Customer Satisfaction and Demand

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Introduction: The original reason for nationalization of monopoly industries like coal, rail, shipbuilding, steel and public utilities was that it was too easy to earn profits in them. However when the state took over, the opposite happened and the industries plunged into huge losses.


(Macrae 1991)
Although there is a strong case for privatization of industry, in many countries the political forces of welfarism were far too strong to turn such public monopolies into private enterprises. Many governments found a via media approach, in deregulation of industries. This is the process by which governments removed restrictions on businesses in order to encourage competition that would not only improve efficiency and lower prices but also protect the rights of the consumers.
For instance, the board for public utilities of Newfoundland & Labrador, Canada states its mission as: "ensuring the state's public are well served in a changing environment, achieving an equitable balance between the interests of consumers and service providers in the electric utility, automobile insurance, petroleum products and motor carrier industries." ("Newfoundland & Labrador Board " 2005). Similarly, in its 2006 Handbook, the department of Consumer Affairs - Industry, Canada has given useful tips not only to save money on their utility bills, usage of natural resources responsibly and protecting the environment but also contacts and mechanisms for redressal of grievances in case of problems with public utilities. ("Canadian Consumer Handbook" 2006)
The argument for total deregulation was that the regulated industries often influenced the government regulatory bodies tilting the scales in their interests. ...
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