10 Steps to a More Effective Complaint Letter

No matter how careful you are about your spending, there is still a chance the product or service you receive will not live up to your expectations. However, having your problem resolved is not always as simple as contacting customer service, a salesperson or even a manager. These people are not always authorized to give you what you are asking for, whether it is a replacement, refund or discount.

If your initial attempts to have your problem resolved fail, take it to another level. Your tool – The Complaint Letter. Getting your complaint in writing creates a record of your communication and can be a clear and effective way to state your problem.

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5 Responses to 10 Steps to a More Effective Complaint Letter

  1. Aviva says:

    I have also found it helpful to post my complaint (with ALL the details) on a blog and then send the link to folks at the company I’m dissatisfied with.

    They have no way of knowing my blog is small time stuff, and they know that bad PR on blogs can have a real effect on their company these days. So it has worked out well for me several times when I wasn’t getting anywhere with phone calls and private email/snailmail.

    But if you do this, even on your own blog, don’t use profanities or make threats. Just share the details of your personal experience because you want your readers to know. Of course, if the company responds positively after they see your blog post, make sure you do an update and send them THAT link as well.

  2. baselle says:

    Third the tone of your letter – go for factual, and if possible, assume an innocent tone. The thank you helps with the tone. Its hard to thank someone after you rant.

    Also make sure that the letter is one page. Your supporting documentation can be multiple pages, but your letter of buying, problems occurred, and the solution you want – all one page.

    Deadlines don’t really seem to work for me. You have to think about what you will do when the deadline passes. Send another letter, go up one in the company hierarchy, go to the BBB or the media? And if its something like writing to the IRS, deadlines don’t work.

    If you are mailing by snail mail, make sure you send by certified mail. Make sure someone signs for it.

  3. David Mitchell says:

    The problem with deadlines is that you have to follow through. Don’t set an unrealistic deadline and then extend it. Your deadline needs to correspond to the magnitude of your problem. The more significant the problem, the shorter the deadline.

  4. Topwaystosave says:

    Customers are smarter than ever and they realize there are more choices than before.

    Sticking to the facts are important so the company knows your not just ranting.

    Companies realize they don’t want detractors and most realize how negative just one upset customer can be. I prefer calling a company before writing. If you can’t get what you need from the representative on the phone don’t be afraid to go higher and ask for a supervisor. They may have more power to adjust or get your situation resolved.

  5. Amy says:

    I enjoyed this resource. It is exactly what I’m looking for. It was my first time writing a complaint letter, but it all worked out. The problem was fixed too.

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