It's that time of year again, kids! The Consumerist's 6th annual Worst Company in America tournament is underway. In the spirit of March Madness, the Consumer Reports-owned blog has picked a bracket of 32 companies, culled from thousands of nominations, this year.
The two most represented fields are telecom — where the reigning champ is America's biggest cable operator, Comcast — and banking/credit companies. Airlines received fewer nominations despite higher fees and TSA pat-downs. Newcomers include BP, for obvious reasons, and Johnson & Johnson for record product recalls.
Two matchups are posted daily, winnowing the field down to the ultimate winner/loser.
Round One match-ups posted so far include:
Bank Of America vs. Citi
Dish Network vs. DirecTV
United/Continental vs. Delta
Walmart vs. Gamestop
Tickemaster vs. PayPal
Sony vs. Dell (closing at 3 p.m. ET today)
Looming match-ups and voting deadlines:
Capital One vs. American Express (noon ET March 18)
Wells Fargo vs. Chase (3 p.m. ET March 18)
Toyota vs. BP (noon ET March 21)
Time Warner Cable vs. Facebook (3 p.m. ET March 21)
United Health vs. Wellpoint (noon ET March 22)
CVS vs. Johnson & Johnson (3 p.m. ET March 22)
Comcast vs. Charter (noon ET March 23)
RadioShack vs. Best Buy (3 p.m. March 23)
AT&T vs. Verizon (noon ET March 24)
Apple vs. Microsoft (3 p.m. ET March 24)
Separately, a new study by Web Liquid Group shows that automobile, finance, and food service industries generated the most complaint-related searches in 2010.
Here’s their chart of raw complaint queries:
Complaints compared to overall search:
And mobile complaint search: