How to Write a Strongly Worded Letter of Complaint


Letter of Grievance #1: The Delta Airways Affair

Again in March of 2013, Mrs. Cubert and I went on a stunning Caribbean cruise. It was a kind of skilled seminar offers. She spent just a few hours every day with different chiropractors studying about one thing or different, whereas I learn Struggle and Peace by the pool. I’m unsure which of these two actions sounds interesting looking back, however I’d have been comfortable balancing my checkbook in THAT setting.

 Note to Travelers: The Caribbean Does Not Suck.
Notice to Vacationers: The Caribbean Does Not Suck.

It was on our method residence that we bumped into issues. Our Delta flight out of Miami had mechanical points. The true rub with that is they saved cascading the delays. So each hour, we had been advised it’d be ANOTHER hour. Till lastly, at round 9 PM, after 5 hours of this nonsense, the flight was canceled altogether.

Delta gave us zero choices for what to do subsequent, so all of us queued up in line for one other two hours to re-book a flight the subsequent day, and beg for some assist with lodging that night. We’ve skilled this earlier than in our travels, on a visit over to Switzerland in ’08. Air journey is only a roll of the cube, as with all journey I suppose.

Our Delta helper on the counter hooked us up with a voucher for a close-by resort and a flight out the subsequent day. The humorous half was how, after the taxi dropped us off, we discovered that THERE WERE NO VACANCIES. Effectively, sh*t!

Our voucher was nugatory. Thanks, Delta. We finally managed to get to a different resort, order a pizza, and crash. $225.97 for an evening on the Miami-Dade Sorority Inn.

Right here’s the criticism letter I wrote to Delta, inside every week of getting again residence. Nonetheless glowing from an excellent journey, and sporting an okay tan:

April 7, 2013

Delta Air Strains, Inc.

P.O. Field 20706

Atlanta, Georgia 30320-6001

Pricey Sir or Madam:

I’m writing to request a refund examine for $225.97 to reimburse resort costs paid out of pocket on Sunday, March 24, 2013. We had been unable to make use of the voucher issued by Delta on that day, upon arrival on the resort, because of the reality the resort was absolutely booked as of Saturday, March 23. I’ve hooked up documentation to substantiate our declare, together with the precise voucher, the occupancy register for the Doubletree Resort (supplied by the on-call supervisor), and at last, the receipt for our eventual resort, Spring Hill Suites. The delayed flight behind the voucher-request was DL1860 Miami-Atlanta, March 24, 2013.

Please name me at (555) PEE-OWED should you want any extra particulars or background data. I’m saving copies of all documentation for authorized, and if mandatory, PR functions. Having been despatched to an already absolutely booked resort after ready on the airport for hours on finish, with a mid-term spouse pregnant with twins, one can think about the frustration we really feel with Delta Airways customer support. Your speedy response is appreciated.




CC: (Cubert’s property lawyer, for added impact)

How that turned out…

Inside every week I’d obtained a letter from Delta’s VP of Buyer Service. He was extraordinarily gracious and apologized for the inconvenience we’d gone via. We had been compensated for a bit of north of the resort price within the type of a present card to one in all a number of retail outfits if I bear in mind proper. With children on the way in which, this was tremendous useful. I believe we purchased a rug for the infant room.

Higher than the compensation although was merely the truth that Delta jumped on this downside and shortly made amends. I do know they, like most airways, battle to stability customer support with earnings, however for a short shining second, they had been okay in my guide.

As for the letter, you’ll discover there’s no secret to how I put these few paragraphs collectively. Possibly it was the reference to “PR” or CC’ing my property lawyer? We don’t have an lawyer on retainer, so the lawyer who drew-up our will (I figured) would stand-in properly. I by no means bothered him by sending an precise copy.

Backside-line, simply take the half-hour or hour to write-up your expertise in knowledgeable however assertive method and get that factor within the mail. My hourly price for penning this explicit letter was $225.


Examine for Formatting Errors and Typos

After you have written what you are promoting letter, proofread it and spellcheck it on the display. Then print it out and browse it via a minimum of yet another time, checking for any errors or typos. That is vital because it's usually simpler to identify errors on a tough copy. 

Studying it out loud is an efficient technique to catch a mistake.

Be looking out for formatting errors, resembling two paragraphs that don’t have an area in between them or traces which are indented incorrectly. Then, earlier than placing your letter in an envelope, signal above your typed identify utilizing black or blue ink. 

If you’re utilizing Microsoft Phrase or one other phrase processing program to write down your letter, there are templates obtainable that may allow you to format your letter accurately. Right here’s extra data on free Microsoft Word letter templates

Exceptions to the Rule

There are exceptions that show the rule. The uncommon situations wherein I agree to write down a single letter for a shopper have three elements in frequent.

  1. First, I’ve some historical past with the corporate efficiently resolving comparable points. That provides me credibility that may make a single letter work. The corporate is aware of me and is aware of that—a minimum of in most circumstances—I’m ready to observe via.
  2. Second, the “ask” is straightforward, like “launch her from the noncompete” or “return his private laptop computer that he left within the workplace.” This makes it much less possible that there might be a necessity for lots of backwards and forwards.
  3. Third, the shopper is ready to stay with regardless of the consequence is from the letter—win, lose, or draw.

