People have always been eager to know the 10 most hated companies in America in 2020. The reason is simple: if it is ever possible to dislike or hate some people for real or imagined reasons, then it is equally possible to hate some companies for what they do and how they do it. Interestingly, the business organizations that are hated most in the United States have offended the general public in one form or another over the course of many years. Many of the offenses were innocent mistakes, and others were toxic situations related to unwholesome products/services or unethical business practices.
Business organizations are aware that their success is linked to public perception, so they strive to increase overall customer satisfaction and stay away from controversies. The companies with bad reputations 2020 as well as the worst customer service companies 2020 are not only running the risks of declining sales and patronage, they may also be staring at bankruptcy in the face. And this is why organizations spend millions of dollars annually to launder their public image through positive public relations.
It is best not to be included in the list of the most unethical companies in America than try to wiggle out after the damage is done. And this underscores the importance of workplace principles that guide staff behavior and work values so that the integrity of the company may remain intact. Being labeled the worst company in America 2020 is a tragedy in itself since it is very difficult to regain public confidence once it is eroded.
The worst companies 2020 as well as the most hated industry in America are those that operate a terrible work environment, market harmful products, suffer internal wranglings, lack effective security, have unfavorable customer ratings, disdain ethical practices, and feature in toxic scandals and controversies that refuse to go away. Unfortunately, many companies overcome their public hatred over time, but some get drowned under it and suffer bankruptcy or liquidation.
You also have to keep in mind that some of the most hated companies in our list are great long-term investments. Consumers may hate these companies but they can't stop using their products or services for one reason or another. Let's take a look at Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB). Our calculations showed that FB is #3 in our list of the 30 most popular stocks among hedge funds. The top 10 most popular stocks among hedge funds returned 41.4% in 2019 and outperformed the S&P 500 ETF (SPY) by 10.1 percentage points. These stocks also gained 28.2% in 2020 through August 24th and beat the market by another 20.6 percentage points this year. We have been recommending FB as an investment to our subscribers because of its tight grip on 2 billion users. These two billion users not only provide free content to Facebook, they also consume this content and help to turn Facebook into a trillion dollar company. You can subscribe to our free daily enewsletter by entering your email address below (click here if you don't see the signup box):
In order to arrive at the companies that people hate most in America in 2020, we utilized a methodology that took cognizance of ranking factors from the American Customer Satisfaction Index, a Zogby Analytics poll, and employee reviews on Glassdoor. We also used a combination of metrics such as customer and employee satisfaction, public perceptions of the organizations, Better Business Bureau’s (BBB) rating, as well as a variety of surveys on the companies.
These metrics are open to public evaluation and you can compare them to previous similar lists by heading over to the 10 most hated companies in America three years ago. This has made the trust and respect people have for these companies to wane, and they have racked up so many public enemies that people even campaign against them on social media and in public conferences.
10. United Airlines (UAL)
One of the 10 most hated companies in America in 2020 is United Airlines. With over 1,000 air flights in the United States per day, many people hate United Airlines for the way it treats customers. The Chicago-based airline has been in hot waters since 2017 when the management forcibly evacuated a passenger from an overbooked flight. The video of the incident went viral and generated so much hatred for the company that people called for the airline to be boycotted.
Its market value dropped over the incident and it has not really bounced back since then, but analysts said the company had been facing difficulties long before then. Despite the efforts of the CEO to get the airline back in the good books of the masses, the company continues to struggle at the bottom of the scale in terms of customer service and satisfaction. This is one airline that many Americans would wish to see disappear from the American airspace.
While Facebook remains one of the largest social media platforms in the world with CEO Mark Zuckerberg being the fourth richest man in the world, most Americans do not like Facebook. From North America to Europe, Facebook has faced tens of backlashes from lawmakers and industry regulators for being used to disseminate fake news and political meddling.
The social media has been accused of being used by Russia to undermine the 2016 presidential US election, and being used by distractors to spread divisive and inflammatory information. With fake news and ads taking root in Facebook, CEO Zuckerberg said his organization will continue to work harder to weed out misinformation and block propagandists. The company has also faced numerous lawsuits in Europe as well as class-action lawsuits in the United States.
Monsanto is an agricultural company that has been in existence for over 50 years and has courted controversy and hatred the entire time. The company is accused of manufacturing herbicides and insecticides with life-threatening agents that also endanger the environment. Some of the fatal chemicals used in Monsanto products include DDT and PCBs.
The company also manufactured Agent Orange, a weedkiller that is believed to have contributed to the deaths of over 400,000 people and over 500,000 birth defects in Vietnam. Millions of people are also against the company’s GMOs – genetically modified organism seeds; and the company has faced numerous class-action lawsuits for its herbicide RoundUp which many claimed is carcinogenic and given them cancer. As of now, most Americans hate this company.
