Worst Company of 2012 - Amazon v Starbucks

19 December 2012

Here’s the last quarter final in Bitterwallet’s Worst Company In Britain 2012 competition – and maybe we’ve saved the best one until last.

Both of these companies have been in the spotlight for tax-related shenanigans of late – we speak of course of Amazon and Starbucks. Amazon regularly come out on top in our annual Best Company vote, but there’s a strong chance that won’t happen this year, following the recent revelations. Meanwhile, Starbucks have announced a £20 million 'donation' to the Treasury after their tax arrangements were criticised.

You’ve got until midnight tonight to vote and all the other quarter-finals can been viewed and voted on here. The semi-finals, featuring the final eight companies will be along shortly…


  • Dick
    So it's Amazon - bringers of cheap goods (and corp. tax avoiders) or Starbucks - corporation tax avoiders (and bringers of expensive coffee). Most people will overlook dodgy tax arrangements if it means they get stuff cheaper. Corporation tax will just add to Amazon prices, so is essentially a tax on the middle classes.
  • sdutton007
    To be fair, neither company has done anything wrong. How many people on this site would actually ever say something along the lines of: "I have to pay only £1000 tax this year - but I think I will pay £20,000 just for the hell of it" ???? But that is what many people EXPECT Amazon and Starfucks to do... Voted for Starbucks because I like and use Amazon (even though their website cannot search or filter correctly) - I never buy overpriced Starbucks coffee.
  • EmCee
    No mention of actionable comments against either of these companies?
  • Andy D.
    @EmCee - not sure you understand what is actionable and what isn't.
  • EmCee
    Down to interpretation I'd say Andy...
  • Andy D.
    No. Not if you've got training in media law. Not in the slightest.
  • Captain W.
    Voted for Amazon imply because they have continued to use Yodel, against the wishes of many of their customers and with no choice to opt out.
  • Jamie
    Any large company that's paying less % of corporation tax than a small company is doing something I consider morally questionable. Laws and morality and justice are not the same thing, never have been and if you're the sort of sap that judges what's right or wrong by the law of a land you're an apathetic automaton the likes of which have allowed society to go the way it has. Starbucks and HMRC should have been 1 and 2 in either order this year. Not sure what this HUKD nonsense is about. The 'deals' are user-generated on that site.
  • Yodel A.
    Amazon use Yodel. That makes them ipso facto worse than Starbucks.
  • Dick
    @Jamie, so why should Starbucks be #1 and Amazon not? Amazon have a larger turnover in the UK than Starbucks.
  • Captain W.
    @Dick, my thoughts exactly. Both companies are accused of organising their tax affairs "efficiently", so there is little or no distinction there. Starbucks ensure efficient delivery of their merchandise, generally reaching customers within expected timeframes. Amazon take their chances with frequent games of Yodel-roulette, with not all purchases reaching customers within expected timeframes.
  • qwertyuiop
    Definitely Amazon. Both companies are crooks, but only amazon of the two treat customers with such disdain. At least Starbucks know how to treat a customer. The last time I drank there, they got my order wrong 3 times (!!!), by the 3rd however it was what I'd asked for and on each instance they were very apologetic. Amazon however, are a bunch of weaseling cuntbags. They will worm their way out of pre order price promises by pretending that the item was "accidentally" mispriced and fob you off with lies regarding product availability, not once accepting responsibility, just choosing to shove legalese down your throat instead! Customer service is NOT something amazon pride themselves on, unlike someone like argos for example who give you credit vouchers if an order can't be fulfilled as means of apology. Oh yes, and the yodel thing too of course. Those of us not stupid enough to pay for amazon prime are treated as "lesser beings" who end up with these morons being given responsibility of our precious items (responsibility which they of course shirk). A late arrival is considered the lesser of all evils for Yodel - the unfortunate amongst us may end up with parcels which have clearly been opened/damaged or parcels not arriving at all. SORT YOUR GAME OUT AMAZON, OR CLOSE YOUR UK SITE!
  • Jamie
    @ Dick If you want the answer to that bend over and look in the mirror.
  • Her L.
    Starbucks because it's easier for me to switch my coffee buying preference to Costa than it is to switch my chinese goods purchasing to [actionable]whores[/actionable] like eBay and Boots.
  • Captain W.
    Oops. That post did not mention that Amazon was the supplier in this case. But I have heard reports that amazon prime has also relied on occasion on Royal Mail 1st class post - hardly next day.
  • Englebert.Humperdinck
    Apart from denying any responsibility after a year of any product and denying they have to comply with the SOGA I cant actually fault Amazons service whatsoever. I also cant say anything negative about HDNL as they are spot on our way unlike RM who are just shit in every sense
  • qwertyuiop
    Love to know why Starbucks are so far ahead of Amazon in the "tax avoiding dicklords" poll. Note to all "educated" people out there, they BOTH avoided paying tax. Starbucks have promised to start yet Amazon are STILL refusing to give a single fuck.
  • kv
    anyone who voted for Amazon is f*cking retarded
  • sdutton007
    I just think its funny how hypocritical all the people complaining about how much tax Starfucks/Amazon pay - if you found a loophole that saved you paying as much tax, the vast majority (if not all) of you would use it. Obviously you won't admit it, but it's true nonetheless!
  • Kv c.
    Anyone who posts under the name kv is fucking retarded. There you go mate, don't even need the asterisk. All this hate over starbucks is because of a tax issue. If they paid tax there'd be nowt wrong with them. Amazon PAY NO TAX either, and if they did their customer service and choice of carrier would STILL be shit. Wake the fuck up!
  • Vix
    Amazon is horrible. Jeff Bezos is a very deceptive man. take alook at amazon's financials. They route many cost of sales off balanace sheet to ficticiously inflate their groos profits. What other company could get away with this. They also bait and switch and advertise a cheap price only to find that they up the cost when you arrive at their site. Theri kindles are subpar pieces of junk. Their website usually has the most expensive prices on the net. Try thefind.com to find many, many vendors who offer far better pricing, free shipping ( at amazon, you have to pay $79 for that privilege) and no sales tax. Even ebay has vendors now who offer better pricing. That smiley arrow on amazon's boxes symbolize Bezos laughing all the way to the bank at all the ignorant people who buy overpriced items on his site.

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