Recruiters Don't Work For the Job Seeker
Remember that recruiters work WITH you. They don't work FOR you. To put the relationship you have with a recruiter in perspective think of it this way. As a consultant, you are likely to only generate one, relatively short-term stream of income for the recruiter. Once the recruiter places you at a company, you work for several months, and then leave, it is highly unlikely that the recruiter will place you again. What is more likely is that some other recruiter will find you a position. This is especially true if you work with many recruiters simultaneously.
On the other hand, over the course of several years, a company is going to provide the recruiter with numerous streams of income as positions open. A recruiter can place many, many consultants with a single company and so it is this relationship with the company that they want to nurture and maintain.
If a recruiter messes things up with a consultant, no problem. There's a long queue of other consultants. If a recruiter messes things up with a company, big problem. There's suddenly a large loss of future openings.
So who do you think a recruiter works for?