A letter of complaint, or complaint letter, is normally written to deal with a problem situation when other attempts (i.e. 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. To read an article on the subject of writing effective complaint letters.
Most people will need to complain about unsatisfactory goods or bad service at some point in their lives. If you are writing a letter of complaint, there are some dos and don’ts that can help you get the right outcome.
Here are the steps on how to write complaint letter.
Start your letter with the greeting Dear Mr (or Mrs, Ms, Miss, etc.) Surname. If you don’t know the name of the person you are writing to, begin with Dear Sir or Dear Madam; if you don’t know their name or sex, use Dear Sir or Madam.
Begin with a heading alerting the reader to the subject of the letter, and in your first sentence draw their attention to the matter you’re going to raise or discuss. For example I am writing to complain..., or I wish to express my dissatisfaction with ... or Thank you for your letter of...
Introduce your main point as early as possible, stating your reason for writing in a clear, concise way. Once you have done this, you may want to give more details, perhaps adding further background or relevant facts.
In conclusion, you should state what your expectations are, for example Please let me know as soon as possible what action you propose to take or I look forward to hearing from you within the next ten days.
The wording at the end of a formal letter follows a standard format:
· If you know the name of the person you’re writing to, you should end the letter with Yours sincerely.
· If your letter begins with Dear Sir or Dear Madam, it should end with Yours faithfully.
· Your own name should be typed out underneath your signature.
Imagine you are the person receiving customers' letters of complaints. This helps you realise that the person reading your letter is a real human being with feelings, trying to do their job to the best of their abilities.
Your letter should encourage them to respond positively and helpfully to the complaint. No matter how mad you feel, aggression and confrontation does not encourage a helpful reaction to complaints.
Effective complaints letters (and any other way of complaining) should be concise, authoritative, factual, constructive, friendly.