Consumer complaining to firms: The determinants of channel choice

Anna S. Mattila, Jochen Wirtz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

108 Scopus citations


Despite its managerial importance, channel choice has received scant attention in scholarly research. To close that gap, this paper incorporated channel choice into Day and Landon's taxonomy of consumer responses to dissatisfaction. A study using a 4 (channel choice: Two interactive channels of face-to-face and phone, and two remote channels of letter and e-mail) × 2 (motivation to complain: Redress seeking and venting) experimental design was conducted. Shame proneness was examined using a quasi-experimental design. Our findings suggest that consumers with a redress seeking goal opt for interactive rather than remote channels. Consumers looking for tangible compensation might perceive face-to-face or phone channels to be more effective due to the real-time interaction with the service provider. Conversely, when customers wanted to vent their frustration, they leaned more towards remote channels such as a written letters or e-mail. The impact of shame proneness was particularly salient in a venting context.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)147-155
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Services Marketing
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2004

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Marketing


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