Writing Letter of Complaint
It is not always in our nature to complain, however sometimes the only way to resolve something is to highlight the issues that you have had and try to rectify them. One of the simplest ways to raise a complaint is to write a letter.
There are a number of reasons why you would feel the need to write a complaint letter.
Some may relate to something that you have bought, or a service that you have paid for, whilst some may be because you have noticed something that you think should be highlighted, such as poor road condition or a broken item in a children’s play area.
When it comes to writing a complaint letter, there are plenty of things to take into account and think about. Let’s take a look at some of the factors to keep in mind when it comes to writing a complaint letter, that not only includes everything that you need it to, but also that has the impact that you require.
Try to find someone specific to address the letter to
Before you write a complaint letter, one of the first things that you should do is to try and find someone specific that you can address the letter to. It may take some research, however, with a bit of digging around you are likely to find the right person to make aware of the problem.
One of the main reasons for doing this is to make sure that your letter has traceability, you want to know when it has arrived and that it is being dealt with. You are also going to want to have someone who you can communicate with in order to get things resolved.
Not only this, but when it comes to finding a resolution to a problem, it is going to be a much smoother process if you have someone specific who you can speak to about the problem.
Always provide your full contact information
When you have taken the time to write a complaint letter, you should expect to receive some kind of response, even if it is just to state that your feedback has been taken on board.
This means that you need to include as much contact information as possible. This should always be your address, however it is also a good idea to include your telephone number too.
Use the right tone in your letter
Tone is incredibly important when it comes to writing a complaint letter. After all, the right tone is going to make sure that your letter is going to be read and then dealt with.
The tone of the letter should never, ever be aggressive. You should remain calm and instead use it as a chance to state the facts of what has occurred and what you expect to happen to rectify this.
Letters with an aggressive tone are not going to be taken seriously and you may even end up having your entire complaint disregarded, simply because you did not take the right approach.
Keep a copy of the letter
When you write up a complaint letter, it is always a good idea to keep a copy for your own records. Not only this, but you should also ensure that you only ever send copies of any evidence documents that relate to the complaint, you should keep the originals so that they can be put with the complaint letter and create a full and detailed record.
If you are complaining about something such as damage to your car, perhaps from poorly maintained roads, then you need to do your best to provide as much evidence as you can of the issue.
Take photographs of the damage that has occurred to your car, take photographs of the road where you believe it was damaged on and also ensure that you have sent through any evidence or receipts for what you will have paid out for in relation to the issue (such as work on your car or other transport).
Tell them what you want them to do
It is one thing to complain about something to highlight an issue, but what if you think that there is something that they need to change or do? If this is the case, then you need to make sure that your complaint letter contains the exact details of what you want them to do and what you expect from them.
This may include things such as getting your money back, being compensated for any additional costs that have occurred, demanding anything that is faulty is replaced, or receiving a free replacement.
Consider whether you should threaten legal action
This can be the hardest part of writing a complaint letter. Knowing whether or not to threaten legal action. You should only ever threaten this if you truly believe that you have a successful legal claim and that you would be willing to go through with this claim.
If either of these things are not true, then it may be a good idea to exclude any mention of legal action from your complaint letter. Instead focusing on providing plenty of detail about what happened, as well as what you want to happen in the future.
Complaining might not come naturally to you, but hopefully, by taking a look at our how to guide, you are not only going to feel more comfortable about having to complain, but also be prepared on how to do it as best that you can.
About the Author
This article was written by a member of the Expert Answers team and posted by Lloyd Barrett, Admin & Customer Services Manager for online advice service Expert Answers. Expert Answers provides legal advice to users in the UK who post a question on their secure platform.