I'm of the opinion that automated phone systems are designed to thwart customers instead of addressing service issues.
Think about it: Who benefits from wasting your time and possibly frustrating you to the point that you hang up and maybe go away? You most assuredly don't benefit, but the companies do.
Service will differentiate the good from the bad. Price pressures from competition will keep price differences minuscule, so intangible--like good service--will inform the choices.
The internet makes it so much easier to hassle key decision makers so things will change.