Is Comcast really the Worst Company In America? Really?
So Comcast ‘won’ the Worst Company In America award from readers of The Consumerist blog, which as its tagline suggests, is the place where “shoppers bite back”. Yet we have to ask, is Comcast really the worst company in America or is it all relative?
The Consumerist’s readers are likely to have contact with Comcast through its customer service. They, like many, have likely been frustrated with waiting for hours for a technician (sleeping or awake). Or maybe it’s taken Comcast a day or two too long to fix their high-definition DVR boxes?
Fairly or unfairly, Comcast’s reputation had gotten so bad the company took the opportunity of a new product launch to change its customer-facing name to Xfinity. But it’s not just customer service. Consumerist’s readers have also been ticked off by what they see as above-inflation price rises, throttling Internet access, and Comcast’s plans to buy NBC Universal.
Depending on your view, some of these are clearly not customer-friendly business practices (for the others we’ll let regulators decide). Yet how does the biggest U.S. cable company compare with some of the other top companies that have had a tough time in the reputation stakes in recent months?
Take Bank of America, which incidentally made the final four on the Consumerist list. Some readers of the blog were disappointed this behemoth of Charlotte didn’t run away with the award the same way it did with taxpayers’ bailout dollars while also having to foreclose on those same consumers’ homes. As one Consumerist reader puts it: “I still think BOA was robbed. Which is ironic.”
Or the No.1 live concert ticketing company, Ticketmaster (now part of Live Nation Entertainment), whose notoriety has been earned with customer-friendly tactics like the ‘convenience fee’ of using your own printer to print the ticket you’ve just paid for. Consumerist readers saw it as more of a monopoly in ticketing than any cable company.
And the biggest car company Toyota? They’ve had a tough time too with the faulty accelerators. troublesome floormats and endless numbers of recalls. Their products allegedly killed people yet Toyota is still not the worst company in America. Or maybe it’s because the top man apologized to Congress.
That Comcast could still beat out some of these much-criticized companies is probably evidence of how much Americans love their cable television. Comcast CEO Brian Roberts (pictured above) said as much on today’s conference call discussing solid first quarter earnings. Regardless, like all passionate love affairs, this one was always bound to end in tears or with a ‘golden poo’ award as depicted above.