Service failures and consequent recoveries have been identified as a critical determinant of customer retention. Hence, effective service recovery programs warrant further exploration. In particular, with the current emphasis on relationship selling, salespeople should learn how to improvise to serve their customers effectively, including solving problems when service failure occurs. Therefore, alternatives to current common practices in industry should be investigated. The results of the present study suggest that by providing customers a choice of service recovery options, salespeople can augment customers' sense of control and ultimately their satisfaction with the service recovery and the overall service transaction. The investigation also proposed that customer satisfaction would be contingent upon the importance of the service. However, study findings revealed that this was not the case. Implications of the findings are also discussed. © 2006 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.