Consumer Misbehaviour in Services: A Qualitative Study in India

  • Anindo Bhattacharjee Assistant Professor, ASMSOC, NMIMS Mumbai
  • Neha Purohit Assistant Professor, School of Branding & Advertising, NMIMS Mumbai
Keywords: Consumer misbehaviour, branding, marketing, Grounded theory, Qualitative, Emerging Markets.


Consumer misbehaviour is a growing phenomenon these days in the services sector. The perils of the job of being a call centre executive or the incidences of verbal abuse or aggression on employees in services or deviant consumer behaviour such as shoplifting by customers in retail outlets is widely known but rarely reported. In fact many organizations, in their pursuit of following the mantra of “customer is king” become victims of wrong behaviour by the customers itself. The current study not only identifies the antecedents or motives of consumer misbehaviour that could be of interest for marketers but also proposes strategies to deal with or neutralize the consumer misbehaviour. The area of consumer misbehaviour in an emerging market context is still an under-researched area and every organization faces it in some form or the other. The findings of this paper are based on a nation-wide qualitative study on consumer misbehaviour based on semi-structured interviews. We are reporting the findings based on 24 of such interviews. We proposed a conceptual framework that can be the starting point for future confirmatory studies in this area of consumer research.