The shoppers visited seven councils and found customers often got the information they wanted, but much depended on the individual member of staff they happened to contact.
'Most councils do not have an explicit customer service programme, or their plans are not completed,' Audit Scotland found.
It urged councils to ensure customer services work efficiently because of the large sums of money involved.
Commission chair Alastair MacNish said: 'Councils should ask if they are giving good
customer service enough priority. Councils without a solid strategy in place seem unlikely to succeed.'