The implications of exposure to erroneous product information in the blogosphere are profound. In retaliation, consumers can post claim-related counterarguments on the offending blog and negative product-related information on a product review website. Using a scenario-based between-subjects experiment, we observe that retaliatory action depends largely on blame directed toward the blogger and the associated organization as well as feelings of anger aroused by the situation. When a consumer recognizes that product information contained in a blog post is erroneous, blame directed toward the blogger is strongest when the blogger made a utilitarian-based product claim that is aligned with the relevant expertise area as well as when the blogger made a compensation disclosure. On the organization side, blame similarly depends on the compensation disclosure. Although blame is the essential cognitive driver of retaliatory action, this study establishes that the experience of anger partially mediates the effect of blame on retaliatory action. When an affected consumer takes retaliatory action, an orientation toward relationship strengthening and brand building may be the most effective means of responding to the situation.

Additional Metadata
Keywords Anger, Blame, Blogger, Consumer dissatisfaction, Error, Expertise, Product claim, Retaliation, Word-of-mouth marketing
Journal Journal of Consumer Satisfaction, Dissatisfaction and Complaining Behavior
Citation
Doyle, J.D. (James D.), & Heslop, L.A. (2018). Difference of opinion or something sinister? Context effects on consumer responses to exposure to erroneous product information in the blogosphere. Journal of Consumer Satisfaction, Dissatisfaction and Complaining Behavior, 31, 1–20.