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Effects of missing a price promotion after purchasing on perceived price unfairness, negative emotions, and behavioral responses

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In this study we sought to examine how consumers perceive price unfairness when they learn that they have missed a price promotion after making a purchase, and explore the accompanying negative emotions and behavioral responses. The promotions that consumers learn they have missed could occur either before purchasing (i.e., prepurchase promotion) or after purchasing (i.e., postpurchase promotion). By conducting a 2 (attribution of responsibility: internal vs. external attribution) × 2 (time of the missed promotion: prepurchase vs. postpurchase promotion) experiment with 202 participants, we found that greater perceived price unfairness (PPU) is generated when consumers attribute missing the promotion to the sellers' actions. Additionally, PPU is more likely to induce anger than disappointment and regret. The time of the missed promotion alters the impact of PPU on regret. Lastly, consumers who experience high levels of anger and disappointment tend to complain and spread negative word of mouth while those who experience high regret tend to be inactive.
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