Letter of Complaint
Posted August 16, 2011on:
- Definiton of Complaint Letter
A letter of complaint, or complaint letter, is normally written to deal with a problem situation when other attempts (ie phone contacts, e-mails, etc.) have failed to rectify the situation.
The complaint letter formalizes a problem situation by putting it into writing and is usually the last resort to try to get a situation resolved.
Properly written complaint letters can be very powerful and almost always get results, making them worth writing.
A complaint letter requests some sort of compensation for defective or damaged merchandise or for inadequate or delayed services. While many complaints can be made in person, some circumstances require formal business letters.
The complaint may be so complex that a phone call may not effectively resolve the problem; or the writer may prefer the permanence, formality, and seriousness of a business letter. The essential rule in writing a complaint letter is to maintain your poise and diplomacy, no matter how justified your gripe is. Avoid making the recipient an adversary.
1. In the letter, identify early the reason you are writing to register a complaint and to ask
for some kind of compensation. Avoid leaping into the details of the problem in the first sentence.
2. State exactly what compensation you desire, either before or after the discussion of the problem or the reasons for granting the compensation. (It may be more tactful and less antagonizing to delay this statement in some cases.
3. Provide a fully detailed narrative or description of the problem. This is the “evidence.”
4. Explain why your request should be granted. Presenting the evidence is not enough,
state the reasons why this evidence indicates your requested should be granted.
5. Suggest why it is in the recipient’s best interest to grant your request, appeal to the
recipient’s sense of fairness, desire for continued business, but don’t threaten. Find some way
to view the problem as an honest mistake. Don’t imply that the recipient deliberately committed the error or that the company has no concern for the customer. Toward the end of the letter, express confidence that the recipient will grant your request.
Note: Although complaint letters can be written for business situations (and often are) the typical complaint letter involves a personal situation; ie when a letter of complaint is written by an individual to a business or another person
- Letters of complaint usually include the following stages:
2. Problem – cause and effect
4. Warning (optional)
This section describes the situation; eg
a) I am writing to inform you that the goods we ordered from your company have not been supplied correctly.
b) I attended your exhibition Sound Systems 2011. at the Fortune Hotel (22-25 January) and found it informative and interesting. Unfortunately, my enjoyment of the event was spoiled by a number of organisational problems.
c) I am writing to inform you of my dissatisfaction with the food and drinks at the ‘European Restaurant’ on 18 January this year.
a) we placed an order with your firm for 12,000 ultra super long-life batteries. The consignment arrived yesterday but contained only 1,200 batteries.
b) Firstly, I had difficulty in registering to attend the event. You set up an on-line registration facility, but I found the facility totally unworkable.
c) You sent us an invoice for $10,532, but did not deduct our usual 10% discount.
d) We have found 16 spelling errors and 2 mis-labelled diagrams in the sample book.
a) This error put our firm in a difficult position, as we had to make some emergency purchases to fulfil our commitments to all our customers. This caused us considerable inconvenience.
b) Even after spending several wasted hours trying to register in this way, the computer would not accept my application.
c) I am therefore returning the invoice to you for correction.
d) This large number of errors is unacceptable to our customers, and we are therefore unable to sell these books.
a) I am writing to ask you to please make up the shortfall immediately and to ensure that such errors do not happen again.
b) Could I please ask you to look into these matters.
c) Please send us a corrected invoice for $9,479
d) I enclose a copy of the book with the errors highlighted. Please re-print the book and send it to us by next Friday.
4. Warning (optional)
a) Otherwise, we may have to look elsewhere for our supplies.
b) I’m afraid that if these conditions are not met, we may be forced to take legal action.
c) If the outstanding fees are not paid by Monday, 20 June 2011, you will incur a 10% late payment f.
a) I look forward to receiving your explanation of these matters.
b) I look forward to receiving your payment.
c) I look forward to hearing from you shortly.
The tone of complaint letters should not be aggressive or insulting, as this would annoy the reader and not encourage them to solve the problem. In addition, questions such as ‘Why can’t you get this right?’ should not be included.
* The content should contain enough details so that the receiver does not have to write back requesting more.
* Legal action is not normally threatened in the first letter of complaint, unless the situation is very serious.
This package of template letters is designed to help you resolve complaints you may have over faulty goods, poor services, non-payment of invoices or promissory notes. The letters for use when complaining about faulty goods or services are suitable for use when the goods/services have been purchased by a consumer (not a business).
These letters are suitable for use in England, Wales and Scotland. The document package includes the following letters:
|Faulty goods||Letter to the seller complaining about faulty goods and asking for a replacement or a refund.|
|Faulty goods bought on credit||Letter to a credit company complaining about faulty goods and asking for a replacement or a refund. If the contract price is worth £100 or more and the seller arranged credit for you, you may have additional rights as the credit company may be equally responsible for faulty goods. You should write to the seller or the credit company or both.|
|Poor services||Letter to the seller complaining about poor services and asking for a repair or a replacement.|
|Poor services bought on credit||Letter to a credit company complaining about poor services and asking for a repair or a replacement. If the contract price is worth £100 or more and the supplier arranged credit for you, you may have additional rights as the credit company may be equally responsible for poor services. You should write to the seller or the credit company or both.|
|Final letter before action for faulty goods/poor services||Final letter to the seller/credit company complaining about faulty goods/poor services and intimating that you propose to raise court proceedings unless you receive a response within 7 days.|
|Final demand for payment of an outstanding invoice||Final letter to a customer regarding an outstanding invoice intimating that you propose to raise court proceedings unless you receive payment within 7 days.|
|Demand to pay promissory note||Letter to the maker of a promissory note demanding payment and intimating that you propose to raise court proceedings unless you receive payment within a number of days.|