7. Uber (UBER)
Uber is renowned as a cab-hailing service and a front-runner in the self-driving car industry, but most Americans do not like the company. Some years ago, a former employee Susan Fowler publicized the fact that sexual harassment and assault are common in the company, and that the organization relegates women to the background. The FBI even began to investigate Uber for meddling with rival company Lyft and undermining its operations.
Google’s parent company, Alphabet, also filed a lawsuit against Uber for stealing its autonomous car technology. The company also got shot with several lawsuits related to sexual exploitation, culminating in the departure of former CEO Travis Kalanick who had equally been caught on video fighting publicly with a driver. This company is still embroiled in numerous lawsuits today and remains of the most hated companies in the United States.
6. The Trump Organization
Most people within and outside the United States do not like President Donald Trump, and they like anything bearing his name and signature even less. The rating of Trump since he became president has nose-dived dramatically, and The Trump Organization which he formerly headed has had its reputation soiled because the president was formerly associated with it.
Democratic lawmakers have beamed their searchlights on The Trump Organization on several occasions, and many other regulators have called for an official investigation of the company. Some time ago, The Trump Organization was embroiled in a lease disagreement with the Secret Service which rented space in its Manhattan skyscraper building, while the organization has also been accused of benefiting from presidential contracts that conflict with Trump’s public office.
5. Vice Media
A digital news organization with exciting technologies, Vice Media started well but is currently struggling to remain relevant to its target audience. It all started when independent investigations revealed that sexual assaults have become a culture at the news media organization and that senior executives are the core harassers.
When the heat became unbearable, the company sacked three staff, and eventually, the net also caught company president Andrew Creighton and chief digital officer, Mike Germano. Although the company is managing to plod along at the moment, it has lost faith with people and remains one of the top hated companies in America. Its public relations department has been struggling to contain the damage but it has not been too effective with the existing public ire.
4. University of Phoenix
State and federal investigators have been on the neck of management at the University of Phoenix over accusations of deceptive advertisements and misrepresentations. According to FTC's allegations University of Phoenix and its parent company Apollo Education Group engaged in deceptive advertising that falsely "touted their relationships and job opportunities with companies such as AT&T, Yahoo!, Microsoft, Twitter, and The American Red Cross". When this became public knowledge and a massive scandal, the number of admissions in the school dropped and the management closed down 115 campuses and sacked 800 workers in 2012.
The University of Phoenix settled with the FTC agreeing to pay $50 million in cash as well as cancelling $141 million in student debt owed by students who were harmed by UOP's deceptive ads. ""This is the largest settlement the Commission has obtained in a case against a for-profit school,” said Andrew Smith, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection."
3. Fox Corp
Fox Corp owns Fox News Channel and is one of the most divisive news outlets in America. The news media is always enmeshed in one controversy or the other and its reputation suffers greatly as a reliable and objective news station in the country. Its news coverage is often considered divisive and slanting to the right, while the majority of left-leaning Americans hold its news content in contempt.
Its most popular show, The O’Reilly Factor, was shut down in 2017 after settling several sexual lawsuits to the tune of $13 million. Late founder and CEO Roger Ailes was forced to leave the news company in 2016 over accusations of sexual harassment. The news outlet remains controversial and hated today with the company even caring less about its public perception.
2. Wells Fargo (WFC)
Wells Fargo is not the only bank that is much hated in America – Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase among others attract significant distaste as well. It emerged in 2016 that Wells Fargo’s employees fraudulently opened 3.5 million spam accounts to make it appear that they achieved quotas assigned to them. The big deception leaked and forced former CEO John Stumpf to quit the organization that year.
That’s not all. Wells Fargo also charged more than 500,000 customers for auto insurance that was unrequested and ultimately useless; and the bank equally debited more than 100,000 customers for late mortgage fees the company engineered to be paid late. Many Americans consider Wells Fargo a dishonest bank and steer away from the organization, with many others simply hating it for its unethical financial practices.
1. The Weinstein Company
The Weinstein Company is on the track to dissolution if it continues on the path of public rejection and apathy, and tops the list of the 10 most hated companies in America in 2020. The movie company has produced hundreds of exciting movies but the sexual scandals surrounding co-founder Harvey Weinstein threaten to undermine the integrity of the organization. Nearly up to 20 women stepped forward between 2017 till date to accuse Weinstein of sexual molestation, and other top executives were not also left out.
Ultimately, the board of The Weinstein Company sacked Weinstein and many complicit executives left the organization. A lawsuit filed against the company alleged that the top hierarchy of the company is aware of the sexual abuses but kept it under wraps, and this revelation has made the public hostile to the film company. According to experts, the company must either rebrand or become history given the level of public antagonism against it.