The five companies you love to hate - but who's even worse?

As we’re past the halfway stage of the year, it’s safe to say that it’s almost Christmas, which means only one thing – Bitterwallet’s Worst UK Company Of 2009 Award.

We’re not sure what became of last year’s winner, Setanta Sports, but as we ready ourselves for the spleen-venting season, The Times have compiled the top five companies who they receive the most complaints about to their Troubleshooter consumer affairs section.

There are no surprises whatsoever in the listing, which is as follows…

1:  BT





It’s a depressingly predictable list, but who’s been getting your consumer goat recently? Tell us the companies who you think should be up there and why. Maybe you’d even like to stick your neck above the parapet and act as an apologist for the gruesome fivesome listed above. Go on, it’s raining – it’s not as though you’ve got anything better to do.


  • bingob
    I'm surprised about Alliance & Leicester, I've had nothing but good experiences with them... HSBC on the other hand are utterly useless
  • numberwang
  • Will
    I'm fairly surprised at A&L being in that list to be honest, they've been pretty good to me over the couple of years i've been a customer for.... though I've never needed an overdraft, which is seemingly what they're whining about. They've probably gotten worse since Sultana bought them though.
  • tek-monkey
    AOL, bunch of incompetent lying *******. Got my GF to cancel several months ago, they still charged her regardless of her moving to sky and are trying to weasel out of giving the money back. No wonder they don't use a UK call centre, as I'd have been round to 'talk' to a manager personally. I am currently filling out a small claims demand for calls made and time wasted talking to these lying pieces of ****, they even tried to tell me they had no way of knowing when a PAC code was used FFS. In fact, every company who refuses to have a UK phone presence then instructs the poor Indian guys to lie through their teeth. Of course its their company policy, these guys have a set script to work from so why do they always say (when you FINALLY pin down native british speaker) that they have no idea why the other staff said what they did. GRRRRRRR!
  • Will
    A&L and Abbey may not be perfect but they don't deserve to be on that list!
  • no,I'mspartacus
    PIXMANIA, a right bunch of twats.
  • Craig
    Npower, definetly, in the words of comic book guy "Worst company... ever!" as for Natwest, I bank with them and never had any problems, in fact I was with HSBC before that and they were pants.
  • Dodzi
    Why isn't Ryanair on this list? More consumer articles on this site than any other! And in a bank, if you dont like them, just walk out of the door. Bit more tricky when you are on a plane...
  • ronnie
  • Jeb J.
  • Party P.
  • Steve
    Orange stores, as apparently they do not do refunds once you leave the shop!! Oh, and they hang up on you when you ask for their name to complain about their poor customer service.
  • becks
    Dodzi - someone will correct me if wrong, but thats the list The Times have on there site, not a reflection of Bitter Wallet
  • keith
    I have been with a&l eversince they took over girobank and I think they are the best bank in the country online or on the phone theyre brillient.i could get £100 to swap but I wouldnt
  • a47
    Where's Virgin Mobile???????????? They've gotta be on the list!!!! Right at the top.
  • Bet S.
    Pretty much any mobile network, but especially 3. Why do people keep giving them money?!?
  • Di
    Talk Talk
  • Di
  • Hugh R.
    I've never had any bother with eon who provide my fuel and light natwest who look after my money or BT who sort out my comms needs. Some people like a good fucking moan about nothing
  • a47
    Yeh ... I nearly forgot ... good old ebay and paypal (How did I forget them? Is it because no-one in their right mind uses them anymore?)
  • nikki
    I don't what all the bother is about, for electric,gas,mobile etc, just go with the utility warehouse, english call centre and they are cheap.
  • The B.
    A&L? Seriously? Why? Can't comment on Abbey but the others are all shite, nothing but bad experiences from all of them.
  • Inside P.
    Three, useless changing T&Cs and fobbing you off saying it's to your benefit. Not likely.
  • adr0ck
    Ticketmaster bunch of robbing BA$T&*D$
  • Peter
    @Will Don't you mean Santander not sultana
  • Joff
    This week Tesco have pissed me off by sending rotten produce as part of my home delivery order. They also substituted 2 medium sized steaks for 1 medium sized steak. Not really a substitute in my book, it just means someone has to go hungry at tea time. I'm going back to Sainsbury's from now on, at least their delivery vans make the neighbours think you're doing alright for yourself. Opodo? We're not made of money...
