Bank of America, Best Buy, Electronic Arts Lead Competitors in the Sweet 16 Round of Consumerist.com’s ‘Worst Company in America’
Newcomers Spirit Airlines and Electronic Arts Knock Out Competitors While Other Rookies Fall to Tournament Veterans in First Round of Consumer Voting
NEW YORK, March 21, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — After an opening round of voting, the 32 companies in Consumerist.com’s seventh annual “Worst Company in America” tournament have been whittled down to the ‘Sweet 16,’ with 2011 Grand Champion runner-up, Bank of America, earning 83 percent of consumer votes against rival Chase, further cementing the financial titan’s status as a bracket favorite. The competition proved too much for many of this year’s rookies. However, newcomer Spirit Airlines, a relatively small airline, was able to emerge victorious over veteran contender Delta, one of the world’s largest airlines. First-time nominee Electronic Arts (EA) also advanced to the Sweet 16 round.
In the matchup between EA and Sony, consumers made it clear they were tired of playing games with EA’s increasing amount of add-on content not included in games and the company’s exclusive deal with the NFL. With the help of these less than popular policies, EA made a strong first showing in the competition, earning 80 percent of reader votes to beat out Sony. Worst Company in America bracket veteran Best Buy also started strong in the first round against fellow retail behemoth Target. Best Buy racked up 86 percent of the votes against Target, but only time will tell if the company is able to turn this early lead into a victory against EA in the Sweet 16 round.
“Perennial bracket juggernauts like Walmart, Comcast and Ticketmaster keep finding new ways to irk consumers and maintain their status as ‘the companies to beat’ in this competition,” said Chris Morran, Deputy Editor of Consumerist.com. “We’re curious to see how far Bank of America’s new debit card and checking account fees will take them and if a dark-horse like Facebook, with its slew of user privacy issues, might make a surprise run at the Championship.”
The companies in the Sweet 16 round were nominated and voted on by Consumerist.com readers 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, Consumerist.com visitors’ votes will scale down the brackets until the final round on April 2, after which a Grand Champion will be named. Consumers can visit Consumerist.com today to cast their vote for the first bout in the Sweet 16 round between Best Buy and EA at 12 p.m. ET
Throughout the next two weeks, consumers will see Bank of America, GameStop, Apple and AT&T, among others, fight for the glory of the following round – the Elite Eight – which kicks off on March 27.
Consumers can check back regularly at Consumerist.com for updated brackets and voting opportunities throughout the month of March and April. The 2012 Grand Champion in Consumerist.com’s “Worst Company in America” will receive the prestigious Golden Poo Award, a golden statuette modeled after a pile of poo.
Upcoming elimination dates:
- March 27 – Elite 8
- March 29 – Final Four
- April 2 – Championship Battle
- April 4 – 2012 “Worst Company In America’ Grand Champion Announcement
Click here for a direct link to bracket.
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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.