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All four airlines ranked among the eight most-hated companies. They were led by overall runner-up Delta Air Lines, which was cited for customers’ negative reactions to its industry-leading baggage fees and extra costs on food and beverages.

Communications giants Time Warner Cable, Comcast and Charter Communications rounded out the “top” five because of their rates, spotty service and wait times for technicians.

Mr. VanAmburg said most of the companies on the list shared a common trait as leaders in industries that offer few choices.

In many industries, “It’s easy to switch from one brand to another if you’re dissatisfied,” he said. “But with utilities, they are really the only game in town.”