If you're looking at a long term solution, the law has to be strong for consumers, and people who should reinforce that law should be equally strong and people need to start filing consumer complaints. Its only when people start filing consumer complaints, things happen and it hits the company back- and that's when they change. Australia has a consumer law where if your hardware is destroyed and its not the end user's fault- and you lost money because of it the company is responsible. Now before people start charging in "ooh but its a developed country" and all that, people file complaints, they don't just sit down and endure it. Having such sections in forums have an effect but its just short term and only because companies who sees forums for complains have genuine reason (fair enough, atleast an effort is made) for their brand- but that's not how everyone thinks.
Think about it- out of so many people who have said/threatened to companies/agencies/individual that they'll file a consumer complaint- how many of the people in this forum have filed a consumer complaint without saying that- or after saying that? No1, rather people have found comfort in wasting times in calls and wasting days. Consumer complaints are effective. The regular guys have friends and contacts in regional level or with direct companies- but that's not a long term solution. Its not a solution at all. People need to start filing consumer complaints and then post that on the forums as well. That will stir things up when there's good number of people doing it.
I know sitting in of the front of a monitor, typing and calling won't matter much but Consumer Court - is it really effective .. I know a case of Fridge Company and a electronics shop ( who sold it ) has lost in Consumer Court though it took nearly 1 year to get the justice and when the court ordered for a Rs. 10k compensation ( the price of the fridge only and what about the court expenses the customers had to pay and the long waiting and harassment ? ) - The shop and fridge company simply ignored court order - so the only option left for the customer is to go to the Civil court and god only knows how long it would take and how much money will be spent more on this not to mention the time - so what happened next ? nothing. If Companies care about the decision f the Consumer Court - fine ! but if they don't prepare to fight this on Civil Court - now most of the people the just don't want to do this for many reasons ( including some I mentioned above ).
But there's no escaping from the fact that if more and more people start filing consumer complaint ( and some public forum post too ) against a company/agency the company/agency will be forced to look into the matter and things will start to change.
Note down people's first and last name when you speak/interact with during RMA. Insist on email since you have a copy of what they're saying rather than talking via phone no matter how convenient because worse case scenario they might pass the buck or claim they haven't said anything like that.
and thanks for the tips -- I always insist on e-mails rather than a conversation over the phone.