A comprehensive model of customer direct and indirect revenge: Understanding the effects of perceived greed and customer power

  • Grégoire Y
  • Laufer D
  • Tripp T
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This article develops and tests a comprehensive model of customer revenge that contributes to the literature in three manners. First, we identify the key role played by the customer's perception of a firm's greed— that is, an inferred negative motive about a firm's opportunistic intent—that dangerously energizes customer revenge. Perceived greed is found as the most influential cognition that leads to a customer desire for revenge, even after accounting for well studied cognitions (i.e., fairness and blame) in the service literature. Second, we make a critical distinction between direct and indirect acts of revenge because these sets of behaviors have different repercussions—in " face-to-face " vs. " behind a firm's back " —that call for different interventions. Third, our extended model specifies the role of customer perceived power in predicting these types of behaviors. We find that power is instrumental—both as main and moderation effects—only in the case of direct acts of revenge (i.e., aggression and vindictive complaining). Power does not influence indirect revenge, however. Our model is tested with two field studies: (1) a study examining online public complaining, and (2) a multi-stage study performed after a service failure.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Customer power
  • Customer rage
  • Customer revenge
  • Marketplace aggression
  • Online complaining
  • Perceived greed
  • Service failure and recovery
  • Structural equation model

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