Photo (cc) by mrkathika
Taking its lead from Santa, Consumer Reports is keeping track of who’s naughty or nice.
In its fifth annual Naughty & Nice List, CR takes a look at companies’ consumer-friendly (or not-so-friendly) policies.
The Naughty & Nice List “is neither an endorsement nor a criticism of an overall company,” CR said. It went on to explain:
In other words, we’re not covering the companies themselves. Rather, it’s a thumbs up or thumbs down on a specific policy or practice that we believe helps or hinders consumers.
These companies earned the dubious distinction of ending up on CR’s naughty list:
- AT&T. The Federal Trade Commission is suing the company for allegedly “throttling” millions of its unlimited data plan customers. The FCC claims AT&T slashed customers’ speeds by up to 90 percent, “making common activities like Web browsing, streaming video, and GPS navigation difficult or nearly impossible,” CR said.
- Dillard’s. The department store has a policy that prohibits price adjustments, both online and in-store.
- Zales. According to CR, the average APR is 23.23 percent for most retailer credit cards, but Zales has the single highest retailer APR at 28.99 percent.
Hearthware Inc./NuWave, M&T Bank, Marriott, Overstock.com, Spirit Airlines, Victoria’s Secret and Yelp also ended up on the naughty list.
These companies’ policies earned them a spot on CR’s nice list:
- Discover. It’s important to check your credit. You’re entitled to one free credit report a year from each of the three major credit bureaus, but getting a look at your FICO credit score often comes with a fee. Discover was the first major credit card company to provide its customers with free FICO credit scores on their monthly statements.
- JetBlue. The airline’s price-adjustment policy allows consumers who notice a price drop within 14 days of booking a flight to call the airline and receive a credit for the difference. If you see a lower fare after the 14 days, you will get a credit for the difference, minus $75, CR said.
- Whole Foods. More than 9 in 10 Americans want to know if they’re purchasing genetically modified food products. “Whole Foods became the first national grocery chain to commit to mandatory labeling of products that include GMOs,” CR said.
CVS, Esurance, Sam’s Club, Starbucks, StubHub, Tesla Motors and UPS are also on the nice list.
Click here to access CR’s Naughty & Nice List in its entirety.
Is there a company you would add? Do you agree with CR’s list? Share your thoughts below or on our Facebook page.