QUT ePrints

Complaining in cyberspace : the motives and forms of hotel guests’ complaints online

Sparks, Beverley & Browning, Victoria (2010) Complaining in cyberspace : the motives and forms of hotel guests’ complaints online. Journal of Hospitality Marketing & Management, 19(7), pp. 797-818.

View at publisher

Abstract

Traditionally, consumers who have been dissatisfied with service have typically complained to the frontline personnel or to a manager in either a direct (face-to-face, over the phone) manner, indirect by writing, or done nothing but told friends and family of the incident. More recently, the Internet has provided various “new” ways to air a grievance, especially when little might have been done at the point of service failure. With the opportunity to now spread word-of-mouth globally, consumers have the potential to impact the standing of a brand or a firm's reputation. The hotel industry is particularly vulnerable, as an increasing number of bookings are undertaken via the Internet and the decision process is likely to be influenced by what other previous guests might post on many booking-linked sites. We conducted a qualitative study of a key travel site to ascertain the forms and motives of complaints made online about hotels and resorts. 200 web-based consumer complaints were analyzed using NVivo 8 software. Findings revealed that consumers report a wide range of service failures on the Internet. They tell a highly descriptive, persuasive, and credible story, often motivated by altruism or, at the other end of the continuum, by revenge. These stories have the power to influence potential guests to book or not book accommodation at the affected properties. Implications for managers of hotels and resorts are discussed.

Impact and interest:

10 citations in Scopus
Search Google Scholar™

Citation countsare sourced monthly from Scopus and Web of Science® citation databases.

These databases contain citations from different subsets of available publications and different time periods and thus the citation count from each is usually different. Some works are not in either database and no count is displayed. Scopus includes citations from articles published in 1996 onwards, and Web of Science® generally from 1980 onwards.

Citations counts from the Google Scholar™ indexing service can be viewed at the linked Google Scholar™ search.

ID Code: 38161
Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: Online Complaints, e-complaints, Service Failure, Hospitality
DOI: 10.1080/19368623.2010.508010
ISSN: 1936-8631
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > COMMERCE MANAGEMENT TOURISM AND SERVICES (150000) > COMMERCIAL SERVICES (150400) > Hospitality Management (150402)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > QUT Business School
Current > Schools > School of Management
Deposited On: 26 Oct 2010 09:12
Last Modified: 01 Mar 2012 00:20

Export: EndNote | Dublin Core | BibTeX

Repository Staff Only: item control page