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Examples of Complaint Letter Writing Letter writing is one of the most prevalent forms of communicating information to an individual, authority or an organization. People write letters for several purposes for instance leave application letter, letter for placing an order, letter for specific information, complaint letter, job application letter, etc. Complaint letters are one of those letters that are usually written to business firms, electricity board, water supply and sewerage board, telecommunication services and several other organizations with a purpose to remind them about their defective products or poor services. It is extremely important to provide all the details in your complaint letter as the information can be further used for verification. Here some tips are discussed that will help students in writing complaint letter correctly.

1. Reliable: Make sure that the language should be convincing while writing a complain letter. It should be real, relevant and to-the-point.

2. Factual: To justify your complain, you should enclose all the relevant documents along with the letter. All the facts and documents will undoubtedly resolve you problem as soon as possible.

3. Concise and constructive: It should be written in simple language. Additionally, the letter should demand immediate response, quicker decision or positive actions in order to resolve the complaint as soon as possible.

The message conveyed in the complaint letter should be direct and credible. It should contain all the details. For example – if you had purchased a product, which is defective or unsealed then, you should keep the purchasing bill, order number and other details as evidence. You can enclose the photocopy of that bill with the letter as it may help you to get an immediate response from the concerned authority.

Students can refer to a complaint letter writing format for better understanding. 18 December 2013

The Sales Manager Craglist No.447/C, 2nd Floor, Nr Telephone Exchange, 6th Main, 9th Block, HSR layout, Bangalore - 560034
Dear Sir,
Re. Order No. 58817670
This is to inform you that I ordered a mobile from your company, which has not been delivered in sealed pack. I placed an order on 7th December 2013. The consignment was delivered to me on 10th December, but in unsealed pack. Kindly do the needful at the earliest and take necessary action to ensure that such mistakes do not happen in future.

I would be looking forward for your immediate response.
Yours Sincerely,
Your Name and Address Best Results From Wikipedia Yahoo Answers Youtube

From Wikipedia

Writing style

Writing style is the manner in which a writer chooses among different strategies to address an issue and an audience. A style reveals the writer's personality or voice, but it also shows how she or he sees the audience of the writing. The writing style reveals the choices the writer makes in syntactical structures, diction, and figures of thought. Similar questions of style exist in the choices of expressive possibilities in speech.

Constraints on style Occupation

The position of a writer and his or her concept of the audience impose style constraints on the writing style. Scholarly writing, for example, usually avoids figures of speech and prefers precise descriptions to colloquial terms that might be found more often in more familiar forms of writing, such as text messages or personal blogs. News reporting requires precise words, even if colloquial, and shorter sentences, to be easy to read by a general audience. Fiction writing, in contrast, is designed to entertain and arouse the reader and is improved by the judicious use of figures of speech. A judge's verdict needs to explain how the verdict corresponds to other rulings, but often uses literary devices to persuade the reader of its correctness.

A writer can combine personal style with the expectations of the audience, but many choices may be too personal. A scientific paper with excessive personal style may make the reader question its seriousness; a news article with excessive personal style may make the reader doubt the author's neutrality. Fiction written in the customary style of a scientific paper would not keep the reader interested. Notes in class, text messages and personal blogs are better occasions for personal and more familiar choices in style.

Situation and purpose

The writer needs to tailor style to the situation. For example, the same person writing a letter to the same reader would use a different style depending on whether it is a letter of complaint, a letter of condolence, or a business letter. The author needs to decide whether the goal of the writing is to inform, persuade, or entertain.

Stylistic choices Sentence forms

A writer controls not only the density of prose but its distribution. Within the rules of grammar, the writer can arrange words in many ways. A sentence may state the main proposition first and then modify it; or it may contain language to prepare the reader before stating the main proposition.

Varying the style may avoid monotony. However, in technical writing, using different styles to make two similar utterances makes the reader ask whether the use of different styles was intended to carry additional meaning.

