Is Comcast the 'Worst Company in America'?

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Or do some people just have a Comcastic passion for the sport of hating big corporations?

In the latest trashing of Comcast’s reputation, unknown visitors to Consumerist.com — the snarky, theatrical subsidiary of Consumers Union, the publisher of Consumer Reports — voted the MSO the “worst company in America” in a 32-company elimination “playoff” bracket. (Previous recipients were AIG, Countrywide and the RIAA.)

Hence, Comcast was the winner of Consumerist.com’s 2010 Golden Poo award.

Classy.

Let’s set aside the statistical invalidity of a self-selecting Web poll that, let’s be honest, was purely a crowd-pleasing bit of click-bait. Note that Comcast “beat” Cash4Gold in a “semifinal” matchup. That’s like asking what you hate more: the Florida State football team or hangnails.

The bogus methodology didn’t stop Verizon from gloating in a tweet, “One of the few times you’ll hear us congratulate Comcast. Consumerist readers have spoken…”

The bigger point is, Comcast (still) has an image problem. Comcast didn’t shrug off the episode as a silly or meaningless stunt, even though it maintains that third-party surveys show the MSO is improving its customer-service standing.

“We’re working every day to improve our customers’ experiences with us, including offering a Customer Guarantee that’s backed by significant operational changes,” the company said in a statement. “We’ve taken steps over the past two years to improve our product reliability and service, and if a problem does occur, we work to quickly to resolve it, find the root cause and make changes so it won’t happen again.”

Comcast and other cable operators have consistently trailed on customer-service surveys — although there are notable exceptions like Cox, Cablevision and WideOpenWest that have turned in above-average scores (see and Cover Story: To Win Wallets, Win Hearts First).

For Comcast specifically, what is the problem? Is it the ghosts of horrible customer service past? Anger over increasing prices (more keenly felt in a down economy)? Or is it Comcast’s hugeness that is threatening — the Consumerist cited its pending deal to gain controlling interest in NBC as one of the reasons it was “the worst company.”

What’s your take? Add your comments below.

Comcast must have some happy customers, given that it added 1 million broadband subscribers in 2009 (although it lost 623,000 video subs).

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