As somebody who's spent his fair share of time putting together desks and bookcases and children's toys, one of the most powerful quotes was (paraphrased) "that things should be cheaper - we're making them ourselves".
In a post on "Is it tech rage or customer service rage?", Techcrunch talks about how many stories at "tech rage" are but asks whether they're really caused by awful customer service.
I certainly think that's the case. When I see a guarantee from companies like Qwest or Comcast, I immediately discount it down to 0. I'm sure that whatever the guarantee is, there's something in the fine print that will prevent me from collecting. Assuming, of course, that I have the patience to persist in reaching a person.
I don't shop at Wal-Mart. I have 3 small children and my wife and I need diapers and paper towels and formula and string cheese and lots and lots of other bulk items. We pay money to belong to Costco for two reasons: #1, they pay their employees a decent wage and provide them good benefits. And #2, they stand behind what they sell.
I've never had a problem returning something to Costco. Costco is tiny compared to Wal-Mart but perhaps that's why they can provide decent service.