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E‐customers' third party complaining and complimenting behavior

Lynn Goetzinger (Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana, USA)
Jung Kun Park (Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana, USA)
Richard Widdows (Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana, USA)

International Journal of Service Industry Management

ISSN: 0956-4233

Article publication date: 1 March 2006




To provide an initial framework for online third party complaining and complimenting behavior as a consequence of online product or customer service failure or success, using a third party consumer evaluation web site.


Based on critical incidents supplied by consumers in a third party consumer forum web site, a clear picture of the type and frequency of online service failures and successes is expected to develop using critical incident technique and scientific text analyzing methods for qualitative analysis.


The speed of shipping, shipping materials or packaging and customer service appear to be critical for the online transaction to be a success. Ease of ordering was shown to influence the likelihood of complimenting the most. The results provided support for the existence of bivalent satisfiers, monovalent satisfiers and monovalent dissatisfiers within the online retail environment.

Research limitations/implications

Text analyzer has certain software limitations that should be considered. While searching for word patterns, it is possible for the software to use one of several clustering methods, which may be open to subjective interpretation to some extent. The quantitative portion of the study was also limited by the four attribute categories that were used by the online third party web site.

Practical implications

The results provide very practical information and impartial advice for online retailers to improve their service by managing reputation in third party consumer evaluations.


Provides an initial step towards understanding the nature of online store third party complimenting and complaining behaviour.



Goetzinger, L., Kun Park, J. and Widdows, R. (2006), "E‐customers' third party complaining and complimenting behavior", International Journal of Service Industry Management, Vol. 17 No. 2, pp. 193-206.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2006, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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