Can you imagine if this country were run by big conglomerates who are powerful enough to pull the strings of government? In fact we are closer to that than we think. Many government policies are influenced by big businesses to make sure they will continue to rake in profits no-matter-what. Somewhere along the line, governments all over the world tend more to the needs of big businesses than the needs of the population they are supposed to serve and to protect. This is macro economics in action. "For the greater good", so they say.
This is my experience of what it is really like when a private enterprise has total control over the production of essential goods and services. My electricity box has been damaged by the meter man who comes around every other month. No knowing how to close it properly, he forced the door shut and thereby damaging the hinge and the door. When I made a complain, the company (AGL Electricity) told me they would get someone to look into it. That was two months ago and it was not done, despite a reminder from me. Today, they decided it was not their responsibility and basically told me to get it fixed myself. AGL does not have a counter service and all communications with the company are through the phone.
In Australia, many companies do not operate a counter service anymore. Since I came 7 years ago, AGL, Australian Unity, and Optus landline have removed their counter services. You need to talk to them through the phone to arrange for service. Others include many internet service providers and insurance companies. As more and more companies remove their physical presence, they become non-accountable to the public. Perhaps it is time for the government to set up a counter service for public complaints, funded by the companies that do business exclusively over the phone.