Want to know what to put in a complaint letter?

We asked Consumer Action to show us how.

We know: How to Write a Consumer Complaint Letter

If you have a consumer complaint, one of the most effective things you can do is write a complaint letter. Here are a few tips on who to write, and a sample letter you can use.

Tip 1:

Save all contracts, sales receipts, canceled checks, owner's manuals and warranty documents. To avoid problems, read and follow product and service instructions. The way you use or take care of a product might affect your warranty rights.

Tip 2:

The first step in resolving a consumer problem is usually to contact the business that sold you the item or performed the service. To go directly to the headquarters of the company, write the consumer affairs office or communicate with a manager or the president of the business. (Your local librarian can help you find out who to contact at the company.)

Sample Letter:

Your Address
Your City, State, Zip Code

Name of Contact Person, if available
Title, if available
Company Name
Consumer Complaint Division (If you have no specific contact.)
Street Address
City, State, Zip Code

Dear (Contact Person):

Re: (account number, if applicable)

On (date), I (bought, leased, rented, or had repaired) a (name of the
product, with serial or model number or service performed) at (location,
date and other important details of the transaction).

Unfortunately, your product (or service) has not performed well (or
the service was inadequate) because (state the problem). I am
disappointed because (explain the problem: for example, the product does
not work properly, the service was not performed correctly, I was billed
the wrong amount, something was not disclosed clearly or was
misrepresented, etc.).

To resolve the problem, I would appreciate your (state the specific
action you want - money back, charge card credit, repair, exchange, etc.)
Enclosed are copies (do not send originals) of my records (include
receipts, guarantees, warranties, canceled checks, contracts, model and
serial numbers, and any other documents).

I look forward to your reply and a resolution to my problem, and will
wait until (set a time limit) before seeking help from a consumer
protection agency or the Better Business Bureau. Please contact me at
the above address or by phone at (home and/or office numbers with area


Your name



  • describe purchase
  • name of product, serial number
  • include date and place of purchase
  • ask for specific action
  • enclose copies of documents
  • state problem
  • give history
  • allow time for action
  • state how you can be reached

Keep all copies of your letter, fax or e-mail, and all related documents.

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