Stylistic choices may be influenced by the culture. In the modern age, for instance, the loose sentence has been favored in all modes of discourse. In classical times, the periodic sentence held equal or greater favor, and during the Age of Enlightenment, the balanced sentence was a favorite of writers.

The loose sentence

The most common sentence in modern usage, the loose sentence begins with the main point (an independent clause), followed by one or more subordinate clauses. For example:

Uncle Tom's Cabin is a very influential novel, having its self-righteous, virtuous sentimentality, much in common with Little Women'.

The cat sat on the mat, purring softly, having licked his paws.

According to Francis Christensen:

The loose sentence ... characterized the anti-Ciceronian movement in the seventeenth century. This movement, according to Morris W. Croll [“The Baroque Style in Prose,� (1929)] began with Montaigne and Bacon and continued with such men as Donne, Browne, Taylor, Pascal. To Montaigne, its art was the art of being natural; to Pascal, its eloquence was the eloquence that mocks formal eloquence; to Bacon, it presented knowledge so that it could be examined, not so that it must be accepted. (in Winterowd, 'Contemporary Rhetoric: A Conceptual Background with Readings,' p.348)

The periodic sentence

In contrast, a periodic sentence places the main point in the middle or at the end of the sentence. In the former case, the main point is modified by subordinate clauses before and after its position in the sentence. In the latter case, the main point is modified by preceding subordinate clauses.

Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also a prison. (Henry David Thoreau)

The purpose of such form is well-stated by Adams Sherman Hill in The Foundation of Rhetoric (1897):

To secure force in a sentence, it is necessary not only to choose the strongest words and to be as concise as is consistent with clearness, but also to arrange words, phrases, and clauses in the order which gives a commanding position to what is most important, and thus fixes the attention on the central idea.

The balanced sentence

A balanced sentence is characterized by parallel structure, two or more parts of the sentence have the same form, emphasizing similarities or differences.


Depending on the mode in which the writer is writing, diction can also pertain to the writer's style. Argumentative and expository prose on a particular subject matter frequently makes use of a set of jargon in which the subject matter is commonly discussed. By contrast, narrative and descriptive prose is open to the vast variety of words. Insofar as a style of diction can be discerned, however, it is best to examine the diction against a number of spectrums:

Abstract-concrete: how much of the diction is physical? General-specific: to what degree is the diction precise, to what degree is it vague? Denotation-connotation Literal-metaphorical

Other attributes of diction include:

Density Length Connotation

The connotation of a word refers to the special meaning , apart from its dictionary definition, that it may convey. Connotation especially depends on the audience. The word "dog" denotes any animal from the genus canis , but it may connote friendship to one reader and terror to another. This partly depends on the reader's personal dealings with dogs, but the author can provide context to guide the reader's interpretation.

Deliberate use of connotation may involve selection of a word to convey more than its dictionary meaning, or substitution of another word that has a different shade of meaning. The many words for dogs have a spectrum of implications regarding the dog's training, obedience, or expected role, and may even make a statement about the social status of its owner ("lap dog" versus "cur"). Even synonyms have different connotations: slender, thin, skinny may each convey different images to the reader's mind. The writer should choose the connotation, positive, negative, or neutral, that supports the mood.

Writing for the learned, connotation may involve etymology or make reference to classic works. In schoolbooks, awareness of connotation can avoid attracting extraneous ideas (as when writing "Napoleon was a bigger influence than Frederick the Great on world history" provokes thoughts of Napoleon's physical stature). In encyclopedias, words should connote authority and dispassion; the writer should avoid words whose connotations suggest bias, such as pejorative words.


Punctuation is now so standardized that it rarely is a factor in a writer's style. The same is true for gratuitous changes to spelling and grammar, unless the goal is to represent a regional or ethnic dialect in which such changes are customary.


