Have you ever pondered this question? I didn't in a global sense until recently. I've had the same experiences you have with having my car hit and then feeling like I did wrong with all the hoops the responsible person's insurance company made me go through. But I never generalized that situation...until now.
A few recent incidents brought this to light for me. A colleague bought something on-line and the seller shipped the wrong item. When the seller was contacted they required the wrong item be returned before the correct item would be shipped and the return postage refunded. The seller made the mistake. Why didn't they offer to send a replacement immediately with a return shipping label for the incorrect item?
My car was recently subject to a manufacturer's recall. I had experienced the problem that triggered the recall. Even though the recall was on the national news, it took another two months until I got the recall notice to bring the car to a dealer. The recall notice described exactly what had happened to me (four times). I made an appointment and brought the car in. The service representative required me to sign a $150 diagnostic fee to be refunded if the problem was triggered by only the recall notice. I told them if the problem was greater it was triggered by the multiple times I experienced the failure. They should have been apologizing to me for the defect, not trying to get money for additional repairs. When I submitted a negative review in the on-line survey that followed the recall repair, I was immediately called by the service manager. He insisted that the approval for a diagnostic charge was necessary to protect them from a liability suit if the problem was something other than the recall item. I explained that if liability were a concern the recall letter should have been issued immediately and not months after the recall was announced. He continued to argue. I politely hung up! Who should have been protected in this situation, the dealer or me?
We are in the process of buying some real estate. After having a signed contract by us and the seller, the seller decided they weren't interested in selling and were not honoring the terms of the contract. The real estate agents started action to protect their commission if the seller reneged. I was told I could get a lawyer to fight for my interests. I am the customer, but the agents are focused only on their financial interests!
In all these incidents, the "good guy" is made to suffer. For making a purchase that benefits the seller, you are turned into an innocent victim with inappropriate consequences.
In the Leadership Category, the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence ask about creating and balancing value for customers and other stakeholders. In the Customers Category, the Criteria ask about building customer relationships to acquire customers, build market share, and enhance brand image. Do we need to add notes about victims' rights or how not to victimize your customers and stakeholders?
Think about your own experiences. How often are each of us turned into innocent victims? What about your organization? Do you unintentionally make victims out of some of your customers or stakeholders?