Understanding the Level of Consumers’ Awareness of Legal Rights through Consumer Complaints

Tufan ÖZSOY, Gökhan BAK


From a business point of view, it is known that the cost of acquiring new customers is much higher than the cost of retaining existing customers. In addition, inability to retain customers will both reduce cash flows and increase negative wom. For this reason, it is vital to ensure customer satisfaction and establish long-term relations with the customer. Customer complaints can be used as an important instrument as ensuring consumer satisfaction will result in increased repeated sales, positive word-of-mouth communication and consumer loyalty. Even in the most corporate and consumer-oriented enterprises, consumer complaints about the goods and services they offer may arise. There has been an increase in academic studies on consumer complaint behavior since the 1970s. These studies focused on whether customers complain, when, why and how they complain, what their next intentions and actions might be, and how businesses respond, react, or should respond to consumer complaints. Depending on the developing internet technologies, it has become fast, effortless and cost-free for consumers to express their dissatisfaction with goods and services. Thanks to the increasing number of customer service units, complaint management platforms, and user forums, it has become easier than ever to make complaints and access existing complaints. It is a controversial issue to what extent consumers are aware of their legal rights, despite the fact that it has become so easy for the consumer to create and access content thanks to technology, and consumer protection laws have become widespread. In a dynamic world where continuous change is happening, reasons such as information asymmetry, and the fact that some actors on the supply side do not want the consumer to know and/or use their legal rights cause confusion in the consumer. The existence of new phenomenons that came into our lives after developing technologies and those who abuse the situation and take advantage of legal loopholes before these concepts mature and before the relevant legal regulations. In this study, it has been tried to analyze the level of awareness of consumers about their legal rights through consumer complaints. For this, consumer complaints about the services offered by four telecommunication companies operating in Turkey were examined. At the end of the study, it was concluded that the created complaint categories form can be used as a tool to analyze the level of awareness the rights of the consumer.


Consumer Protection; Consumer Awareness; Consumer Complaints; Content Analysis

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18415/ijmmu.v8i11.3043


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