Six Tips for Writing an Outstanding Letter of Complaint

Writing an Outstanding Letter of Complaint


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A complaint letter is usually written to address a problem or situation when other attempts (a phone call or email) have failed to resolve the problem.  A letter is important because it helps you to preserve any legal rights you may have with the situation, and lets the company or administration you are addressing know you are serious about pursuing the complaint.

A complaint letter should include the following; describe your problem and the outcome you want, include dates such as when the problem occurred, specify what actions you have already taken to fix the issue and what you will do if you cannot resolve the problem, ask for response within a reasonable time, and attach copies of any supportive relevant documentation such as receipts.

Helpful Tips for Writing an Effective Complaint Letter


  1. Be Brief 

A complaint letter should not be more than two pages. Be concise in what you want to say. This is because people don’t have the time to read long letters. If you repeat yourself, you are wasting the reader’s time and your letter will generate a negative response. Keep your message short and to the point. Be careful not to lose your main points in a long letter. If the complaint is long and complex, attach a diary of sheets with events.


  1. Be Clear and Straightforward

Describe your complaint and the causal agent of the problem. Include relevant details of the problem such as time and location. Be sure of what you say. Use short sentences and don’t be afraid to outline what has upset you. You should avoid being aggressive and the use of an abusive language. You should not repeat yourself. Here you should address questions like, why are you writing? What is the point you want to make? What do you want? Avoid dubious words, and use short sentences when possible. Make sure the reader will enjoy reading your letter.


  1. Be Constructive

Make sure your complaint is an opportunity to improve things. This is possible by ensuring you address your concerns politely but firmly. Explain what you would like to achieve as a result of your complaint, example an apology, an exclamation, a service improvement, or any other solution.


  1. Make it Right 

Complaint letters should be error free. Letters filled with errors are distracting. Readers get so distracted by misspelled words and poor grammar such that they can miss the point.


If your complaint letter is filled with spelling mistakes, your real message is that you are clumsy and careless. Preparing your letter on a computer it is advantageous because it is easier to proofread and check grammar mistakes. You should eliminate all grammar mistakes, grammatical, and formatting errors from your letters. Always have at least another person to proofread your content or letter. A well-written letter is a pleasure to read.


  1. Do Not Write an Angry, Sarcastic, or Threatening Letter

A complaint letter should be written in a polite tone. You should not be aggressive or threaten since the person reading the letter probably is not the one who is responsible for the problem or issue, but might be helpful in helping to you to resolve the problem either directly or indirectly. Therefore the letter must be friendly with a soft tone. This will help to persuade the reader to respond to your letter within the required time.


  1. Attach Copies of Relevant Documents

Supportive documents are useful for the proper understanding of your letter by the reader, and also it provides evidence to back up your concerns, thus reduce the dubious tendency of the reader. Sent photocopies of documents and not original. This documents may include; receipts, work orders, and warranties. You may also send copies of email and notes from conversations related to the problem.

In conclusion, a complaint letter should be brief, clear, correct, in addressing the problem. Include your name and contact information. If an account is involved, be sure to include the contact number. Send your letter by certified email and request a return receipt. Keep a copy of all letters sent and received in date order. Your timescale for response should be realistic depending on the urgency and complex nature of the issue. Make sure you keep in touch to receive the response.

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