Never underestimate the ability of people to hate something that didn't exist a few years ago and they get for free.
Business Insider has posted a list of the "19 Most Hated Companies in America" that has an interesting surprise on it.
First, I don't much care for the headline because it assumes a low customer satisfaction rating equals flat-out hatred of a company. That's a leap.
(Also see: Myspace as cautionary tale)
But what's interesting is that several tech companies, at least according to the American Customer Satisfaction Index, are ranked below Bank of America, which is actually listed last among the 19 companies with a satisfaction rating of 68 out of 100. In other words, 18 other companies have even lower customer satisfaction scores than BofA.
Maybe that just means fewer people whose houses have been foreclosed on have time to fill out little consumer surveys. Who knows?
Anyway, here are the noxious 19. I've bolded one of particular interest:
19. BofA (68)
18. Dish Network (67)
17. Cox Communications (67)
16. Pacific Gas and Electric (67)
15. JPMorgan Chase (67)
14. AT&T Mobility (66)
13. L.A. Dept. of Water & Power (66)
12. Long Island Power Authority (65)
11. UnitedHealth (65)
10. Facebook (64)
9. Myspace (63)
8. American Airlines (63)
7. United Airlines (61)
6. US Airways (61)
5. Charter Communications (59)
4. Comcast (59)
3. Time Warner (59)
2. Delta (56)
1. Pepco (54)
Right there at No. 10, among immensely unpopular utility companies, airlines and cable providers, is social networking giant Facebook.
Is is possible that users are less satisfied with Facebook than are subscribers to AT&T Mobility, which is legendarily and routinely rated as the worst wireless provider by Consumer Reports?
Does it mean anything? You can argue that it doesn't -- so far. After all, Myspace is rated only slightly lower than Facebook, yet their respective fates couldn't be more different -- so far.
However, investors should keep this in mind: Many of the other companies on this list have monopolies or near-monopolies in certain regions.