Letters of Complaint

Letters of Complaint :


One of the most useful kinds of business letters is the letter of complaint. The best complaint letters do not sound complaining or angry. Even though you may be upset and frustrated by the time you decide you need to write a letter, abuse and insults will certainly mean that your problem will go to the bottom of the pile and may even be ignored altogether. A good complaint letter states your problem calmly and if possible suggests a reason why it is in the company’s best interest to deal positively with your situation.

Your letter should be firm and well thought out. In addition, it should contain all the information needed to support your case effectively. You should assume that the company will do the right thing. Most importantly, you need to state clearly what you expect to be done to remedy the situation.

Although each letter will vary, the following is a good pattern.

1. Identify the fault item, including model number, part names, dates, sizes, etc. Often it is good to enclose a photocopy of the bill.

2. Explain logically and clearly what the problem is. Do not express an opinion about why the problem occurred, if you have no way of knowing.

3. State specifically what you expect to be done to correct the problem to your satisfaction. Include contact phone number and deadlines, if appropriate.

Large companies have whole departments dedicated to customer complaints, but when writer to a small organization, address your letter to the president, vice-president or owner. Take the time to find that person’s name and write your complaint directly to him/her.

On July 19, 1999, I ordered 14 dozen promotional pens (catalogue # EW-1223) with our company’s name and logo on them.

On August 16, 1999, I received a shipment from your Halifax warehouse containing pens labeled # EW-1338. As well, our company name was spelled incorrectly. I immediately returned the entire order along with an explanatory note. I have not, however, received the pens I ordered originally and I have had no correspondence from you. In addition, I have been billed repeatedly.

Please arrange for the correct order to be sent to me before the end of October or cancel my order completely. I am enclosing a copy of the original order as well as the most recent bill.

Thank you,

Here’s another sample complaint letter, written from a householder who is dissatisfied with a new refrigerator.

I recently bought and paid for a Cold point refrigerator from your 1999 Spring and Summer Catalogue. The item number is 209 453 223 RB and it is shown on page 273. It was shipped from Regina and delivered to me on September 13, 1999.

Two things need attention. First, the bottom glass shelf was cracked when the refrigerator arrived. The delivery driver assured me that someone from your store would call within a week to arrange for a replacement. So far, I have not heard from anyone. Second, there is some problem with the defrost system. Every time, the refrigerator defrosts itself, a puddle of water forms on the floor in front of it. This is both a nuisance and a danger as someone may slip and fall.

I have shopped successfully at your store for over ten years and I am sure that you will be as concerned as I am about these problems. Please contact me during the day at 667-0099 to arrange a time when a service man can fix the defrost system and replace the damaged shelf.

Thank you for your help in straightening out this matter.

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