With the disconfirmation paradigm, Day and Landon's taxonomy of complaint behaviour, and the cognitive appraisal theory developed by Lazarus and colleagues as theoretical approach, this study explored and described consumers' anger and coping strategies following appraisals of appliance failure. In addition, consumers' reasons for engaging in particular complaint behavioural responses were investigated in terms of the cognitive and emotional types of reasoning underlying the different coping behaviours. A cross-sectional survey was conducted among consumers who were dissatisfied with the performance of a major household appliance item and who resided in a major metropolitan area in South Africa. A self-administered questionnaire was distributed by means of convenience sampling, which generated 216 usable responses. The results emphasize the importance of understanding consumers' reasoning behind their choice of a specific coping strategy. Respondents who took formal complaint action engaged in problem-focused coping and those who took private action engaged in emotion-focused coping and avoidance coping. Those who took no action experienced lower levels of anger.