How to Write a Letter of Complaint

Refer to the general tips below when drafting a letter of complaint. Show that you are annoyed about faulty goods, poor service delivered, or a lack of consideration.

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12 Tips for Writing a Letter of Complaint

  • The letter should be written in the business letter format.
  • Wait until you have cooled off before writing the letter. You need to be calm and in control when explaining the situation to convince the reader that there is something that needs to be addressed.
  • Address the letter to the most senior person in the organisation.
  • Start your letter on a positive note.
  • You need to be very clear about your experience and be able to state: where the incident happened (the exact location), the time and date, the product or service involved,descriptions of the staff members who assisted you, exactly what happened.
  • The more accurate and factual the details are, the more you will engage your reader’s attention.
  • Request a reply in a firm but polite tone – for example: “I would appreciate it if you would investigate the matter and report back to me by .......”
  • End by thanking the person to whom you have written (for example: “Your co-operation in this matter is much appreciated.”)
  • Keep it brief, not more than one page in length.
  • Make a copy of the letter and any supporting documentation such as receipts etc. for your records.
  • Include your contact information: your name, address, phone number, and e-mail address, so that the person(s) can reach you to discuss any questions or concerns.
  • If you do not obtain the desired results, consider writing another letter with a firmer tone, or address a letter to someone higher up in the chain of command.

The Purpose of Your Letter

  • Keep in mind what it is that you hope to accomplish with your letter.
  • Keep to the point.
  • Clearly make your complaint to the right person(s).
  • State the reason for your complaint clearly.
  • Indicate what the reader can or should do to address your complaint.
  • Specify how long you are willing to wait to have your complaint resolved. (Be reasonable.)

Other Types of Business letters

Tips for writing a cover letter.

Parts of a business letter.

Writing a personal thank you letter.

Teacher letter to parents.

Formal letter format.



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