This article introduces the notion of dysfunctional consumer participation. It advances a theoretical model of service recovery for contexts in which the smooth functioning of a service has been disrupted by consumers' dysfunctional contributions, founded on justice theory and cognitive appraisal theory. The model presents perceived justice as the core element of the evaluation of service recovery encounters. Stressful appraisal evokes emotions in consumers and influences the cooperative or resistant nature of consumer participation in service recovery processes directly and indirectly via its impact on consumers' emotions. Dysfunctional consumer participation is represented as an interactional process in which resistant consumer participation in service recovery provokes an adaptive response from service providers. Outcomes of the service recovery process for consumers and organisations are outlined. The contribution of this work lies in the domain of transformative consumer research, and our proposed framework enables managers with commercial (e.g., customer retention, sales) and social responsibilities (e.g., staff stress, consumer welfare) to analyse situations in which consumers' actions have disrupted the smooth functioning of services and consider strategies to restore workable relationships with them. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.