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10 Point Plan For A Letter Of Complaint


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Random, I know.

Just having a break from defending people whose body hasn't even turned cold yet.

Thought some may find this useful - especially living in this age of crap/non-existant customer services!

The 10-point plan to the perfect letter of complaint


The Financial Services Authority is pushing ahead with plans to force companies to publish complaints figures every six months, with those who receive the most complaints having to reveal the percentage resolved within eight weeks.

But consumers will have to wait until July next year to view the first set of figures. In the meanwhile, Times Money has decided to name and shame the five companies it receives most complaints about.

If dreadful customer service drives you mad, don't just accept it, follow our ten tips to write the perfect letter of complaint.

1. Be clear about what you want

Before you start writing be clear in your mind why you are dissatisfied. Was it the way you were treated? A wrong decision? Defective goods? Then decide what you want to happen as a result of your letter. Are you after an apology or a refund? Do you want to highlight the proper service that should have been provided to you? Make sure you know precisely what it is you want to flag to the organisation and what you expect the addressee to do about it.

2. Stay calm

Make a cup of tea and start writing your letter in a relaxing, quiet environment. Don't let the emotion of the moment control you, and don't be afraid to use humour.

3. Know your rights

Complaints are best made with confidence: "I am entitled to...", not "I think I am entitled to...".

So make sure you understand your rights before you start and write with authority.

4. Personalise

Your letter should be addressed to a name- typically the customer services manager- rather than sir or 'Sir/Madam'.

5. Be specific

Make it easy for the organisation to recognise your case by including specifics, such as details of the product or service, the date of purchase, if appropriate, and names of staff you have dealt with. If you have a reference, agreement or account number, write it clearly at the top of your letter.

6. Send paperwork

State what evidence you have of your mistreatment- a receipt, or photos of a botched job, for example. Send photocopies of any relevant paperwork attached to your letter, but make sure you keep the originals yourself.

7. Keep it brief

Remember the person that will read your letter is likely to be busy and more prepared to deal with your problem if you make his or her life easier. Keep your complaint straightforward and to the point. Use bullet points and sub headings.

8. Template letters

For more ideas on how to word your letter you can follow a template. You might find the example letters from Consumer direct and Howtocomplain.com useful.

9. Track it

Send your letter recorded/special delivery or with proof of posting from the post office so you can check it has been received. Make sure you keep a copy a personal copy of your letter, too.

10. Be patient but persistent

If you do not get a reply to your letter write again after a reasonable time, say 7-14 days.

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An excellent use of media - this poor chap found his uitar broken by this airline, who refused to accept responsibility. So he wrote this song, posted it on You Tube and as a result of 3.5m people listening to it and acting - $180m were wiped off United Airlines shares!

And this is what resulted, what a nice guy!

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