How to write a complaint letter?

Posted by Manjusha Filed in Business English

If you are not happy with a product you have purchased, you can make your dissatisfaction known with a firm but polite complaint letter. So how do you write a complaint letter that gets results? Here are a few tips.

Most errors are unintentional

That is true. Businesses want satisfied customers. That means they will try their level best to offer best products and services. However, errors can happen from time to time. In most cases, you just need to shoot a complaint letter to the business / organization and they will immediately take measures necessary to rectify the problem. As we have already said, most errors are unintentional, so keep the tone of your complaint letter polite.

Address your letter to a specific person

If you want the company to take immediate action to solve your problem, you will need to address your letter to a specific person. Letters addressed to Dear Sir / Madam are unlikely to reach the right person. If you do not know the name of the concerned person, make a call and ask.

Begin your letter on a positive tone

Nobody will like it if somebody approaches them and starts shouting obscenities. Companies are no different. The fact that you are not satisfied with their product or service does not give you the right to call them names. So begin your letter on a positive note and do not make generalizations about their products or services. The product you purchased might have been defective, but that does not mean that they only sell defective products.

Be brief and to the point

All formal letters need to be short and to the point. Complaint letters are no different. Keep them to one page consisting of short paragraphs.

Do not send original copies of receipts and other documents with your letter. Send their photocopies instead. You must also keep a copy of the complaint letter for your records.

Be honest and straightforward

Give all details necessary to back up your claim and clearly explain why you are not satisfied with the product or service. However, omit irrelevant details. The tone of your letter must be firm and polite, but avoid aggressive, accusing language.

Do not threaten

If your first letter does not resolve your problem, send another letter with a stronger, but still respectful tone.

If the company refuses to correct the situation in spite of your sending them multiple complaint letters, you may want to take legal action against them. However, do not threaten legal action if you have no intention to follow through with it.

Include your contact information

Include your name, address, phone number, and e-mail address, so that the person(s) can reach you to discuss any questions or concerns.

Sections in this article

Complaint letter sample 1
Complaint letter sample 2
Complaint letter sample 3

Formal letter writing tips

Business letter writing tips
How to Write an Apology Letter
Business Apology Letter Sample I
Personal Apology Letter Sample I
Email writing tips
Resume writing
How to write a letter of enquiry
How to write a cover letter

Letter writing: formal and informal

Address and date
Body of the letter
Subscription or leave-taking
The Tone and Language of a Letter
Personal Letter Writing Tips
Example of formal letter and envelope
Formal Letter Sample 2
Formal letter sample 3
Formal letter sample 4
Formal letter writing basics
Standard phrases used in formal letters
Example of informal letter and envelope
Informal Letter Sample 2
Informal Letter Sample 3
Informal Letter Sample 4


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