There are some companies that are amazing and constantly get good reviews. There are others who are consistently pretty awful. And on the third hand, there could be a company that always did kind of OK but then that one thing happened and suddenly you’re on everybody’s shi…ummm….”poop list.” I think that’s what happened this year.
Based in Delaware, 24/7 Wall St. is a financial news and commentary web site. They’ve been annually ranking American’s most hated companies since 2011. There are almost always some travel-related companies on the list and this year was no exception.
To identify the most hated companies in America, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed a variety of metrics on customer service, employee satisfaction, brand value, and financial performance. We considered consumer surveys from several sources, including the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI), as well as large declines in a brand’s value from sources like BrandZ and Interbrand. Employee satisfaction is based on worker opinion scores on workplace review site Glassdoor — this is not a Glassdoor commissioned report. We also accounted for current events that have impacted the public’s perception of the companies.
First, let’s look at previous years’ “winners” of the country’s most hated travel companies:
2011: United Airlines, American Airlines
2012: American Airlines
2013: American Airlines
2014: No travel-related companies that year!
2015: Spirit Airlines, Uber
2016: Spirit Airlines, SeaWorld
2017: Spirit Airlines
2018: Click here to see some names well known to this list AND a brand new contender
2019: Click here. Guess who made the list AGAIN? Plus a hotel brand!
I was shocked – SHOCKED, I tell you, that Spirit Airlines was NOT ON THE LIST this year. In fact, there was not even one airline on the list, nor any ride-sharing companies, theme parks or hotel brands. But there were still two travel-related companies on the list:
9: Johnson & Johnson
8: Wells Fargo
7: Houston Astros
6: Frontier Communications
I’m sure no one is surprised about Boeing being on the list. The whole 737 MAX fiasco is an atrocity.
Once a trusted aviation brand, Boeing now faces intense scrutiny and a slew of lawsuits following several recent accidents and incidents related to its 737 Max jetliner. In October 2018, a Boeing 737 Max crashed shortly after takeoff. A similar accident took place in March 2019. Over 150 people were killed in both accidents. The FAA grounded all further flights of the 737 Max, and Boeing suspended its production.
After the crashes, it was revealed that Boeing knew of the issue for years but did not disclose the information. Company engineers told CNN that the 737 Max relied on a single sensor that is prone to malfunctions and would only work effectively with an optional safety feature most of its customers did not purchase. In both crashes, it appears this sensor sent a signal that the plane was stalling when it was not. This caused the aircraft to pitch down. Though Boeing first learned of the issue in 2017, company executives did not think it would make the planes less safe. Since March 2019, Boeing’s stock price has fallen by more than 25%.
4. Purdue Pharma
3. Pacific Gas & Electric
This wouldn’t even be considered a travel-related company per se, except for the sad tale of AMEX using WeWork as a perk of the Business Platinum card. Click here to learn more about that modern-day business Icarus story (or, as we like to call it, what may be the shortest-lived credit card perk ever).
Shared office space company WeWork appeared to be headed for a great 2019. It was preparing for an initial public offering, with the company valued at $47 billion. Then some reports surfaced of strange behavior and erratic management from CEO Adam Neumann, including potential conflicts of interest. The IPO filing showed the company was bleeding cash, forcing it to halt its IPO.
With investors increasingly dissatisfied, Neumann eventually stepped down. His golden parachute was reportedly worth over $1 billion — even though his apparent mismanagement of the company led to 2,400 employees being laid off. Japanese conglomerate SoftBank is now the majority owner of the company, after its valuation plummeted to $5 billion.
1. Facebook (no surprise there. They’ve been on 24/7 Wall St.’s annual list almost every year).
Click here for more descriptions of the entire list.
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary