Consumers' Reactions to Waiting: When Delays Affect the Perception of Service Quality

Dubé-Rioux, Laurette; Schmitt, Bernd H.; Leclerc, France
January 1989
Advances in Consumer Research;1989, Vol. 16 Issue 1, p59
Academic Journal
In two experimental studies we tested the prediction derived from Lewin's field theory that consumers who encounter a delay during the pre-process and post-process phase of a restaurant visit will evaluate the service provided more negatively than customers who experience a delay during the in-process phase. We further predicted that the degree of uncertainty about the length of the delay and an individual's need state would influence his or her perception of a delay and evaluation of the restaurant service. Results of experiment 1 strongly supported the point of delay hypothesis. In experiment 2, we found an interaction of need state and point of delay. The certainty hypothesis did not receive empirical support.


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