Can Electronic Arts possibly be a worst company than, say, Bank Of America? Can it possibly offer more troubling customer service than even Facebook?
It seems that, in more than a few eyes, it can. For it has just been voted by readers of Consumerist as America's worst company. Yes, the worst. The very worst. The most irredeemably awful company of all.
The Hollywood Reporter tells me that some people were rather upset that Mass Effect 3 had a rather less satisfying ending than "The Sopranos." In conclusion, the customers stopped believing.
Gamers, just like any other fraternity of the disturbed human race, want finality. They want to know what happened for sure. Instead, EA was accused of, alas, "disrespect."
The effect of players' choices was diminished. Vast tranches of elements were simply blown up. Gamera were tearing their very long hair out. So much so that the New York Daily News reported that EA has now promised to tweak the game's ending in a free "Extended Cut" version.
This was, however, too late to mollify the hordes. They went to Consumerist and eked out their red mist with mass effect.
Consumerist, in announcing this award, expressed these feelings bluntly: "Consumerist readers ultimately decided that the type of greed exhibited by EA, which is supposed to be making the world a more fun place, is worse than Bank of America's avarice, which some would argue is the entire point of operating a bank."
This is philosophy of many layers. At heart, no one really expects banks, cell phone companies, or Wal-Mart to be repositories of human grace.
Consumerist explained further: "There have even been numerous accusations that EA and its ilk deliberately hold back game content with the sole intent of charging a fee for it at a later date."
Which is even worse, it seems, than charging someone $5 to access their own money.
Some might find it disturbing that EA doesn't seem too disturbed. Its spokesman, John Reseburg, told the Hollywood Reporter: "We're going to continue making award-winning games and services played by more than 300 million people worldwide."
I am not sure the word "continue" was the most felicitous choice possibly.
This vote, you see, wasn't close. In the two-horse final against Bank of America, EA secured 64.03 percent of the vote. Other tech companies did do rather well in this competition. AT&T, Facebook, Comcast, PayPal and Ticketmaster all made the Elite Hate -- I mean, Eight.
The banks will surely have to step up their gouging, fee fleecing and non-communicating in order to regain such a coveted crown.