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Full Guidance on How to Write a Complaint Letter

how to write a complaint letter

When you experience bad service as a customer, you usually feel disappointed, upset, angry, or all of these things at once. In such moments, you start to think how to defend your rights and to obtain justice. The first step is to send a complaint letter. Unfortunately, this doesn’t always help, but you should definitely start your struggle from this point. In this article, we will provide you with guidelines on how to write a complaint letter so that you will be heard.


5 Essential Recommendations
1. Think about details. When you are writing a letter of complaint, you should specify the date and place when the incident occurred. Also, you should remember names or at least the job position of the person who is allegedly to blame. Make notes with these details so that you won’t forget them.

2. Calm down before writing. How to write a polite complaint letter when you are angry? It’s really challenging. You need to cool down first. If you are too emotional when writing, you won’t be able to find effective words. Remember that your letter will probably be read by a person who is not directly guilty for your problem. For example, if you were offended by a cashier in the supermarket, you will write a letter to the manager. A manager himself didn’t offend you but he hired a person who did.

3. Ascertain that you are aware of the correct contact data. Some contact information can be out-of-date. Make sure that you have correct data. It’s highly recommended to call on the phone first and ask if the e-mail address is correct. Or, you can apply to a corporate public page in social networks.

4. Try to call for sympathy. No one likes when he or she is insulted. For this reason, you shouldn’t compose anything similar to a bill of indictment. It would be much better to call for sympathy. You should write a letter in which you describe how bad service influenced you and what feelings you have experienced.

5. Ask for a response. If you ask for a response, you have a better chance to actually get it. We even recommend you to ask for a quick response. Wise managers know that they need to answer clients as soon as possible. Unfortunately, not all managers are wise, and not all of them will answer you if you don’t ask them to do it.

How to Write a Complaint Letter in Steps
Step 1: Specify main details
In the first paragraph of your letter, you should give the following information: your name, the place, the date of incident, the place where it happened, and what happened exactly in two words. There’s a notion in journalism which is called the “inverted pyramid.” What this means is that information in the text should be structured from the most important to the least important.

You should follow this principle when writing the letter because most letters are not read to the end. Therefore, put the most crucial data at the beginning of your text. Also, take into consideration that the “subject” field shouldn’t be empty when you are sending a letter. Think about this field as the heading to your text. Try to make it captivating.

Step 2: Describe the incident and your feelings
In this part of your letter, you should provide the receiver with additional details about the case. Narrate what happened to you in detail. Try to make each sentence informative without expressing superfluous emotions. It is important to understand that you shouldn’t use insolent words towards anyone. However, you can and even should mention that you feel disappointed and sad about the case.

Also, you can express your assumptions on what reasons led to such an unpleasant situation. When you are writing about the possible reasons, avoid claims without proper argumentation. If you can’t prove your claims, it’s better to say “in my opinion.” Some people are so mad when writing a letter of complaint that they begin to threaten those who are responsible. Don’t do that by any means! Firstly, because it can provoke problems with law; secondly, it’s ineffective; thirdly, it’s impolite, and we are instructing how to write a polite complaint letter.

Step 3: Gather evidence
If you can gather evidence – photos, videos, messages, or anything of this nature – do this. This will help you to sound more convincing. Also, it lets your recipient see that you have real evidence which you can use in court. Therefore, it’s better to attach the clues to your letter. If you can’t find proper clues, look for witnesses and mention in your letter that you found them. Some managers can think that you are bluffing, but not all of them will risk their reputation.

Step 4: Describe the result you would like to get
For what reason has the letter been sent? What would you like to receive from the company which is responsible? This can be a full or partial refund, the request to send another product of better quality, a discount or just an apology. You should decide on your own according to the way you suffered from this service. After describing the compensation you would like to get, you need to add a sentence about which we talked before – ask for a response.

Follow our guide on how to write a complaint letter and Useful Tips on how to Write a Letter of Complaint, and you will increase your chance to receive compensations. If you need more help with writing, read the next section to find out where to get it.
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