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Comcast Takes 2014 Prize For Worst Company In America

Soulskill posted about 7 months ago | from the it's-comcastic dept.

Businesses 195

halfEvilTech writes with news that Comcast has emerged victorious from Consumerist's annual Worst Company In America contest. Comcast narrowly edged out Monsanto in the finals with 51.5% of the vote. The reigning champion for the past two years, Electronic Arts, lost in the first round to Time Warner Cable. TWC made the quarterfinals, which is notable because Comcast has proposed a merger with TWC. In fact, Comcast submitted an FCC filing today explaining why they think the deal should be allowed. They say, 'the companies don’t overlap or compete against each other.' Other strong contenders for the Worst Company in America included Chase, SeaWorld, Wal-Mart, Bank of America, and Verizon.

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What a joke (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46699281)

A video game company that makes shitty games.
Giant banking and investment firms that literally rend the economy that results in massive layoffs.

These two shouldn't even be in the same running.

Re:What a joke (5, Insightful)

roc97007 (608802) | about 7 months ago | (#46699363)

It could more accurately be called "the companies that geeks hate the most".

Re:What a joke (5, Informative)

Lumpy (12016) | about 7 months ago | (#46699489)

No, noneeks hate them as well.
Overcharging for Internet and Cable TV, Bad service, bad Customer service, refusal to listen to customers, refusal to fix customer problems if it costs money (Cables are under water and causing major problems...)

Even the employees that work there hate the company.

Re:What a joke (4, Informative)

MightyYar (622222) | about 6 months ago | (#46700741)

Yeah, my hatred for them runs deep, and far beyond my geek wish for internet with no cable.

They raised the rent on my old-ass cable modem. First from $3/month to $7/month, and then this year to $8/month. This for something that has probably been depreciated for years. Can you imagine if you brought home your new car and a year into the lease they doubled the "rent"? What a fucking ballsy move.

Dealing with their contractors is like something out of a movie. They apparently get paid by the service and not by the service call, because they never fail to find something "wrong" - and then proceed to "fix" it in the most ghetto way possible. Sorry I'm two hours late. This brand-new carefully-routed cable line? It's "old" and needs to be replaced. Here, let me drill a hole in your hardwood floor and leave the replacement hanging along the ceiling of your basement. Oh, that line up on the pole where you can see the shielding from the street because squirrels have been chewing on it? I can't fix that - you should really call customer service.

Thanks to Comcast, Verizon is not my most hated company. And that's impressive, because Verizon is basically dedicated to ruining your day. But they are of the bumbling, hilarious variety of evil. Like an evil Shemp from The Three Stooges.

Re:What a joke (1)

amiga3D (567632) | about 7 months ago | (#46699393)

Yes. I'm surprised American Excuse...er...American Express didn't win. They don't suck, they swallow.

Re:What a joke (1)

amicusNYCL (1538833) | about 7 months ago | (#46699623)

A video game company that makes shitty games.
Giant banking and investment firms that literally rend the economy that results in massive layoffs.

Welcome to the same discussion about the Worst Company In America that has been going on for the last 3 years.

Re:What a joke (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46699955)

A video game company that makes shitty games.
Giant banking and investment firms that literally rend the economy that results in massive layoffs.

Welcome to the same discussion about the Worst Company In America that has been going on for the last 3 years.

Indeed. It should be known that these awards are awarded to the worst PR, not the company that destroyed the most lives.

Re:What a joke (3, Informative)

amicusNYCL (1538833) | about 7 months ago | (#46700059)

Not necessarily the worst PR so much as the worst customer relations. If a bank implemented some of the same business practices that EA was using for its customers then you would see a lot more financial problems and angry people.

It's also highly related to recent well-publicized incidents. You can see that with SeaWorld, for example. In 2012 I think EA won because of Mass Effect 3, and in 2013 it was because of SimCity. They haven't done anything lately to piss off a lot of people even though they're probably still using a lot of the same practices. Most of the banks seem to be keeping their heads down as well. Comcast, however, has been in the news.

Re:What a joke (2)

acariquara (753971) | about 7 months ago | (#46699699)

Not insightful, a troll at best.

Yeah, EA is a gaming company, that survives by taking money from people in exchange for shitty, overhyped products AND they have a tendency to buy smaller company that used to ship good and great products, only to apply to them the EA quality factor of zero, and basically put them to sleep, repeatedly.

Sure, they don't make tuberculosis medicine or guidance systems for airplanes. But they have hundreds of thousands people working for them at any given rate and those are pretty crappy jobs also. Not counting millions of indirect jobs.

Re:What a joke (4, Insightful)

Yunzil (181064) | about 7 months ago | (#46700301)

Yeah, EA is a gaming company, that survives by taking money from people in exchange for shitty, overhyped products

As opposed to financial companies that survive by taking money from people in exchange for ruining the global economy.

Re:What a joke (1)

mjwx (966435) | about 6 months ago | (#46700709)

Yeah, EA is a gaming company, that survives by taking money from people in exchange for shitty, overhyped products

As opposed to financial companies that survive by taking money from people in exchange for ruining the global economy.

The award was for the worst company in America, not the most evil. By the sounds of it, this bank you're talking about has been quite successful in its goals.

Re:What a joke (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46699989)

You define 'worst' in the wrong way for this 'contest'.

It's not what company does the most damage to the world. No. That list is far too tough for the consumerist to tackle.

It's what company runs their business the worst AND pisses off the most of their customers seemingly on purpose.
Who really fucks people over but doesn't really NEED to.
Who is the most clueless bunch of fucktards running a big business you are forced to deal with sometimes in your normal life.

Can you say that's not EA? Can you say that's not Comcast? Nope. Exactly.

In terms of absolute 'worst' for the planet or america or just humans in general.. Most of these companys would not be listed.
We won't even dare try to make that contest... It's too fucking scary.

Re:What a joke (1)

Bo'Bob'O (95398) | about 6 months ago | (#46700779)

It depends on what your metric is. I'd be willing to bet that these kinds of companies cause more direct, day to day anger and frustration for a large number of people. Rather then the much more indirect activities of banks.

loool (0, Redundant)

slashmydots (2189826) | about 7 months ago | (#46699297)

If they would have finished the merger, TWC and Comcast could have had a Hunger Games ending type thing going on where they both win by default :-D

Re:loool (1)

Calydor (739835) | about 7 months ago | (#46699307)

And this is not the case with them as separate entities?

Re:loool (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46699547)

If they would have finished the merger, TWC and Comcast could have had a Hunger Games ending type thing going on where they both win by default :-D

Can we make them eat the berries?

Times have changed (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46699301)

Quality of internet access is viewed as more important than food quality.

Re:Times have changed (5, Insightful)

amiga3D (567632) | about 7 months ago | (#46699405)

If food quality was important McDonald's would not exist.

Re:Times have changed (4, Insightful)

acariquara (753971) | about 7 months ago | (#46699733)

Depends on what you call "quality". I assume you are speaking from a first world point of view, regarding nutrition values, calories, fat, salt and whatnot. Sure, ol'McD [sorry] isn't as healthy as a whole-food salad and salmon plate. But compared to street food found in most 3rd world countries, a Big Mac is usually safer.

It's junk food, and will probably kill you, just not from dysenteria.

Re:Times have changed (1)

nurb432 (527695) | about 6 months ago | (#46700539)

But its evil GMO!

Has it gone too far lately without proper testing and oversight? Perhaps, but If it wasn't for GMO we might all be starving at this point..

Re:Times have changed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46699811)

would give you all the mod points if i had any

Re:Times have changed (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46700047)

No no,

Fast Food, is still food. Most of the health problems from fast food comes from how it's cooked (eg deep fried in animal fat (lard) or hydrogenated vegetable oil), or cross-contamination by workers. Aside from that the only reason McDonalds and Walmart end up on these bad company lists as that they are low-hanging fruit paying their employees non-living wages that let them collect food stamps.

By comparison banks can, and will completely ruin the country through purely short-term profit-driven reasons. It doesn't matter if the target is a little guy or a big guy.

Now the reason Telco's end up on the list is a little from column A and a little from Column B. Column A: Poor quality services from poorly paid staff (really, try outsourced to India and Philippines), poor management who outsourced jobs, leaving few domestic staff to clean up the mess the outsourcers make. and Column B: In the pursuit of short term profits they merge with other companies, and then close down the ones that make less money, eliminating competition.

The best thing that would happen to America would be if Net Neutrality rules dictate that providers of Internet "pipes" and providers of internet "last mile" can not be the same company. Hell the last mile should be owned by the city since they own the right of ways.

Re:Times have changed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46699509)

Quality of internet access is viewed as more important than food quality.

No, actually I'd say people don't give a shit about either one of them pretty equally.

If they did, we wouldn't have 3rd world countries laughing at our broadband infrastructure, and we wouldn't be winning the obesity race with a metric fuckton of overprocessed, genetically manipulated shit that lobbyists pay the FDA to legally label "food".

