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March Badness: Comcast, Netflix and Others In Running for 'Worst Company in America'

3/12/2012 3:07 PM

The battle for the Golden Poo is on.

Consumerist.com, the cheeky/sophomoric blog published by Consumers Union, on Monday released its 32-company bracket urging visitors to pick the “Worst Company in America” for 2012 in a single-elimination tournament, in which the winner receives a golden statuette shaped like a pile of feces.

pinkturd.jpgIn the mix this year are first-time nominees Netflix and CenturyLink (which merged with Qwest last year), along with a who’s who of the country’s biggest TV and broadband providers: Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Charter Communications, AT&T, Verizon, DirecTV and Dish Network. The 32 nominated companies were picked from submissions by Consumerist.com visitors.

You might think that a contest whose grand prize is a pile of crap would be treated as such by the companies in contention. (At left, the 2010 Golden Poo award allegedly mailed to Comcast, the top vote-getter two years ago.) After all, there are more scientifically sound customer-satisfaction surveys, such as the American Customer Satisfaction Index and J.D. Power.

But you’d be wrong.

Last year, Comcast inexplicably launched a campaign encouraging employees to vote for Charter — both at work and at home — hoping to reduce its chances of taking home the poo. Comcast lost to BP, the eventual winner, in the quarterfinals (see Comcast Urged Employees To Vote For Charter In ‘Worst Company’ Poll, Comcast Loses to BP in ‘Worst Company’ Quarterfinals and Comcasters: Thousands of Wrongs Don’t Make a Right).

This year, voting commences March 13, running through the final round on April 2. Consumerist.com claims the 2011 contest drew more than 250,000 votes… including those cast by Comcast employees, I guess.

Comcast’s first-round matchup is against Time Warner Cable on Friday, March 16.

Defending champ BP, by the way, did not receive enough votes to make the initial 32-team cut, showing how arbitrary this whole stunt really is.

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