First — Great article, well written and informative. I could not agree with you more.
I have worked for several companies in their customer service departments. If you tried to please all the customers who wanted refunds, replacements or loaners the company would give about 95% of their customer’s one of these. Customers will blame the product for their own ignorance and lack of knowledge of the product. “To read the operations manual takes too much time and is hard to understand”, is a common response when I ask a person if they have read it. Most customers expect the product to work without a lot of effort on their part. Today’s smart phone, computer, Macbook, automobile is far too complicated for that.
You had a legitimate problem repeatedly with product with a major company. And yes they should have responded different. You are in that 5% I mentioned above that have legit problems, that companies should help with making the customer happy. Since companies are in business to make a profit, they will make the rules for the 95%, not the 5%.