How to Write a Complaint Letter

  • Include your name, address, and home and work phone numbers.
  • Type your letter if possible. If it is handwritten, make sure it is neat and easy to read.
  • Make your letter brief and to the point. Include all important facts about your purchase, including the date and place where you made the purchase and any information you can give about the product or service such as serial or model numbers or specific type of service.
  • State exactly what you want done about the problem and how long you are willing to wait to get it resolved. Be reasonable.
  • Include all documents regarding your problem. Be sure to send COPIES, not originals.
  • Avoid writing an angry, sarcastic, or threatening letter. The person reading your letter probably was not responsible for your problem but may be very helpful in resolving it.
  • Keep a copy of the letter for your records.

Sample Complaint Letter

  • Name of Contact Person, if available
    Title, if available
    Company Name
    Consumer Complaint Division, if you have no contact person
    Street Address
    City, State, Zip Code
  • Dear (Contact Person):
  • Re: (account number, if applicable)
  • On (date), I (bought, leased, rented, or had repaired) a (name of the product, with serial or model number or service performed) at (location and other important details of the transaction).
  • Unfortunately, your product (or service) has not performed well (or the service was inadequate) because (state the problem). I am disappointed because (explain the problem: for example, the product does not work properly, the service was not performed correctly, I was billed the wrong amount, something was not disclosed clearly or was misrepresented, etc.).
  • To resolve the problem, I would appreciate it if you could (state the specific action you want—money back, charge card credit, repair, exchange, etc.). Enclosed are copies of my records (include copies of receipts, guarantees, warranties, canceled checks, contracts, model and serial numbers, and any other documents).
  • I look forward to your reply and a resolution to my problem, and will wait until (set a time limit) before seeking help from a consumer protection agency or the Better Business Bureau. Please contact me at the above address or by phone at (home and/or office numbers with area code).
  • Sincerely,
  • Your name
    Enclosure(s) cc: (reference to whom you are sending a copy of this letter, if anyone)
Source: Consumer Action Handbook, Federal consumer Information Center, Pueblo, CO, 82009, http://publications.usa.gov/

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