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Sample Consumer Complaint Letter

This sample complaint letter will help you provide all of the necessary information to file a complaint.

How to Use the Sample Complaint Letter

Use the sample consumer complaint letter below to draft a complaint letter or e-mail. You can also copy and paste your complaint into a company's "Contact Us" form.

Download the complaint letter in Word format.

Sample Complaint Letter and E-mail

[Your Address]
[Your City, State, ZIP]
(Your e-mail address, if sending via e-mail)


[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 refunded, 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 code].


Your name


Keys to an Effective Complaint Letter

  • Describe your purchase.
  • Include the name of the product and serial number.
  • Include the date and place of purchase.
  • State your problem.
  • Give the history of your purchase.
  • Ask for specific action.
  • Allow time for action.
  • State how you can be reached.
  • Enclose copies of your documents and receipts (but never send originals).
  • Keep copies of all your letters, faxes, e-mails, and related documents.

Tips for Filing a Complaint

When filing a complaint, remember these tips:

  • Remain calm. The person who can help probably didn't cause the problem.
  • Don't use an angry, threatening, or sarcastic tone.
  • State exactly what you want done about the problem.
  • Document each step, and keep copies.
  • Start with the seller first. You can resolve many problems by calling a company's toll-free number. Even on the phone, you should know the details of the complaint. You can use the sample letter below to jot down a few notes before you call. If necessary, ask to speak to a manager.
  • If that doesn't work, send a letter or e-mail to the manufacturer's national headquarters or consumer affairs office. Some experts suggest that a letter is the most effective method for contacting a company, so if e-mails and phone calls don't work, try mailing a letter.

Learn more about the steps to file a consumer complaint.

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