We, in India have always wondered if we would ever get respite from the poor service levels that public sector enterprises have been dishing out to us in the past. There was hope that things will change when private sector takes over. For a brief time this was even true and we though the days of poor service were over.
However it is now time to face reality. You just have to look at the large private sector players today to realize that the dream has gone sour especially in this department. Far from being customer friendly the large telcos, banks, and power discoms behavior rivals the worst departments in the public sector and in many cases service levels and regard for customer is even lower. This is true especially of the top players in each category.
Bottom line is that these private companies care only about their profits. The decision for them is simple and depend on the answer to this question, 'Is investing in customer service for you NPV (Net Present Value) positive or negative?'. God help you if the answer is negative. Large private companies are more like monopolies in their respective field. Take telcos for eg even though there are a number of companies now, with no number portability you are locked into telco and therefore there is no reason for them to improve their service as long as there is no mass exodus.
So what can you do as a consumer. Make it expensive for them to deny you good service. Switch, Complain, Sue. Be aware of your rights. Abuse back, blog about that poor experience that you have had. Cause a mass exodus of customers. Cause a run on the bank. Make theme pay. Make them realize customer is king. Other wise only competition can be your savior.