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NCJ Number: 44030 Find in a Library
Title: CONSUMER REPONSE TO UNSATISFACTORY PURCHASES - A SURVEY OF PERCEIVING DEFECTS, VOICING COMPLAINTS, AND OBTAINING REDRESS
Journal: LAW AND SOCIETY REVIEW  Volume:11  Issue:4  Dated:(SPRING 1977)  Pages:701-742
Author(s): A BEST; A R ANDREASEN
Corporate Author: Law and Society Assoc
University of Denver
College of Law
United States of America
Date Published: 1977
Page Count: 42
Sponsoring Agency: Carnegie Corporation of New York
New York, NY 10036
Law and Society Assoc
Denver, CO 80204
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: A TELEPHONE SURVEY IN WHICH 2,419 SUBJECTS IN 34 CITIES WERE ASKED ABOUT THEIR EXPERIENCES WITH 34 TYPICAL CONSUMER PRODUCTS AND SERVICES IS DOCUMENTED.
Abstract: SURVEY DATA SHOW THAT A LARGE NUMBER OF CONSUMER PROBLEMS EXIST, THAT MANY OF THOSE PROBLEMS ARE NEVER PRESENTED AS COMPLAINTS TO BUSINESSES OF THIRD PARTIES, AND THAT MANY OF THE COMPLAINTS VOICED ARE NOT RESOLVED TO THE SATISFACTION OF THE COMPLAINANTS. ABOUT ONE IN EVERY FIVE PURCHASES LEADS TO THE CONSUMER'S OBSERVATION OF A NONPRICE-RELATED PROBLEM. FOR SOME ITEMS, NOTABLY CARS AND SOME SERVICES, THE RATE OF PROBLEM PERCEPTION IS CONSIDERABLY HIGHER. APPROXIMATELY ONE-THIRD OF THE PERCEIVED PROBLEMS ARE VOICED AS COMPLAINTS. THIRD-PARTY COMPLAINT PROCESSORS (E.G., BETTER BUSINESS BUREAUS, CONSUMER AFFAIRS DEPARTMENTS) PLAY A VERY SMALL ROLE IN BUYER-SELLER DISPUTES. THE SOCIOECONOMIC STATUS OF THE HOUSEHOLD AND THE TYPE OF PROBLEM INVOLVED INFLUENCE BOTH THE PERCEPTION OF CONSUMER PROBLEMS AND THE DECISION TO TAKE ACTION. PROCEDURAL CHANGES AT THE BUYER-SELLER LEVEL ARE SUGGESTED TO INCREASE VOICING AND FAIR HANDLING OF COMPLAINTS. TO IMPROVE TREATMENT OF COMPLAINTS THAT ARE NOT RESOLVED AT THE BUYER-SELLER LEVEL, IMPROVEMENTS IN COMMUNITY SMALL CLAIMS COURTS ARE RECOMMENDED. IT IS ARGUED THAT THOSE CONSUMER PROBLEMS THAT CANNOT BE RESOLVED BETWEEN BUYER AND SELLER REQUIRE THE INTERVENTION OF A THIRD PARTY WITH THE POWER TO ADJUDICATE OR ARBITRATE, NOT MERELY TO MEDIATE. DETAILS OF SURVEY METHODOLOGY, A COPY OF THE SURVEY INSTRUMENT, SUPPORTING TABULAR DATA, AND A LIST OF REFERENCES ARE INCLUDED. (AUTHOR ABSTRACT MODIFIED).
Index Term(s): Consumer protection; Public Attitudes/Opinion; Surveys
Note: ORIGINAL VERSION OF THIS PAPER WAS DISTRIBUTED BY THE CENTER FOR STUDY OF RESPONSIVE LAW IN 1976 UNDER THE TITLE
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=44030

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