@georgesplane- I agree with you that proprietary technology can be a pain, but if you look at it from a business’s point of view, it can be very beneficial. Proprietary technology on a good product can insure that consumers return to the company for both replacement products and service.
For example, a car manufacturer that installs a good proprietary multimedia system in their vehicles may create a following, giving consumers one more reason to return to their dealerships when it comes time for a new vehicle. The technology may be one more reason to make a consumer love a product because they are the only company that can provide the good.
In your case though, proprietary technology combined with a poor product pushed a customer away. In these cases, it can be more costly for the company because it must make right with the customer or risk losing their business. Proprietary replacement parts are also more costly than universal parts, so the company loses more money on repairs.