My question is, why do I have to hold a proverbial gun to a company’s head before I get a decent level of service. That's not good customer service...
Customer service is when a company works everyday to keep your business so that they never face a threat of losing it.
Each call from a customer represents an opportunity, to further your position with the customer or go backward. One truth to consider when putting together the customer service philosophy at any business is to remember there is no benefit to the idea that customer service is about maintaining customers. In business, you are either growing or shrinking, but generally you cannot ever hope to stay the same. After all, staying the same means you are losing to the people who are growing--even modestly.
If the phone rings at customer service, you already have what is most likely an incipient disgruntled customer--an embryonic pissed of user, or future flame mail sender, or angry blogger in the making. It should be your mission to convert that call into a [insert your company name here] super fan, Facebook fan, or follower.
It is an opportunity to interface with your customer, one who took the time to call you (before they voted with their wallets and feet). Embrace that opportunity and make it matter, instead of looking at it as a chore.