Some figures of sp

Letter (alphabet)

A letter is a grapheme in an alphabet ic system of writing , such as the Greek alphabet and its descendants. Each letter in the written language is usually associated with one phoneme (sound) in the spoken form of the language .

Written signs in other writing systems are best called syllabogram s (which denote a syllable ) or logogram s (which denote a word or phrase).

Definition and usage

The term letter is loaned from Old French   lettre into Middle English  around AD 1200. It derives ultimately from Latin littera , itself of unknown origin. The Middle English plural lettres could refer to an epistle or written document, reflecting the use of the Latin plural litteræ . Use of the singular letter to refer to a written document emerges in the 14th century.

As symbols that denote segmental speech, letters are associated with phonetics . In a purely phonemic alphabet, a single phoneme is denoted by a single letter, but in history and practice letters often denote more than one phoneme. A pair of letters designating a single phoneme is called a digraph . Examples of digraphs in English include "ch", "sh" and "th". A phoneme can also be represented by three letters, called a trigraph . An example is the combination "sch" in German.

A letter may also be associated with more than one phoneme, with the phoneme depending on the surrounding letters or etymology of the word. As an example of positional effects, the Spanish letter c is pronounced [k] before a , o , or u (e.g. cantar , corto , cuidado ), but is pronounced [s] before e or i (e.g. centimo , ciudad ).

Letters also have specific names associated with them. These names may differ with language, dialect and history. Z , for example, is usually called zed in all English-speaking countries except the U.S., where it is named zee .

Letters, as elements of alphabets, have prescribed orders. This may generally be known as "alphabetical order" though collation is the science devoted to the complex task of ordering and sorting of letters and words in different languages. In Spanish, for instance, ñ is a separate letter being sorted after n. In English, n and ñ are sorted alike.

Letters may also have numerical value. This is true of Roman numerals and the letters of other writing systems. In English, Arabic numerals are typically used instead of letters.

Letters may be used as words. The words a (lower or uppercase) and I (always uppercase) are the most common English letter-words. Sometimes O is used for Oh in poetic situations. In extremely informal cases of writing, individual letters may replace words, e.g. U may be used instead of "You" in English, when the letter is pronounced as a homophone of the word.

People and objects are sometimes named after letters, for one of these reasons:

The letter is an abbreviation, e.g. "G-man" as slang for a Federal Bureau of Investigation agent, arose as short for "Government Man". Alphabetical order used as a counting system, e.g. Plan A, Plan B, etc; alpha ray , beta ray , gamma ray , delta ray , epsilon ray The shape of the letter, e.g. D-ring , F-clamp , G-clamp , H-block , H engine , O-ring , R-clip , U engine , V engine , Z-drive , a river delta Other reasons, e.g. X-ray after " x the unknown" in algebra , because the discoverer did not know what they were. A Classical definition

Guilhem Molinier , a member of the Consistori del Gay Saber , which was the first literary academy in the world and held the Floral Games to award the best troubadour with the violeta d'aur top prize, gave a definition of the letter in his Leys d'amor (1328–1337), a book aimed at regulating the then flourishing Occitan poetry:


The invention of letters was preceded by the West Semitic script, which appeared in Canaan around 1000 BC . Antecedents are suspected in the Proto-Sinaitic inscriptions, dated to around 1800 BC. Virtually all alphabets have their ultimate origins from this system. The Greek alphabet , invented around

Letter frequency

The frequency of letters in text has often been studied for use in cryptography , and frequency analysis in particular. No exact letter frequency distribution underlies a given language, since all writers write slightly differently. Linotype machine s sorted the letters' frequencies as etaoin shrdlu cmfwyp vbgkqj xz based on the experience and custom of manual compositors. Likewise, Modern International Morse code encodes the most frequent letters with the shortest symbols; arranging the Morse alphabet into groups of letters that require equal amounts of time to transmit, and then sorting these groups in increasing order, yields e it san hurdm wgvlfbk opjxcz yq. Similar ideas are used in modern data-compression techniques such as Huffman coding .

