Having to wait for service: Customer reactions to delays in service delivery

Markus Groth, Stephen W. Gilliland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Two experiments tested the effects of providing wait duration information and explanations for the reason for a delay on customer reactions to a delayed service delivery. In Study 1, 111 participants read a paper-and-pencil scenario about a wait for service at a doctor's office. In Study 2, 87 participants experienced an actual delay at a research facility. In both studies, participants were subsequently surveyed about their service evaluation and reactions to the delay. Results indicate that providing a provider-not-at-fault explanation led to the most positive customer reactions, whereas providing no explanation led to more positive reactions than a provider-at-fault explanation. Providing waiting duration estimates had only limited effects on customers' reactions. Results are discussed from the perspective of wait time theories.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)107-129
Number of pages23
JournalApplied Psychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Applied Psychology


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