These Are the Companies Americans Trust Most

Lately your inbox has probably been flooded with e-mails from companies announcing that they’re updating their privacy policies to comply with the EU’s new GDPR requirement. This comes in the wake of the Facebook scandal that’s led some to not only distrust the social media platform itself but also question how other companies use their data. Furthemore it would seem that disdain for corporations in general has been on the rise for years as income inequality has become a hot topic. With all of that, which companies do Americans actually trust?

A new study by the Temkin Group reported on by MarketingCharts sought to discover what the most (and least) trusted companies currently were. To do this, the group assigned each company on the list a Trust Rating, representing a percentage of how many consumers rated the company highly compared to those who rated it poorly. The result is a list of more than 300 companies with Trust Ratings ranging from a low of around 20% to a high of over 80%.

Topping the list was USAA with an 81% Trust Rating. More specifically the top honor went to the company’s banking services while their credit card and insurance offerings were tied for fifth place with a score of 75%. As MarketingCharts notes, this strong showing corresponds with a separate study by YouGov, which named USAA the brand customers were most likely to recommend to others.

Incidentally USAA wasn’t the only financial services institution to make the most trusted list. They were joined by A credit union with 77%, Regions bank at 74%, and the Navy Federal Credit Union. However the rest of the list showed some variety in the types of businesses represented. For example second place was taken by the grocery store chain Wegmans with a 79% Trust Rating while another supermarket, H-E-B,  tied for third with 77%. Rounding out the list was an interesting three-way tie between hotel chain Holiday Inn Express, the Alabama Power Company, and the ice cream scoop shop Baskin Robbins — all with a score of 73%.

Although the top trusted companies may have a few surprises, those near the bottom of the list are a bit more predictable. Taking the dishonorable last place position with a score of 22% was Comcast. They were joined by several other television and internet service providers including Charter Spectrum (25%), Optimum (29%), Cox Communications (29%), DirecTV (38%), AT&T (40%), and Verizon (40%). Meanwhile Wells Fargo made an appearance on the least trusted list, likely due to their set of recent scandals and setbacks. Completing the list were some other usual suspects — Spirit Airlines (31%) and Sprint (40%) — as well as the fairly random San Diego Gas & Electic, which earned a Trust Rating of just 36%.

While it is certainly interesting to see the specific companies that Americans have an affinity or distaste for, perhaps what’s more eye-opening are how certain industries themselves perform. The strength of USAA shows that banks can indeed be revered even in a post-2008 world. However the survey does beg the question of when a telecom will breakthrough and earn consumer trust in such a loathed industry. With new scandals, data breaches, and other incidents happening every day, these rankings are also worth keeping an eye on in the future.


Jonathan Dyer

I'm a small town guy living in Los Angeles looking to make solid financial decisions. I write for a number of finance websites, including HuffingtonPost and Business2Community. I founded in 2015 to focus on personal finance and the emerging FinTech markets.

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