Legal Remedies to dissatisfied Consumers

Customer complaint behaviour describes a course of action whereby a person complains about a good or service to the vendor or another person they consider to be influential. The service sector, which depends on customers’ retention and satisfaction, must take consumer complaints seriously. The idea, which enables a business to manage and analyse its connections with past, present, and potential consumers, has undergone significant change in the digital age and now appears very different from how it did in the past. Customers’ complaints are a healthy way to address service faults when a company is unable to prevent them entirely. Customer complaint behavior can be viewed as a process that begins with consumers evaluating their consumption experience, which may or may not result in dissatisfaction. Excellent customer service handles customer complaints that benefit both the customer and the firm.

Customers may become dissatisfied and the company’s customer-company relationships may suffer from inadequate complaint management methods. Along with the potential for bad word-of-mouth advertising, which is quite simple to generate in the internet business world, it can also result in low client loyalty and drastically reduced odds of customer retention. Consumers seem to be less satisfied with services than they are with products, according to marketing researchers, and the most common cause of this is the negligent and unprofessional way the service was provided.

Dissatisfaction, which is the root of complaining behaviour, is produced by an interactive process involving three variables, namely disconfirmation, unpleasant consequence, and attribution of blame. Dissatisfaction by itself does not trigger complaints; rather, it works in concert with the significance of the product. A customer is likely to complain if their level of discontent and the importance of the product exceeds a certain point. The response that a customer takes in the event of a service breakdown depends on their psychographic and demographic profile. In addition to these social, cultural, and situational elements, consumers’ responses might be either active or passive. The perceived justice also affects how the complaint process turns out in the end.

The taxonomy of customer complaint behaviour created by Day and Landon in 1976, shown in Figure 1, has gained widespread recognition in the literature on this subject. Customers who are unhappy with their transaction have three main options under their taxonomy: take no action; take private action; or take public action. Customers may choose not to take action by rationalising and ignoring the issue. Consumers can take private steps like boycotting the product category, replacing brands or merchants, alerting loved ones about the product and/or seller, and so on.

Additionally, customers can take public action by contacting the retailer or manufacturer directly to request redress (i.e., a refund, exchange, or free repairs and replacement of defective parts, depending on the nature of the product and specific circumstances), or by complaining to the retailer or manufacturer, a public consumer protection agency, a voluntary organisation or the media, or taking legal action against the retailer or manufacturer.  

But ultimately, the choice is between taking some sort of action or doing nothing at all. Day and Landon (1976) appear to justify the public/private dichotomy (the second level of distinction) on the grounds of the nature and importance of the product that is the source of the dissatisfaction as well as the evaluation of the effort required and perceived outcome of the action. In contrast, the first level distinction between action and no action logically follows from the conceptualisation of consumer complaint behaviour. They contend that more public action is encouraged by complicated and expensive products, such as big electrical household equipment, but believe that “the possibilities that the consumer will do nothing at all or just take private action are smaller but still appear to be significant.”

Except for a few studies, research on customer complaint behaviour has either failed to accept this fact or has primarily concentrated on one consumer complaint behaviour activity. Dissatisfied consumers may engage in various combinations of behavioural acts or do nothing. Therefore, researchers must acknowledge the complexity of the customer complaint behaviour construct and the importance of studies examining a variety of consumer complaint behaviour answers.

Retailers and producers must comprehend how consumers think and how they justify unanticipated unfavourable events, such as product failures. Therefore, researchers should be aware that the theoretical perspective that should serve as the foundation for this type of research should focus on the underlying perceptions and cognitions that people use to judge others, events, and objects

It should be considered as part of every company’s marketing plan if it is serious about attracting and keeping repeat consumers rather than just as an academic endeavour. Such a conceptual framework could lead to the following research questions, all of which would be quite helpful in the Indian context:

What is the relationship between particular consumer-related variables (such as demographics, personality, attitude, values, culture, knowledge, and experience) and the complaint-making behaviour of dissatisfied consumers regarding the performance failure of particular major electrical household appliances?

♦ What is the relationship between dissatisfied consumers’ perception of the severity of the product problem (product-specific variable) and their complaint behaviour concerning the performance failure of selected major electrical household appliances? 

What kinds of customer complaint behaviours do unsatisfied consumers exhibit in reaction to the functional or symbolic performance failure of particular key electrical household appliances?

♦ What connection exists between the attribution of cause and the complaint behaviour of unsatisfied customers regarding the performance failure of particular large electrical household appliances? Consumer research concentrating on post-purchase expectations and levels of (dis)satisfaction, reasons for product failure, and complaint behaviour should be a component of a continuing strategy to improve products, defend and uphold consumers’ rights, and improve business.


WARLAND, REX & HERRMANN, ROBERT & WILLITS, JANE. (2005). Dissatisfied Consumers: Who Gets Upset and Who Takes Action. Journal of Consumer Affairs. 9. 148 – 163. 10.1111/j.1745-6606.1975.tb00559.x. 

Ayushi Mishra(2020), Consumer Court Complaint under Consumer Protection Act,2019

Videv (2014)Alternatives to use before filing consumer court complaint in India

S.D.Arora(2020)Consumer Complaining Behavior: a Paradigmatic Review Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article ( 00148-8)

Nithya S.(2018)Actions taken by Dissatisfied Consumers | Consumer Behavior,

Aishwarya Says:

I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign “Balancing Life”and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.


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