Toyota, BP among America's most hated firms

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Toyota and BP have joined a familiar cast of airlines, banks and telecoms providers as the most loathed companies in the United States, according to a survey published Thursday.

The list of 15 "most hated American companies of 2010," compiled by website 24/7 Wall St. is dominated by technology firms, which rank poorly in consumer and employee polls, stock market performance and press coverage last year.

AT&T is on the list for having patchy service, Dell for its shabby electronic store and fragile laptops, while satellite provider Dish Network features after a third of customers described its service as poor.

Dish Network's competitor DirecTV was also listed for perceived gouging through automatic contract extensions, and a 480 dollar cancellation fee.

Nokia, the world's biggest mobile phone company, saw its star fade thanks to customer complaints and a poor ranking for design.

But tech firms are not consumers' only source of angst.

McDonald's, described by the authors as "poster child for unhealthy food in America," is "among the most savagely criticized firms," earning it an appearance on the list according to the website.

A few firms feature on the list for obvious reasons.

Toyota, once the gold star of car quality made the list thanks to the recall of ten million vehicles worldwide over safety concerns.

BP's reputation was battered by the massive Gulf Coast oil spill, which saw its former boss Tony Hayward publicly berated for claiming he wanted his life back at the height of the crisis.

Unsurprisingly, financial institutions Citigroup and Bank of America, still reviled for asking taxpayers for a bailout after helping plunge the global economy into recession, also feature.

The ranking comes just weeks after US airports were paralyzed by heavy snow, but even in sunny times American Airlines is said to have dreadful customer service and its poor on-time departure track record.

Competitor United Airlines was listed after coming at the bottom of the American Customer Satisfaction Index and an employee satisfaction rating of 2.1 out of five.

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