Russian public transport system: the customers’ feedback on the service provision

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - europe, ridership - behaviour, ridership - perceptions, planning - service quality, planning - standards


Public transportation in Russia, Service quality, Kaliningrad region, Customer complaint behavior


A considerable demand on gaining an inside knowledge on customers’ perceptions of the service quality and subsequent complaint behavior in case of failure has defined the aim of this research paper. In this paper we analyse the pattern of customer complaint behavior in a widely used and widespread type of service—public transportation. Given the fact that the city of Kaliningrad is about to undergo a series of extensive qualitative improvements, driven by the federal investments allocated for major sporting and cultural events, this empirical research will have a considerable practical value. Research results suggest that customers tend to set the quality bar for the public transportation based on the personal best service performance experienced, generally received in large touristic centres and capital cities in Europe, hence inadvertently placing the provincial city of Kaliningrad at a disadvantage. There are three types of causes for the negative critical incidents identified, largely affecting the subsequent reaction of a dissatisfied customer. The passenger’s intention to engage in complaint behavior is greatly influenced by the amount of effort required, the costs associated with filing a complaint, and a perceived probability of ‘success’. Though, a considerable discrepancy is found between the probable reaction of a respondent and the actual steps taken in case of a real incident. A negative word-of-mouth remains one of the widely used modes of complaint behavior, whereas employees resist customers’ complaints, since complaints are perceived as personal insult.


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