The Effects of Perceived Justice on Complainants' Repatronage Intentions and Negative Word-of-Mouth Behavior


  • Jeffrey G. Blodgett The University of Mississippi


Previous research has found that dissatisfied consumers choose to seek redress, engage in negative word-of-mouth, and exit (i.e., vow never to patronize the retailer) based upon the perceived likelihood of successful redress, their attitude toward complaining, the level of product importance, and whether they perceive the problem to be stable or to have been controllable. The author extends previous research by hypothesizing that once a dissatisfied consumer seeks redress, negative word-of-mouth behavior and repatronage intentions are dependent upon the complainant's ensuing level of perceived justice (i.e., the complainant's level of satisfaction/ dissatisfaction with the retailer's response to the complaint). As hypothesized, perceived justice was the main determinant of both negative word-of-mouth and repatronage intentions. The combination of perceived justice and product importance explained 31 % of the variance of complainants' negative word-of-mouth behavior, while the combination of perceived justice and stability/controllability explained 56% of the variance of repatronage intentions. These findings point to the importance of customer service/ customer satisfaction, especially the cost of keeping a current customer satisfied is much less than the cost of attracting a new customer.




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