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24 Complaint Letter Templates (With Step-By-Step Guide)

As a customer, you desire total satisfaction and value for your money with every purchase. This means that you want to get the best products and receive good services all the time. However, there are instances where you will get disappointed and dissatisfied with a particular product, service, or the company at large.

The dissatisfaction may result from a faulty product or poor service. Therefore, you will notify the company about its poor-quality products or services by crafting and submitting a complaint letter. However, you must write this letter in a polite and professional tone. This will ensure that the company understands your concerns and takes the necessary actions.

Note that a complaint letter lets you directly communicate your concerns about the products and services to the company or organization. The letter aims to help you shift the company’s attention towards the problem and help them implement a quick and suitable solution.

In this article, you will learn more about a complaint letter, how to format it, the information to include in the letter, and its importance.

Complaint Letter Template

A complaint letter can be challenging to write, especially if you do not know the structure to follow. Therefore, you should use a complaint letter template to create the perfect document. You can download these templates free from our website. They will make it easier and effortless for you to prepare a detailed letter.

Furthermore, you can customize these templates to meet your requirements and create your letter promptly and effortlessly:

What is a Complaint Letter?

A complaint letter is a document that outlines dissatisfaction with a particular product or service.

In most cases, you should write this letter if you are an unhappy or unsatisfied customer. The letter is used to describe the mistakes in service rendering or highlight the faultiness of a particular product. In addition, a complaint letter is used to request adjustments and changes.

When writing the letter, you should describe your issue in detail. This allows the company to understand what they are dealing with and develop a workable and lasting solution. Furthermore, you can use the complaint letter to request compensation or a refund.

Reasons for Writing a Complaint Letter

It is advisable to have adequate and valid reasons before creating and submitting a complaint letter. In addition, the mentioned reasons should be under the company’s rules and regulations; this will prevent you from facing unwanted legal actions.

Problematic delivered goods

You are entitled to send a complaint letter if the goods you have ordered have been delivered and are faulty, underweight, incomplete, expired, or not in line with your requirements. The letter will make the supplying company revisit your order and make proper adjustments.


A letter of complaint can be sent to a company if there is an issue with the invoice or the price of the products or services provided.


You can prepare and send the letter if your goods are faulty or damaged because of poor packing. The letter will notify the seller about the poor packaging and request them to compensate for the damaged goods.


Your orders should be delivered according to your demands. Therefore, you can complain to the shipping company if the transportation of your goods is hindered or inconvenienced by poor shipment policies from the seller. Additionally, you can send a complaint letter if the wrong carrier is authorized to deliver your goods.

Terms and conditions

You can draft and send a complaint letter if the seller has neglected and violated the business’ terms and conditions. The letter can remind the seller about the terms and conditions to be followed when conducting a business transaction.

Faulty insurance

As a client, you are allowed to complain if the insurance coverage of your products is not per your requirements. Therefore, you can claim your insurance if your requirements are unmet.

Note: Record the specific events. Ensure that you record all the events that led to the complaint in a specific manner. For example; ensure that you record the date and location of the situation. In addition, you need to know the employee’s name if it is about bad service. For a product, ensure that you have its name alongside any other relevant information. This way, you will have a detailed document when writing the complaint letter instead of just whining. Finally, use a professional tone in your letter. You can only achieve this if you narrate all the specific events accurately and objectively.

Step-By-Step Guide to Write a Complaint Letter

To ensure that you have a proper and effective complaint letter, there are particular details that you must include in your document.

Here is a step-by-step guide to writing a complaint letter:

Define your problem

For the first paragraph of your letter, start by defining your problem. This is where you should highlight why you are complaining about a particular product or service. Ensure not only to discuss the problem but also specify the location and the date of the incident. Be objective and always maintain a formal and calm tone, even though you might be angry. 

For example:

My name is Michael Joseph, and I am writing to complain about receiving bad service when I visited your restaurant on 19th November 2022.

