The Worst Company in America: It's Not a Bank or a Retailer

×

EAThe Consumerist.com voters have spoken.

Electronic Arts (EA) is the worst company in the country.

The country's second-largest video game company beat out Bank of America (BAC) for the honor, and it wasn't even close. EA commanded 64% of the votes when the website's poll closed on Tuesday.

EA was one of 32 contenders this year, and it had to beat some pretty iffy companies to come out on top.

  • EA beat out Sony (SNE) in the first round. Sony's the company that took plenty of heat when its PlayStation Network was temporarily closed down after repeatedly successful hacking attacks.
  • In the second round, EA edged out Best Buy (BBY). The consumer electronics retailer has seen store-level sales slide in recent quarters, as consumers tire of its high prices and pushy employees trying to add warranty protection and other services to orders.
  • Next up was Comcast (CMCSA), the country's largest cable service provider. This is the same company that came under fire in Michigan for sticking tornado victims with bills for destroyed cable equipment and "on vacation" fees for cable programming that they were unable to receive.

Bank of America -- slammed last year for its debit card fees that were ultimately rescinded -- also didn't put up much of a fight.

Is EA really that vile, or did bashers orchestrate a run at Consumerist.com's polls?

It's In the Game

The knocks against EA aren't necessarily unique to the company. Has it acquired smaller developers? Sure. It's part of the business. Do we blame the buyer for buying or the seller for selling in matters of consolidation?

EA's strategy of embracing micro-transactions was also a source of antipathy from voters. Instead of simply rolling out games, EA allows players to pay extra for enhanced features. Is it a drag? Sure. However, why not come down on Zynga (ZNGA), the leader in social gaming with a model that relies largely on in-app purchases?

EA was also knocked for its support of the now all-but-dead SOPA legislation. Plenty of content creators backed SOPA at some point before backing down in light of a resentful mob of customers.

Past Consumerist.com winners seemed more worthy: Comcast and Bank of America have taken the crown over the years, and deservedly so.

No one is suggesting that EA is an admired company. The licensed monopoly it has on some sporting franchises is reason alone to get irate. However, it's certainly not a company that would come up on most objective lists.

There's nothing that EA can do. The voters have spoken. However, Consumerist.com may need to rethink its judging process if it wants to retain the annual award's integrity.

EA's a gaming company, but it appears as if it's the one that got gamed this time.

View our gallery on Fortune's 100 Best Companies To Work For here.
Best Companies to work for






Motley Fool contributor Rick Munarriz does not own shares in any stocks in this article. The Motley Fool owns shares of Bank of America and Best Buy.

Electronic Arts wins worst company in America




Increase your money and finance knowledge from home

Introduction to ETFs

The basics of Exchange Traded Funds and why ETFs are hot.

View Course »

Socially Responsible Investing

Invest in companies with a conscience.

View Course »

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum

33 Comments

Filter by:
Chief

Perhaps if you did more research... you would know why EA didn't even struggle to win this competition. Their strategy (like Zynga's) wouldn't be so bad, if the initial purchase didn't cost 60 or 70 dollars. They also started charing gamers to support service, then after they had coughed up the money, EA shut down the services anyways. They continued to sell apps on marketplaces days before they would never work again. They pay people to go onto forums and flame people who are critical of their services and decsisions. The employee that let this slip, also let it slip that several of their games massively cut development budget, limiting the new innovations, while simultaneously implementing Project $10... which has now begun to spread to other publishers in the industry.

That's just the start... EA consumers have more than enough reason to vote them as the worst company in America. In short... YES EA IS REALLY THAT VILE.

May 27 2012 at 12:12 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Wayne Bradshaw

Gucci sent their fall/winter 2012/2013 collection down the Milan Fashion Week runway today and it featured a much darker, more gothic and vampire-like color palette than what was shown by the iconic design house for fall 2011. One year ago Gucci Outlet showed bright colors and blocked them together, helping to explode the current color blocking trend. For fall 2012, Gucci moved away from the trend they started and let black rule the runway.

May 06 2012 at 12:05 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
ATM

I am very dissatisfied with SPRINT.

My complaints get no adequate resolution, and I end up spending a ton of time writing to BBB, Senators, CFPB, and the company itself - everyone I talk to agrees with me when they hear about the issue.

What a joke.

Selling a 2 year contract and then hiding under a Terms of Service Agreement that allows changing everything without advance notice to consumer - even just changing anything should be wrong - it was a two year contract.

I do know that at the end of the 2 years, I will not be a SPRINT customer ever again.

April 15 2012 at 10:51 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
craigmrfrn

Although small, I predict WEPAY, "The Pay Pal alternative" as a up and comer. They make PAY PAL look like the best company on the face of the earth. I'm no fan of PAY PAL and I rarely comment on a companies product / services, but the damage that this company can do to a small business in such a short amount of time is unbelievable. Stay away from them so they remain small.

April 08 2012 at 10:26 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Dan Connor

Xerox Corp. is the worst. CEO was hand picked to sit on the current adminstrations "Jobs" advisory committee.

What a laugh that is.....look at the Xerox lay offs, VRIF programs and the overseas outsourcing agendas and you'll see an unfriendly CEO of a US employer. She sits at the right hand of the POTUS and discharges US employees with the left hand.

April 06 2012 at 1:30 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jacquelyn

Big or small, it seems that power and greed goes to the bosses heads.

Several people mentioned that the "Goverment" is the worst company. My father who was a "mail man" (he worked before being PC was all the rage), would often hear "The goverment should be run like a businss" and his retort was always ... "Run like the business you work for" ... that more then not got a "NO not the company I work for they are all jerks" The goverment's problem is ... usually bosses that have the "power" issue.

I have worked for BIG ... IBM, to now very small ... 6 employees which inclued the 2 owners. And what I have figured out ... how good or bad "your" company is depends on how important the Bottom Line is the the stockholders/Owners.

Old quote ... When company start treating employee as assets to be developed, rather then expensives to be minimized, that's when you get both productive employees and good bottom line profits. The problem is that if you keep costs down the bigger the bottom line is. In the private sector, it is both power and greed.

April 06 2012 at 12:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Pugsley Lee

While two out of three of my picks, (AT&T and Walmart), made it to the final round (and arguably are more deserving of this honor than "EA") somehow, my "worst company", the cream of corporate effluent, Pacific Gas & Electric CO. (PG&E) was not included in this contest ?

As Viccinni said, "inconceivable" !

April 06 2012 at 12:01 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
bzh484

According to readers comments, all companies are bad.
The worst did well, made itself known.
There are bad people everywhere but I willtake an American company long before I will take a company in any other country.

April 06 2012 at 11:55 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
musanski

How about SMG (Service Manufacturing Group, Buffalo, NY). Under paid over worked, this is a real quote from the owner.......... "If you work 60 to 80 hours a week you can make some good money". If you work 80 hours a week at a fast food place you can make good money !!!!!! And to top it off........... My brother passed away and was told (by the owners wife), and I quote "Just Because Someone Dies, It Doesn't Mean You Get To Take Time Off Of Work". Needless to say I don't work for these scumbags anymore. I look forward to the day when I can say the same thing to them !!!!

April 06 2012 at 10:36 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
ray

I take it none of these people ever worked for Pep Boys.

April 06 2012 at 10:35 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply