View Full Version : What businesses/organizations do you "boycott"?

1-21-12, 9:11pm
I recently closed/moved all my bank accounts out of the Bank of America. I have had numerous accounts there for quite a few years and have found them to have poor customer service and also on repeated occasions to suddenly start charging me new fees, which when I call in to complain about, they claim are a "mistake" and remove from my account. I'm guessing that the vast majority of the other hundreds of thousands of customers they are probably also charging the fees by "mistake" probably don't even notice and BofA just charges away ...

Beyond my personal experience with them, I also don't like the fact that, as the biggest bank in the country in terms of assets, BofA is almost undoubtedly in the "too big to fail" category. I don't think it is good for the stability of the economy to have banks that are "too big to fail." BofA has also been prosecuted for numerous gigantic frauds over the years, for which they have had to pay sizable (multi-hundred million dollar and even multi-billion dollar) settlements, so I view them as a corporate repeat offender.

I've been thinking about moving these accounts for years, but just didn't want to deal with all the hassle. As expected, the process took a LONG time, involved a mountain of paperwork, as well as switching over all my automatic bill pays, direct deposit, etc. But now that I've finally (almost) gotten it done, I feel great that I am no longer contributing my dollars (and life energy) to the financial well-being of Bank of America!!! Yay!

The corporation Monsanto also really offends me, but I'm not sure what if any spending changes I could make to avoid lining their gigantic pockets.

Another knotty one for me is the Catholic Church, because I really disagree with the way they have handled the sex abuse scandal, in particular their litigation tactics which are funded with my (albeit not entirely regular and not very large) contributions. There does not seem to be any way to "earmark" contributions to prevent them from going to such uses. Even if such designation was possible, it wouldn't be an entirely effective solution anyway, since cash is fungible. As of now, I try to focus on in-kind contributions like bringing lasagna to the church brunch.

Do you "vote with your wallet"? What corporations or other organizations won't you contribute to or do business with on principle?

Sad Eyed Lady
1-21-12, 10:43pm
The one I have been boycotting for several years now is the big, bad Wal-Mart. I complained, didn't like my own attitude when I was in the place, disagreed with the things I heard about their policies, and finally one day I decided I could do something about it - I didn't have to shop there. So I didn't, and I haven't, and I don't miss it one bit.

Like mamalatte, Bank of America is another thorn in my side. DH and I have been trying to get untangled from them for awhile. We almost succeeded in getting all of our IRA's away from them which was like pulling teeth to get our own money. They managed to hang onto two very small amounts for some reason, but as soon as they mature we will start the process of getting that also. We began taking IRA's, getting a credit card, etc. many years ago when this was MBNA, and we were very satisfied with the way they did business and handled things. But, once this all went to Bank of America everything changed. We still have our credit card there, but it has no fee and we pay it in full monthly so they aren't making anything from us on it. Maybe we will eventually change that too.

1-21-12, 11:01pm
AT&T is the thorn in our side though we still have to do business with them. When the time is right though, we will jump and never do busines with them again. As far as boycotting, there is a regional grocery chain called Sprouts that we will no longer patronize. They purchased a long-standing small grocery in our hood and then within a few months laid off everyone and shut it down - right before Christmas. All of the seniors who lived nearby who counted on it were left without any place to get food. It was just an evil thing to do for the sake of corporate profits.

1-21-12, 11:40pm
what you can do about Genetically modified food and Monsanto is to boycott them by doing things like:
1. buy as local as you can. Try to find a local organic farm. Or farmers market.
2. sow heirloom seeds from seeds of change or other grower or organization who is trying to preserve the diversity of seeds. What I fear most is something similar to the potato famine in Ireland. You have to have local seeds that every year farmers take the best seeds and regrow- there are Amish farmers who have been doing this for years and what you get is tastier food that is resistant to the problems in your local area. The food in the markets is grown for appearance and shipping qualities, not to taste good. Diversity is the key I think.
3. grow your own as much as possible. My garden is up to 20x60 and I know every morsel of food is chemical free. I am experimenting with saving seeds and eventually will have my local heirloom seeds.
my goal this year is to focus on root vegetables for winter storage. And also how to use them in food we will eat. I have no experience with turnips and rutabagas but I guess this is the year to learn. I freeze applesauce, tomato sauce, Zucchini, corn, blueberries, beans, peppers, and strawberries for winter use. I have figured out how to keep winter squash, carrots and pumpkins and I hope to expand this each year.

I would love to boycott our local TV company but DH loves the local college sports and it is the only way he can see them.

we patronize the local restaurants owned by local families on the rare occasions we go out to eat, I boycott the big chains by doing this. They don't really cook there anyway, just heat up frozen stuff for the most part.

1-22-12, 7:23am
fast food and soda companies.

We also patronize local restaurants vs chains. I see that more of a means of supporting local as well as getting a much better meal.

1-22-12, 2:16pm
I still boycott Nestle (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nestl%C3%A9_boycott). Also, as a vegan, I guess you could say I boycott meat, eggs and dairy - and all the restaurants that serve primarily those things (steakhouses, seafood places, chicken and burger joints, ice cream parlors, etc. (I tend toward Asian restaurants and salad bars, primarily.)). Oh, I also boycott quite a few companies that engage in animal testing, such as Procter & Gamble and Johnson & Johnson.

1-22-12, 7:10pm
I have similar issues with Wells Fargo; I'm the treasurer of a local arts organization and have to watch the statements like a hawk to catch the many "erroneous" fees they tack on. My own bank is a local credit union.

I also have boycotted Wal-mart for many years since they used coercive tactics on a locally owned manufacturer and finally, when they couldn't squeeze another penny out of them, went to China for the items, leaving the business and all of its employees on the trash heap.

I buy local as much as possible, the smaller the company the better, and only eat seasonal foods. No Chilean grapes, etc. no matter how cheap they are! I wonder sometimes if it matters in the large picture, but it matters to me!

1-22-12, 8:42pm
I try my best to boycott Monsanto, but it's not easy. So we do buy local wherever possible, organic wherever possible, and we like to get a lot of our food from sources we know and support (for example organic flour in bulk from a local mill we like). I would rather spend more and stick with our values than get the screamin' deal at Walmart that wrecks peoples' lives and the environment.

1-23-12, 5:10am
I never shop at Walmart because I don't like the way they treat their employees, and also because they import their goods from Asia. I don't care if their prices are less than Safeway or the store I buy all my groceries in a store called IGA--Independent Grocers Association--and even though their prices are more than Safeway charges, they are fresh, local produce grown locally.

1-23-12, 8:46am
I don't really have any businesses that I boycott, but I do try to be mindful of the fact that my expenditures are a way of supporting or not supporting businesses. So I try to do most of my spending with the "good guys." I do avoid Walmart because I think they are somewhat of a "bad guy," but in all honesty, I don't even like Walmart, so I would pretty much avoid shopping there regardless.

1-23-12, 3:10pm
Ditto B of A. My husband just pulled all his money out after giving them a piece of his mind. His late father had been a branch manager for 45 years and he had stayed with them out of sentimentality. A little over a year ago a telemarketer for B of A called and offered an insurance policy which they would pick up for the first year. Three months ago he noticed money coming out of his account that he hadn't authorized. Looking into it he found it was from that telemarketing call. He further found out that although the bank paid for the first year it didn't go into affect for a year. He was furious. So of course when he went in to close everything they asked why. He was calm but made his point. Even the manager was upset and said that he should report it as fraud. He then pointed out to her and said that B of A was responsible for the fraud. She started to cry because she had to agree. He took his cash and joined me at the local credit union. Previously to that I had pulled out of Wells Fargo for their ridiculous fees. My parents still have their trust tied up with Wells and that will change after they are gone........

1-23-12, 3:20pm
Another BofA boycotter. A couple of years ago, when I was faced with maxing out my two BofA credit cards (and three other CCs BTW, because of a one time financial situation outside of my control pretty much) I was told by a BofA employee that I should talk to them about lowering my interest rate--they felt that it was worth the call. My interest rates were 23% and 24%, so obviously I was spending a LOT in finance charges.

So, I called them up, asked my innocent question, and then the guy on the phone says, "can I put you on hold?" I said sure, and when he came back he told me they were cancelling both cards!!! I had NEVER had a late payment, and my credit score was fine. I was managing a whole lot of debt, to be sure, but managing it as agreed. NO late payments to be found.. no reason to all of a sudden look at me like some kind of deadbeat.

I didn't care about the cards being cancelled (I had started the Dave Ramsey program and had stopped using CCs), BUT I asked them if they could report that to the credit scoring companies as me having closed the accounts. It looks bad if the CC companies close the account. They refused.

Then, I realized I had about 12,000 WorldPoints I hadn't redeemed, and so I asked for those. And they said they can't give them to me because my account was closed.

Just last month, I was THRILLED to be able to pay off both of those cards in full. Good riddance!

1-23-12, 4:38pm
Yet again this week, I am haggling with AT&T. I dropped my landline a while back and yet they continue to charge me a $4.60 minimum use long distance charge. Excuse me, I don't have a phone anymore!!! I have called numerous times and still it remains. It is like a nightmare dealing with this company. I think as the younger generation begins to shape new companies this type of bloated big-box don't care about the customer mentality will no longer fly.

1-23-12, 4:48pm
I also boycott quite a few companies that engage in animal testing, such as Procter & Gamble and Johnson & Johnson.

This is my main reason for my personal boycotts. I just consider this living within my values, rather than in boycott terms, since I know perfectly well my small decision doesn't have any effect on the companies I don't buy from. But, principles are meaningless if we don't live by them, so I persevere. ;)


4-22-12, 1:56am
[QUOTE=pinkytoe;63599]Yet again this week, I am haggling with AT&T. I dropped my landline a while back and yet they continue to charge me a $4.60 minimum use long distance charge. Excuse me, I don't have a phone anymore!!! I have called numerous times and still it remains. QUOTE]

I hear you! 4 years ago I moved and AT&T didn't offer DSL at my new location, so I closed my account with them and went with a cable provider for both phone and DSL. There was an erroneous charge on the final AT&T bill. I called them numerous times, and had no luck getting the charge removed. Several times I asked to speak to a supervisor, and was always told that the supervisor was unavailable but would call me back. No one ever called. AT&T turned my account over to a collection agency even though my bills had always been paid on time prior to this dispute.

I called the state Public Service Commission and explained the situation. The very next day I got a call from a higher-ranking AT&T employee who was very apologetic and said that she could and would get the account out of collections, get the erroneous charge removed and get me a corrected bill. This was done in short order. I paid the corrected bill and hope never to have to do business with AT&T again.

4-22-12, 2:24am
I avoid Walmart because of the way they treat both their employees and suppliers. I avoid big box stores and other chains whenever possible in favor of locally owned businesses. As much as possible, I buy organic, and sign petitions and write to senators & representatives whenever legislation is coming up that could limit the damage Monsanto and other huge chemical companies do. I avoid all products that I know are tested on animals. I don't buy veal, or eggs from caged hens, or foie gras (made from cruelly force-fed birds) and ideally would be vegan to avoid supporting factory farming, which is hideously cruel to other animals as well. Unfortunately, I struggle with food and weight issues, and have not yet succeeded at being completely vegetarian for longer than 6 months at a time. This is a goal I'm still working toward.

4-22-12, 10:02am
I'm very much with martha (except on becoming vegetarian, though our meat consumption is way down). Don't forget WalMart's warehouse cousin, Sam's Club. I try to avoid any retail products from General Electric (appliances, light bulbs, etc.); I just don't like the way they run their business and treat their employees. Lately, I've also been boycotting HP products; if Dave and Bill (founders) ever saw what was happening to the first-class company they created, they'd die all over again. And Google, for their cavalier and coy attitude toward data privacy. No Google search, no Google Earth, no Android phone for me.

4-22-12, 12:51pm
- Walmart

- Koch Brothers products, including Dixie cups and Angel Soft: http://www.boycottkochbrothers.com/

5-23-12, 12:55pm
I boycott all large chain stores as much as possible and refuse to have a bank account. Although I did break down and purchase a prepaid cell phone (it is my only phone) I only turn it on to make necessary calls. No cable or satellite television, seldom turn it on anyway and trying to break free from the electric company. I bike or walk to most destinations, drive less than 1000 miles per year.

I feel it is important that we all realize the way our excessive lifestyles impact others, especaiiy on a global basis.

2-15-15, 1:15pm
I avoid the big banks. I have one thing to wrap with Wells Fargo soon then I'm completely out. Credit Unions and local / regional banks support the local community through home & business loans, etc. The 2008 housing and financial crisis was engineered by the fat cats.

Walmart is horrible. They treat their off-shore employees and vendors' employees even worse than they treat US ones.

I rarely eat out. When I do, it's locally owned and run.

Is Penneys still great to their employees? I get clothes from them via web but I'll stop if they are no longer good to their people.