Re: There's an interesting point about those industries being crap
You are right. But also wrong. The main problem with publicly owned anything is that politicians find it impossible to keep their hands off and leave the business to people who might know how to run it. Inevitably, publicly owned bodies become mired in one glory project or another, or as a sink for cash to bolster employment in some far flung part of the realm.
Look at the NHS. Root and branch reform follows root and branch reform. They still don't have a working, fully integrated IT system. Not saying NHS should be privatised, but we do pay a price for having the government feel they've a perfect right to dick around with it whenever they feel like it...
As with the NHS, so with other nationalised industries. Not saying it couldn't be done properly, just that it's not likely. Because politicians.
As for the call centre, you mean there are worse than the one run by HMRC?