For Good Customer Service Go to Government, Not Corporations
onthecommons.org — In 2012 we accept as received wisdom that government is unresponsive while a competitive marketplace forces private business to offer quality customer service. So when Representative Henry Cuellar (D-TX) introduced his warmly received bill, The Government Customer Service Improvement Act, most people accepted his premise, “When taxpayers interact with a government agency, they deserve the same timely, reliable assistance they would expect from a private sector business,” Ironically, just as we achieve a bipartisan consensus that to improve customer service government should act like a private business, the evidence—both the empirical and anecdotal—is telling us it should be the other way around. Consider the results of a new study by the Commonwealth Fund that compares private health insurance companies to government Medicare. Government was the hands down winner.