It's good to be reminded that it's not just academe where the way that things work are capable of driving you bonkers. Dave Farber, who runs a very widely read IP mailing list, had some troubles with his IBM laptop. Contacting customer support produced nothing helpful, so he wrote about his experience. That produced this reply from an anonymous IBM executive:
I thought you might enjoy knowing that the IP thread about IBM support has already climbed two levels up the IBM management chain from me, and then leapt from there into a similarly rarified level in the PC division. Since this is IBM, one of three things will happen: either it will be completely ignored, or we will start an ad campaign about how good our customer support is, or it will be the straw that breaks some particular camel's back, heads will roll, and everything will get better in a year or two.
Sounds like here, only with more layers.