This study aims to demonstrate that meta-perceptions play a contributing role in customers direct complaint intention. In an exploratory study, we identified different types of meta-perceptions. In a scenario-based experiment, we tested the interaction effect of service failure attribution and the perceived service failure severity on meta-perceptions and direct complaint intention. After experiencing service failure, customers amplify both positive and negative meta-perceptions. Depending on how customers attribute the service failure and perceive the magnitude of service failure, they evaluate these meta-perceptions differently which then determine their subsequent actions. The use of hypothetical scenarios may not capture the richness of an actual service encounter. The study is limited to two service failure contexts: cable TV connection and restaurant booking. Service managers should design marketing strategies that can elevate customers positive social image associated with voicing complaints. This study offers a new explanation, in that some customers do not engage in direct complaining behavior owing to meta-perceptions that they develop during service failure.