How To Write an Effective Complaint Letter

There will always come a time when you need to stand up for your rights as a consumer or client. When, upon arriving home, you found out the cheese you bought has molds and is obviously rotten, you have the right to complain, return the product and be reimbursed or have the item replaced with a good one. Well, hopefully when you experience bad purchases, no damage has yet been incurred to life or property. As it is, when harm has been done, your complaint must not only be addressed to the merchandiser or service provider, but to the proper courts as well so you can be indemnified for the damages. In any case, the first step you should do is to write an effective complaint letter to the concerned person or entity to ensure you get fair treatment. Here are tips on how to compose a complaint letter that can jolt the recipients from their seat and give you due attention:

  • Refer to the purchase and transaction details particularly receipts. Recall the name, position and appearance of the employee with whom you transacted.
  • Make sure there is cause for complaint. Now before you compose that letter, see to it that there is a valid reason for your grievance. Although the customer is always right, do not abuse such right. Write a complaint letter because you have something to complain about and not because you just want to assert yourself and prove your value as customer. Sometimes, people who often complain just about anything are given the cold shoulder. Perennial complaining about trivial things will make the merchandisers “immune” to your appeals and they might not listen to you anymore.
  • Make it a direct and straightforward letter. Do not beat around the bush by including details that are not actually connected to the issue at hand. For example, if you are complaining about a defective flat iron you bought from a department store, focus your complaint on the product itself and avoid mentioning other things like the arrangement of the shelves, the snootiness of the customers at the queue and so on. However you must give enough details about the problem to make your complaint worthy of attention.
  • Include photocopies of receipts and other transaction papers. Your letter must be supported by documents or proofs of purchase and payments otherwise it might just end up in the heaps of unattended complaints.
  • State what you want from the seller. Do you want your money back, or do you prefer a replacement? Make specific requests. If you want to talk to the management, state it in the letter and ask for an appointment. However you must understand that even if you are a paying customer, there are others like you who may be seeking remedies for their respective complaints. Therefore, you should be patient as you wait for response.
  • Address your letter to the proper authority. Do not direct your letter to the salesperson who attended to you as he is not in the position to decide on your case. Write the management, the supervisor or the owner of the store.
  • Treat the letter with professionalism. Even if you personally know the person you are writing, make your complaint letter business sounding and formal.
  • Do sound cordial and tactful. Try to come up with a compromise and do not play “hard to get” by imposing on your unreasonable conditions.

When you have stated all the important points in your complaint letter, conclude the message by expressing your gratitude. Provide your address and contact numbers so they can get in touch with you anytime regarding your complaint.


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