WASHINGTON, July 12 (UPI) -- A track record of frequent, long outages and customer complaints earned energy provider Pepco recognition as the most hated company in America, a report showed.
The American Customer Satisfaction Index group said its findings indicated the regional utility for the District of Columbia and some of its Maryland suburbs was last in customer satisfaction, below Comcast, Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase & Co., UnitedHealth Group and American Airlines, The Washington Times reported Monday.
The findings, based on customer interviews and reported recently by the Business Insider Web site, ranked Pepco "ahead" of several business entities that often catch flak from customers about poor service, high prices and privacy intrusions.
"For any utility, that's scoring low. It's generally about rates and reliability," said David VanAmberg, ACSI managing director.
ACSI rates companies on a 100-point scale, using a mathematical model that considers customer expectations, complaints, loyalty and other factors to determine overall satisfaction.
Pepco scored 54 out of 100, the lowest of 19 companies listed in Business Insider's report, the Times said. The list included six telecommunications companies, four airlines, two banks, two social networking sites and one healthcare provider.
Pepco spokesman Bob Hainey said the company has started a five-year, $500 million initiative to improve infrastructure and service.
"We at Pepco know we have work to do and we're doing it every day," the company said in a statement. "For us to be distracted by this kind of sensationalism would be counterproductive."