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The 5 Most Hated Companies – Why We Continue Patronizing Them

MSN Money and a number of other news outlets reported on a story this morning regarding the 5 most hated companies, research conducted by 24/7 Wall St.

The 5 most hated include:

  1. Facebook
  2. American Airlines
  3. AT&T
  4. Nokia
  5. Goldman Sachs

There were distinct reasons why each one was included on the list, but suffice it to say that the majority of the rankings had to do with complaints due to bad experiences for customers, the public and stakeholders/shareholders.

Personally, I patronize 3 of the 5 – American Airlines, Facebook and AT&T. In fact, I want to be transparent in admitting I’m actually an AT&T stockholder. Yes, it’s true. I own a wastebasket somewhere on the 3rd of floor of the company’s Dallas-based headquarters.

If these companies are SO hated, why do we continue to do business with them?

Reason: We can’t find what they offer anywhere else.

Fact: Not true at all. There are many other airlines, other social media sites and other communications’ companies.

Reason: Convenience.

Fact: Because I am in the DFW area, American Airlines IS convenient, but so is Southwest, and it flies to most of the business/leisure destinations I fly. AT&T really isn’t convenient other than it would be a pain to switch my entire family plan to another provider, let alone try to get out of contract. As far as Facebook goes … well, lately, I would say that Facebook is anything but convenient with the way it keeps changing its interface.

Reason: They provide a good value.

Fact: Value is based on the cost/benefit, which is different for most of each provider’s customers.

Reason: It’s fun to do business with each company.

Fact: I can’t fully offer my definition of fun, but if it means waiting for the crew of an American Airlines’ jet to show up or experiencing WAY too many dropped calls from AT&T, then my definition of “fun” is really different from your definition, probably.

Still, I continue to do business with these companies. Why? The bottom line for me probably has more to do with not wanting to change than anything else and being satisfied with some level of customer service/perks. No, I can’t get a direct flight from DFW on Virgin to Denver, but I can get my AAdvantage points on American. I could probably survive very nicely on Twitter or LinkedIn, but I’ve come to enjoy the interaction I have on Facebook with my friends, even if the experience isn’t as gratifying as it once was.

As far as AT&T goes, I’m a shareholder, so I’m here to stay. Still, I wish the company would work on getting its act together with respect to service and support.

At the end of the day, I think most of us don’t want to change – and that’s just fine with me as long as I can be happy with what I get.

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