When students complain: An antecedent model of students' intention to complain

  • Lala V
  • Priluck R
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This article explores the factors that influence students' intention to complain following a bad classroom experience using a customer service framework from the marketing literature. An online survey was conducted with 288 participants using the critical incident approach. Results indicate that predictors of intention to complain differ based on the target of complaint behavior (school, friends, or unknown others) and the mode of complaint (in person or using the web). Specifically, the more dissatisfied students are, the more likely they are to complain to the school and to friends either in person or using the web but not to unknown others. Students complain to the school only if the effort involved is minimal and they believe the school will respond. Students complain to friends and unknown others in person if they feel the school will respond to negative press. Personal characteristics also influence intentions to complain. Students with a propensity to complain broadcast their negative experience via the web, grade conscious students tell their friends but only in person, and heavy social media users inform their friends using the web. Implications for faculty and administrators are discussed. (Contains 1 figure and 5 tables.)

Author-supplied keywords

  • complain
  • structural equation modeling
  • students
  • web

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  • Vishal Lala

  • Randi Priluck

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