Can You Guess America’s Best and Worst Retailers?

You might be surprised at some of the most loved retailers………’ll likely not be surprised at all about the most hated ones.   Starting first with the bad news, let’s say it all together:  cable and wireless companies!    That’s right. Even though they had some competition from the banks, used car dealers, airlines, healthcare providers and internet scammers, the communications companies led the pack in consumer raspberries…..and for good reason.  These companies charge premium prices for subpar service in as arrogant a manner as could be expected by quasi-monopolies.   The most loved retailers?    Would you believe #1 is a bank?

The most recent data is from Marketforce Info which rates Nordstrom, Kohl’s, T.J. Maxx and Macy’s as the top four fashion retailers.  Among the stop shoe retailers were Foot Locker, Sketchers, Nike and DSW.  (One of our favorites, Off-Broadway, wasn’t listed in the survey).  However, there are two notable findings in this 2015 report.   First, all of these retailers have had trouble selling their goods via the Internet.   Less than 28% of the customers surveyed used these retailers’ ecommerce or mobile apps.   And of those that did, 54% were dissatisfied.   The other notable finding was that Walmart ranked the lowest in satisfaction, joined by Old Navy, Target and Ross as retailers who did not fare well.

According to a 2014 Temkin Survey, here are the best and worst of the bunch:

company rankings

But let’s not put too much stock in just one survey.  What do some of the other customer satisfaction surveys say?   The American Customer Satisfaction Index, put out quarterly by the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business, is “considered the most comprehensive customer satisfaction survey in the United States.  Time Warner was at the bottom of the barrel with a score of 56/100. This is actually the lowest score of all time. Congrats on being the best of the worst, Time Warner. Comcast received a 57/100. Verizon received a 71, and AT&T a 65.      Motley Fool agreed, calling the Cable and Internet companies the “most hated companies in America”.

CablehatredIn another survey published by consumer complaint website The Consumerist,  Comcast beat out Monsanto for the most hated company in America.  It was followed up by Time Warner Cable and Walmart.    And the Wall St. Journal reported that McDonald’s was among the most disliked companies, followed by Walmart, JC Penney,  Blackberry and Dish Network.    And the highly regarded consultancy firm, McKinsey, found that amongst the most disliked retailers were PayTV, Internet, Health Insurance, Postal and Phone companies:


Overall, it looks as though companies who are in competitive businesses that have earned consumer trust with consistent and high quality services fare well.    No wonder that Amazon, Costco, USAA, Publix and Trader Joe’s have earned customer loyalty. Those companies in marginally or uncompetitive industries with inconsistent service have earned customer emnity.     So the question is why the regulators of the Internet, Commucations, Health, Phone and Airlines haven’t done a better job of demanding higher quality service?    Perhaps another one of the most hated companies in America should be the regulatory agencies whose job it is to oversee the barely competitive industries that provide some of America’s most important services.

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