America’s Most Hated Companies

Wealth Wire – by Brianna Panzica

Times are changing for retail companies. Technology is evolving faster than ever, the economy is still slowly recovering from a major recession, and social media is a major part of both marketing and personal life.

These have become the major factors companies have had to accommodate. Those that were unable to have run up against dissatisfied customers, shareholders, and employees.

And these ten companies are the biggest culprits. MarketWatch has ranked them the ten most hated companies in the United States.

10. Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ)

HP shares lost nearly 45% over 2012 after the company reported losing $12.6 billion in the year ending October 2012.

The struggle began a year earlier, in October 2011, when HP acquired the data company Autonomy for $10.3 billion. Autonomy was then accused of misrepresenting its value, and subsequent restructuring led to the layoff of tens of thousands of employees in 2011 and 2012, with more to come this year.

9. Sears Holding Corp. (NASDAQ: SHLD)

Sears has just welcomed in its fifth CEO in the last seven years. The company has been struggling unsuccessfully to turn around its image, something that has been reflected in shares.

Sears lost 16% in the last six months and nearly 60% in the past five years, failing to keep up with competitors like Target and Wal-Mart.

8. Nokia (NYSE: NOK)

Nokia is among the cellular phone makers that have struggled to keep up with the fast-paced technological evolution. While Samsung and Apple have topped the charts in sales, Nokia has secured its place at the end.

Shares have slipped more than 85% in the past five years.

7. American Airlines

American Airlines’ parent company AMR filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy at the end of 2011, destroying its relationship with shareholders. Huge layoffs followed the financial problem, and in one fell swoop American Airlines managed to alienate shareholders, pilots and other employees, customers, and even suppliers.

6. Research in Motion (NASDAQ: RIMM)

This smartphone company’s product, the Blackberry, was widely used both domestically and internationally by businessmen and the general public in its day. Now, however, it’s been eclipsed by Apple and Samsung products.

Shares have fallen 11% in the past year and almost 85% in the past five years. All of its new products have been criticized by customers, and major layoffs have pitted the company against its employees.

5. Citigroup (NYSE: C)

Citigroup’s previous CEO, Vikram Pandit, was criticized for his mass layoffs, but his successor Michael Corbat is also planning even more major layoffs. Moody’s cut the company’s credit rating after an unsuccessful sale of the Smith Barney unit.

4. Facebook (NASDAQ: FB)

Facebook was notorious for its unsuccessful IPO after its price of $35 plummeted below $20. Shares are now back up above $30, but since its IPO the company has lost more than 17%.

Changes to privacy policy has also alienated many users, particularly when the company announced it had the rights to photos by Instagram users.

3. T-Mobile USA

T-Mobile has fallen well behind other major carriers like Verizon and AT&T. It’s coverage is not nearly as expansive, and until very recently, the company showed no indication of ever offering the iPhone.

Customers have also complained widely of T-Mobile’s customer service. The company was nearly purchased by AT&T, but the buyout was canceled after the Justice Department ruled it would reduce competition too much.

2. Dish Network (NASDAQ: DISH)

Dish Network infamously dropped a number of its channels, including AMC, after a pricing dispute. Fans of the hit television shows “Mad Men,” “Breaking Bad,” and the “Walking Dead” were outraged when AMC disappeared during part or all of the shows’ seasons.

Customer service is also reportedly very poor, as it was called the “Meanest Company in America” in BusinessWeek by both customers and employees.

1. J.C. Penney (NYSE: JCP)

Discontent with J.C. Penney began at the end of 2011 when new CEO Ron Johnson revamped the company’s pricing strategy. The company got rid of its frequent coupons as well as sales of 60% to 70% off. The average discount became 40%, with no sales promotions.

The strategy has not paid off. Sales were down 20% in the first quarter of the strategy, and shareholders are just as frustrated as previously loyal customers.

5 thoughts on “America’s Most Hated Companies

  1. How did Monsanto and G E not make this list,along with the evil national media? Monsanto greed with GMO will put starvation on the front burner and Nuclear Power Plants will do the rest of the job.A lot of suffering will make the 20th century look like a walk in the park.

  2. Pretty much all publicly-traded companies “turn bad” once they have enough market share to start chiseling employees, vendors, and of course, customers.

    Quality, service, and that most elusive commodity of all–value– invariably leave the building after a handful of disappointing quarters puts the squeeze on investors and upper management.

    The result is usually counter-productive. Remember how our friends the bankers repaid the bailout by accelerating foreclosures and raising fees and penalties? Or how oil companies, in the midst of the Worst. Recession. Ever. decided their previous record bonuses weren’t quite epic enough, and colluded to drill everyone at the gas pump after drilling the Gulf? Or how anything the government has ever tried to do for our benefit has had precisely the opposite effect? I mention the government because it is the largest incorporated entity of them all, and like all corporations, is a “soulless monster, running amok”.

    This trend will continue, and worsen, until we realize modern corporations are the problem, not the cure. They are not conducive to sustainable business practices, and are poison to any attempt at free markets.

  3. This is not a list of the “most hated” companies, it’s a list of the ones that just did not do so well against the competition. Two entirely different things. Most hated? Get Monsanto up there as #1, then you’ll have our attention.

  4. You can add Teleperformance and WDS Global along with CenturyLink (formerly Qwest) to that list. Not only do the employees absolutely HATE these companies, so do their customers.

Join the Conversation

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *