Gone are the days when companies simply have to do some sort of settlement to those who badmouth them, and the issue will instantly stop. In some cases, they just have to cover every mistake with a gimmick or two and they can gain their good reputation back. Now that we are in the Internet era, customers have become increasingly powerful. A single negative write-up or review can be read by millions of people and can easily put off potential customers from dealing with a company. This is why now, more than ever, companies — like these 10 companies with the worst customer service in 2017 — need to be more cautious and proactive in dealing with customers. Otherwise, the brand and the company’s name can be crippled by the adverse reviews, low ratings and horror stories irate customers can possibly give out.
The World Wide Web also paved the way for a more informed customer decisions. A lot of people now are doing a research first before dealing with a company or a service provider or prior to product purchase. Also, the Internet has provided them with several avenues to rate their experience—whether as a customer or as an employee—in a particular company.
A bad reputation doesn’t just affect the company’s revenue due to decreased customers or sales but also its corporate relations. Well-respected companies would not want or may think twice in having their name associated with companies that have long erosion of reputation. Customers who cringe on the thought of dealing with a company with bad ethics or poor customer service and big companies who want to maintain their credibility by refusing to work with those brands that have bad reputation are the reasons for this list of 2017’s 10 worst companies for customer service.
The list is based on “America’s Most Hated Companies” write-up that presents companies identified by the 24/7 Wall St. after reviewing a wide range of data. Among the sources of information are Yahoo’s own customer satisfaction survey that’s being conducted annually and customer survey results from the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI). Also factored in are the companies’ financial performance as well as employee reviews on Glassdoor, a website that allows employees and former employees to leave a review about companies and their management.
With this in mind, let’s take a look at 10 companies with the worst customer service in 2017. In addition, you can check out our list of 16 worst companies for customer service in 2016 and see how the list has changed from one year ago.
10. Sprint Corp. (NYSE:S)
According to the ACSI, Sprint Corp. (NYSE:S) got the lowest customer satisfaction ratings in the wireless telephone service industry. Even in 24/7 Wall St.-commissioned survey, Sprint had the lowest customer service score because over 50% of its customers reported a negative customer service experience.
9. Sears Holdings Corp. (NASDAQ:SHLD)
Next in the list of companies with the worst customer service in 2017 is Sears Holdings Corp. (NASDAQ:SHLD). Besides being disliked by its customers and employees, shareholders are also disappointed with the performance of Sears Holding’s stock. Of all the department stores reviewed in the ACSI, Sears Holdings Corp. (NASDAQ:SHLD) department stores got the lowest rating in customer satisfaction. In Glassdoor, its employees gave it lower-than-average scores due mainly to low wages and professionalism issues with the upper management. As for the company’s stocks, the once more than $170 trading price per share has dived by 95% and is now trading at only more than $10 per share.
8. DISH Network Corp. (NASDAQ:DISH)
While bad customer service is not new in the subscription television service industry, this doesn’t mean people will just get used to it and will learn to accept it as time goes by. Irate customers will always find a way to air their negative sentiments towards the company. And this is what happened to DISH Network. In a survey commissioned by 24/7 Wall St., almost 47% of the responders have a negative experience with the company. The network’s own employees hate it as much. In fact, among the companies reviewed on Glassdoor, DISH Network Corp. (NASDAQ:DISH) is one of those with the lowest employee satisfaction score.
7. Spirit Airlines Inc. (NASDAQ:SAVE)
Who would be proud for having bad customer service? But Spirit Airlines has been leveraging this crown and using it as a marketing strategy. The company offers low-priced airfare at the expense of passenger comfort and customer service. While this tactic led the company’s exponential growth, the ire of its customers, who have experienced terrible customer service and charged with irksome fees, has taken its toll on the company, placing it first on ACSI’s list of worst airlines in terms of customer satisfaction and 7th on this list of 10 companies with the worst customer service in 2017.
6. Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB)
Since its 2012 Wall Street debut, Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB)’s stock can now be traded more than 200% higher. This doesn’t mean that everyone’s pleased with its service, though. Lately, the company’s mass data collection of users and its privacy policies and have been drawing flaks from its hundreds and thousands of users.
5. Wells Fargo & Co (NYSE:WFC)
Wells Fargo & Co (NYSE:WFC) ranks fifth among the 10 companies with the worst customer service in 2017. Over the last five years, Wells Fargo & Co (NYSE: WFC) has suffered from erosion of reputation due to the millions of fake credit card accounts created by its employees just to meet their quotas. This scandal caused a dramatic drop in the company’s share price. It was dethroned by JPMorgan Chase & Co. as the world’s largest bank in terms of market capitalization.
4. McDonald’s Corp. (NYSE:MCD)
Customer expectations vary from one industry to another. Based on the ACSI, among the 17 companies it has reviewed in the food industry, McDonald’s Corp. (NYSE:MCD) got the lowest rating in customer service.
3. Mylan NV (NASDAQ:MYL)
On the third spot among 10 companies with the worst customer service in 2017 is Mylan NV (NASDAQ:MYL). There was a public outcry last year when a number of pharmaceutical companies raised the prices of several life-saving drugs. Mylan NV (NASDAQ:MYL) was heavily criticized after implementing more than 500% increase in the price of EpiPen, a medicine that treats allergic reaction.
2. Bank of America Corp. (NYSE:BAC)
By simply taking account its record on dealing with its own employees, one can say that Bank of America Corp. (NYSE:BAC) isn’t faring well. Case in point: in August 2013, after losing to a racial discrimination suit against 700 employees, the court also required it to settle the damages for a gender discrimination case a month after. In terms of customer service, Bank of America Corp. (NYSE:BAC) got the lowest customer satisfaction score among all banks in the ACSI. Even on 24/7 Wall St.’s annual customer satisfaction poll, around 44% of the responders have a negative experience with the bank’s banking and credit card operations.
1. Comcast Corp. (NASDAQ:CMCSA)
Covering two industries—internet and television—this service provider got the lowest average score in ACSI and topped the list of 10 companies with the worst customer service in 2017. Even if the results for each industry are taken individually, Comcast Corp. (NASDAQ:CMCSA) still emerged at the bottom of the list, which means it got poor customer satisfaction average for either. This comes as no surprise for most Americans as this isn’t the first time this company bagged the America’s worst company label.