As far as I am aware, with the exception of commercial movie film, Kodak doesn't sell directly to any retailer or commercial photographer or processing laboratory.
Stephen's problem order wasn't actually filled by Kodak.
Kodak entirely dismantled its distribution network. Replacing that is a network of independent third party distributors who fulfill all wholesale and commercial orders. The distributors vary greatly in their quality and consistency.
The customer service responsibilities seem to be poorly distributed between Kodak employees and employees of Kodak's agents (the distributors).
This is Kodak's problem, and it is far more important than Stephen's problems with one or more problem orders - it is a systemic problem.
Kodak isn't the only one with the problem. Ilford (for example) is also forced to deal through a network of distributors. The difference though is:
1) Ilford has always had distributors in North America and other parts of the world. Kodak used to be its own distributor; and
2) Far fewer labs use Ilford materials than Kodak materials.