I'm a management/marketing consultant with quite a few high-tech clients (great technicians/poor business people) and I can tell you without a doubt that companies cannot afford to say, "Well, we make so many units--problems are bound to crop up!" Neither can they afford to say, "Sorry, we can't help you with that!" or "You bought it, you own it!"
Consumers are the cruelest animals in the jungle...and they don't give a flying F*** about "YOUR" problems. You can make 10,000 perfect units and 1 turkey, and the guy who bought the turkey is ready to file a lawsuit against you. You must resolve his issue quickly, efficiently, courteously, and completely. (What I call "QECC".) Any company that fails to do so is in for a major financial beating...and possible extinction. And believe me...they ALL learn, or go out of business.
A larger company that produces more units is in a better position to help the consumer--because they have resources available to them which smaller firms do not. Furthermore, especially in commodity industries like PC hardware, it is the "repeat customers" that bring in the most money.
Now, I could go into why all the "bad stuff" happens, but it would be way beyond the scope of this forum. Suffice to say that the companies in question believe they are being "cost conscious" and don't realize that their internal systems are "seriously flawed". (Consultant's terms for "cheap" and "fubar".) The only important thing to remember is that they cannot get away with it for long.
Passing soapbox back to Willy--;)