Consumer problems with products and services may occur in identifiable patterns. By studying the patterns of consumer dissatisfaction across 22 services, a service set approach to satisfaction/dissatisfaction is developed. Through the use of principal components analysis, target analysis, and multiple regression analysis, two hypotheses are tested about service sets for a randomly selected sample of 922 Canadians, both French and English speaking. The results of this analysis suggest that consumer problems with services across time seem to be partially explained by individual differences - such as age, income. and education - and partially explained by characteristics of the services themselves. Together, these influences may provide a better theoretical explanation for consumer satisfaction/dissatisfaction than do the more commonly used individual difference variables when taken alone.
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