Customer Fraud and Business Responses: Let the Marketer Beware

Front Cover
Greenwood Publishing Group, 2002 - Business & Economics - 251 pages

From remarkably frank and credible responses to their comprehensive research questionnaire, Tian and Keep provide a unique, wide ranging catalogue of frauds that customers perpetrate on businesses--and what marketers can do to combat it. They were able to receive and analyze more than 250 written descriptions--a 71% response rate!--of the acts that customers committed and the methods they used. Instead of merely a checklist, Tian and Keep obtained their data in the customers' own words, resulting in highly detailed and reliable insights into why customers did what they did. They find that customer fraud has emerged as a form of guerilla warfare against companies, that it is adapted to specific situations, and that underlying customers' motivation is a need to get even. Ethics has little do with it. In fact, some respondents even asserted that they had an obligation to commit fraud: they did it to retaliate against what they perceived as unethical acts that businesses committed against them. The result is a rare documentation of the specifics of fraud, how it threatens not only business but entire economies, and the actions--bold and subtle--that marketers can take in self-protective response.

Not only will corporate management, particularly in marketing, get detailed descriptions of their customers' fraud strategies and tactics, but they will also receive insights into where they are vulnerable and why. Tian and Keep show that fraud has become so socially acceptable among middle class customers that they are willing to share their tactics, strategies, and secrets with their friends. With this as their foundation, the authors give practitioners an arsenal of detection and deterrence methods. Equally important, they provide ways to implement them without alienating their other, blameless customers. They also show marketers what they can do to reestablish trust in their marketing exchanges with customers, and improve relationships in ways that will diminish (if not fully eliminate) the incidence of fraud. For management generally as well as marketers in companies of all sizes and type, Tian's and Keep's book is essential, engrossing, and useful reading.

 

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Contents

Let the Seller Beware MiddleClass Customers as the New Fraud Offenders
3
The Need for Candid Reports on Customer Fraud Activity
4
Overview of Book
10
Conclusion
20
The Social Environment That Encourages Customer Fraud
23
The Declining Stigma of Practicing Deceit Against Business
25
The Authorization of Deceit in the Marketplace
28
The Modernization of Society
31
Marketers Practices That Are Vulnerable to Customer Fraud
153
Marketers Vulnerabilities
154
Marketers Reliance on Trust Norms
155
Customers Resistance to Their Partial Employee Role
157
Customers Fraud Methods That Prey on Marketers Vulnerabilities
161
Performance Complaining
164
Selfdealing
166
Doubledealing
168

Conclusion
34
Customer Fraud as a Form of Resistance to Modern Business
37
Characterizations of Consumer Resistance
39
Businesses CoOptation of Consumer Resistance
47
Customer Fraud as a Form of Consumer Resistance
53
Conclusion
55
Customer Fraud Acts
57
Product Acquisition Fraud
59
Frauds Acts
61
Managerial Insights
67
Product Return Fraud
73
Frauds Acts
74
Managerial Insights
89
Service Acquisition Fraud
93
Managerial Insights
101
Fraud in the Use of Sales Promotions
105
Managerial Insights
116
Fraud in Negotiations
119
Managerial Insights
126
Fraud in Negotiations
129
Fraud Acts
131
Managerial Insights
138
Summary of Managerial Insights Suggested by Customer Fraud Acts
141
Considerations in Implementing Strategies Targeting Fraud Acts
145
How Customer Fraud Acts Succeed
151
Conning
171
Managerial Insights
173
The Sequence of Events Leading to Customer Fraud and to Repeat Fraud
175
Customers First Thoughts of Committing Fraud
177
The First Thoughts of Customer Fraud
181
Customers Assessment of Resources for Pulling Off Fraud Schemes
186
Customers PostFraud Feelings Justifications and Discussions with Others Customers Feelings After Committing Fraud
191
Justifications
194
Discussions with Other Consumers About Customer Fraud
201
More on the Process of Committing Customer Fraud
202
Managerial Insights Suggested by the Process of Committing Customer Fraud
205
Changing the Logic of Committing Customer Fraud
208
Reducing Resources for Committing Fraud
213
Reducing Justifications for Committing Fraud
214
Reducing Customers Discussion of Fraud Tips With Others
218
Conclusion
219
Getting Customers to Disclose Fraud Stories
221
Data Collection Method
227
Sample Characteristics
232
The Narrative Data
233
Analysis
234
Integrity of the Findings
236
References
239
Index
249
Copyright

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About the author (2002)

KELLY TIAN is Associate Professor of Marketing at the University of Kentucky, where she teaches graduate and undergraduate courses on ways to design consumer behavior research./e Formerly an insurance claims investigator trained to detect fraudulent behavior among amateurs and professionals both, she also worked for the U.S. General Accounting Office. Tian is a regular contributor to the journals of her field on a variety of topics, including consumer nonconformity and resistance.

BILL KEEP is Associate Professor of Marketing at Quinnipiac University./e His teaching and research center on retailing, channel partnerships, and related legal issues, with a special focus on pyramid schemes, consumer fraud, and the Robinson-Patman Act. Among his various private and public consulting clients are the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the Department of Justice, the Federal Trade Commission, and legal prosecutors in Kentucky and Florida.

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