You might be surprised to discover that your favorite brand has had its share of surprising or concerning incidents that were not immediately apparent. Although it may appear that everything is running smoothly for these corporations from an external perspective, there are often significant issues lurking within their manufacturing and distribution processes.
Many of these major corporate entities attempt to conceal any problems they may be facing, but the truth eventually comes out. Here are ten such companies that, once their secrets became known, lost loyal fans forever.
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1. Ashley Furniture
The discovery of Ashley Furniture’s OSHA violation did not come into view until 2015 when their Wisconsin factory had been flagged for many violations.
The company endangered the safety of its workers by not having proper safety features in place, leading to over 1,000 employee injuries.
This private website was created to assist people with their mental health issues, but they used this trust to exploit their customers. They shared clients’ sensitive and private information with social media platforms so they knew who to target when advertising.
The car company, Nissan, had attempted to make a website with its name but found it was taken by a man named Uzi Nissan. Uzi Nissan was a businessman who created the website for his small retail computer company in 1994.
The car company wanted the website address so much that they sued Uzi for ten million dollars. Ultimately, he won against the car company and retained ownership of the site, but he lost most of his money doing it.
4. Crumbl Cookie
A new and innovative delicious treat store, Crumbl Cookie, had gone under fire for underpaying their staff. The company’s VP said she would like to pay her employees “market value” for their work.
Although she wants hard-working and super-passionate employees, she still pays them minimum wage, making the treats not so sweet for some customers.
5. Weather Channel
A straightforward and valuable resource, the Weather Channel sold personal information about its users. Not only did they illegally collect the money, but they also distributed it to other companies.
Customers had no idea, and information about this did not come out until it was brought up in a lawsuit.
Bluenotes is a popular lifestyle brand primarily based in Canada, but it has met with its share of controversy. Former employees accused the company of violating child labor laws and overworking their employees with terrible pay.
They had denied doing this for years, but it was later proven that YM Inc., which owns Bluenotes, has used factories that have been proven to use forced labor.
While Goodwill sells affordable clothes for almost everyone, it was later revealed they could pay their employees “sub-minimal” wages for the workers who do not work as fast.
One forum participant stated that one co-worker went into the manager’s office and came out crying due to their wage getting cut down to $3.30 an hour. While this is not illegal, GoodWill tries to cover it up to save face.
In the 1970s, Nestlé donated baby formula to third-world countries. New mothers were told that it was more nutritious for their newborns than their own milk. But once the free milk had run out, the company tried to charge them for it.
Since mothers could not afford it, they began to dilute the formula, and many babies died of malnutrition.
9. Frontier Airlines
Frontier has complaints from many passengers who purchased flights at a premium, only to have them cancelled at the last minute. You can go through the process of getting a refund, but they make it very difficult to avoid trying to receive one.
10. BJ Wholesale Club
Workers initially thought that BJ was doing a good thing by holding a percentage of their employee’s paychecks for an emergency fund for them, but once Covid-19 struck, things changed.
The company laid off many of its employees but then pocketed the emergency fund money it had collected instead of giving it back for such a crucial time for everyone.
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This thread inspired this post.
I’m John Schmoll, a former stockbroker, MBA-grad, published finance writer, and founder of Frugal Rules.
As a veteran of the financial services industry, I’ve worked as a mutual fund administrator, banker, and stockbroker and was Series 7 and 63-licensed, but I left all that behind in 2012 to help people learn how to manage their money.
My goal is to help you gain the knowledge you need to become financially independent with personally-tested financial tools and money-saving solutions.