The Complete Tutorial of Writing a Formal Complaint Letter

The Complete Tutorial of Writing a Formal Complaint LetterIn today’s world, the consumer has the ability to influence the market. Whatever product or service you need you can be sure that there are a lot of companies that are eager to offer you their products or service. Hence today you have a wonderful opportunity to gain the upper hand over companies. However, there is one condition: you shouldn’t be indifferent. If you don’t like anything in the company that provides you with their product, you should tell them about it. Typically, people contact the call-canter, and often it has no result. The most effective way to reach the decision-maker is to send him or her a formal complaint letter.

If you are reading this article perhaps you were recently disappointed or even angry with the service of a company. Or, you are just training to complete such tasks for educational purposes. Anyway, we are going to teach you how to write this kind of paper. So, in this article we will answer all possible questions about complaint letter format and we will give you exclusive tips that will be useful for you while writing.

Formal Complaint Letter in Questions & Answers

Q: How should I apply to the recipient?

A: It would be perfect if you find out the name of the CEO or another decision-maker. In this case you should write the name of the person you are contacting. For example:

Dear Mr. Black
Dear Mrs. Swan
Dear Ms. Queen

Caution: if you are not aware of the family status of a woman you are contacting, you should use the word “miss.” If you don’t know who exactly you are writing to you are allowed to use “Dear Sir/Madam.”

Q: Can I use the name of the company in the salutation?

A: Yes, you can. If you would like to use the name of the organization or the title of the specific department you should do this the following way:

Dear Terrible Company representative
Dear Quality Control representative

Q: What is the complaint letter format?

A: You can stick to any format style provided that it is easily-readable. We suggest using these requirements:

  • Font: Times New Roman, Arial, Calibri, 12 pt. Don’t use too fancy fonts so that your text is easy to read and understand.
  • Spacing: double-spaced. This requirement is very important. You will have a better chance to make someone read your text when it is easy to perceive. Double spacing plays an important role in perceiving the text easily.
  • Margins: 1 inch on all sides, aligned left.

Q: Should I send an email or a letter by mail?

A: You can send any of them if you are aware of the email of the company and the physical address. However, we recommend that you send the email for several reasons:

  • Nowadays, it is a more popular way of communication.
  • It is faster.
  • You can do this at home.
  • You will have the proof of your sending this mail if they “accidentally” lose it.

However, this way of sending a letter has its disadvantage: your letter can be counted as junk mail. To avoid the junk mail folder, mark your letter as important and write the topic of the letter “the consumer’s complaint.”

formal complaint letter

Q: How should I put the address on the letter?

A: Your letter should contain the information about your address (top lines aligned left) and the information about the address of the recipient (two lines below your address aligned right). It looks the following way:

4, Privet Drive St.(Address)
London (city), Great Britain (country), WC2N (zip code)
31.10.2016 (date)

Mr. Riddle (name of a decision-maker)
Chief Executive Officer (position held)
123, Horton St. (Street Address)
London (city), Great Britain (country), WC5M (zip code)

Notice: You shouldn’t write your name at the beginning of your letter — put your name at the end of the whole text.

Q: What should I mention in my letter?

A: When you write a formal complaint letter you should add the following obligatory information:

  • The accurate time and date when you were being harmed. You shouldn’t express the time with the words “noon,” “midnight,” “afternoon,” or anything of this nature. Write the approximate time (for instance, 12 A.M. or 3 P.M.).
  • A laconic description of the incident. Your description should be short but detailed. So don’t write words that just express your annoyance. Include only those words that help the reader to understand the reason for your complaint.
  • The person responsible for the incident. If you don’t remember, try to recall to mind at least the position of the person — however, it would be better if you remember the name.
  • The place where all the events happened. If it is not a physical place (it could a website) you should also tell the details about it.
  • Suggest your way to resolve the conflict. If you would like to receive amends you should mention it.

Quick Tips

  1. Don’t send your letter at night. You will then worsen your chance to receive the reply as soon as possible. We recommend that you send it between 10 and 12 A.M.
  2. Stay calm. You can express your discontent emotionally to your family and friends but don’t do this in your letter. Otherwise, your offender won’t take you seriously. Also, you should know that aggression spawns aggression. If you would like to reach your goal and receive an apology, don’t be bellicose.
  3. Express your purpose clearly. If you want the company to just give their apologies to you, you should mention it. If you need to receive a new product, discount, or anything similar, you should clarify this.

Asking for Help

Do you still have some questions concerning complaint letter format or other types of letters, such as scholarship letters? Then read other articles on our blog, for example, What Can Really Help You to Complete a Scholarship Letter? or contact and we’ll try to help you more.  Our service is able to provide students with a helping hand when they are in need. We offer you the ability to communicate with experienced writers that are capable of completing any assignment for you. Or, you can just ask for advice. Choose the type of cooperation that is appropriate for you. Visit us now!