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Consumerist.com Launches Seventh Annual Search to Find the 'Worst Company in America'

Consumer Advocacy Site's NCAA-style Tournament Kicks Off; 32 Companies in the Running to Win the 2012 Golden Poo Award

NEW YORK, March 12, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Now in its seventh year, Consumerist.com's annual search for the 'Worst Company in America' kicks off today with first-time nominees Netflix, UPS, Spirit Airlines, Electronic Arts and Centurylink (formerly Qwest) joining perennial favorites including Bank of America, Walmart and Comcast. This year, 32 companies spanning the industries of telecommunications, finance, technology and many more are going head-to-head to snag the title from global oil and gas company, BP, who went home with the 2011 Grand Champion title.

The 32 nominated companies were selected from Consumerist.com reader submissions and will go head-to-head on the Consumerist.com website in a bracket-style, single elimination tournament, similar to the NCAA basketball tournament. Each week, starting today and running until the final round on April 2, Consumerist.com will scale down the brackets based on company match-ups and visitors' votes. To be considered for inclusion, companies must regularly provide goods and services directly to consumers.

"Last year's Final Round Death Match between BP and Bank of America ended with the highest number of votes of any 'Worst Company In America' championship ever," said Chris Morran, Deputy Editor of Consumerist.com. "The growth of this competition from its beginning to now shows just how eager consumers are to have their voices be heard and bite back against all the poor customer service practices out there – we hope the companies nominated are listening."

The 2011 competition drew over 250,000 votes from consumers, an increase of more than 234,000 votes from the competition's inaugural year in 2006. After narrowly clinching the 2011 Grand Champion title and going home with the prestigious Golden Poo Award, a golden statuette modeled after a pile of poo, BP failed to even make this year's nomination list.

This year's competition marks the first year since 2007 that not a single domestic or foreign car company earned enough nominations to be included in the Worst Company In America bracket. Meanwhile, Verizon and Walmart, the only two companies to be nominated every year since the competition's inception, are making yet another run at the Golden Poo Award in 2012. Ticketmaster and Comcast are also potential favorites in this year's matchups, as they each advanced to the Final Four last year.

Past winners of the competition include BP (2011), Comcast (2010), AIG (2009), Countrywide (now Bank of America) (2008), RIAA (2007), and Halliburton (2006).

Following is the calendar for key elimination dates.  Check out Consumerist.com regularly for updated brackets and voting opportunities throughout the months of March and April.

  • March 21 – Sweet 16
  • March 27 –  Elite 8
  • March 29 – Final Four
  • April 2 – Championship Battle
  • April 4 – 2012 "Worst Company In America' Grand Champion Announcement

Here's a look at the 32 nominees and the match-ups.  Click here for a direct link to bracket.

The Consumerist: Worst Company in America 2012 Match-Ups

Bank of America vs. Chase

Wells Fargo vs. Citigroup

Spirit Airlines vs. Delta

Sallie Mae vs. Ticketmaster

PayPal/eBay vs. Capital One

Charter Communications vs. Centurylink (formerly Qwest)

Netflix vs. GameStop

Sears/Kmart vs. Walmart

AT&T vs. Verizon

Google vs. Apple

Facebook vs. Sprint

UPS vs. USPS

Comcast vs. Time Warner Cable

DirecTV vs. Dish

Sony vs. Electronic Arts

Target vs. Best Buy

About Consumerist.com
The Consumerist empowers consumers by informing and entertaining them about the top consumer issues of the day. We are a leading online resource for consumer-driven advice about dealing with everything from non-existent customer service to onerous cell-phone contracts to ever-shrinking (and ever-more-expensive) grocery products. The Consumerist is published by Consumer Media LLC, a not-for-profit subsidiary of Consumer Reports, and takes no outside advertising.

About Consumer Media LLC
The Consumerist's parent company, Consumer Media LLC, is a subsidiary of Consumer Reports, the nation's leading not-for-profit consumer advocacy organization. Since its founding in 1936, Consumer Reports has fought for a fair, just, and safe marketplace for all consumers and to empower consumers to protect themselves. To maintain independence and impartiality, CR accepts neither outside advertising nor free samples. It employs a staff of "mystery shoppers" who buy products in retail stores around the country, just as any other buyer would, and then ship them to the Consumer Reports labs, where technical experts test some 3,000 products yearly.

SOURCE Consumerist.com

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