When you feel you were mistreated by a business, it's often best to start with a complaint letter. If done correctly, you can often get action, especially if relatively small amounts are at stake.
Here are some suggestions on writing a Consumer Letter of Complaint:
- Address the letter to a person with some real authority - someone who can fix the problem. This is usually the head of customer service, or a top officer such as the President of the company.
- Start out with data. Provide such information as:
- date when you bought the product,
- place where you bought it,
- the name and model of the product,
- the serial number if you have it.
- State the problem clearly. Be brief. Do not rant and rave (even if you are feeling that way!). Companies get lots of letters from "crackpots," and such letters usually do not get anywhere.
- State what you want. Do you want a refund? Do you want to exchange the product? If so, for what? Do you just want an apology?
- Send copies of relevant documents like receipts and keep the original ones.
- Set a specific time for them to respond. A reasonable time is usually 10 business days or more.
- Make sure you give your name, address and phone number (specify whether it is daytime or nighttime or give both). If you are writing to a company on the mainland, it helps to explain the time differential to Hawaii. There are plenty of people who have been woken up at 3 a.m. in the morning with a call from a customer service representative on the east coast. (Not a good way to get off on the right foot!)
- Keep a copy of everything you send. If it's a big problem, you should consider sending your letter return receipt requested, so you can prove they got it, and when.
Samples of Complaint Letters
- Complaint About Service
- Complaint About Service Contract
- Product Safety Complaint
- Complaint About Goods and Service
- How to Complain Effectively
- File Video Report
- Sample of Complaint About Hotels
- Sample of Complaint About Harassment
- Sample of Complaint About Poor Facilities Or Equipment
- Sample of Complaint About Insurance
- Sample of Complaint About a Billing Error