  • Malky
    National shitting Express.
  • Honky S.
  • bob
    come on if you think abbey and A&L are good move banks to Firstdirect and see how bad they are. Abbey are the biggest joke, the told me 4 times that a zero card was on its way and after a 5th call that the application had been cancelled because they hadnt received the form back. Useless, A&L customer service is terrible and their website the worst, they also hold on to your money for an extra day when you transfer it out.
  • Nobby
    Joff - I had it the other way around last week. I had a Sainsburys delivery at 10pm one evening. Of the fresh groceries, a melon, a bag of potatoes and tray of fish all had best before as the day of delivery. Phoned them up to complain and they told me I had to return them to the store if I wanted a refund.
  • Chris
    Tesco PayPal Ebay Virgin AOL How did these not make the list?
  • Chris
    Oh and when I said Virgin I meant Virgin Media - truely awful company.
  • Linz
    NPower... it has taken them almost three months to apologise for their cocky little twat of a salesman turning up at my door and attempting to push past me to get into my house. It took me (a little scrap of a lass, but a feisty Yorkshire lass all the same) shoving the door shut on his face and locking the door before immediately getting on to them to complain. Various emails and phonecalls later, and I have a standard letter saying they are very sorry and that it won't happen again. And for their sakes, it better not do, as I have demanded that my details are removed from their marketing database and expressly revoked the implied permission they have to step foot on my freehold property. One more doorstep call and I'm suing the bastards for trespass. I look forward to my doorbell ringing...
  • Dave S.
    Linz, If a little shit from nPower tried that with my Mrs, I would have removed at least 7 shades of shite from his face!
  • Linz
    @ Dave Smith. He was lucky my brick outhouse-esque partner was not in the house and that I had my hands full. Reading their sniveling by email more than made up for not caving his face in. Especially when I found the Energy Sure code of conduct and very politely annotated the whole document showing exactly which guidelines their little cretin had broken. Taking the moral high ground is a more lengthy process, but just as satisfying. I am reliably informed that the little shit was later spotted in my local Co-op being IDed for fags. Apparently he blurted out "But I'm an Npower representative!" Perhaps they have a cloning factory for jumped up little shits?
  • ehsan
    paypal i lose £250 after paying with paypal paypal shouldbe on no:1
  • TRistan
    Never had a problem with abbey. Always been cracking for me :)
  • Lefty
    Sainsburys They stopped me and asked to search my bag, I had'nt even passed the newspaer stand. Ha :o)
  • Steve
    BT for definate, spent over an HOUR on the phone to 'em trying to pay my final bill after the useless twits told me that my final payment would come out of the bank three weeks before it did, hence me cancelling the DD too early. Virgin Media are an odd one. I hate their call centre with a passion but now I've learnt how to navigate it I can get an engineer in about five minutes and they're at least quick to pick up the call. On the other hand when you're escalated to second line they're really good even if you do have to shout a lot to get that to happen. But any company of that size that has NO complaints process other than writing to 'em deserves to be on the list. I'd also like to nominate Apple... their in-store support is fantastic but over the phone they're pretty poor. Worse, they're STILL not acknowledging fundamental flaws in some of their products (expanding batteries in Macbook Pro's for instance) as applying to all batches leading to ridiculous problems trying to get a replacement for what's clearly a faulty component.
  • chocky2002
    Tesco Paypal AOL Abbey
  • Dave S.
    “But I’m an Npower representative!”
  • Dave S.
    Sorry, was spitting coke all over the screen after reding that and accidently pressed the POST button
  • Tracey
  • victor
    The POST OFFICE royal mail. is crap ,they lose your parcels and then wont even compensate you send a complaint letter and they lose that aswell.and this is on more than one occation.even with proof of postage
  • Gary g.
    PC World - sell tin pot pcs to tin pot people. " Last years tec at this years prices". Absolute joke.
  • Bobby
  • Bobby
    AOL 3 eBay PayPal Sky BT Royal Mail E.on Barclays Tesco

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