In a market where customer service and client satisfaction are vital to the survival of the company, some businesses managed to fail miserably. As expected, the manufacturing industries will typically score higher mainly because the competition is their niche is rather low as well as due to the fact that they do not have to interact with their customers as often as the services businesses.
In addition, certain enterprises are in the unique position of not having to face any competition, an element that implies that they do not even have to invest too much effort in order to satisfy their customers since they practically have no standard to adhere to. Let’s analyze the top 10 most hated companies in the United States that fit the aforementioned descriptions.
1. Long Island Power Authority
If there is a surefire method to get your customers to hate you, then that would be frequent and unexpected over-billing. This is exactly what the Long Island Power Authority did: besides the constant increase of the utility bill, for some inexplicable reason, the company had numerous homes listed as commercial instead of residential. While some may blame the performance issues on the devastation caused by hurricane Irene, the truth is that this utility company has been experiencing serious problems for quite some time now. This is maybe the reason why the authorities in NY passed a bill recently that demands a comprehensive audit of the Long Island Power Authority.
2. Northeast Utilities
Similar to the Long Island Power Authority, the Northeast Utilities’ reputation has been severely affected starting with the winter of 2011. First off, the company’s inability to supply energy for businesses and the population in regions like New England in the middle of winter is practically condemning them to freeze to death. While the company fired the regional manager in Connecticut, they were unable to cope with the damage and left thousands of enterprises and residences without power for two weeks, an aspect that is neither easily forgiven nor forgotten.
3. Charter Communications
Even though Charter Communications is not as widely known as the other major cable companies in the United States, their overall customer service dissatisfaction grants them a well-deserved third place in this top. Unfair billing, irrational charges as well as the maltreatment of the customers, such as lying and applying hidden fees in the bills hoping that nobody will notice all indicate a grim future for America’s forth largest cable company.
Comcast’s reputation is slowly going down the drain not because of the billing, but due to the lack of expertise, technical knowledge of the staff and poor functioning of the equipment. What is even worse is that the management has invested a lot of cash in an advertisement campaign to clear their stained name, in spite of the fact that they are actually lacking qualified employees and an effective customer service department. Furthermore, some of the technicians are so poorly prepared for the job that a vast percentage of the complaints are related to destroying and disrespecting customers’ homes during installation or repairs.
While the problems with the 3G network are a thing of the past now, AT&T has still received one of the lowest possible score for wireless customer care performance. However, as soon as this problem was resolved, another set of complaints began posing a serious threat to the company’s reputation, namely their low customer service rating. As a matter of fact, the enterprise has been the target of both government and media criticism and was accused of trying to take over the mobile monopoly in the U.S., especially after they bought T-Mobile.
6. Time Warner
If you are a customer of Time Warner, then the bad news is that you are stuck with them since there is no other competitor in the area. In spite of the fact that their cable outages, slow internet speed, increasing rates and appalling customer services have improved slightly since 2011, the number of complaints against Time Warner is still pretty consistent. On a side note, one customer is even considering suing the company because their poor services killed his business.
7. Bank of America
Immediately after the Bank of America announced that they are about to lay off 30,000 employees, their shares’ value dropped to half in just one year. Disasters followed after, as the bank started to face legal actions from the federal government, several states and groups of shareholders. Since they are busy fending off legal charges, it seems that they do not have time for customer services and rumor has it that they are keeping critical info from their shareholders.
8. American Airlines
In order to realize just how bad things are going for the American Airlines, it is sufficient to mention the fact that the company has already filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy at the end of 2011. Considering that the American Airlines have consistently made it in the top three worst airline services at on-time performance, you can say that this was expected. In addition, unlike its competitors, American Airlines has managed to cancel 70% more flights compared to the competition and it is currently considered the most terrible choice in baggage handling.
An year ago, Netflix shares were estimated to have a value of over $300 whilst the company enjoyed the highest customer satisfaction rating in the United States. However, all that was lost when the enterprise decided to increase the rates by 60%, a totally uninspired move that cost Netflix the loss of over 800,000 subscribers. Not to mention the fact that the share value have significantly dropped (around 62%) in the fourth quarter of the fiscal year.
Ever since Sears’ management decided to merge with a bankrupt company in 2005, the customer services have declined steadily each year. According to economic analysts, this old retailer has registered a 6% drop in sales at the beginning of the year, a fact that forced the management to close down over 100 stores in the United States. Essentially, it appears that it’s all downhill from this point for Sears and its associate, Kmart.