Researchers into service quality have found that there are generic criteria which customers apply in making judgments on service quality. These criteria relate to broad aspects of the service design, delivery or setting, and are commonly referred to in the literature as dimensions of service quality. The specific number and nature of service quality dimensions vary between researchers (e.g. Carman, 1990). However, there is considerable overlap between the various lists. This, together with the lack of clarity with which the various dimensions are defined, makes it difficult to establish the superiority of one set of dimensions or criteria over another. The five dimensions below, however, seem best supported by research findings: • Reliability: the ability to perform the promised service dependably and accurately; • Assurance: the professionalism, knowledge and courtesy of employees and their ability to inspire trust and confidence; • Tangibles: physical facilities, equipment and the appearance of personnel; • Empathy: the caring, individualized attention the firm provides its customers; • Responsiveness: willingness to help customers and provide prompt service (Parasuraman et al, 1988). It has been found that these dimensions are generally consistent across service sectors. Other authors, however, suggest that service fairness should constitute a further dimension (Seiders and Berry, 1998). This is defined as a customer’s perception of the degree of justice in a service firm’s behavior. There is compelling evidence that unfair service is likely to be judged as substandard in quality and that customers’ sensitivity to fairness increases with purchase risk and customer vulnerability. Quality, then, is a complex, subjective and ever-changing perception in the mind of the customer. In order to deliver a good quality product, the provider must constantly refer to the customer in order to know the criteria against which product quality will be judged. As if this were not complicated enough, quality is only half of the satisfaction equation.