How to make a complaint in writing

If you have a complaint about something you have bought or a service you have paid for you may need to send a letter to the trader or company. When writing a letter of complaint remember to:

Below are some examples of what you may want to include in a letter of complaint about goods or services. However, if you are unsure about which letter most suits your circumstances, or if the complaint involves a large sum of money, contact Consumer Direct or your local Citizens Advice Bureau for further advice.

REMEMBER Keep a copy of the letter. Send the letter recorded delivery

Sample letters of complaint

Faulty goods

1 Any Street
Any Town
15 November

The Manager
AB Department Store
High Street
Any Town

Dear Sir/Madam,

Faulty Goods

On 1 November, I purchased an upright vacuum cleaner from your store which was delivered to my home yesterday. Unfortunately, when I tried to use the vacuum cleaner today I was unable to do so as the switch was broken. I therefore wish for

I enclose a copy of my receipt for the purchase price of £125. I would be grateful if you would respond to my complaint within 14 days otherwise I shall discuss the matter with my local Trading Standards Service (or Citizens Advice Bureau).

Yours faithfully,

Mrs. A Smith

* You have the right to ask for either a full refund, a replacement or a repair.

Unsatisfactory service

1 Any Street
Any Town
21 April

The Owner
ABC Double Glazing Co
Any Town

Dear Sir/Madam,

Unsatisfactory Service

On 15 April your company fitted two double glazed windows to my house at a cost of £900. I have now discovered that they are fitted incorrectly with gaps around the frame letting rain and cold air into the house.

I should like you to rectify the problem, without further charge within the next two weeks. If the problem is not rectified by then I shall have no alternative but to ask another firm to repair the work for a reasonable charge. If this is necessary, I shall then want to recover the costs involved from you.

I would be grateful if you would respond to my complaint within the next 14 days. If I do not hear from you by then I shall discuss the matter with my local Trading Standards Service (or Citizens Advice Bureau).

Yours faithfully,

Mr. B. Smith

Faulty goods bought on credit

1 Any Street
Any Town
22 November

The Manager
Credit Finance Ltd
Any Town

Dear Sir/Madam,

Faulty Goods/Account No. 111222333

On 1 November, I purchased an upright vacuum cleaner from AB Department Store using my credit card (or on credit arranged by the store).The vacuum cleaner was delivered on 14 November but had a broken switch.

I have written to the department store stating my complaint and asking for a *replacement/repair/refund. However, I have received no reply.

Therefore, as the cleaner was bought on credit and you have joint liability with the department store, I am requesting a refund of my money from you.

I would be grateful if you would respond to my complaint within 14 days otherwise I shall discuss the matter with my local Trading Standards Service (or Citizens Advice Bureau).

Yours faithfully,

Mrs .A. Smith

Unsatisfactory service bought on credit

1 Any Street
Any Town
30 April

The Manager
Credit Finance Ltd
Any Town

Dear Sir/Madam,

Unsatisfactory Service/Account No 111222333

On 15 April the ABC Double-Glazing Co fitted two double glazed windows to my house at a cost of £900 which I paid for on my credit card (or by credit arranged by the Company).

I have now discovered that they are fitted incorrectly with gaps around the frame letting rain and cold air into the house.

I have complained to the Company but I have received no reply.

Therefore as the service was paid for on credit and you have joint liability with the Company I am requesting a free repair from you.

I would be grateful if you would respond to my complaint within 14 days otherwise I shall discuss the matter with my local Trading Standards Service (or Citizens Advice Bureau).

Yours faithfully,

Mr. B. Smith