If television and phone service 50 years ago had been equivalent to AT&T wireless and Time Warner Cable today, tv and phones would have NEVER HAPPENED.
Accepting spotty service in an emerging technology is one thing. Accepting the occasional bug in a beta version of a software is another. But these are things that purport to be everyday reliable services that are quite the opposite. The immediacy and volume of information available is both daunting and incredible at the same time, and I think it may be exactly those factors that allow us to forgive the shortcomings.
This is definitely not exclusive to those two service providers. I have heard (and experienced) bad service, bad customer service, bad hardware, bad software, false promises, etc. from other companies, these are just the two that I'm dealing with currently, and it frustrates me and makes me sad. I have to spend the money either way ... I don't HAVE to, but to live in the environment and lifestyle (creative professional, freelancer, educator, NYC) I need these services. The fact of the matter is that there are NO good options, and all we have is a choice of lesser evils, shitty or shittier goods and services.
Even more depressing: there is no solution, because there is no alternative. Promise the moon and deliver the upper atmosphere? Crappy metaphor for a crappy situation.