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Building on existing research examining customers’ complaints about service experiences, this study examined restaurant consumers’ episode-specific reactions to service failures. In the first stage of this work, restaurant patrons were asked to describe a recent service experience where they complained about some element of the service they received. From these statements a coding scheme was developed to classify the consumers’ qualitative descriptions of the service episodes where they experienced a service failure and remedy. The consumers’ reports addressed three issues:(a) the issue that triggered the complaint, (b) the complaint remedy further broken down on two dimensions based upon the degree of correction and whether the remedy produced a positive or negative outcome, and (c) how (and if) the service failure and remedy influenced repatronage intentions. Following the content analysis and the coding of the critical incidents, logistic-regression analyses revealed that the extent to which a service failure is corrected is important to customer satisfaction and satisfaction with a specific service remedy is connected to a consumer’s desire to return to the restaurant.


Required Publisher Statement
© SAGE. Final version published as: Susskind, A. M. (2005). A content analysis of consumer complaints, remedies, and repatronage intentions regarding dissatisfying service experiences. Journal of Hospitality & Tourism Research, 29(2), 150-169. doi:10.1177/1096348004273426
Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.