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Elements of a Letter of Complaint

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Elena Rankin

on 19 February 2014

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Transcript of Elements of a Letter of Complaint

Elements of a Letter of Complaint
Complaint Letter 1
A few weeks ago I ordered a antique vase through your mail order catalog, but when it arrived it was shattered into several small pieces. It appeared that the box had been crushed by something quite heavy. I hope you have another just like it, because I would still like to receive the vase.

I am returning the receipt, and will return the broken pieces, if necessary, to receive a replacement.

Otherwise, I will wait for the arrival of a new vase. If it can be delivered before Christmas, I will be most grateful.
Complaint Letter 2
I am writing to complain about the new wheels which were fitted on my car and for which I paid with my Visa credit card. I have just received my credit card statement and notice that the charge appears twice on the same date.

I remember there were problems with the computer at the time of payment so I think the double-billing was due to a mistake at the time.

I am enclosing a copy of my bill. I believe the best way to correct the problem would be for you to credit my card account with the amount charged for the service. If you will handle this problem immediately, I think everything will be okay.

Many Thanks.
Elements of a Letter of Complaint

Aims of the lesson:
(1) Know the layout of a letter of complaint.
(2) Use appropriate language.
(3) Apply what you have learned to write your own letter of complaint.
What do you think this unhappy customer is going to complain about?
Now try writing your own letter of complaint.
Peer Marking
Now that you have written your letter... swap with person next to you.

Make sure your partner('s):

- Has used the correct structure

- Their letter is well focused on the issue about which they are complaining.

- Has good spelling and grammar.

- Addresses and signs off correctly.
What are the elements of a letter of complaint?
- Give a background to the letter.
Why are you writing?

- Explain the problem.
Cause: What was done wrong?
Effect: How did this affect you?

- Suggest a solution.
What do you want to be done to resolve the problem?

- Conclusion.
"I look forward to receiving..."
Topics for Complaint
- Something you ordered arrives damaged.

- Late delivery of an order.

- Rude and unhelpful shop assistant.

- Offended by a television programme.

- Overcharged for a service.

- Fell because there was no "wet floor" sign.

Dear Sir/Madam
Dear Mr... Dear Ms...

I am writing to...
I am writing regarding...

If you require any further information, please contact me...


I was disappointed to find out that...

Yours sincerely...
Yours faithfully
I am writing to complain about the vase I ordered.
When the vase arrived it was broken.

This obviously means I will not be able to give it as a present on Christmas day.
I would be very grateful if you could send me a replacement as soon as possible so that it may arrive in time for Christmas.
I look forward to hearing from you.

Many Thanks.
Here are some useful phrases
Do not forget to:

- Clearly say what you are complaining about.

- Use the correct structure.

- Address the person correctly, and sign off correctly.

- Use the phrases we discussed to help you.
What have we learned today?
Recap of Previous Lesson
Which words do we use in letters of complaint?
Full transcript