More recent analyses show that letter frequencies, like word frequencies, tend to vary, both by writer and by subject. One cannot write an essay about x-rays without using frequent Xs, and the essay will have an especially strange letter frequency if the essay is about the frequent use of x-rays to treat zebras in Qatar. Different authors have habits which can be reflected in their use of letters. Hemingway 's writing style, for example, is visibly different from Faulkner 's. Letter, bigram , trigram , word frequencies, word length, and sentence length can be calculated for specific authors, and used to prove or disprove authorship of texts, even for authors whose styles aren't so divergent.

Accurate average letter frequencies can only be gleaned by analyzing a large amount of representative text. With the availability of modern computing and collections of large text corpora , such calculations are easily made. This [ Deafandblind link] details examples from a variety of sources, (press reporting, religious text, scientific text and general fiction) and there are differences especially for general fiction with the position of 'h' and 'i'. The example differs from the linotype 'etaoin shrdlu' to come out as 'etaoHn Isrdlu'. There is an unproven statement that conversation is similar in frequency to general fiction.

Herbert S. Zim , in his classic introductory cryptography text "Codes and Secret Writing", gives the English letter frequency sequence as "ETAON RISHD LFCMU GYPWB VKXJQ Z", the most common letter pairs as "TH HE AN RE ER IN ON AT ND ST ES EN OF TE ED OR TI HI AS TO", and the most common doubled letters as "LL EE SS OO TT FF RR NN PP CC".

The 'top twelve' letters comprise about 80% of the total usage. The 'top eight" letters comprise about 65% of the total usage. A spy using the VIC cipher or some other cipher based on a straddling checkerboard typically uses a mnemonic such as "a sin to err" (dropping the second "r") to remember the top 8 characters.

The use of letter frequencies and frequency analysis plays a fundamental role in several games, including hangman , Scrabble , Wheel of Fortune , Definition , Bananagrams , and cryptogram s.

Letter frequencies had a strong effect on the design of some keyboard layout s. The most-frequent letters are on the bottom row of the Blickensderfer typewriter . The most-frequent letters are on the home row of the Dvorak Simplified Keyboard .

Relative frequencies of letters in the English language

The letter frequencies for English are listed below. However, this table differs slightly from others, such as Cornell University Math Explorer's Project, which produced [ this table] after measuring over 40,000 words.

In English, the space is slightly more frequent than the top letter (7% more frequent than, or 107% as frequent as, e ), and the non-alphabetic characters (digits, punctuation, etc.) occupy the fourth position, between t and a .

Relative frequencies of the first letters of a word in the English language

First Letter of a word frequencies:

Relative frequencies of letters in other languages

*See Turkish dotted and dotless I

The figure below illustrates the frequency distributions of the 26 most common Latin letters across some languages.

Based on these tables, the 'etaoin shrdlu'-equivalent results for each language is as follows:

French: 'esait nrulo'; (Indo-European: Romance; traditionally, 'esartinulop' is used, in part for its ease of pronunciation) Spanish: 'eaosr nidlc'; (Indo-European: Romance) Portuguese: 'aeosr indmt' (Indo-European: Romance) Italian: 'eaion lrtsc'; (Indo-European: Romance) Esperanto: 'aieon lsrtk' (artificial language – influenced by Indo-European languages, Romance, Germanic mostly) German: 'enisr atdhu'; (Indo-European: Germanic) Swedish: 'eantr slido'; (Indo-European: Germanic) Turkish: 'aeinr ldkmu'; (Turkic: a non Indo-European language) Dutch: 'enati rodsl'; (Indo-European: Germanic) Polish: 'ao wfjacspu. moncler mens basile jacket blackiez nscwr'; (Indo-European: Slavic)

All these languages use a basically similar 25+ character alphabet.

