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EMAC 2022 Annual

Consumer discrimination in service situations: its influence on word of mouth and the desire for revenge

Published: May 24, 2022


Simoni Rohden, Portuguese Institute of Marketing Management - IPAM; Cristiane Pizzutti, Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS)


Stereotypes and discrimination in the marketplace have recently been receiving increasing attention in marketing discussions. This research explores the effect of receiving lower (vs. higher) financial compensation in a service recovery situation than someone perceived to be from an upper social class (vs. lower) on consumer reactions. By way of two experimental studies with American and British samples in service recovery contexts it was possible to confirm that social class comparisons in a compensation situation have an influence on intentions to engage in negative word of mouth (NWOM) and a desire for revenge by individuals who perceived they had been discriminated against and suffered prejudice. Interestingly, individuals who benefited from the situation but perceive that another consumer is receiving discriminatory treatment also show a greater intention to engage in NWOM. The theoretical and practical contributions of these findings are discussed.