Re:Times have changed (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46699987)

Actually, last year, we got surpassed by Mexico. We're number two now! Sadly, it's not because we got any healthier. They just got fatter.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/... [huffingtonpost.com]

#2 among... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46700443)

The U.S. is #2 among "populous" countries. Nauru [google.com] , "a small island in the South Pacific, has an obesity rate of 71.1%, the highest of any country."

first world problems... (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46699319)

don't get me wrong though. slightly bad hi-speed internet and cable TV service is right up there with starvation and ethnic cleansing.

Americans sure like to bitch about stuff.

Re:first world problems... (2)

thewolfkin (2790519) | about 7 months ago | (#46699703)

I think that's unfair. We all laugh and joke about First World problems, but just because they're first world problems doesn't mean they aren't problems. It may not be up there with starvation and ethnic cleansing but Monopolies are still a problem. It's just as wrong to ignore them because someone else is doing something worse.

Re:first world problems... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46700153)

It's just as wrong to ignore them because someone else is doing something worse.

Exactly - that's precisely how our "first world" problems become nightmares. Papers and sexual molestation while boarding planes? No big deal - it's not like we're Iran. Widespread surveillance on everyone, in violation of the Constitution? Psshaw, at least we're not in Somalia.

Invading another country due to dubious circumstances? LOOK OVER THERE! NORTH KOREA! LOL!

The, "But, but, those other people are doing worse things!" crowd is perhaps the largest danger ever visited upon free and responsible government.

Re:first world problems... (2)

DarwinSurvivor (1752106) | about 6 months ago | (#46700631)

Ironically Iran has some of the best (and safest) airports in the world because they have actual trained people looking for subtle body language. Instead of singling out someone by their heritage, they check out people who are wearing large coats in the summer (hiding something?), breaking out in sweats in the winter, acting especially nervous, watching one of their bags continuously while completely ignoring the others, traveling in a very spread out group, etc.

Re:first world problems... (1)

Sponge Bath (413667) | about 7 months ago | (#46700231)

...starvation and ethnic cleansing.

I did not see that on the telefied looky box, my Comcast cable went out.

Can I vote for the Federal Government? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46699335)

I think that one would win hands down, were it an option.

Re:Can I vote for the Federal Government? (5, Funny)

amiga3D (567632) | about 7 months ago | (#46699411)

They are not a corporation. They are owned by corporations.

Re:Can I vote for the Federal Government? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46699477)

Doesn't that make them a jointly-owned subsidiary?

Re:Can I vote for the Federal Government? (1)

rmdingler (1955220) | about 7 months ago | (#46699575)

Oddly enough, no... they are a wholly-owned superior.

Re:Can I vote for the Federal Government? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46699609)

No. You already voted for them in the general election.

Re:Can I vote for the Federal Government? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46699855)

I've looked at the so called 3rd party options to the Democrats and Republicans.

They are all worse.

And the Libertarians are just extreme right-wing Republicans, despite the rhetoric.

When they had Ron Paul on their ballot, it was the most right-wing republican in congress. Not just at that time, but since WWII.

no trouble signing up customers or employees. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46699345)

American's have grown fond of a steady diet of shit.

Re:no trouble signing up customers or employees. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46700595)

if i had mod points i would mod you up!
why do people always say that? especially when trolling as AC's...
Anyway you are right, any slashdotter that would put up with beta will happily use comcrap.
and pay for it.

Well Deserved (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46699367)

My dealings with Comcast have been few but boy have they been terrible. From being accused of stealing their equipment, to getting billed seven times in a single month, I've had a lifetime of customer dissatisfaction in just a few short months of dealing with them. Well deserved honor Comcast.

Re:Well Deserved (1)

Mitreya (579078) | about 7 months ago | (#46699583)

I've had a lifetime of customer dissatisfaction in just a few short months of dealing with them.

Well, what do you expect?
Why would a monopoly bother to serve their (captive) customers well?

If we don't create significant viable competition, this will continue. No amount of public shaming will help.

Re:Well Deserved (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46700141)

I was eating dinner tonight watching TV when this new comcast / xfinity commercial came on.

The basic punchline was that this guy was happy to finally get rid of fios and switch back to xfinity.

This is literally the only time in my entire life that I've _actually_ had milk coming out of my nose. It actually hurt a lot :(

"I just couldn't wait to get out of my contract" was the line that killed me right as I was talking a sip.

Re:Well Deserved (3, Interesting)

mmell (832646) | about 7 months ago | (#46700229)

Don't forget the part where they encrypted their cable offerings to force use of their (modestly priced) rental equipment. In one stroke, they rendered every digital tuner device in my possession worthless.

Until I bought an antenna. Boy, they must hate that, eh?

Re:Well Deserved (4, Insightful)

Trimaxion (2933647) | about 6 months ago | (#46700701)

Until I bought an antenna. Boy, they must hate that, eh?

^^ This a million times. If you don't like Comcast, TWC, etc., give them the middle finger and cancel your TV service. Put up a decent antenna, perhaps buy a TiVo if you want a turnkey DVR appliance with a good UI (and pay their outrageous one-time service fee), and enjoy your uncompressed HD content from all the major broadcast networks.

I'm *still* stuck paying into the local cable monopoly to get internet access, but I'm paying them a lot less than I was before. It didn't take me long to break even on my antenna/wiring/tivo/etc costs.

Seems dubious to me. (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46699369)

I have to question the methodology here, I doubt that one in three people have even heard of Monsanto and have any idea what they do.

Not defending Monsanto but this smells like a targeted "survey" from a group with an agenda.

Just my $0.02

True (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46699395)

You are correct. Monsanto and Comcast are prime targets for anti-corporate rhetoric... So they are well-known in anti-corporate circles. That said, Comcast is still a pile of garbage. It should be buried next to the E.T. video game.

Re:True (2)

ArcadeNut (85398) | about 7 months ago | (#46699835)

Do you really think that's fair?

To the E.T. Video game that is...

Re:Seems dubious to me. (1)

roc97007 (608802) | about 7 months ago | (#46699423)

This is only one data point, but it seems like every third forward on my Facebook account is another anti-Monsanto amateur ad. Going by that, I would say that quite a few people have heard the name. Whether they are really acquainted with the issues, of course, is a different matter.

Re:Seems dubious to me. (3, Insightful)

Matheus (586080) | about 7 months ago | (#46699639)

Ya... AC who thinks no one knows who Monsanto is sounds like a targeted "shill" trying to discredit the survey!

Honestly Monsanto is the food industry's Comcast. They are HUGE and virtually unavoidable in that space. They produce a bunch of probably fine products (I'm FAR from Anti-GMO in my personal sentiments and IF Comcast were my ISP I'd be getting better bandwidth than I am at the moment) BUT they perform their business in the most despicable ways (Which makes it really hard to defend GMO when they are the poster-child.)

Both organizations are severely guilty of criminally Anti-competitive activities yet the U.S. Gov't seems unwilling or able to prosecute. (Add to that list Ticketmaster/Live Nation... how the $%c& did they approve *that merger?!) so it's probably a forgone conclusion that Comcast+TWC will happen eventually if not now.

Re:Seems dubious to me. (2)

Jarik C-Bol (894741) | about 6 months ago | (#46700719)

Monsanto should have won this. Comcast merely hates its own customers. Monsanto actively hunts down and destroys peoples livelihoods.

Re:Seems dubious to me. (1, Insightful)

amiga3D (567632) | about 7 months ago | (#46699433)

I'd bet less than one in a hundred people on the street could tell you who Monsanto is. Just because they're notorious here means nothing in the real world.

Re:Seems dubious to me. (2)

Trashcan Romeo (2675341) | about 7 months ago | (#46699543)

That was Michael Imperioli's character on the "The Sopranos", yeah?

Re:Seems dubious to me. (4, Informative)

Matheus (586080) | about 7 months ago | (#46699743)

Not sure which 'real world' you live in but nearly 100% of the people in my sphere know who Monsanto is (whether they are casually aware, blindly reactionary or truly informed about what they do aside). I don't know everyone so my own anecdotal statistics are only worth what they are BUT I'm personally aware of entire classes of people who are intimately aware of Monsanto that amount to WAY more than 1% of the U.S. at least. Numerous foreign governments have banned their products so there is a decent amount of international awareness (or at least fear of the concept/unknown).

Roughly 1% of our country work in the Ag business and I guarantee *all of them are intimately aware of Monsanto and their dealings. (numbers not accounted for above... I don't spend much time in the Agricultural community)

Sorry your circles are not in the know but frankly your sample seems to be a bit off from the whole.

Re:Seems dubious to me. (1)

amiga3D (567632) | about 7 months ago | (#46699903)

I think it would be an interesting survey. Too bad Jay Leno is retired as this would be an interesting "Jaywalking" question. Maybe one in a hundred is off a little but I'm sure that most people wouldn't know. The only place I hear much about them is on slashdot and they never come up in a casual conversation. No doubt an agricultural environment would be much more aware of them.

Re:Seems dubious to me. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46700137)

Still, near 100% hatred amongst everyone who knows you is a pretty impressive track record.

Re:Seems dubious to me. (1)

gmhowell (26755) | about 6 months ago | (#46700423)

Sorry your circles are not in the know but frankly your sample seems to be a bit off from the whole.

Whereas yours is perfectly representative?

Re:Seems dubious to me. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46700457)

Look everybody: Another 1 line fart reply from gmhowell the literary genius (not).

Re:Seems dubious to me. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46700493)

lmao, you're right. All he can manage is 1 sentence at a time due to his meds.

Re:Seems dubious to me. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46700515)

LOL!

Re:Seems dubious to me. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46700465)

Douche, get serious. There's bitches on the street who didn't even know the simple bullet point platform that the man they voted into the white house stood for. You want them to give a fuck what a bunch of redneck crackers out in the boonies have going on? Fucker, give me my welfare check, my obama phone and let me get back to my stoop or my trailer park.

Re:Seems dubious to me. (1)

bondsbw (888959) | about 7 months ago | (#46699911)

Monsanto is the reason my grandfather was diagnosed with prostate cancer several years ago (and why he received a nice settlement as part of a class action suit).

Re:Seems dubious to me. (0)

Trailer Trash (60756) | about 7 months ago | (#46699763)

Koch Industries is your first clue about what this is about. Let's face it: nobody has heard of them except from the looney left frothing at the mouth over the evil Koch Brothers. Certainly they're not a well-known company that is selling goods directly to consumers, and quite frankly their business practices don't directly affect anybody. Same with Monsanto. I don't like a lot of their practices but I also don't directly do business with them.

Comcast, on the other hand, is well-known for terrible customer service and all that. Putting all of these on the same page makes the whole thing kind of surreal.

Monsanto is an Intellectual Property extremist (2)

bzipitidoo (647217) | about 7 months ago | (#46700305)

Heck yeah, we know who Monsanto is. They're the scum who want to patent plant reproduction, and sue farmers for farming. If anything can give a company lots of bad press everywhere, not just in geek circles, it's victimizing innocent farmers with complicated legalese over a grossly obvious right. Aside from the huge problem of that ultimately leading to needing their permission to eat, they don't care if that also leads to the RIAA and MPAA winning the right to force DRM on everyone, and Big Pharma patenting our own genes and us having to pay them license fees just to exist. And some thought paying a levy for breathing the air was draconian.

Re:Seems dubious to me. (1)

mea_culpa (145339) | about 6 months ago | (#46700455)

I've been quite pleased with the quality of Monsanto products. I use RoundUP grass and weed killer to keep my landscaping tidy without fail.
I'm sure those in the agriculture industry also appreciate their service. I don't agree with some of their offerings but from a customer service standpoint I have no complaints.

Re:Seems dubious to me. (1)

Jarik C-Bol (894741) | about 6 months ago | (#46700745)

Its not their weed killer and customer service that is in question with Monsanto, its the fact that they hunt down and sue people who's crops have accidentally cross pollinated with their neighbors crops, and now carry Monsanto's patented genes. Its the fact that they have been infinitely careless with their genetically modified crops, such that some have escaped into the wild to a degree that it is virtually impossible to find wild samples of the plants in question that do not contain the modified genes Monsanto developed.

Not Even Close to worse company. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46699517)

Lets see my personal list involves ripping people off in places of trust.

Comcast provides the service as promised 95% of the time and gets the billing right 90% of the time. The companies below get it wrong while

1. Home Advocate Trustees http://dfi.wa.gov/consumers/alerts/home-advocate-trustees.htm
2. Every Wall Street HFT Trading Firm and Every Firm That Routes to customer orders for a kickback. http://www.businessinsider.com/brokerages-make-millions-selling-orders-to-high-frequency-trading-firms-2014-4
3. Fanny Mae, Freddy Mac and all the other government assumes all the risk NGOs.
4. The United Nations is full of diplomats who ignore the obvious and protest the insignificant.
5. Any company that has a 'gift card' that decays away.
6. Financial planners who put other peoples retirement money in high commission account sucking 50% of the returns over the lifetime of the investment.

