How To Write An Effective Complaint Letter

Get Results With An Effective Complaint Letter

Bad Service, Unethical Behavior, Lack of Accountability can really make a customer mad!  Don’t bother getting mad, that’s just a waste of time and energy.

Report problems to a head office and the Better Business Bureau and demand accountability.
Here’s How to write an effective complaint letter without saying a single four-letter word bomb.  Not only will you get satisfaction, but you’ll get results!

Just to repeat – Anger serves no purposes.  Profane and personally insulting complaint letters are normally dumped into the garbage can and you are going to be passed from pillar to post and treated like an uninformed  and uneducated leper.  In other words, you will not get satisfaction or even a timely resolution of your complaint or issue.  You may not even be acknowledged at all.

In the first 2-5 sentences of your initial contact with the company, describe what actually happened.  If you have tracking or order numbers, write those down.  Unclear and vague information only gets tossed.

State ONLY facts in your initial contact email or letter and in your stated information – Most companies only allow a limited space so make sure your words count!  Keep paragraphs short and packed with meaning.

Request a call back or email reply – List your contact information for this purpose.

Once your information is acknowledged, make a credible complaint that you may use for other things, like a Better Business Bureau Complaint.

Don’t Get Mad, Get Even With An Effective Complaint Letter

1st Paragraph or Sentence of an effective complaint letter:

Thank the company for acknowledging your information.  Scream or yell if you want (in private), but when you start a letter with, “Thank-you,” it gets read in its entirety over 95% of the time.

2nd Paragraph or Sentence of an effective complaint letter:

Explain why you are writing a second letter – Maybe the form you filled out was not long enough and you had other facts to state or other information to consider and could not fit it on the form.

3rd Paragraph or Sentence of an effective complaint letter:

Explain the costs to you associated with the mistake or poor customer service.  Explain the results of what came about as a result of the, “service” you received (or lack of service).

4th Paragraph or Sentence of an effective complaint letter:

Do not explain, but instead, tell the company what you want to see as a result of your experience with them.

5th Paragraph or Sentence of an effective complaint letter:

Tell them off and keep the nasty words all to yourself.  Explain what it costs them in real dollars when customer service takes a back seat.  Companies just think you are stupid when you resort to foul language and screaming tactics, but they understand it when money talks . . . and WALKS away from their business. Explain that in a way they understand – in  terms of Lost revenue and customer loyalty.

Ending or Closing Salutation of an effective complaint letter:

Thank them again – And sign your name.  You can catch more flies with honey than you can with vinegar.  Companies are no different.  Act like a professional and you will be treated like one.  Act like a screaming idiot and you will be treated like one.



Thank you for your reply, Name of Company or Representative

Yours is the first and only civil response I have had from Name of Company.  Up until this point, I had to prove absolutely that the shipment was not delivered correctly and as a customer I deeply resent that.  As a business owner, I find your customer service deplorable and severely lacking in customer training, moral credibility and ethical accountability.

This misadventure absorbed the time of myself and two other families, plus two businesses, which results in a trickledown effect of time and money.  Not to mention the fact that it was a special birthday for two children whose gifts were mis-delivered and then lied about.

I am not only disappointed, I am disgusted and I want my money back for this delivery that was never delivered at all by Name of Company, but instead by a concerned – and HONEST – innocent victim of Name of Company whose doorstep just happened to be listed as, “Delivered package on doorstep.”

I have been in business long enough to know that this lack of training and credibility will cost you – literally – thousands in gross errors and business dollars.  I hope that these issues are looked at more closely as a result of this delivery catastrophe and that some training and accountability issues are addressed as well.  You have lost a customer permanently as a result of this.  One dissatisfied customer will tell 20 people about their experience, who will tell 20 more . . . .  One satisfied customer will tell 5 people and you will receive 5 referrals.  That is how business works.

Thank you,

Mischelle Watkins


Update – UPS phoned us this morning and apologized.  They are going to investigate our issue and are using it as a training opportunity for staff.  The person I spoke with was courteous, helpful, apologetic and empathetic.  In truth, that was everything I hoped for.  In this instance they went above and beyond the highest level of customer service to acknowledge and rectify our experience.  After that telephone conversation I must remove myself from the, “One dissatisfied customer will tell 20 people about their experience, who will tell 20 more . . . .  ”

And place myself back in the category of – “One satisfied customer will tell 5 people and you will receive 5 referrals.”

If you are curious how I got this companies attention – This was my initial contact email to their head office: You bet I was MAD!

“My next post for our websites is going to have this title: “UPS RIPS OFF COMPANIES AND CUSTOMERS” I will tweet it to all of our Twitter followers.”

I don’t care if I get what I asked for.  I did what I said I was going to do and that, my friends, is just plain, Good Customer Service, in the form of an effective complaint letter!

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