Premium Price Blues: Customers Voicing Price Complaints, Buying and Not Buying

  • Warren Martin
  • John Swan


This qualitative, observational study examines customer price complaints and purchase or purchase avoidance responses in a setting involving a super premium ice cream shop. Unprompted customer comments concerning price were recorded. Satisfaction with price is linked to purchase. The study finds a high proportion of customers expressing dissatisfaction with premium prices. Purchase avoidance is very high among dissatisfied customers who ask about or know the price before ordering. Most of the other dissatisfied customers learn of the price after ordering/purchasing the product. The results suggest that a social norm of commitment to purchase overcomes dissatisfaction since customer commitment is generated by the structure of the transaction.
Journal Articles