Re:Not Even Close to worse company. (1)

mmell (832646) | about 7 months ago | (#46699741)

So how long have you worked there? 8^)

Mass Suckage (1)

Tablizer (95088) | about 7 months ago | (#46699527)

All the telecom oligopolies should get the award. Consumer choice, reliability, and customer service are in the crapper. I live in a well-populated suburb near a major city and we have shit choices, just like everybody else. Jeez Louise!

Comcast is a huge improvement over AT&T (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46699531)

No one who used AT&T before Comcast took them over would agree that Comcast is the worse company.

Whatever you think of their business practices, they can run a network and keep improving the network's performance. I have very good Internet access speeds, and they improve that every couple of years. The cable network doesn't go down very often.

AT&T is hugely worse in business ethics and was hugely worse at running a cable network.

Back up your vote with your wallet (3, Insightful)

EMG at MU (1194965) | about 7 months ago | (#46699593)

I know its near impossible with a few of these companies since they are oligarchies but I feel that in order to vote for one of these companies you also should make a personal pledge to avoid doing business with the companies you vote for.

One big problem here is that on one hand people say EA is the worst company in America and then turn around and go out and buy the latest EA game. Companies will listen, but only if you affect them where it matters: the bottom line. No one at these companies gives a shit about this survey.

Re:Back up your vote with your wallet (2)

ohnocitizen (1951674) | about 7 months ago | (#46699647)

Exactly, it's near impossible. And these companies are lobbying hard to remove options that allow consumers to vote with their wallets. We need more than just individual economic pressure to have any realistic impact on companies this big.

Re:Back up your vote with your wallet (1)

EMG at MU (1194965) | about 7 months ago | (#46699807)

Exactly, it's near impossible. And these companies are lobbying hard to remove options that allow consumers to vote with their wallets. We need more than just individual economic pressure to have any realistic impact on companies this big.

Another problem is that people really underestimate individual economic pressure. I know too many people my age (mid 20s) who automatically give up and say that there is no way they can make a difference so why even try. They expect someone else to make the sacrifice and work to address the problem. Look at Target's profits in the wake of their little credit card fiasco:

The widespread theft of Target customer data had a significant impact on the company’s profit, which fell more than 40 percent in the fourth quarter, the retailer reported on Wednesday. The company said net earnings were $520 million in the quarter, down 46 percent from the same period a year earlier, when earnings were $961 million.

Source: New York Times [nytimes.com]

These companies don't magically make money regardless of what consumers do, they make money because consumers willingly spend money with them. It seems as if lots of people just stopped going to Target after the breach was discovered. Explain why the same thing couldn't happen with Wal-Mart or EA?

Re:Back up your vote with your wallet (1)

ohnocitizen (1951674) | about 7 months ago | (#46700127)

What you are citing is *collective* economic pressure. Big difference.

Re:Back up your vote with your wallet (1)

RoknrolZombie (2504888) | about 7 months ago | (#46700245)

Yes, but if you're not part of the solution you're part of the problem. As mentioned, sometimes it's tough to break away from your "bad" company (personal examples below), but just like with anything else, you do everything that you can. If you can't do any more, then it's not worth sweating...but if you CAN do more, and you don't, then the fault lies with you.

Example, I've attempted to break away from AT&T. I've been grandfathered into their unlimited data plan, so I'm not in a big hurry to rush away from that, despite the fact that their costs and service ares absolutely terrible. Are they the worst? I can't say so...I haven't seen anyone really "shine" with that service for a long time. So what I did, was instead of subsidizing my "free" phone by signing a contract, I let my contract expire and paid cash for a brand new phone, unsubsidized. I'm not under contract at the moment, so can walk away [i]the instant[/i] I get so pissed at AT&T that they've completely lost my business. I've seen this work in my favor a couple of times since my contract expired - generally the people on the other end of the phone seem pretty shocked that I'm using AT&T with no ongoing terms, and they're generally pretty helpful when they realize that I could leave AT&T. Maybe it's just the person on the other end - maybe they don't really care, but it sure makes me feel better to know that if I really want to leave the company, I can do so in an instant without them charging me bullshit fees.

Wal-Mart is another one, although I don't have a particular beef with the company. I just simply don't like going there - just driving into the parking lot is enough to start a panic attack...by the time I reach the front door I'm ready to cram the Greeters' walker down their throat. So I don't go there, simple as that.

Target? Shit, target showed up on my radar almost 10 years ago with that teenage pregnancy thing, and I haven't shopped there since. The few times I've gone in, I've made sure that I'm using cash. Do what you can.

