I had one of these “We’re sorry!” interactions with a hotel recently. I told them that their wireless was insufferably slow. They said, “We’re sorry. Blah blah blah…”
I replied, “No, you’re not sorry at all. If you actually were, you would have upgraded your wireless the last time I complained about this on my previous visit. But, you clearly have no intention of ever doing anything about it.”
However, I did have another hotel recently respond with “We’re sorry” and immediately addressed my issue with above and beyond customer service, plus a discount on my stay.
You’re correct that too many companies think the apology is sufficient. It’s lazy and it isn’t real customer service. As a provider, they are in a position to make good on an apology (e.g., with a refund), but they choose not to.