From Yahoo Answers


Answers: vaild points as to why your complaining , and what could be done to make the situation better.
Question: I need an example of a letter one would use to write a recommendation for acceptance into a Masters program

Answers: 11/23/2005 To Whom It May Concern: I had the pleasure of meeting XXXX in the summer of 2005 when he was a member of my Multivariable Calculus class, which had about 15 students in it. In such a small group, teacher and students come to know one another in a way that is seldom, if ever, possible in large lecture courses. In either forum something can be learned about a student's academic ability, but only in the former can one get a reliable measure of the student as a potential to be successful in his endeavors. Having kept in touch with XXXXXXX in the intervening months, I am confident XXXXXXX would make a great biomedical engineer. To begin with, he is an excellent student, with a lively curiosity that makes him dissatisfied with superficial explanations. That curiosity frequently led our class down avenues and into areas that, otherwise, may have remained unexplored. XXXXXXX could always be counted on to bring forth probing questions and valuable insight to class discussions. He especially had a keen understanding for evaluating three dimensional figures, vector manipulations as well as a good insight for the various coordinate systems. Also, he showed keen interest regarding the real world applicability of each class discussion. I would expect XXXXXXX to bring these same qualities of character to graduate school. That is, a keen intellect, curiosity, questioning the norms which we usually take for granted, and an unusual ability for thinking outside the box. Those qualities, combined with his toughness of character will, I am confident, enable him to understand and employ deep issues of mathematics and engineering. Sincerely,
Question: Is it okay for a relative such as a mother or aunt to write the letter of reference? is this frowned upon? is it okay to have a family member such as a mother or aunt who is a member of the organization write a letter of reference.

Answers: I will also piggyback and agree with the other two ladies answers, but I will ad this: the national website,, does provide you with examples of letter writers under the membership link, under the pre-rush checklist and states: Letter writers may include but are not limited to: high school teachers, counselors, or administrators, college professors, advisors or administrators, members of the clergy or employers; graduate members of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority may also write letters of reference. You should want your letter of recommendation to come from an upstanding person in the community that you are NOT related to who will give the organization a truthful representation of you (not to say that your family members can't) to verify your accomplishments/quality of character/strengths. The letter reader is also assuming that this person who wrote that letter is of high character because they are putting their name on the line to back you in whatever endeavor you are trying to accomplish, in your case ( I am assuming) entry into the elite sorority, Alpha Kappa Alpha. In my opinion, your mother, sister or aunt might even be a member of the sorority, and could attest to your charcter, community involvement, and dedication to class assignments, and/or work. Not to say that the organization wouldn't believe their members, but don't you think it would look even better if outsiders (non-relatives) in the community could attest to that as well? I want to say that I am not a member of the organization, but I do have family members who are and ask them questions all the time, and in regards to the recommendation, they all told me that it is better to get a non-family member to write them for you. I was also told that family members can't sponsor you either, so it does make plenty of sense. No one would want to make it seem like its "easy" to gain membership into such a illustrious organization. They want you to work for it
Question: I am currently working for an employer that hasn't scheduled me for nearly enough hours over the past year that I have been employed with them. They constantly are putting me into pressuring positions where I must leave certain days open, just to find out I am NOT working - when I could have been doing other, personal events. I need to write a letter to my boss informing them that I will not be able to continue working at the company and that I will be stepping down from my position. I was a temporary employee as it is, so they will not have to search for a new hire to replace me. How should a letter like this be formatted/written/etc? Any help, with details and examples, would be great!

Answers: Your best bet would be not to quit. File for unemployment instead. That will help you until you find another job and it will cause their rates to increase. They may be trying to force you to quit. Don't do it. File for unemployment instead.

