This study makes a first effort to understand the factors affecting customers’ decisions to invoke warranties, and to distinguish this behavior from the factors affecting customer perceptions of service quality. The study context is GTE's introduction of a warranty program as part of a telecommunications repair service for small business customers. The results suggest that customer perceptions of the service and the decision to invoke the service warranty depend on customers’ attributions about the service failure and their perceived control of the service process—as represented by specific service attributes. For repair service, the customer's decision to invoke the warranty is strongly influenced by the severity of the service failure, the amount of time that elapsed between when the failure was reported and when it was resolved, and his/her causal attributions about the failure. Although these variables do not have a similar effect on the overall perceived quality of repair service, they are related to two underlying dimensions of service quality: reliability and responsiveness. For example, customer perceptions of responsiveness are influenced by the amount of time between when the problem was reported and when the first repair attempt was made. More extreme service attributes are required to result in warranty invocation rather than more negative perceptions of the service.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Business, Management and Accounting (miscellaneous)