Sample Letters of Complaint

Send a letter of complaint when you are not satisfied with something or someone. You will sometimes write a letter like this on behalf of someone else, such as your child, your elderly parent, or someone who has placed you in charge of his or her business.

Usually, complaint letters lean toward being formal in tone and style but can sometimes be more informal and conversational, depending on the situation and context. The style and wording you use in a letter depend on the specific circumstances. Even though you are expressing negative information in a complaint letter, strive to do so in a firm yet polite, diplomatic way.

It is generally best to keep letters as short and concise as possible while still communicating the necessary information. Feel free to customize and modify any of these letters according to your individual needs.

NOTE: In all letters, brackets indicate information that you should fill in. Remove the brackets when you have modified the text to your liking.
Sample of Complaint Letter

Unfortunately, it is sometimes necessary to write a letter complaining about a purchase. The following sample letter of complaint shows how to address this situation.

Your Address
Your City, State, Zip Code


Company Name
Consumer Complaint Division
Street Address
City, State, Zip Code

Dear [Company],

On September 4, 2007, I bought a Dell 19” flat-screen LCD color monitor, serial number BQR 5927631, at your store in [City, State], for $319.58.

The product does not function properly; it will not display any picture at all. I am very disappointed.

To resolve the problem, I would appreciate an exchange for an equivalent or better model, at no additional cost, or a refund of the $319.58. Enclosed are copies of relevant documents (the receipt, guarantees, etc.).

I look forward to your reply and to the resolution of my problem. I will wait ten days from the date of this letter before seeking help from a consumer protection agency or the Better Business Bureau. Please contact me by mail, at the above address, or by phone, at [phone number, including area code].


Your Signature
Your typed name