From Youtube

writing turtle : At the present research stage the possibility of writing a text on the ground is offered!!! THE BASIC RULES THAT WE WILL FOLLOW ARE: RULE 1 All the letters even those that have circular curves should be made with appropriate combination of the following 6 commands: FD ( ) Forward movement, BK ( ) Backward movement, RT( ) Right rotation around itself, LT( ) Left rotation around itself, PU( ) Pen up, PD( ) Pen down RULE 2 All the letters should have the same HEIGHT and the distance between them should be equal. For this reason we will make a restriction from the beginning, which will be to draw in a rectangle with steady HEIGHT 100 and WIDTH depending on the letter. For example, the letter "I" has less width that the letter "M" . These rectangles will have distance between them 15. RULE 3 At the drawing of each letter, the Turtle At the BEGINNING, is located at the bottom left angle of the rectangle of the letter and is on a horizontal position having the horizontal direction of the word (turned to the right). At the END, must hoist the pen (command PU ) Go to the initial position of the next letter (command FD 15 15) EXAMPLES (we start with the letter A)

complaint letter examples

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Letters of complaint require professional presentation. Legitimate complaints cannot elicit a sympathetic response if the recipient does not understand the complaint.

It is important to write the letter when emotions have calmed down. A clear and concise letter presenting grievances in a logical manner will maximize the chances of receiving successful redress.

Tips for Writing Your Complaint Letter Remember that businesses and individuals usually want to clear up problems quickly, and keep customers happy. So, keep the tone as friendly as possible. Find and contact the individual who has the authority to do something about your problem . Be sure to use the correct spelling of the contact's name, his/her title, and the complete address. Insert this information according to the proper format, as well as an appropriate greeting. Keep your letter short and to the point . Include all details that are relevant to your specific complaint, and exclude details that are not. Keep the original complaint letter, and send out copies. Keep all correspondence from your end and letters you receive from the other party/parties involved. Give the other party time to respond, but follow up with another letter if you do not receive a response after a month.

By keeping these tips in mind, you will be on your way to writing a complaint letter that will get results.

Letter of Complaint Example

“On March 31, I purchased a 52-inch plasma television from your store. The salesperson, James Jones, assured me that professional installation was included in the sale price and I could expect installation within two days of delivery.

As of April 6, no installation had taken place. I contacted your store that day at 11:30 a.m. and spoke to Rose Jarvis. She stated the reason I had not heard from anyone was because it was my responsibility to call and arrange for an installation. She told me there was a $200 installation charge if personnel from your store installed the unit.

This was not what the salesperson, James Jones, told me upon purchase.

I contacted Mr. Jones to intercede on my behalf. His responded that I had misunderstood him and claimed he never said installation would be free and that only professional installation was available.

I purchased this unit with free installation confirmed. If I had known there was an installation charge, I would have purchased my television set from another retail outlet.

Please contact me at 999-999-9999 so that we may resolve this matter.”

Home » Table of Contents » Organizing for Effective Advocacy » Chapter 33. Conducting a Direct Action Campaign » Section 4. Filing a Complaint » Examples Chapter 33 ← Table of Contents 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 Section 4. Filing a Complaint Chapter 33 Sections Section 1. Writing Letters to Elected Officials Section 2. Writing Letters to the Editor Section 3. Criticizing Unfavorable Action Section 4. Filing a Complaint Section 5. Seeking Enforcement of Existing Laws or Policies Section 6. Using Personal Testimony Section 7. Lobbying Decisionmakers Section 8. Establishing Lines of Communication with the Opposition's Traditional Allies Section 9. Conducting a Petition Drive Section 10. General Rules for Organizing for Legislative Advocacy Section 11. Developing and Maintaining Ongoing Relationships with Legislators and their Aides Section 12. Registering Voters Section 13. Conducting a Public Hearing Section 14. Organizing Public Demonstrations Section 15. Seeking a Negotiator, Mediator, or Fact-Finder Section 16. Initiating Legal Action Section 17. Organizing a Boycott Section 18. Organizing a Strike Section 19. Using Social Media for Digital Advocacy Section 20. Advocacy Over and For the Long Term Toggle navigation Chapter Sections Section 1. Writing Letters to Elected Officials Section 2. Writing Letters to the Editor Section 3. Criticizing Unfavorable Action Section 4. Filing a Complaint Section 5. Seeking Enforcement of Existing Laws or Policies Section 6. Using Personal Testimony Section 7. Lobbying Decisionmakers Section 8. Establishing Lines of Communication with the Opposition's Traditional Allies Section 9. Conducting a Petition Drive Section 10. General Rules for Organizing for Legislative Advocacy Section 11. Developing and Maintaining Ongoing Relationships with Legislators and their Aides Section 12. Registering Voters Section 13. Conducting a Public Hearing Section 14. Organizing Public Demonstrations Section 15. Seeking a Negotiator, Mediator, or Fact-Finder Section 16. Initiating Legal Action Section 17. Organizing a Boycott Section 18. Organizing a Strike Section 19. Using Social Media for Digital Advocacy Section 20. Advocacy Over and For the Long Term Main Section Checklist Examples PowerPoint

