There are always some American companies that find themselves under public backlash for whatever reason – hidden fees, terrible customer service – the list goes on. Yet, despite public outrage, these companies continue to operate, whether or not they decide to fix their practices.
So what’s it like to work for some of America’s most hated companies? We’ve gathered insight from the employees of Seaworld, Monsanto, Spirit Airlines, and others to discover what these employees go through while being employed by a hated corporation. You will be shocked at what some employees have experienced all because their company doesn’t care.
Spirit Airlines is unanimously known as the worst airline ever. Their selling point is the ability to fly to your desired destination at dirt-cheap prices. But with inexpensive airfare, of course, there is going to be a catch. They are infamous for charging passengers for everything, from checked bags to in-flight amenities – even extra leg room!
In addition to the unending amount of fees, people who’ve flown Spirit Airlines have complained of rude staff and filthy planes. Unfortunately, Spirit flyers have also commonly experienced delayed flights or cancellations. One former customer even complained that they were charged an extra take-off fee after the plane had to make an emergency landing because someone went into labor!
Whatcha Gonna Do?
One Reddit user, who previously worked for Spirit has expressed, “I wish people understood that I don’t have a say whatsoever in the policies they create and I’m only there to ensure passengers’ safety and comfort. If it were up to me people would at least get water for free.”
They also said, “I’m just happy to have health insurance and a job that just barely keeps me off welfare. First year flight attendants are lucky to make 22K. For the [expletive] I put up with, it isn’t enough.” According to this person, they are just trying to do their job and make a decent living for themselves.
You Get What You Pay For
Obviously aware of how outrageously ridiculous Spirit can be sometimes, Spirit employees have no time for customers who feel the need to complain. The same Reddit user said, “I hope people realize they’re paying for what they get – a seat. Yes, they pay for a bag… But it’s not like people don’t know this before they book the flight. So there is really no excuse. If you don’t like paying for the bag/drink/extra leg room, don’t fly spirit.”
So basically, customers who are using Spirit should know what they’re getting themselves into since these fees are apparently explicitly written on their website. The company isn’t really to blame here, but if they’re still getting customers despite the bad service, they see no reason to change.
Bank of America
Bank of America is one of America’s most popular banks but apparently, also one of the worst, according to Yahoo! Finance. Attributing its reputation to the financial crisis, the site says that Bank of America provides poor customer service to its nearly 47 million customers.
They charge phenomenal fees for almost every service they provide. Alternet.org has reported that in 2011, they raised the fees for their checking accounts, inducted a $35 overdraft fee, and was set to introduce a new account structure that made monthly fees unavoidable beginning in 2012. One can only imagine how those fees may have gone up since then.
They Don’t Know Everything
In 2008, consumerist.com published “Five Confessions Of A Bank Of America Personal Banker,” revealing how Bank of America employees really feel about working there and dealing with customers. It might come as a surprise that you don’t generally need accounting experience — or even a degree, for that matter — to work at a bank.
Consumerist‘s insider said that personal bankers only receive about one week of training on loans. The loans are only explained to them for a few hours before they go into sales training. So if a personal banker is trying to sell you a loan and you ask them specific details, they’re probably not going to be able to help you.
They’re Really Just Salespeople
The article also revealed a personal banker’s true intent: sell, sell, sell. While the title “personal banker” makes it seem as if they are there to serve you, they are actually just there to sell you stuff. Forget customer service, if you go in and don’t demand exactly what you came for, then you can expect to be offered a whole slew of services for which you will have to pay.
You can’t even call Bank of America to avoid the lines and ask for help, which is why they have a 1-800 number, where they’ll probably try to sell you services too. As the insider has stated, “BOA does not offer services, only ‘products.'”
Time Warner Cable
According to a 2014 article in Time, surveys have shown that Time Warner Cable ranked among one of the worst companies in terms of customer satisfaction. “High prices, poor reliability, and declining customer service are to blame for low customer satisfaction with paid TV services. The rise of streaming video from companies like Netflix and Amazon, combined with paid TV’s deteriorating service quality and higher prices, has led to the first-ever net loss of television service subscribers for a full year in 2013.”
Many people complain about Time Warner Cable’s services, yet they still subscribe to them, simply because they have no choice if it’s the only provider in their area.
It’s Not Their Fault
One of the biggest complaints about Time Warner Cable is their employees’ ability to arrive at appointments on time. They usually keep customers waiting all day at home just to get their services installed. But sometimes, the reason they are late is because of other customers.
According to employee confessions published by mentalfloss.com, “What is really irritating is when people just want to rant… I completely understand these issues but there is nothing I can do about it. And honestly, I don’t even mind hearing some complaints, but I cannot tell you how many times I have been late to my next appointment because a customer would not stop complaining about the company.”
Don’t Get Offended
One of the biggest ways that Time Warner offers their services is over the phone, much to the chagrin of frustrated call center employees. As terrible as Time Warner is, you can expect that the call center has to deal with an infinite amount of disgruntled customers. But be careful, they can hang up on you.
According to a source, “If you feel uncomfortable because they’re being verbally abusive, you can hang up. You just have to tell the manager, ‘Hey, this is what happened.'” In addition to that, there are no time limits placed on phone calls, so some phone calls can last hours depending on how difficult the situation is.
Comcast is generally hated for the same reasons as Time Warner Cable – after all, they are in the same business. They “received nearly three times the number of complaints of any other Internet service providers throughout the first 10 months of 2015, and almost double that of all Internet service providers combined,” according to Yahoo! Finance.
While most employees on this list so far haven’t necessarily complained about the job itself, Comcast employees have another take. In addition to Comcast’s poor services, they also provide poor support to their employees. This can cause lack of motivation, which may be a causing factor in their terrible customer service ratings.
Non-Investment In Employees
One former Comcast employee has complained that in all his years of working for Comcast, he has received employee of the month on multiple occasions, but was always passed up to advance to higher positions. He says, “I watched as lazy, unprofessional slobs went ahead of me. I was always given an excuse, once even that my wife had a good job so why should I worry?”
The former employee also mentioned that they would often change their benefits without notice and that they could be “fired at whim with no recourse for everything from attire, numbers, or being hurt on the job.”
All About The Sales
Like most companies, what they care about most is selling their products. While at Time Warner Cable a customer service representative can hang up on a rude customer, Comcast representatives have to sit there and take it so they can maintain a customer’s service with the company.
One Reddit user who is a Comcast employee says, “The monthly metrics you must meet or beat are what stress you out. Plus, if a customer wants to cuss you out or degrade you, you DO NOT have the authority to [disconnect the call]… The customer satisfaction surveys are also scored against you. Most customers are pissed off at Comcast not the rep. But sadly the rep takes the heat because the customer scored all zeros on the survey at the end of the call.”
Monsanto is America’s third most-hated company, according to an article from Bloomberg, and is known to the general American public as “the most evil company in the world.” Known as a “multinational agrochemical and agricultural biotechnology corporation,” Monsanto has fallen under public scrutiny for the role they play in agriculture and the environment.
Although they’re not the only company, Monsanto has most of the blame for the production and distribution of genetically-modified organisms, simply referred to as GMOs. Any food with GMOs is dubbed a “frankenfood,” lacking in the wholesome nutrition of natural food. GMOs are also known to have been bad for the environment and the general public health.
Despite public outcry against Monsanto, one former employee has actually come to their defense. The now stay-at-home mom, who remains anonymous, has written her defense for the “Genetic Literacy Project” in response to the “March Against Monsanto” movement ever since the company came under fire.
She talks highly of GMOs, saying that they have actually done great things for the environment, such as “resurrecting the American chestnut tree from the brink of extinction, saving the Hawaiian papaya, and reducing carbon emissions associated with agriculture equivalent to removing almost 12 million cars from the road for one year.” Still, people will believe what they will.
When Bloomberg released its list of the most loved and hated companies in America, Goldman Sachs was ranked the highest on the most hated list. Apparently, America hates Goldman Sachs even more than terrible companies like BP, who found themselves in an oil crisis, and General Motors, whose shoddy craftsmanship has lead to actual death.
But why do people hate Goldman Sachs? Probably because it is misunderstood, as the general public may not be quite clear on what exactly Goldman Sachs does (Hint: Investment Banking). Anyway, there are people who do actually have valid reasons for hating the Wall Street powerhouse and these people are its actual employees.
Employees Are Numbers
In May 2016, The Wall Street Journal reported that Goldman Sachs was going to stop rating their employees on a scale of one to nine and instead, invoke a system in which employees can give and receive feedback for performance reviews. The fact that Goldman Sachs was rating their employees based on a numbered scale is indication of how little they cared about the employee as an actual person, rather than a cog in the machine.
Former Executive Director for Goldman Sachs, Greg Smith, wrote an opinion piece for a 2012 issue of The New York Times, saying that the company culture has drastically changed in the 12 years that he has worked there. Smith writes, “Today, if you make enough money for the firm … you will be promoted into a position of influence.” The company began to care more about how much money its employees raked in, rather than serving what was best for the customer.
Every since the release of the 2013 documentary Blackfish, Seaworld has become one of the most publicly scrutinized companies in the country. Blackfish put Seaworld under the spotlight for its lack of morality and maltreatment of its animals, namely its killer whales.
The film exposed the deaths of employees and animals under the management of Seaworld, yet the company continues to take responsibility for these tragic events. Yahoo! Finance reports that park attendance at Seaworld locations have significantly declined and that “three whales died in the last six months of 2015” at Seaworld San Antonio. Despite everything, Seaworld continues to operate as normal.
A Deadly Job
In an article from The Dodo, former Seaworld senior orca trainer John Hargrove recounts the horrible things SeaWorld trainers have experienced in working with the killer whales. “He saw one young trainer’s arm get snapped in half by a misbehaving whale, and another nearly crushed between a whale and a concrete stage.”
In his own experience, Hargrove has been hit in the back by a whale that was 7,500 pounds and was even pulled underwater by a 7,000-pound whale, who had its teeth pressed against his hip bones. In his time working there, he has suffered from “multiple broken ribs, fingers, toes, and even facial fractures.”
Whale, This Is Bad
Hargrove even recounts how the orca whales were poorly taken care of. Seaworld was known for “withholding food for multiple days and even weeks to keep whales from misbehaving, manually drilling whales’ teeth to prevent infections, inbreeding whales and separating mothers and their calves.” The lifespan of an orca whale is supposed to be 30-50 years old, yet SeaWorld whales barely can barely make it to 20.
The most harrowing part of this is that SeaWorld barely owns up to its actions. On the hazardous experiences of the employees, “Seaworld testified in court that they had no knowledge that [the trainers] had a dangerous job.” Many former trainers and anti-Seaworld activists have rebuked Seaworld for caring more about making money over the safety of its employees and the well-being of its animals.