This study aimed to understand specific complaint behaviors of inpatients regarding perceived problems in the receipt of hospital services and to study the effect of provider responses to the different complaint strategies on patients' overall satisfaction with hospital services. The analysis was performed on 155 patients who had reported a problem in the receipt of services and had acted to elicit a change. Three complaint strategies were studied--formal, informal, and a combination of both. The use of these strategies was studied in relation to type of hospital service and the type of ward where the problem emerged. Two questions were investigated--what strategy leads to the best outcome for the patients? and how does each outcome affect overall satisfaction with hospital services?