This heading includes longer, more detailed examples of the key concepts discussed in this section. Portions of these are adapted from Patricia Westheimer's How to Write Complaint Letters that Work (1990).

Example #1: General format for writing complaint letters

This example summarizes the rules and format of a standard complaint letter.

Today's Date

Your Name Your Address Your City, State, Zip Code

Mr./Mrs./Ms.______________[or other title] Title Company Name Company Address City, State, Zip Code

Dear Mr./Mrs./Ms.

[Let the recipient know this is a formal letter of complaint] ( Ingredient #1 )

[State the substance of your complaint as clearly and concisely as possible. Why are you complaining? Avoid being emotional. Just stick to the pertinent facts.] ( Ingredient #2 )

[Show why the reasons justify your complaint. What loss did you suffer? What harm was done? Give amounts, dates, and any other relevant information. Use a positive tone if possible. Angry, rude letters get negative, defensive reactions.] ( Ingredient #3 )

[State the action you expect the target to take. If you believe the target owes you something, say so. Be very clear and unambiguous at this point.] ( Ingredient #4 )

[Request a written reply, by a specific date. Close in a friendly, positive, manner. Assure the reader that you believe he/she will help you. Keep your letter to one page, unless it is absolutely necessary to make it longer.] (Ingredient #5)




Your Name (signature above)

Enclosures (such as copies of previous correspondence, receipts, etc.)

cc: (If you are mailing copies to third parties, state to whom they were sent


Example #2: Sample of a well-written letter of complaint

This is an example of a well-written, successful complaint letter to a business. George Jones, had trouble with an auto body repair shop. The work was sub-standard. The shop manager would not correct the problem. George called the local Chamber of Commerce and got the name of the owner of the shop. He then wrote the following letter:

George Jones 1234 Belleview Dr. Kansas City, KS 59999

November 17, 1999

John Burns Smitty's Auto Body 1098 3rd Street Kansas City, KS

Dear Mr. Burns:

I am writing to you to complain about the lack of service I received from your shop on November 10. (Ingredient #1)

I am not at all satisfied with the work your shop has done on my 1989 GMC truck. The paint job is uneven, and the running boards are still dented noticeably. I paid you in full to have these items corrected. (Ingredient #2)

Your shop manager, Frank Wilson, has not been at all helpful in this regard. He refused to consider finishing the job he started, and he refused to give me your name. Is this the way you want to do business? (Ingredient #3)

I would like you to either redo the work, or else refund my $765.58 so I can go to another shop. (Ingredient #4)

Mr. Burns, your shop's advertising guarantees 100% satisfaction. I am sure you will be willing to live up to your claims. I look forward to hearing from you within the next two weeks. (Ingredient #5)




George Jones


Copy of receipt for work done on November 10th, 1992

Copy of original service agreement, November 5, 1992


Kansas City Chamber of Commerce

National Association of Auto Body Repair Shops

Whitley, Jones & Moore

George's letter is specific, reasonable and well written. He stated what the problem was, and exactly what he wanted from the body shop. The inclusion of the "cc" and a number of relevant third parties may have provoked some prompt attention, too. Two weeks later, George received a check for $765.58 in the mail, along with a written apology from Mr. Burns.


