Spotlights consumer complaints as an important signalling device — government action is undertaken as a result of them and they provide an index of consumer dissatisfaction which increases in importance as further data becomes available. Ranges across data relating to England and Wales which demonstrates that consumer durables, as a purchase category, are more likely to be involved in more complaints than other purchases. Determines that consumer complaints, therefore, are an important signalling device — even governments take action as a result of them. Proclaims that, despite the importance, consumer complaints have attracted little attention in the marketing, management and economics literature (this omission is much more marked in the UK than in the USA or the rest of western Europe). Announces that this work is primarily concerned with the 'economic determinants of consumer complaints' rather than with the socio‐economic or psychological characteristics of complaints. Continues in the second section by advancing some hypotheses concerning consumer complainants. Follows in the third section by describing the data, plus limitations, used for testing these hypotheses. Concludes in the final part with results and offers conclusive points.
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