Have you ever been in a situation where you need to make a complaint? Did a company bill you incorrectly? Have your neighbor’s children been misbehaving? Have you been experiencing work, school, or legal problems? Has there been a misunderstanding you want to be cleared up?

The following information will help you write an effective complaint letter.

Guidelines for writing complaints:

    • Write the letter as soon as possible after the incident, while it is still fresh in your mind. Type the letter.
    • Explain the problem as clearly, briefly, and fairly as possible. In the first and last lines of the letter, clearly state your expectations of the other party.
    • Try to confront only one problem at a time. If there are several problems, pick two or three that need immediate attention and briefly list these and how you expect them to be rectified.
    • Focus on how the problem can be solved, not on petty details of the problem. Stick to the facts and avoid emotional statements.
    • Try to give the letter a polite, positive tone, not a negative tone. Do not use words that express blame. Do not threaten to sue. The objective is to solve the problem and come to some kind of agreement or reimbursement.
    • Include all the important information, including dates and times of the occurrence. Include information on how you can be contacted, such as a phone number and address. In case of problems related to merchandise, make copies of documents such as bills and receipts, include the copies with the letter, and keep the originals for your records.
    • Conclude your letter with confidence that the matter will be resolved to your satisfaction.

Helpful words you can use: Click on each word to get definitions and examples from WordNet 1.6 Vocabulary Helper.

Compensate Concerned Damage Defective
Disappoint Disrespect Disturbed Embarrassing
Impolite Incomplete Inconsiderate Inconvenient
Mishandle Misinterpret Negotiate Offend
Overcharge Reimburse Repair Repay
Resolve Restore Return Rude
Thoughtless Uncooperative Unhappy Unprofessional

Misbehaving Child

To Betty Grimes,
I am writing to inform you that your daughter, Sarah, broke the front passenger window of my Ford Taurus while playing softball yesterday afternoon. The car is brand new. Hopefully, your homeowner’s insurance will cover this kind of damage. Please check with them to see if it is covered. If they will not pay for it, I will get two repair estimates for you so that you can determine how you will pay for the repair.
Perhaps we could meet this Saturday afternoon to discuss our options. Thank you for your timely attention to this matter.
Thank you,
Your Signature

Your typed name

School: Dissatisfaction with Grade

To Dr. P.Y. Sockman:
This letter is to express my dissatisfaction with the grade that I received for my class project. I know you made it clear that individuals in each group would all receive the same grade; but I am asking you to reconsider your decision about my grade.

I put a lot of effort into this project. I spent numerous hours in the library and at the computer working on my research. My project partner, Jack, apparently did not approach the project with the same dedication as I. Enclosed, you will find copies of my notes and sources that I used in my research.

You encouraged us to speak with you if we encountered any problems within our groups, and I made two appointments with you to discuss the situation. Unfortunately, you were unable to attend either one. Considering that I did attempt to contact you and that I put a lot of effort into this project, I hope that you will be generous enough to raise my project grade.
Thank you,
Your Signature
Your typed name

Rude Salesperson

Woodson’s Department Store
Sales Manager
Dear Sales Manager,
This letter is a complaint concerning the actions of one of your salespersons. On Tuesday, May 1, 2015, around 3 PM, I went to your store to look for an outfit. When I asked an available salesperson, Ms. Maria Johnson, for help in finding my size, she informed me that she was busy and that I would have to find it myself. I explained that the reason I came to her was because I couldn’t find it. She then said in a rude tone that if I couldn’t find it, it means that your store did not have it, and that I needed to look somewhere else.

I felt that Ms. Johnson was rude and unnecessarily curt with me. If she was busy, she could have simply and politely told me that she would be able to help me in a moment. I hope that you will confront Ms. Johnson about her behavior. I shop frequently at your store and I look forward to a more pleasurable shopping experience next time.
Thank you,
Your Signature
Your typed name

Sourced by Janel Muyesseroglu

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