Example #3: Sample of a poorly-written letter of complaint

This is an example of a poorly written complaint letter, with analysis, followed by an example of a properly written letter.

Karen Young, the newly appointed and somewhat inexperienced head of a community coalition in Cooper County, learned of the county health clinic's plans to reduce the number of services offered, and its plans to increase fees for other basic services. Upset, she decided to write on behalf of the coalition to let the clinic know the coalition's opinion.

August 20, 1995

Cooper County Health Department 12 Main Street Waynesville, MO 60999

Dear Sir:

I am writing to you on behalf of the concerned citizens of the Cooper County Coalition for Health Care. Once again you are cutting the services offered by your clinic. And you plan on increasing the fees on the few services you are keeping.

This is ridiculous. Where are we supposed to go for our health care? The closest hospital is over 70 miles away! My husband just had surgery and we're $10,000 in debt. We can't afford to pay your fee increases.

Don't expect to keep your job much longer, my cousin knows the county commissioner's brother's dentist, and when he hears what you've been doing to us, he'll fire you for sure.




Karen Young, Director Cooper County Coalition for Health Care


This letter lacks the "five ingredients" of a complaint letter, and is therefore, ineffective. It is just asking for an unsatisfactory response, and that's what it got. The Health Department Director (also in charge of the clinic), Shelly Marks, had her secretary write a weak apology for the policy changes, and suggested Ms. Young get in contact with her government representatives.

Karen made several mistakes in her letter:

She did not personalize the letter. "Dear Sir" could have been addressed to anyone--let alone the fact that the director of the Cooper County Health Department was a woman. Shelly, the director, was not at the top level of decision making when it came to deciding the clinic's budget. She had little influence on how much funding it actually received. That decision came from higher up in the government. Karen was not specific about what changes she wanted made, if any. It almost appears that all she wanted to do was complain about her personal problems. Life's rough. She makes part of the letter a personal attack, implying that the Health Department director cannot do her job, and will soon be fired.

Here's how Karen should have written the letter. First of all, she should have obtained the name, title and address of the key decision maker on this particular issue. Let's suppose it was the local representative to the state legislature. Then she could have written the following: (A copy would also be sent to Shelly Marks.)

August 20, 1995

David Brenner Representative, 23rd District Missouri State Legislature Jefferson City, MO 01675

Honorable Representative David Brenner,

This letter is a formal complaint about the proposed cuts in the budget of the Cooper County Health Clinic. These cuts are totally unacceptable to all 150 members of our coalition, as determined by a recent vote. (See membership list attached.) (Ingredient #1)

Ninety-five percent of the residents of Cooper County use the Cooper County Health Department clinic for their general health care. The proposed cuts will force many of these people to drive over 70 miles to receive necessary care. (Ingredient #2) The proposed fee increases will also put the cost of health care beyond the reach of many of our community members. (Ingredient #3)

We understand that in this day and age budget cuts are sometimes necessary. However, cutting the budget of our health clinic will have serious negative health impact for many of your constituents. We strongly urge you to restore the budget to its original level. (Ingredient #4)

We look forward to your prompt favorable action on this matter, and to your response before this matter is put to a vote. (Ingredient #5)



Karen Young Director, Cooper County Coalition for Health Care


This letter makes the same general point, but is directed to the key decision-maker, is more professional, and is slightly less aggressive. Karen is specific about what the problem is, and what she and the coalition want done. The letter is written by someone who seems to be reasonable. She doesn't threaten anyone, although the threat of not being re-elected hangs in the air. Hopefully, Rep. Brenner will be able to make the necessary changes.