How to Write a Complaint Letter

A complaint letter, or a letter of complaint, is a letter by which a customer can express their dissatisfaction towards some goods or services. It is important to know how to write quality complaint letters, because almost every person in their life faces customer rights violations, unsatisfactory quality of purchased goods, and services that were not performed duly.
Usually, complaint letters are written to cope with a troublesome situation when other attempts (spoken requests, phone calls, e-mails) have failed to remedy the situation.
One significant factor in writing a complaint letter is to know to whom it should be addressed. While drafting the letter, the tone should be courteous and not insulting. It is crucial that the cause and effect of the complaint should be provided. Overall, a complaint letter should be such that the receiver understands the problem instantly, so it should be short and clear.

Do’s:

  • Give yourself some time to cool down before constructing the letter. You should keep a cold mind to write a reasonable and factual complaint letter.
  • Get straight to the point and focus on the purpose of your letter.
  • Provide all the relevant facts in a logical and clear sequence.
  • Create a timeline of events that led to the current situation.
  • Keep the letter short and be as concise as possible.
  • Use the basic business letter format, otherwise known as block style.

Dont’s

  • Use abusive language and don’t be rude and sarcastic in tone, however angry or frustrated you might feel.
  • Allow yourself to destract from your specific problem to the general criticism of the company or the services it provides.
  • Blame the receiver. In most cases, it appears that the recipient of your letter is not the person who wronged you. To increase the chances of a positive outcome and out of simple politeness, address the party courteously without accusations.
  • Send the letter without checking it thoroughly for spelling or grammar mistakes.

Guidelines – How to Write a Complaint Letter

    1. Gather complete information before you start writing a complaint letter: when and where goods were purchased or services ordered, any invoice-numbers or customer reference numbers, a record of any previous agreements with the other party, etc.
    2. Briefly introduce yourself and identify the reason why you are writing the letter.
    3. Explain the problem. Firstly, provide the description of goods purchased or services ordered which you found inappropriate. Then, explain what you are dissatisfied with and indicate what damage you have suffered.
    4. Suggest how your problem can be resolved. State what specific action you want the other party to take: charge card credit, money refunded, repair, exchange, etc.
    5. Enclose copies of all relevant documents to support your case.
    6. Specify how long you are ready to wait for a resolution of the problem and leave your contacts.
    7. Finish your letter respectfully. Thank the receiver for their assistance, and express your hope for a mutually beneficial resolution of the case. This will encourage the other party to help you.

A complaint letter usually highlights customer’s discontentment with a particular product or service. It formalizes a vexatious situation by putting it into writing form. Properly written complaint letters have great power and almost always bring favorable outcomes, making them worth writing.

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