Electronic Arts rates as worst company for 2nd year

Readers of the Consumerist blog cite its pricing, badly produced games and nonstop shilling for unwanted products. They hate EA more than they do B of A.

By Charley Blaine Apr 10, 2013 3:50PM
This is probably an award you don't want -- much less win for two years running -- but according to readers of the Consumerist blog, video game producer Electronic Arts (EA) is the worst company in America. And, yes, for a second straight year.

Electronic Arts beat, for lack of a better word, Bank of America (BAC) for the not-so-coveted golden poo. Electronic Arts' sins: selling sequels to popular games that are poorly conceived and programmed; high prices for new games and seeking to get users of free games to buy more EA products; and bad customer support.
Electronic Arts admits mistakes. In a recent blog post, chief operating officer Peter Moore noted "server shut-downs too early, games that didn’t meet expectations, missteps on new pricing models and, most recently, severely fumbling the launch of 'SimCity.'" And, he said, "We can do better."

But Electronic Arts is one of the largest electronic game producers. So it gets hit by all sorts of complaints, Moore wrote. © Michal Czerwonka/Getty Images

Some critics called on customers to vote for the company as worst of the worst because they disagreed with the choice of the cover athlete on "Madden NFL."

Some conservatives campaigned against the company because it lets gamers create lesbian and gay characters in some of its games.

Electronic Arts shares don't appear to be much bothered by the "award." The stock was up 24 cents to $17.69 Wednesday afternoon. It's up nearly 22% on the year, although down from a March 14 closing high of $19.34.

Bank of America still struggles with the huge problems of its mortgage business and its ill-fated acquisition of Countrywide Financial. They include foreclosing on the wrong properties and faulty paperwork that prevents homeowners from getting loan adjustments.

Not to mention when a trio of contractors winterizing and securing a house that Bank of America was foreclosing on made off with a customer's Dodge Challenger. They later pleaded guilty to unauthorized use of a motor vehicle.

Consumerist is published by a subsidiary of Consumer Reports.

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Apr 10, 2013 5:00PM
In my opinion , it's the U.S. government
Apr 10, 2013 4:43PM
Banks, Insurance Companies, Big Oil, and most people hate a Video Game Company...A VIDEO GAME COMPANY?  This is a joke, right?
Apr 10, 2013 5:22PM
really suprised that Comcast is not on the list.
Apr 10, 2013 5:25PM
For all those saying that a bank or walmart should be the worst company consider what is expected of these companies:
Bank of America: you expect them to be corrupt and to screw you whenever possible
Walmart: you expect long lines and horrible customer service
EA: you expect good games that bring enjoyment in to your lives

Conclusion: Bank of America and walmart meet expectations while EA falls on its face
Apr 10, 2013 7:20PM
Wonder how many mortgages EA screwed up? This is a ridiculous blog.
Apr 10, 2013 7:12PM
I would have voted for Walmart for the worst company if they had asked.
Apr 10, 2013 6:02PM

They out  AT&T? - BofA - kids in comparison


Apr 10, 2013 11:50PM
I think Bank of American is still the worst US company.  A game is a voluntary endeavor, with no implied trust.  A bank is a necessity and is something we must count on.

I had moved most of my accounts out of B of A and into Chase, but had some long-term CD's and a loan I had to leave there.  I had automatic payments going into the loan.

I work in China, so I check the site infrequently.  A payment showed as being made from my Chase account, but not appearing on the B of A loan.

I e-mailed both Chase and B of A.  B of A kept repeating that customer service could not help me with the loan by e-mail, that I had to call a different number--despite the fact that it said everything could be handled by e-mail on the "contact us" page.  I told them my phone in China will not call internationally.  I implored them to help me and they gave me a link to a website that  would supposedly help me make an international call.  It took forever to get the page to open and finally when I did, none of the codes it gave me to make my international call to B of A would work.  I wasted a day trying,  By contrast, Chase gave me complete information, did a stop payment on the check for no fee,  and suggested I re-check the payment info at B of A.

Sure enough, the longstanding payment address I had for the loan had been changed--with no notice from B of A.   I changed the address and Chase and they hustled a replacement payment out.   B of A charged me $48 late fee for a payment that was 2 weeks late (the first time I have been late in nearly 30 years).  I had to mail a postal letter to B of A from China to ask them to take it off and fix my record.  Haven't heard anything back yet.

At Bank of America, "customer service" is customer predation.  Do something good for the world:  cancel your B of A accounts today!

Apr 10, 2013 8:05PM
Apr 10, 2013 7:07PM
I thought for sure it is CITI, Capital One (with their the brazen Q., what's in your wallet?), or AARP.  AARP must have money to burn.  I already wrote to them to stop sending me junk mail, but it did not stop.  2-3 mailings per week and almost every other day more junk  e-mails from AARP. This is a terrible waste of manpower, paper and resources.  Or are they doing it to keep the US Postal Service afloat?
Apr 10, 2013 6:35PM
Americans can be so easily manipulated to part with their money, that you begin to think we all went to our backyards and just picked money off our trees. 

Vote with your money. Forget the ballot boxes. 
Apr 11, 2013 12:14AM
No company lets you know that you do NOT own the product you paid for, more than EA does.
Apr 10, 2013 6:32PM
To all those complaining about EA being picked... it isn't like the WHOLE COUNTRY voted in this pseudo-election; just the readers of some blog (that I never even heard of, mind you).  
Apr 10, 2013 4:03PM

Wow this is a joke, right?


Bunch of stupid vocal minorities voting for 'worst company' in US.  First world problems, right?  Oh no a video game is bad... wahhh.


Their stock doesn't seem to be affected which tells me the people that matter don't give a s***.

Apr 10, 2013 4:38PM
The other thing is releasing a version of a game every year that usually, is not much different from the previous years' version.  Talk about money-grabbing, even Microsoft isn't this bad.
Apr 10, 2013 6:05PM
What a lot of you usual bloggers don't realize is this is more about customer service than a company as a whole. EA has made more $$$ last year than any other year and have the worst cust service. It takes them days/months to resolve simple issues were others can do it in hours. Not that they have bad games, but the ones they have often have game breaking bugs that are sometime horrendous. Most of their customers would be in the 14-30 yr old range, wanting the most out of their dollar  because they have less to throw away in the 1st place.
Apr 10, 2013 5:26PM

Damn.  And EA sports puts out such a good NASCAR simulation too.  Oh well...


Just saying...




A dis-satisfied customer and voter...


Apr 10, 2013 7:51PM

A video game company getting top billing as a lousy company? No surprise here. I used to work in Silicon Valley many years ago for a software developer. The long hours, the deadline crunches, the excruciating process of debugging code, and the possibility that the company will rush the product to market with bugs . . . putting tech support people in terrible situations, the bickering among department managers . . . it all makes for a lousy corporate culture.


Just because the end products of video games are fun to play with, don't fool yourself into thinking that the work going into video games development can be as much fun.


I sum up working for video game companies with this analogy:

Most people like to eat flavorable beef and chicken products? But, is the work in the meat processing plants all the enjoyable that produces the flavorable products that are in your hands for consumption?

Apr 11, 2013 11:40AM

Data mining is killing the digital industry. Companies don't just want to sell you a product anymore, they want to know what you are doing how you are doing it when you are doing it and who you are doing it with and it is just getting completely out of hand because companies like EA and Razer will force you to give up your rights to privacy to play their games. EA and other digital distribution services are allowed to cut you off from the games you PAID MONEY for because we no longer own the games but license them from these companies. Governments will continue to let them get away with infringing on our rights because corporations are the only citizens governments will listen to these days.

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