So you’ve been offended at work or by a bad product/services, part of you wants to blow hot, really hot, but what will that accomplish? Rather than raise dust which will eventually settle, how about you file a letter of complaint about it for a productive outcome. 

This type of letter written to address any type of wrong-doing, offense, grievance, resentment arising out of a product, service, etc. It is used to raise your concern about unfair things and seek redress.

If you’re unfamiliar with how a complaint letter should look, visit formplus and take a look at any complaint letter sample that suits your purpose. Each type of complaint has its own complaint letter format.

Tips for Writing an Effective Complaint Letter 

  • Start off politely

Manners really matter. Your recipients are more likely to give attention to cordial letters. On the other hand, letters containing threats and ALL UPPERCASE are responded to with the bare minimum. Or not at all. 

If your Letter contains any kind of profanity, it is likely to be ignored, and some that may be considered threatening are handed over to law enforcement. The most effective e-mails and letters are very short averaging about 500 words tops. They include all the details necessary to track your problem.


  • Ask a question

Your request should be in the form of a question. The question should tow the lines of “How do you fix this?”. State exactly what you want to be done and how long you’re willing to wait for a response. Another key phrase format is “I wish to complain in the strongest terms about”. The question should be clear and easy to understand. It also helps if it’s genuine and void of sarcasm. 

  • Explain the problem

You should indicate your reasons for writing the letter. Highlight the facts which include the time, date and where you purchased or received the services. The reader should be able to get the point on reading the first few sentences hence it is important not to beat about the bush. Explain yourself well and be detailed to capture the reader’s attention.

  • Don’t blame the person you are dealing with

While writing your letter, it is important that you remain courteous at all times. No matter how justified your complaint may be, do not allow your letter to become angry, sarcastic, or threatening. Bear in mind that the person that reads your letter will often not be the person responsible for the problem.

  • Show them you are in the know

The best chance your complaint gets a fair shake is if you can convince the company that it didn’t follow its own rules or broke the law. If your complaint letter fails to bring about the results that you hoped for, consider writing another letter with a firmer tone, or try writing to someone higher up in the chain of command.

Types of Complaint Letter 

  • Formal Complaint Letter

This is a letter that you use to communicate your concerns and voice your issues to the authorities. A formal complaint is backed by a legal document that sets out the facts and legal reasons that you believe are sufficient to support your claims against a party that entitles you to a remedy for the damages caused. 


A formal letter of complaint is one of the best ways to complain about something such as a product or service so that necessary action is taken on it

  • Product & Service Complaint Letter  

This kind of letter is written by a consumer to a manufacturer or retailer regarding a problem with a product or service. The aggrieved customer writes a product consumer complaint letter to the concerned authority in an organization to inform them about the poor performance of a product or to complain about the delivery of the defective/damaged goods. 


In drafting such a letter, it is advisable to make it brief and to the point and state exactly what you want to be done about the problem and how long you are committed to waiting to get it resolved.

You could follow these easy steps:

  1. Mention the item purchased with specifications, date of purchase, and warranty.
  2. Explain the problem faced with the product.
  3. Mention if the problem is persistent.
  4. Conclude by requesting that the concerned authority either repair the product suitably or replace it 
  5. If the repairs that are undertaken aren’t satisfactory, play the warranty card. 
  • Employee Complaint Letter

For starters, the Employee complaint letter can be written by two people: the employer and the employee. As an employee, if you want to make a formal complaint about something which has happened at work, you should raise a grievance.

A few tips you could use when drafting an Employee complaint letter include:

  • Identify exactly the kind of workplace harassment that took place.
  • Write down the details about the harassment.
  • Introduce yourself and your purpose.
  • Present the facts of the harassment.
  • Explain in great detail how you responded.
  • Proffer a solution to the issue.
  • Avoid using offensive language.

How to Write a Complaint Letter (Etiquette & Sample)

Step 1: Start off with a greeting

When writing a complaint letter, it is important that it is addressed to the relevant authority. The letter of complaint is channeled to the customer care department or Human Resource person, whichever is the case. This is because the main function of customer care/ HR support is to deal with whatever issues the customers may have. If you have a contact person, you can start the letter with an address like Dear Sir/Ma/ Ma’am/ or Dear Mr/Miss/Ms./Mrs.

Step 2: Explain what you’re complaining about

Give details about the reason for your complaint. You want to be as straightforward as possible in this step because not everyone has time to go through the details of a super long letter. So start with something like; I’m writing to complain about the poorly packaged delivery I got from your logistics chain on the 18th of October 202X

Step 3: If you’ve taken any prior steps, here’s the time to share that

You may have visited the store, called, or sent a prior email before writing this complaint letter. After explaining the reason for your complaint, succinctly explain what steps you took in rectifying the situation and how it still didn’t resolve your issues with the product/service. As you follow up on a conversation, be sure to say who you spoke with and confirm the details of your discussion.

