Empowerment among older consumers in Malaysia

Fon Sim ONG, Paim LAILY, David Rosser PHILLIPS

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Older people as consumers have tended to be a neglected market segment with needs assumed to be the same as other age groups. However, it is increasingly clear that older people, as consumers of both goods and services, can have somewhat different specific requirements, for life-stage and lifestyle reasons. While some markets are becoming more age-segregated in Western economies, there has been little age differentiation in middle-income economies, especially with regard to older consumers. This study of 387 respondents aged 55+ in Peninsular Malaysia investigated three potential groups of older consumers: those who become upset and complain; those who become upset but do not complain; and those without any unhappy consumption-related experiences. Consumer purchasing knowledge, understanding of rights, and redress-seeking were examined in the context of empowerment. About one-third of respondents had not experienced any dissatisfaction. Of those who had experienced an unhappy episode, 72% had engaged in various responses to seek redress. They had a higher level of understanding of consumer matters compared with the other two groups. Contrary to assumed learned helplessness, many older adults here could be described as empowered from the perspective of consumer complaint behavior. This engagement could be a positive factor in active and successful ageing. As the "silver market" develops in countries such as Malaysia, such evidence-based information will become valuable for producers, consumers, and regulators.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)135-154
Number of pages20
JournalHallym International Journal of Aging
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2009


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