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EMAC 2019 Annual Conference

Have it repaired! How does pre-purchase product reparability information influence consumers’ attitude?

Published: May 28, 2019


Pauline Munten, Louvain School of Management/UCLouvain/LouRim ; Joelle Vanhamme, EDHEC Business School


repair; attitude; durability


Research on post-usage consumer behavior has mostly focused on consumers’ decision to replace a product instead of having it repaired. As a result, little is known about the importance consumers attach to reparability information when purchasing durable products. While consumers generally hold a positive attitude toward repair activities, we do not know whether product reparability information might influence consumers’ attitude. We ran three between-subjects experiments to test whether reparability information positively influences consumers’ attitude. We suggest that (1) pre-purchase communication about reparability increases consumers’ perception of a firm’s social responsibility, (2) which increases the perceived durability of the product, and (3) results in a more positive consumers’ attitude toward the brand of the reparable good. Yet, this serial mediation is moderated by consumers’ perception about product reliability. We aim at providing support for the effectiveness of reparability information as a solution against planned obsolescence, and we discuss the implications for theory, practice and future research.