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Retrospective: the effect of guarantees on consumers’ evaluation of services

Amy L. Ostrom (Department of Marketing, Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona, USA)
Dawn Iacobucci (Department of Marketing, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee, USA)

Journal of Services Marketing

ISSN: 0887-6045

Article publication date: 11 July 2016




This paper aims to examine the status of service guarantees specifically, and cues to quality more generally.


Reflection on the 1998 Journal of Services Marketing article with views both to the academic literature and the presence of guarantees in industry.


Service guarantees still exist, sometimes in their original form (e.g. “100 per cent satisfaction guaranteed!”) and sometimes in a morphed form (e.g. retailers’ promises of price-matching). Research has continued to focus on understanding service guarantees yet there are additional questions left to be addressed. There are also numerous other types of information, in addition to service guarantees, consumers may use as cues to quality.

Practical lmplications

Service guarantees remain an important and useful tool for services marketers to signal their quality to their customers and to reduce the uncertainty surrounding many services purchases. Other information such as online ratings and reviews through social media can also serve as strong informational cues.


In providing cues to customers about quality, while marketers have long considered the value of price and brand names, the usefulness of service guarantees is still under-studied.



Ostrom, A.L. and Iacobucci, D. (2016), "Retrospective: the effect of guarantees on consumers’ evaluation of services", Journal of Services Marketing, Vol. 30 No. 4, pp. 373-376.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2016, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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