Nevertheless, even when these elements are current, it’s uncommon that I agree to only write a letter. I’d somewhat be Arden than Bob.

2. It’s By no means Only a Letter

Not often is it the case that an employer backs down after a single letter. The primary letter is the opening salvo.

Subsequent, the corporate will reply, normally in writing, to your lawyer. To resolve the issue, the lawyer you employed will most likely must name the opposing counsel again or maybe write one other letter. This course of may commute actually for months. Throughout that point, in your lawyer to successfully resolve the issue, she might want to discuss to you, assessment paperwork, and probably analysis case regulation.

However what occurs when the corporate responds however all you’ve finished is rent a lawyer to write down the letter? The lawyer will move the letter alongside to you. You possibly can then attempt to take issues into your personal palms, however that is what is going to occur. You’ll write the corporate again. The corporate, considering that you’re maybe nonetheless represented by an lawyer, will refuse, via its lawyer, to speak to you about substance. Why? It’s towards the foundations of ethics for a lawyer to speak to somebody represented by one other lawyer.

After all, you may get round this downside by telling the corporate that you just now not have a lawyer. Then it might probably discuss to you. The issue is, now you actually haven’t any leverage. The corporate lawyer now is aware of that—since you solely employed a lawyer to write down a single letter—that you just should not have the need or assets or will to battle this out. Sport over.


  • Characters on The Goon Show would usually threaten to write down an offended letter to The Instances when being robbed, kidnapped, having their nation invaded, being hit by a batter pudding, and many others.
    • This being The Goon Show, that is usually handled as truly being a reputable menace. On one event, when Neddie Seagoon tried to write down a letter to the papers complaining about his palms being tied behind his again, Grytpype-Thynne makes an attempt to throw them off the scent by substituting a “Pricey sir, as we speak I heard the primary cuckoo” letter.
  • The Mark Steel Solution had a recurring character, Mr. Cul-de-sac, who was continually writing absurd letters of criticism to anybody and everybody. He would all the time finish by studying one he’d began, that went “Why, oh why, oh why, oh why, oh why, oh why…” earlier than admitting that “That is so far as I’ve obtained with that one, but it surely’s coming alongside, do not you suppose!?”

Easy methods to Write a Strongly Worded Letter of Grievance

  1. Be skilled. Use skilled letterhead and make sure you check in ink. The extra skilled you make the letter, the extra they know you imply enterprise.
  2. Categorical your dissatisfaction clearly, with information, dates, and particulars (together with copies of receipts and so forth) to assist substantiate your declare. Don’t simply say “You guys suck!” These letters get discarded out of hand.
  3. Be honest. Don’t make false claims within the hope of getting compensation. A.) that’d be a dick-move, and B.) that’d even be a felony offense. If you happen to’re going to write down a letter, it’s since you’ve obtained lower than the service or expertise you anticipated. The businesses you write needs to be grateful to listen to from you, to allow them to resolve the state of affairs and keep away from a success to their status.
  4. Be immediate. Don’t wait too lengthy to ship your letter. The earlier you get that factor written and within the mail, the extra weight it would carry.
  5. Don’t anticipate compensation each time. Usually, you’ll write since you really feel cheated by an organization. Both a voucher was ineffective, or a rental automotive had suits. Or perhaps you misplaced a full day with household as a result of United Airways is a sh*tty service. Typically you’ll get what you deserve, and generally you’ll merely get a “sorry” again.

Right here’s a wonderful guidelines that will help you navigate the criticism letter waters: From . The one factor I don’t essentially agree with is the notion of working your method up the company ladder along with your criticism. I determine, begin close to the highest. Ship the letter to the VP of Buyer Affairs. You’ll (properly, it’s best to) be heard…

And should you’re within the temper for some laughs, take a look at the Finest Ever Grievance Letters. There are some royal doozies right here. For instance the offended letter to the male head of promoting at At all times female hygiene merchandise. Whoah. She needs to be a blogger!

Please share within the feedback any recommendation YOU have on the best way to write an efficient letter of criticism.

Letter Writing Ideas and Recommendation

Realizing the best way to write enterprise letters is an important talent, so listed below are a number of extra articles so that you can study extra:

Begin With the Fundamentals

Begin with the fundamentals on how to write a business letter utilizing a common format, and assessment varied enterprise letter templates. As well as, you may take a look at these employment-related business letter examples. Evaluation extra particulars about formatting and try one other instance of a business letter format.

Evaluation Examples

If you happen to wish to study by taking a look at examples, there are lots of kinds of enterprise letters to select from, resembling cowl letters, interview thank-you letters, follow-up letters, job acceptance or rejection letters, resignation letters, and appreciation letters. You’ll discover all these together with samples of enterprise and employment-related letters on this assessment of letter samples.

Ship an E-mail Enterprise Message

Not all enterprise letters are printed out and mailed. If you happen to plan to ship an e-mail, assessment these guidelines for professional emails and letter writing.