Sometimes, you only get what you deserve if you make a fuss about it. And if you’ve received a shoddy product or service, you may need to write a letter of complaint. But how does this work? With our five top tips, the offending company should be keen to make amends.
1. Address Your Letter Strategically
You need your letter of complaint to be read by the right person. A complaint about a broken iPad addressed to ‘Mr Apple’, for example, will not get far.
Instead, try to find the name and title of whomever handles complaints at the company. Or, at the very least, address it to the customer service department.
2. Structure Your Letter Clearly
As well as the standard salutation and valediction, a complaint letter should include the following pieces of information:
- Your situation (‘I am writing to complain about a product I bought from your company on the 17th of December 2019…’)
- The problem that occurred (‘One week later, it stopped working…’)
- The consequences (‘As a result, Little Jimmy spent Christmas in tears…’)
- A solution (‘We hope you will be able to offer a replacement…’)
- A time limit and warning (‘If we have not heard from you within two weeks, we will make a formal complaint to…’)
In short, include everything the company may need to know to fix the issue!
3. Be Friendly and Factual
It might be tempting to write an angry or sarcastic letter, but this will not usually prompt a helpful response. In addition, the person reading the letter will probably not be directly responsible for the problem, so you shouldn’t vent your frustrations at them without reason.
Instead, politeness is wise. Keep the tone friendly and provide as much factual detail as you can, including times and dates, relevant account numbers, and copies of any supporting documents.
This will ensure your complaint gets dealt with as soon as possible.
4. Use the ACCC’s Complaint Letter Template
If you have an issue with a product or service you purchased, the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission has a complaint letter tool. This is a template letter that you can fill in and tailor to your situation, making it easier to submit a formal complaint. In fact, the ACCC site also has lots of information about your consumer rights, so it is a good resource!
5. Proofread Your Letter of Complaint!
You need your complaint letter to be clear, concise and authoritative. Needless to say, poor grammar and spelling mistakes will undermine this. Proofreading – or getting your letter proofread by professionals – will thus enhance your chances of getting a quick and helpful response.