Actually I don't think they are seperate issues. Both involve customer service - whether you are talking at the retail, wholesale, or manufacturers level.
And as I noted, While email is often our first line of communications, we have the same problems with telephone calls. Playing phone roulette with automated systems for 10 minutes or more is not exactly conducive to customer happyness either. If their phone system sucks, then they had better have a working email system.