This study aims to investigate the influence of rumination and distraction on consumer complaining behaviors (e.g., voice, negative word of mouth, and exiting) in a service failure encounter, and further examine the role of brand loyalty in consumer complaining behaviors. The findings of this study suggest that consumers use rumination and distraction to cope with service failures, which has different influences on consumer complaining behavior. Angry rumination increases all three types of consumer complaining behaviors, whereas distraction reduces negative word-of-mouth only. In addition, these relationships vary across the level of brand loyalty. Loyal consumers are more likely to voice their complaints directly to service providers as angry rumination increases, but they are less likely to spread out negative word-of-mouth than non-loyal consumers. The findings of this study contribute to a better understanding of consumer behaviors following service failures and provide a basis for effective service management strategies.


Service failure, angry rumination, distraction, brand loyalty, consumer complaining behavior