Worst Company in America, Twice the Disappointment

So, I’m sitting in my office, watching an online auction clock tick away for some property we’re interested in. I’m keeping half an eye on twitter as a distraction because municipal certificate auctions are hardly nailbiters and a link to an article from Peter Moore, the Chief Operating Officer at Electronic Arts pops up. He’s reacting to The Consumerist’s annual Worst Company In America bracket – EA’s a finalist this year after ‘winning’ the title last year.

Besides, isn't anyone except Umbrella winning this every year kind of ridiculous?

Besides, isn’t anyone except Umbrella winning this every year kind of ridiculous?

I don’t necessarily have a beef with The Consumerist’s poll any more than I have crazy hatred for EA – I actually don’t have a beef with EA at all. But Mr. Moore’s post got me thinking (particularly after he listed off some of the companies EA was ‘competing’ with). Are we, as gamers, seriously going to take EA to task as the worst company in America because we’re butthurt over SimCity? We’re the same people who went absolutely bonkers over the SOPA/CISPA bills and played a big part in getting them shut down through our online activism… and while we’re online, voting on this tongue-in-cheek bracket, we’re voting for EA? Really? They make games. They don’t kill wide swaths of the Gulf of Mexico with criminally negligent drilling. They don’t union-bust $9/hour employees trying to organize. They don’t sell tobacco (where is PhillipMorris on this list, anyway, Consumerist?). And they don’t jack up interest rates on student loans. (Sorry, off topic pet peeve.) I’m guessing ‘winning’ probably doesn’t do anything good for your recruiting abilities or your stock prices.

I guess I’m just saying:

We can do better, too.

9 Comments Worst Company in America, Twice the Disappointment

  1. Tony

    One thing to remember, is that the Consumerist is a customer service-based website. That’s why you see companies like EA and Comcast “fighting” for the top spot.

    Not saying I agree, just telling you the mentality.

  2. Brandon Coppernoll

    Per Tony above. This poll is from the Consumerist, and from a “consumer” point of view they’ve really done a bang up job at putting themselves in this spot.

    As far as worst company as far as morals and ethics go and killing off species of animals, no, they aren’t the worst.

  3. Jake

    Monsanto is indeed a pretty egregious omission. Also, InBev isn’t an American company.

  4. Verdian_

    Something tells me there is a Reddit thread somewhere informing the kids on there to vote for/against EA. probable the SimCity Reddit… It’s an online poll, and who are more into anonimous voting for something they hate than gamers?

    Now I’m not American so I can’t say much about the other companies or put a vote out there. But the target audience of the other companies seem to me to be not represented that much online than that of a games publisher, so I will be surprised if EA did’t win/lose this. (Hell, even if Comcast would be the worst, wouldn’t they prevent people from voting as they can’t get online in the first place? ;))

    I like the post Peter made about it, but its a bit risky. Ofcourse writing down your opinion is not a bad thing, but this is the internet… Look at the replies that were posted as a result of his post, maybe not the replies you want on your site. I agree with some of them, but I agree there are bigger fish to keep in mind in this “competition” and that as long as one target audience of one of the participated groups has an advantage of voting against them, that whole poll is one big pile of ….

  5. Nicole

    Brandon & Tony – Then maybe they should name the poll the “Worst Customer Service in America?” I don’t even disagree with some of the companies on here. Walmart treats their employees awful. No insurance. Rampant sexism. Comcast merged with NBC becoming a content provider that also produces content. But EA? Seems like Verdian said, reddit got involved.

  6. Justin Gifford

    It just goes to show that you never know what’s going to spur conversation when you write it. I think Verdian’s right – this has to be some sort of reddit thing, but at the same time, I think Nicole really has the point regarding the title of the contest. The Worst Company in America is a somewhat misleading title. However, even if we just couch it in terms of Worst Customer Service Company in the US, I have a hard time accepting EA as THE winner. AT&T definitely comes to mind, as do Comcast (seriously, do cable companies all suck?) EA’s responsible for a lot of hugely selling games, so clearly they’re providing stuff to the customer that makes them happy, kind of invalidating any logical nomination on their part outside of the Sim City launch fiasco, IMO.

    PS:Great conversation, guys and gals.

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