If [i]everyone[/i] did what they could, many of these problems don't exist. The defeatist attitude is what allows these awful companies to continue to exist and be awful.

Re:Back up your vote with your wallet (1)

EMG at MU (1194965) | about 7 months ago | (#46700259)

My point is that many individuals form a collective. If every person says that individual economic pressure isn't worth it then the collective never grows large enough to make a difference. It's the same thing that happens with voting for third parties, people do not think that their vote matters so they either don't vote or throw it away.

How many thousands of people voted in this survey? If half of them boycotted the companies they voted for for the period of one year the companies would take notice.

Re:Back up your vote with your wallet (1)

PRMan (959735) | about 7 months ago | (#46700371)

Sounds like Target should start taking bitcoins. No information to lose.

Re:Back up your vote with your wallet (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46699821)

I would, but comcast is the only ISP that can provide me with anything other than dial-up service. And there-in lies the real problem. If the FCC would recognize the internet services fits the definition of "Common carrier" way better than phone/tv ever did, recognize the internet services IS essential to 21st century life and either regulate their monopoly or subsidize the cost of putting lies from in multiple carriers to every home in America, then we'd get decent, reasonably priced data into our homes.

The typo says it all! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46700041)

...subsidize the cost of putting lies from in multiple carriers to every home in America....

That sure is what they do! But I don't think they need the help of Government for that.

Re:Back up your vote with your wallet (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46699975)

Not oligarchies per se but "natural monopolies." Classically "highly regulated" in the US but "rent seeking behavior" aka "its cheaper to buy a congressman than to build a better business" has created a US more like Mussolini's definition of fascism than free market.

The classic solution is to regulate the fuck out them but that hasn't worked.

My solution is that if every Comcast customer spent $150 a month on Comcast stock for two year we would own them outright and have the ability to vote in a board of directors that would support stock holders rights and customer right simultaneously. If you also cut off your service at the same time you would drive the price of the stock into the fucking floor and just take your loss as an accelerated buyout schedule. Unfortunately people are short sighted lazy and half of them a dumber than average which is why "rent seeking" is possible in the first place.

Fuck you America you get what you pay for.

f34nor

Re:Back up your vote with your wallet (1)

Kjella (173770) | about 7 months ago | (#46700211)

I know its near impossible with a few of these companies since they are oligarchies but I feel that in order to vote for one of these companies you also should make a personal pledge to avoid doing business with the companies you vote for.

Aren't the companies you hate typically the ones you're stuck with? If there were good alternatives you'd obviously use them and your opinion would never go much past being shitty, but if you know they have you over a barrel and worse, they know as well but you can't find any better option than to suffer through it - that's when you hate. Like the boss you hate but you can't quit because you need the paycheck and the job market is horrible. Or the obnoxious neighbors who aren't bad enough to get evicted or arrested, but who aren't going to chase you away from your home. Or the bullies that used to harass and ridicule you at school.

Okay, so EA is not such a good example. But ISPs can be near monopolies. Walmart can' make enough mom and pop shops close that you cave. If you have a big mortgage and the value's gone down refinancing with another bank is easier said than done. Getting screwed over once, that hurts. To come crawling back for seconds, that's plain humiliating. But a lot of it is called "just fucking get on with your life" if Wal-Mart is the easiest place to shop, maybe you got better things to do than drive to the other side of town just to spite them. I recently paid a bill I know was unfair (hospital called me in on short notice, I never saw the letter until after the appointment had passed so they billed me for failing to appear), I could have fought it but decided it just wasn't worth the effort. Sometimes, life's too short.

Re:Back up your vote with your wallet (1)

EMG at MU (1194965) | about 7 months ago | (#46700281)

I could have fought it but decided it just wasn't worth the effort. Sometimes, life's too short.

They know that, that's why they win.

Re:Back up your vote with your wallet (1)

PRMan (959735) | about 7 months ago | (#46700345)

Actually, the EA CEO was pretty torn up about it, but yeah, bottom line means way more.

Consumerist is a joke (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46699599)

Judging by the photos they post with their stories, they've been trying to turn it into a cat blog for several years now.

Huh? Why was Monsanto even on the list? (-1)

mi (197448) | about 7 months ago | (#46699721)

Comcast narrowly edged out Monsanto in the finals with 51.5% of the vote.

The only reason I can see for Monsanto even appearing among "contestants" is the serious negative PR work by its competitors. Despite years of trying, anti-GMO crowd is yet to find a provable bad thing to say about GMO in general and Monsanto in particular.

