Complaint Letter

A. Complaint Letter

When you have a complaint or a grievance, writing a formal complaint letter is an effective way to remind the company to pay attention to the problem. The importance of a letter of complaint should not be understated. It serves as a record that a complaint has been lodged, helps to safeguard any legal rights you may have, and let the company know that you are taking the complaint seriously. If necessary, the complaint letter can also serve as the basis for future legal action.

Complaint letters are an effective way to solve poor quality products or poor customer service issues. Companies tend to view written complaints as more important than verbal complaints and the right letter has the power to get proper attention with effective results. Those who took the time to write a complaint letter showed that they were serious about solving the problem, not just complaining. It also gives the company a chance to correct and resolve the situation to preserve goodwill.

B. How to write a Complaint Letter

The most effective complaint letter should be based on facts and not emotions. Here are some tips on how to write one:

1. Pick the Right Recipient

Before you start your letter, think carefully about the right audience.  Should you be addressing the letter to the customer service, a department a specific manager or the big boss? Find the most appropriate person you should be writing to (preferably at a more senior level), instead of writing to the company or customer service in general. Usually, you can find a suitable name and address on the company website or through the online catalogue.

2. Be Concise 

Keep it short, simple, and hit the main points. Describe the product or service you purchased and the problem. Include the serial number or model, and the name and location of the seller. If you are following up on a conversation, be sure to say who you have spoken to and confirm the details of what you discussed.

3. Be Tactful without being Emotional

Be tactful and make your point. Make sure the language is neutral. In writing your descriptions, only state the facts and don't be hostile, angry, harsh, sarcastic or threatening. Don't turn it into general criticism of the company, and avoid personal attacks and abusive language. Even if you may be very frustrated and angry, be calm and kind when you complain.

The person reading your letter may not be responsible for the problem. If possible, precede the complaint with something positive about the company or the relationship. Expressing optimism and politeness may create more incentive for the recipient to help to resolve it as opposed to blaming the recipient for the issue.

4. State the Facts

Write down the specific facts when you still remember them. This includes the time, date and location of the incident, the employee's name and other relevant details. This will prevent information loss. In addition, recording details and accurate facts from an objective standpoint may make your letter more convincing.

You can also outline the steps you have taken so far to resolve the issue and describe the consequences of the product or service in question. Adding some specific details, such as the increased cost of replacing a problematic product, will strengthen your complaint. Focus on the particular subject you are complaining about and your goal to seek potential resolution. Do not include irrelevant details, previous complaints (unless not resolved) or peripheral issues.

5. Be Reasonable

Specify a reasonable response and timeframe you would like the company to do. Provided your requests are reasonable, the company is likely to make every effort to help. You should give the company enough time to recognise and correct the situation.

6. Attaching Records

Include copies of related documents such as invoices, receipts, work orders, and warranties to support your complaint. You can also send records and emails on any previous communications with the company. Keep your originals. Be sure to quote your reference or account number if there is one.


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