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The consumer anger phenomena: causes and consequences

Venessa Funches (Department of Marketing, Auburn University at Montgomery, Montgomery, Alabama, USA)

Journal of Services Marketing

ISSN: 0887-6045

Article publication date: 13 September 2011




The purpose of this paper is to explore consumer anger phenomena.


The research utilized the critical incident technique and three different samples to thoroughly explore the consumer anger phenomena.


The research identified three causes of consumer anger: broken promises, unfair treatment and expressed hostility, and detailed the effects of consumer anger beyond decisions to continue or terminate service provider relationships.

Research limitations/implications

Future research could examine the role switching barriers play in consumer anger episodes.

Practical implications

Angering consumers comes with an array of damaging consequences that extend beyond the decision to continue or terminate the service provider relationship. As a result, managers must realize that the absence of switching behavior does not necessarily constitute success.


This study extends previous research by using a grounded theory approach to uncover three broad causes of consumer anger. In addition, this study reveals consumer use of additional consequences (i.e. reducing patronage, changing locations, avoiding certain employees) in response to anger evoking encounters.



Funches, V. (2011), "The consumer anger phenomena: causes and consequences", Journal of Services Marketing, Vol. 25 No. 6, pp. 420-428.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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