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Abstract

The random nature of situations where an acquired product or service contains a defect or deficiency means that consumers usually have no experience of seeking redress (i.e., complaining), or their experience may be from totally different situations. Because of this, most people have not formed a clear attitude about how to behave in the specific situation and they may also be uncertain about social norms for proper behavior. Hence, their behavior is guided by more general traits and dispositions as well as by situation-specific factors, which are bound to exert a relatively strong influence on behavior. This study confirms that the likelihood that consumers will complain over defects and deficiencies depends a lot on the situation and specifically on the size of the loss due to the defect and deficiency. However, some individuals refrain from complaining even in serious cases. This study shows that the propensity to complain depends on the person's attitude toward complaining and on personality traits (inclination to become dissatisfied). The two latter variables reinforce one another. © 2009 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.