (out of 100): 76

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20. General Merchandise Retailers
> Satisfaction score (out of 100): 75

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19. Consumer Shipping
> Satisfaction score (out of 100): 74

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18. Online News & Opinion
> Satisfaction score (out of 100): 74

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17. Online Travel Agencies
> Satisfaction score (out of 100): 74

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16. Video Streaming Service
> Satisfaction score (out of 100): 74

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15. Wireless Phone Service
> Satisfaction score (out of 100): 74

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14. Ambulatory Care
> Satisfaction score (out of 100): 73

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13. Cooperative Energy Utilities
> Satisfaction score (out of 100): 73

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12. Health Insurance
> Satisfaction score (out of 100): 73

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11. Hotels
> Satisfaction score (out of 100): 73

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10. Municipal Energy Utilities
> Satisfaction score (out of 100): 73

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9. Investor-Owned Energy Utilities
> Satisfaction score (out of 100): 72

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8. Landline Phone Service
> Satisfaction score (out of 100): 71

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7. Social Media
> Satisfaction score (out of 100): 70

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6. U.S. Postal Service
> Satisfaction score (out of 100): 70

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5. Hospitals
> Satisfaction score (out of 100): 69

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4. Gas Stations
> Satisfaction score (out of 100): 68

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3. Video-on-Demand Service
> Satisfaction score (out of 100): 67

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2. Internet Service Providers
> Satisfaction score (out of 100): 65

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1. Subscription Television Service
> Satisfaction score (out of 100): 65

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