In his annual report to Holyrood, the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman said some organisations funded by the taxpayer were in need of reminding about their accountability.
People can take their grievances to the Ombudsman if they have not been satisfied with the way their initial complaints were dealt with by bodies such as the NHS, local authority or police force.
He said: “I have detected in a range of public bodies an unhealthy culture around ownership and a lack of customer focus in public services.
“Some organisations appear to have lost sight of the basic fact that public services are the people’s services and that providers exist to deliver these on behalf of the public.
“The public are more than just customers to public authorities – they are owners, shareholders, stakeholders rolled into one.”