All they have is FUD, but, apparently, very powerful FUD...

Re:Huh? Why was Monsanto even on the list? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46699889)

Okay, I'm not against GMO in general, but Monsanto has some of the most mustache-twirlingly-evil business practices ever.

Re:Huh? Why was Monsanto even on the list? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46699925)

Comcast narrowly edged out Monsanto in the finals with 51.5% of the vote.

The only reason I can see for Monsanto even appearing among "contestants" is the serious negative PR work by its competitors. Despite years of trying, anti-GMO crowd is yet to find a provable bad thing to say about GMO in general and Monsanto in particular.

All they have is FUD, but, apparently, very powerful FUD...

Ya... funny you are the only person to see it that way.
"Incredible" is a better word.

Re:Huh? Why was Monsanto even on the list? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46700027)

Um WTF? Do you know anything at all about Monsanto? Their business practices are highly questionable when it come to suing farmers who live down wind of their customers. They are engaged in unregulated experimentation on a grand scale with now moral and no oversight. Wheat no has an opioid that makes you hungry for more carbs. How is that OK?

Re:Huh? Why was Monsanto even on the list? (1)

Jarik C-Bol (894741) | about 6 months ago | (#46700781)

It is pretty terrifying the scale at which Monsanto has been carless with its experimentation. Their projects seem to be escaping into the wild and replicating at an alarming rate. http://www.nature.com/news/201... [nature.com] and http://www.kgw.com/news/USDA-N... [kgw.com]

Re:Huh? Why was Monsanto even on the list? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46700081)

Patent abuse, not GMO. Seed blows in, causes expensive lawyer bills.

Re:Huh? Why was Monsanto even on the list? (1)

wiredlogic (135348) | about 6 months ago | (#46700407)

The food safety alarmists are all about FUD. However there is a serious problem of pesticide producing crops destroying critical parts of the ecosystem needed to sustain pollination (bees and butterflies for instance). There is legitimate reason for concern about the overuse of these sorts of crops.

Re:Huh? Why was Monsanto even on the list? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46700711)

Comcast narrowly edged out Monsanto in the finals with 51.5% of the vote.

The only reason I can see for Monsanto even appearing among "contestants" is the serious negative PR work by its competitors. Despite years of trying, anti-GMO crowd is yet to find a provable bad thing to say about GMO in general and Monsanto in particular.

All they have is FUD, but, apparently, very powerful FUD...

How much does Monsanto pay you to astroturf this awkwardly? Whatever it is, it's too much.

Re:Huh? Why was Monsanto even on the list? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46700743)

Wow. If there was a most clueless slashdot member bracket...you'd win.

Protip: stop parrotting what you see on cable news and you won't embarrass yourself.

Still not AT&T (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46699779)

I still prefer doing business with Comcast to doing business with AT&T.

But the way the contest brackets are set up make the consumerist look just as bad at the companies they're rating.

They need a radioactive lead (1)

mrmeval (662166) | about 7 months ago | (#46700247)

trophy.

One marginally withing NRC limits. ;)

As a Comcast customer... (1)

QuietLagoon (813062) | about 7 months ago | (#46700327)

... I am not surprised that Comcast has won its second Poo award from The Consumerist.

Re:As a Comcast customer... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46700473)

and still you insist on feeding in the stye.

Not Electronic Arts; Dice (BF4) sigh... (1)

Trax3001BBS (2368736) | about 7 months ago | (#46700363)

I really expected them to pull it off again this year. Comcast, and Time Warner Cable must really be a crappy company to beat out Electronic Arts,

BF4 was one fouled up game release, Electronic Arts was even sued over the money they made by talking up a broken game (Battlefield 4), and having Dice release it much earlier than it should of been.

I am disappointed.

Not as bad as all that... (1)

Kazoo the Clown (644526) | about 7 months ago | (#46700367)

Comcast cable for internet seems fine to me if you don't try to use their DNS servers. Once I switched the DNS, it virtually never goes down. Consequently I've never needed to deal with their support staff. COX Cable on the other hand, seems to be pretty flaky, a friend of mine who is using them for Voip is always losing his connection. I'm using Vonage over Comcast and I never have any problems.

Were number one! (3, Funny)

nurb432 (527695) | about 6 months ago | (#46700517)

I bet there was an office party after hearing this, as you know Comcast goes out of its way to be a PITA. It cant be by accident.

2014 isn't over yet (1)

erlegreer (1994842) | about 6 months ago | (#46700679)

How can the 2014 contest be over?

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