Poor complaint management may result in organizations losing customers and revenue. Consumers exhibit negative emotional responses when dissatisfied and this may lead to a complaint to a third-party organization. Since little information is available on the role of emotion in the consumer complaint process or how to manage complaints effectively, we offer an emotions perspective by applying Affective Events Theory (AET) to complaint behavior. This study presents the first application of AET in a consumption context and advances a theoretical framework supported by qualitative research for emotional responses to complaints. In contrast to commonly held views on gender and emotion, men as well as women use emotion-focused coping to complain.