Consumer Satisfaction, Dissatisfaction, and Complaining Behavior


  • H. Keith Hunt

    Corresponding author
    1. Brigham Young University
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      H. KEITH HUNT is a professor in the Marriott School of Management at Brigham Young University. He is also coeditor and publisher of the Journal of Consumer Satisfaction, Dissatisfaction and Complaining Behavior, and previously was conference cohost and editor of the conference proceedings series since 1976.

Marriott School of Management, 632 TNRB, Brigham Young University, Provo, UT 84602.


Research on consumer satisfaction, dissatisfaction, and complaining behavior, as a consumer-protection social issue, began in response to government public policy needs. How it developed into a valuable approach for public policy and private business decision making is the focus of this article. Topics discussed include alternative definitions of satisfaction and dissatisfaction, special groups of vulnerable consumers, situations where satisfaction is legally constrained, and how dissatisfaction can lead to social change. The error of treating dissatisfaction as cognitive rather than emotional is emphasized. Three dissatisfaction outcomes (voice, exit, and retaliation) are described, along with a discussion of longer run consumer grudge holding.