How to Write a Customer Service Complaint Letter

Everyone has had a bad customer service experience and in this day and age, we expect more for our money. If you write a properly worded letter to the right person to explain what happened, you might get a refund or a replacement, depending on your issue.

Gather the facts. If you have a receipt from a purchase, have that in front of you. Make sure you know the date and time of the incident, as well as the name of the employee responsible, if possible.

Scribble down your complaints first. Sometimes after an experience with poor customer service, you might be angry and not thinking rationally. Scribble that all down first and get it out of your system!

Figure out who to address the letter to. If an employee treated you poorly, find out who the store manager is. A quick look online or a brief phone call will find you this information. If it was a manager, you'll need to find out who the owner or regional manager is in order to get the letter into the right hands. Many bigger companies have a form you can fill out on line, but those almost never get a response. It's better to write and send your own letter.

Start writing your letter. In the first paragraph, try to mention something good about the business or experience. If you have shopped there before without a problem, tell them that. Adding some positive comments will help the overall tone of the letter.

In the following paragraph(s), explain the situation. List the date, time and employee's name and go into detail about what went wrong and why it was unacceptable to you.

After your list of complaints, add a paragraph with what you are asking for to make things right. If you went out to eat and the food was terrible, ask for a free meal so you can give their restaurant another chance. If the product was junk, ask for a refund so you can buy a better product elsewhere. If you are just writing to make them aware of a bad situation, tell them that.

Close your letter by again stating something positive about the company or service.

Sign your letter and add your name, address and phone number under your signature so that the manager/owner can contact you.

The best way to get this letter into the right hands is to hand deliver it, if at all possible. If the situation happened locally, go into the store and ask to speak to the person you addressed the letter to. This will get you much faster results. You can explain the letter then and there or you can just hand it to them and leave.

If hand delivery isn't possible, mail the letter.

Give the manager a week or so to get back to you. If you don't hear anything after that amount of time, give them a call and ask if your letter has been received. Often times, they are working on a plan to retain you as a customer and sometimes that takes more than a few days to figure out.

If the company does everything in their power to make things right, tell people that. Good customer service deserves to be spread by word of mouth!


  • Don't write the letter when you are still angry. Give yourself a few days to calm down if necessary.

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