Interesting NYT article on how bad customer-service can be:
To listen as Mr. Ferrari tries to cancel his membership is to join him in a wild, horrifying descent into customer-service hell. The AOL representative, self-identified as John, sounds like a native English speaker; he refuses to comply when Mr. Ferrari asks, demands and finally pleads â€” over and over again â€” to close his account.
One of the things that always irks me about conventional political wisdom is that red tape, bureaucracy and organizational ineffectiveness are the exclusive province of the State. "That's what you get from government," and the like. The truth is that large business organizations are as bad or worse, and are fundimentally less accountable.
In most cases the actual answer is to increase transparency, which is something that all bureaucrats (State, Business, Non-Profit or otherwise) resist. Gotta be done, though.