Format of a letter of complaint
Reason for writing. Exact details of holiday (time, place, etc.) [explain
Details of problems. Deal with each major problem in a new paragraph.
[complain, express your dissatisfaction]
What you expect from the company. [ask that something to be done]
Mind that a letter of complaint is a formal letter, so you need to write in formal
language – don’t be rude!
Useful expressions for writing a complaint letter
I am writing to express my strong dissatisfaction with …
I am writing to complain about …
We were extremely disappointed with …
… was not what we had been led to expect
The … was so bad that …
It was not up to standard
It didn’t work / was out of use
We were appalled to find …
We were thoroughly disgusted with …
I am not going to
put up with this.
let this go.
I should like to know what
you are going to do about this.
Your attitude is
I don’t see why you …
It’s high time you did something …
a letter of explanation
a substantial refund
Unless …, we shall take matters further
I should warn you that …
Sample letter of complaint
66 Trees Lounge,
Devon CG4 5HZ
14 September 2002
342 Rich Road
Devon VF7 6JK
My husband and I have just returned from one of your “special city tours” in Amsterdam
(August 31 – September 10) and I am writing to complain about the holiday we were given.
To begin with, the hotel was not at all what we had been led to expect from your brochure.
You advertise air-conditioned rooms with mini bar and private bathroom, but what we got
was a tiny room with none of the promised appliances. The room only had a washbasin and
we had to share the sanitary installations with five other parties on our floor. The temperature
was 90° every day, so you can imagine the comforts of a room with nothing but the cold
water tub for cooling. As for the hotel staff, whenever we called down to the reception there
was simply no one around. There did not even seem to be any cleaning staff since our beds
were made once during the whole of our stay.
Added to all this, the tourist guide included in your offer had fallen ill shortly before we arrived
and there was obviously nobody in charge to organise a suitable substitute. After five days a
courier tuned up who spoke only fragmentary English and we had difficulties understanding
only half of what he said.
As you will realise, we are highly dissatisfied with the holiday your company provided and we
do not see why we should put up with it. We expect a letter of explanation as well as a
substantial refund of our money. Unless this is forthcoming, we shall have to take matters a
Mrs J Smith
8 Dean Close
11 November 2007
Customer Services Manager
Evans Electrical Products
7 Swan Street
Dear Sir or Madam,
RE: EasyIron Electric Iron (Model no: 2279)
I bought the above iron from The Electrical Store in Newford on 10 October 2005. On using it
for the first time, I found that the temperature control was faulty; it was not possible to set it for any
temperature apart from the highest (cotton).
When I returned the iron to the store, they said that they were unable to replace it or offer me
a refund, but that it could be sent away for repair. As I need an iron on a daily basis, and it was not
clear how long the repair would take, this option was unsatisfactory. As the iron clearly does not
function as it should and therefore does not comply with the legal standards of product quality, I am
therefore writing to you to ask for a full refund of the price (£35.99).
I look forward to hearing from you within the next fortnight.
Jenny Hawkins (Ms)
Flat 122a Fordham Way
6 November 2009
Mr G J Warren
18 Hurst Rise
Dear Mr Warren,
Essential repairs: Flat 122a Fordham Way, Kington
Further to my telephone calls on 1 and 4 November about the leaking radiator in the main
bedroom, I am writing to express my concern that repair work has not yet been carried out.
As I stressed when we spoke, this leak is causing a very damp patch near to an electrical socket
and as a result I have been unable to use the socket for my PC for a week. Apart from the
dangerous aspects of this situation, it is also causing me much inconvenience and disrupting my
studies, as I have to use the power point in the shared living room instead.
I would be grateful if you could arrange for the radiator to be fixed within the next two days.
Please contact me as soon as possible to let me know when the heating engineer will arrive, so
that I can be at the flat to show him the extent of the problem.