Invites Consumers to Bite Back in Sixth Annual Search for the Worst Company in America

Mar 14, 2011, 12:00 ET from

NCAA-Style Tournament Kicks off Today with 32 Contenders

NEW YORK, March 14, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --  Banks, telecom giants, and retailers are among the contenders in's sixth annual search for the 'Worst Company in America.' This year, 32 companies including Bank of America, Verizon and Best Buy, will compete to snag the title from cable-giant Comcast, the winner of last year's tournament.

The search kicks off on with 32 nominees in a bracket-style, single elimination tournament, similar to the NCAA basketball tournament. Each week, starting today and running until the final round on April 14, will scale down the brackets based on company match-ups and visitors' votes.  To be considered for inclusion, companies must regularly provide goods and services directly to consumers.  Nominations for the competition are solicited from readers.

"The 'Worst Company in America' tournament allows consumers to voice their opinions about big businesses with bad practices," said Meghann Marco, Executive Editor of  "Some companies come and go from the nomination list, but only Verizon and Walmart have been nominated every year since the competition's inception."

While Verizon and Walmart have sat tight on the nomination list for the past six years, neither company has ever won the title of 'Worst Company in America.'  Other companies, namely Johnson & Johnson, CVS and BP, are making their debut this season.  

After a two-year run in the competition, domestic auto-manufacturer GM failed to garner enough nominations to be in the running.  Although they aren't newcomers to the competition by far, American Express, Sony, UnitedHealth Group, Facebook, and Dish Network have returned to the tournament for the first time in several years.

The 2011 Grand Champion in's 'Worst Company in America' will receive the prestigious Golden Poo Award, a golden statuette modeled after a pile of poo.  Past winners of the competition include Comcast (2010), AIG (2009), Countrywide (now Bank of America) (2008), RIAA (2007), and Halliburton (2006).

Following is the calendar for key elimination dates.  Check out regularly for updated brackets and voting opportunities throughout the months of March and April.

  • March 25 – Sweet 16
  • April 6 –  Elite 8
  • April 12 – Final Four
  • April 14 – Championship Battle
  • April 18 – 2011 "Worst Company In America" Grand Champion Announcement

Here's a look at the 32 nominees and the match-ups.  Click here for a direct link to bracket.

The Consumerist: Worst Company in America 2011 Match-Ups

Bank of America vs. Citibank

Wells Fargo vs. Chase

GameStop vs. Walmart

Radio Shack vs. Best Buy

Time Warner Cable vs. Facebook

DirecTV vs. Dish Network

Sony vs. Dell

BP vs. Toyota

Capital One vs. American Express

Ticketmaster vs. Paypal

Comcast vs. Charter

CVS vs. Johnson & Johnson

Apple vs. Microsoft

Verizon vs. AT&T

United Airlines/Continental vs. Delta

UnitedHealth Group vs. WellPoint


The Consumerist's parent company, Consumer Media LLC, is a subsidiary of Consumers Union, the publisher of Consumer Reports, and, and the nation's leading not-for-profit consumer advocacy organization. Since its founding in 1936, Consumers Union has fought for a fair, just, and safe marketplace for all consumers and to empower consumers to protect themselves. To maintain independence and impartiality, CU accepts neither outside advertising nor free samples. It employs a staff of "mystery shoppers" who buy products in retail stores around the country, just as any other buyer would, and then ship them to the Consumers Union labs, where technical experts test some 3,000 products yearly.