Explain what went wrong (details)

For your next paragraph, provide clear and brief details about the problem. For example, if it is a service, you can mention the employee responsible, their name and title, and then explain what went wrong and how it all happened. For a product, you can mention its name, the product information such as serial and model number, details of your order, and an explanation of what went wrong.

Always provide specific explanations instead of general statements to ensure that the letter’s recipient understands your complaint.

For example:

My friends and I were welcomed by the host and directed to our reserved table. Unfortunately, once there, everything went awry. Our assigned waitress, Michelle Albert, was impolite. We waited so long for the drinks, and when she finally showed up, she had made the wrong order. She also touched the top of our glasses when serving us, which was appalling and unhygienic.

For the food order, she got it right. However, the food was cold and tasteless since we had to wait a long time. Each time we tried to remind her about our food or request for seasoning, Michelle’s response was offensive and foul. Finally, we had to leave without eating since the service we received was pathetic.

Attach any enclosed documents

For the third part of your complaint letter, you should write a note that informs the recipient that you have enclosed some documents with the letter. This may include a copy of the receipt and pictures of faulty products or terrible packaging as proof of the highlighted events. Other documents you can use as proof include copies of previous correspondence or screenshots of misleading website instructions about a product.

For example:

Attached below is a copy of the receipt that indicates when my friends and I visited your restaurant, the waitress who served us, the total amount for ordered food and drinks, and the tip we paid.

Make a specific request

For the last paragraph, ensure that you make a specific request to the letter recipient. For example, you can either suggest to the recipient to take particular action about the situation or inform them about what will be best for you based on the complaint. This ensures that the recipient is aware of your dissatisfaction and determination to resolve the matter.

In the case of poor service, you can ask for an apology or an assurance that the issue will not re-occur. In addition, you can request for the broken product to be replaced or repaired. Also, you can ask for a refund for the bad product or service. It is essential to always make a specific request instead of suggesting that the company proposes a solution.

For example:

I would appreciate a refund of my $550 spent on a food bill that my friends and I did not eat, as soon as possible. Furthermore, I would appreciate it if Michelle Albert is held responsible for her behavior to prevent similar future occurrences. An apology from her and an assurance that this will not happen again if we ever visit the restaurant will also be highly appreciated.

Complaint Letter Template

Below is a template you can use to write your complaint letter:

[Your name]

[Your full address]

[Your phone number]

[Your email address]


[Recipient’s name]

[Recipient’s title]

[Company’s name]

[Company’s address]

Subject: [The Complaint]

Dear [Recipient’s name] or [To Whom It May Concern],

I am writing this letter to [mention that you want to file a complaint about a product or service you received from them]. The issue occurred at [name the location] on [state the date or time].

The issue on the [product or service] started when [provide specific details of the situation that led you to file a complaint]. Apart from that, there were also [give details of the damaged product or the impolite employee].

I have attached the [mention the enclosed documents meant for evidence purposes]. Thank you for your time and consideration. I want to receive [include a specific ask or request regarding the complaint made].


[Your name]

Complaint Letter Sample

With the complaint letter sample below, you can easily understand how your document should be structured for it to be complete and adequate:

Caleb Anthony

652-Yearly Highway, PO


[email protected]

22nd November 2022

Alia Jacobs

Customer Service Manager

ABC Company

091-Overview Road, MA

Subject: Received a Damaged Laptop

Dear Mrs. Jacobs,

I am writing this letter to complain about the damaged phone I received from your company on 20th November 2022. I bought a smartphone from you under order number 5362YXCR.

The smartphone arrived from a different courier company than we had agreed on. When I ordered the phone and selected delivery, I indicated that I would like to use XYZ Courier Company and received it from FGH Deliveries. I communicated with you before signing for the package. Once I opened my package, I found out that not only was it damaged, some equipment was missing, including the air pods, battery, and charger.

I have attached a copy of the receipt provided by FGH Deliveries and a screenshot of our conversation regarding using a different courier company. I would like to either get a refund or a replacement. For the replacement, I would like to use XYZ Courier Company for the delivery and assurance that I will receive all the equipment and the smartphone.


Caleb Anthony

13 Best Practices for Writing Complaint Letter

You should keep excellent practices in mind to write a proper and effective complaint letter.

Below are some of the tips to consider when preparing this letter:

Keep it simple and short

When drafting a complaint letter, it is crucial to be precise and straight to the point. This will make it easy for the recipient to understand your complaint and make a quick and informed decision. Therefore, keep the letter short and simple. Also, ensure that you focus on one topic and accurately provide all the critical details on your issue. It is recommended to maintain the length of the letter to one page.

Be objective

Apart from keeping the letter short and simple, it is crucial to maintain the objective of the letter. Therefore, you should maintain professionalism by avoiding foul and abusive language. When writing the letter, your objective should be to explain your problem and recommend or seek a workable solution.

Find the right recipient to address

Finding the right person to approach is crucial when faced with a significant issue. If you approach the wrong individual, your problems will likely remain unsolved for a long time. Therefore, according to your complaint letter, the letter should be addressed to an individual who will implement the needed change.

Set a time limit

It is essential to set a time limit; this allows you to have a specific period in which you will send a follow-up letter if you get no response. Note that sending complaint letters frequently will only frustrate the recipient. A frustrated recipient will likely ignore your issue and focus on their busy schedule.  

Be persistent

In most cases, persistence is necessary if you do not get the response you hoped for or fail to get a response at all. Therefore, after sending the first few letters with no success, you can craft a new letter and deliver it to the manager or the target recipient.

Maintain a polite tone

As a frustrated and displeased client, it is easy for you to use abusive and harsh language when writing a complaint letter. However, remaining calm, professional, and polite throughout the letter will show the recipient that you respect them. In addition, this is an effective way of triggering them to take the necessary steps toward correcting their mistakes.

Stay focused

A complaint letter should solely focus on what made you dissatisfied with the goods or products purchased. It is crucial to focus and highlight one problem at a time; this gives the company ample time to reset its policies and develop a lasting solution to your issue. Therefore, it is advisable not to mention several issues in your letter.

Be clear

Ensure you are clear about your complaint and what you expect the company to do. That means that you should only focus on facts of the event rather than spiteful commentaries. The idea is to state that something went wrong and inform the company that you have a resolution.

Follow a business letter structure

Always follow a business letter structure for your complaint letter. For an ideal letter structure, start with the subject, what you expected regarding the product or service, your complaint on what went wrong, details of the situation, and the compensation you want. Make sure you are reasonable and respectful in your letter since the recipient might not be responsible for the situation that led to the complaint.

Do not threaten

Unless you plan on following through with legal action, do not threaten the company to seek compensation. As a customer, only make a threat if you have a strong case and are willing to take action. However, including empty threats or bluffing in your letter will only slow down the compensation process or make it impossible.

Provide contact information

It is vital to provide your contact information for a proper follow-up. For example, a company representative can easily communicate with you via email or phone number regarding your complaint. This way, you will be aware of the solution the company will implement to correct the issue.

Keep copies and records

Always keep a copy of the letter and any other documents you might have attached. The best thing is to send copies and keep the original one. These records are meant for future reference if you wish to take further action regarding your complaint.

Edit and proofread

Finally, ensure that you edit and proofread your letter before sending it. You should check your letter for spelling, grammar, and punctuation mistakes. Also, ensure that you have included the correct facts and names to avoid any confusion on the recipient’s side. You can ask someone to review your letter to ensure every detail is clear, accurate, and easy to understand.

Bottom Line

If you place an order or make a purchase and are unsatisfied with the goods or services delivered, you are within your rights to complain and request compensation. Note that a complaint letter may seem unnecessary, but it is an effective way to implement a positive change within the company. Nevertheless, remaining calm, maintaining professionalism, and being polite when writing a letter are crucial.

Your letter should be factual and addressed to the right person. This will allow the company to acknowledge its mistakes and implement an immediate solution. Remember to remain persistent until you get a response. Additionally, it is crucial to mention your expectations after describing your issue. Always be realistic with your expectations, as this will allow the company to apply a suitable approach to the mentioned problems.

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