2020-02-17
Legal Guides

How to write a letter of complaint

Home / Knowledge base / How to write a letter of complaint

Posted by Matthew Goodwin on 03 February 2015

Matthew Goodwin Associate-Solicitor-Advocate

At some point, whether business or personal, most people are going to have to write a letter of complaint. This could be against your bank, your professional advisor or any company whose service of product has left you feeling frustrated and displeased. Most issues of this type can be resolved swiftly with a firm, but polite, letter of complaint.

A letter of complaint is not always the easiest thing to write, but all you need to do is state the facts clearly, and set forth an appropriate resolution. A letter of complaint should be concise, authoritative, factual and constructive. It is a place where you can air your disappointment, but if you want a resolution, then it should not be considered a suitable output for pent up frustration.

There follows a few key points you should bear in mind when drafting a letter of complaint.

Address your letter to the correct recipient:

When preparing your letter of claim, make sure that you are writing to the right person. They will be more used to dealing with complaints, and best placed to do something about it. Whether that be the customer services department or the managing director, it is always worth trying to find out the name of the person you are writing to so that you can personally address the letter to them.

Get to the point:

Address why you are writing your letter in the first line. The recipient will have a lot of post to work through, and the quicker you get to your point the better mood they will be in upon review. Summarise the date, what happened, where and who was involved within the first paragraph.

Specify your outcome:

Whether you want an apology, your money back or a wider remedy, if you don’t tell the recipient want you want, they won’t know how to fix the issue.

Don’t threaten legal action in your first letter. It may be the necessary end game, but you should see what the response is first.

Key documents:

If you have receipts, contracts or other key emails or documents, these should be attached to your letter of complaint and identified and explained in the body of your email.

Make sure you keep copies of any documents you send.

Set a time limit:

Providing a time limit will stop your letter becoming lost or forgotten about, and will give you a solid foundation for a follow up letter if no response is received.

About the author

Matthew Goodwin

Associate-Solicitor-Advocate

As an associate within the tax and financial services litigation team, Matthew regularly acts for corporates and individuals, dealing with a variety of disputes.

Matthew Goodwin

As an associate within the tax and financial services litigation team, Matthew regularly acts for corporates and individuals, dealing with a variety of disputes.

Recent articles

01 June 2020 Medical Negligence and breast cancer – is your treatment up to date?

Headlines in today’s Daily Mail stated that “2.4M Caught in Covid Cancer Backlog”. It claimed that ‘screening checks, hospital appointments and vital treatment lost during the pandemic’ and was based on figures from Cancer Research UK. The article also quoted figures from the Office for National Statistics that 13,000 more people had died than expected from causes other than Covid.

Read article
29 May 2020 Return to the workplace risk assessments

Following recent Government announcements, the time has come to consider a phased return to places of work. Obviously, given the unprecedented nature of Covid-19, such a process will be riddled with confusion for both employers and employees – how will the return to work operate?

Read article
28 May 2020 Guide to restrictive covenants

Employment and consultancy contracts often contain clauses restricting an individual’s working activity when they leave a business. These clauses, ‘post termination restrictive covenants’, typically restrict the ex-staff member’s ability to work in competing businesses, to deal with clients, to try to win business from them, or to poach other staff members.

Read article
Contact
How can we help?
01926 732512
CALL BACK