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These Are the Companies With the Lowest Satisfaction Rating

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"...most of the companies on this list have consumers over a barrel and they know it."

According to the American Customer Satisfaction Index, which provides fairly accurate survey-based ratings, the following companies have the lowest customer satisfaction ratings.

Not surprisingly, the majority of the poorly rated companies are airlines (you’ll rarely hear someone talk about the wonderful time they had idling on the tarmac or being fondled by the TSA).

"These are not terribly competitive industries, as the switching barriers for most of them are quite high," David VanAmburg of ACSI told Business Insider. "In other industries, like the food or clothing sector, the competition is huge. They bend over backwards to make customers happy, because they have to."

In other words, most of the companies on this list have consumers over a barrel and they know it.

“Generally speaking, manufacturing companies have a much easier time to quality control their products,” VanAmburg said. “In terms of purchase and consumption, you’re going to get much higher ratings than an airline company where there’s a greater chance that something can go wrong.”

The worst companies include big banks, legacy airlines and utilities.

They also tend to be large companies: "When a company grows, there is a tendency to lose customer focus" VanAmburg concluded.

Here are some of the lousiest companies out there as researched and compiled by Business Insider:

Bank of America

Satisfaction rating: 68/100

Bank of America announced recently that they would start charging $5 for debit accounts. The announcement has been met with harsh criticism from existing customers and even Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill) took to the Senate floor to advise customers to "get the heck out of that bank."

The bank is America's largest mortgage service provider and the slowest to respond to clients, according to Treasury reports.

The bank is ranked 28 out of 30 -- the second lowest rated -- in American Banker's second annual survey of bank reputation.

Dish Network

Satisfaction rating: 67/100

Common complaints include incorrect billing and bad customer service. One consumer complained that she was denied a refund after accidentally overpaying a bill, reports Business Insider.

In 2009, Dish Network paid nearly $6 million to settle allegations that the company practiced misleading consumer marketing and lacked full disclosure when dealing with costs and fees. The agreement was made between Dish Network and 46 attorneys general.

JPMorgan Chase

Satisfaction rating: 67/100

Common complaints include interest rates as high as 11 percent, according to consumers. The giant bank has also been accused of charging absurdly high overdraft fees.

The company's consumer rating has steadily decreased since 2007, as costumers perceive the bank to be more impersonal with growth, according to ACSI.

Tell us how you really feel.

AT&T Mobility

Satisfaction rating: 66/100

Common complaints include dropped calls -- especially in New York City, San Francisco, and other major metropolitan areas -- and limited coverage.

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Facebook

Satisfaction rating: 64/100

A common complaint includes user's privacy and personal information protection. Social networkers worry about privacy and sometimes complain when Facebook introduces new features, like the news feed. Also, consumers are not happy with Facebook's constant interface changes.

However, it should be pointed out that as a free service, it doesn't seem that Facebook should rank next to other companies that fail to give customers their moneys worth. Nevertheless, Facebook users have made their feeling clear on the issue.

American Airlines

Satisfaction rating: 63/100

Common complaints include baggage fees and service cutbacks, as with most airlines.

One shouldn't be surprised that many of the worst rated companies in America are airlines. As mentioned in the above, they have become notorious not just for poor service, but for poor service at a high price.

United Airlines

Satisfaction rating: 61/100

Common complaints include flight delays and baggage fees. A recent unexplainable computer glitch resulted in the airline canceling 31 flights and delaying 105 more. Overweight bags could cost passengers $100-$200 apiece. Service cutbacks, as with most airlines, are a major concern for consumers.

The merger between United Airlines and Continental might have influenced the bad score of the company in consumer satisfaction. According to ACSI, a big merger in service companies usually has a negative impact on customer services in the short-term, because of organization issues.

US Airways

Satisfaction rating: 61/100

Common complaints include low-ratings for cabin-crew service, baggage fees and baggage handling, a lack of entertainment options and poor communication regarding delays. The company is currently censured by the Department of Transportation for its lack of communication with travelers.

In June 2011, the airline carrier paid $45,000 in fines for failing to include the law-required applicable taxes and fees on the same page as a print advertisement on air fare.

US Airways has recently launched a new program to encourage on-time arrivals, fewer filed complaints and an improved overall performance. In May 2011, the company announced cash bonuses would be awarded to workers with the fewest bag mishandling.

Comcast

Satisfaction rating: 59/100

Complaints include poor communication of upgrade and billing changes, lost channels for customers who didn't upgrade to digital box or digital-ready TV, long waiting time for technicians, and price hikes.

ASCI lists Comcast as a cable company (59/100) and a telephone company (69/100). In both cases it scores among the worst.

Time Warner

Satisfaction rating: 59/100

Time Warner has been a public relations disaster for at least a decade. Blunders include usage caps, fees increasing each year faster than inflation and fraudulent business acts and bad services.

In June 2011, a lawsuit was filed against Time Warner for refusing to make closed captioning available on CNN's online videos after being notified by disgruntled consumers.

Oh yeah, they also accidentally aired pornography on children's channels.

For a long time, cable companies in general lacked incentives to improve their customer satisfaction, as they enjoyed sole franchise agreements in many cities. With competition from satellite companies, they are being forced to address service issues -- but they have a ways to go.

Delta

Satisfaction rating: 56/100

Complaints include additional costs for food, beverages and baggage fees. The airline collected more than $952 million in baggage fees from flyers in 2010, almost twice as much as any other airline carrier.

Since acquiring Northwest airlines in 2008, Delta's consumer satisfaction score has plunged.

(H/T Business Insider)

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