Step 4: Attach copies of relevant supporting documents

Attach copies of the necessary and relevant documents. This may include receipts, warranties, cheques, pictures, videos if there are any. This is important as it makes your complaint legit. Ensure to include in your letter the exact documents you are attaching. Just ensure that you only send a copy of the files so it doesn’t get lost and that you still have the originals for further reference.

Step 5: How and when do you want this issue resolved?

If you can convince the company that it didn’t follow its own rules or broke the law, your complaint has a better chance of getting looked into. Express what action you want to be taken in relation to the complaint that you have made. Would you prefer to receive a discount, a refund, a repair or a replacement? It is important to state the time in which you want your issue resolved. This will help your issue be solved in the soonest time possible. The period you are providing should be realistic to avoid an unreasonable clash between you and the company.


Step 6: Sign off with your name and contact information

Included in the complaint letter should be your contact information to enable those receiving your complaints to reach out to you towards resolving the issue. Also, do well to conclude your letter in a respectful manner. Like your typical formal letter, finish your letter by closing with yours faithfully.

Tired of getting complaint letters?  Sign Up on Formplus to create an online complaint form. Embed it on your website to get customers complaints seamlessly

5 Complaint Letter Sample for Everyday Use

Complaint Letter Sample for Poor Service 

To write a complaint against poor service, you should start by contacting the company against which you have a complaint. Mail the manager to report bad customer service you have received from an employee. If you are dealing with a large company and the direct mail of the manager is not available immediately, you can always mail the HR.


The Manager (Job designation…)

Company/Organization name…


Sub: Complaint Letter for Poor Services

Dear (name),

I regret to state that I’ve had a gym membership card for about five years now (More/less) but unfortunately I found great trouble with the new instructor the day before yesterday (Date: dd/mm/yy). I usually have private paid sessions with the instructor from 7 am to 8 am. For whatever reason, he was having a session with another group during my time (Write your actual problem and situation)

Sir, I wasn’t able to have my session and had to go home to meet other pressing engagements. The new instructor didn’t even offer as much as an apology for his conduct.

I believe it is in your best interest to please take strict action regarding the above-mentioned matter.

With thanks,

Your name…


Contact no. and signature…

Complaint Letter Sample for Bad Product 

Say you have used a product and you suspect it did you a disservice and/or the product was damaged or bad, and you seek redress. To help move the issue along, and resolve it in good faith, one often must compose a complaint letter. Here’s a sample to get your grievances sorted in record time.

Peter Burke

5 Allen Avenue,

Maryland, CA 34555

October 7, 2019

Keri Hilson


Mansard Manufacturing

14 Bing Street.

Maryland, CA 34555

Re: Purchase of spoiled goods

Dear Miss Hilson:

This letter is to bring to your notice concerning the purchase of spoiled goods on October 5, 2019.

At the point of purchase, I was assured the goods would be fresh upon arrival. Instead, they were delivered spoiled. I have attached a photo as well as the delivery receipt.

I would love for you to look into this matter, and either refund my purchase or send out another supply.

Thank you for attending to the above matter. Do feel free to contact me at any time: 555-6868;


Peter Burke

Enclosures: Photo and receipt

Complaint Letter Sample for Harassment

No one is required to tolerate harassment in the workplace and if it happens, a complaint letter to a supervisor or human resources person will be in order. A reminder that a harassment complaint letter is only written by an individual who is harassed due to a circumstance, incident, or unacceptable behavior from another individual. This sample provides the bare minimum as you seek justice.

Name of Victim 

Address of Victim 

Phone Number of Victim 

Name of Recipient 

Designation of Recipient 

Name of Organization 

Address of Organization 


Dear Name of Recipient: 

I write this letter to inform you about the inappropriate groping and sexual advances I’ve suffered at the hands of the Name of the Harasser. I hold the position of POSITION in the company and have been employed for five years, and my work ethic has never been called into question. 

The harassment began on DATE when I was first transferred to this department and he said he was attracted to me. It has continued almost every day since. 

On DATE he sent me an email that said I should meet up with him after work. 

On DATE he sent a voicemail that said he would love to make sweet love to me in the bathroom stall. 

I reported to my immediate supervisor about the situation after the second incident but the Name of Harasser has not stopped. While most of the advances have been verbal, I have the recordings of two voicemails and one email from the Name of the Harasser. I also have two witnesses, Name of Witness one and Name of Witness two, who have witnessed the harassment. 

I want to bring to your notice that I am undergoing emotional trauma and embarrassment at work. The harassment is affecting my relationship with my Husband and is affecting my performance at work.

I implore that you please take up the matter and take any necessary action. 

Yours Sincerely, 

Signature of Victim 

Name of Victim 

Employee Complaint Letter Sample to HR 

Rotten behavior among employees can cause irreparable damage to a company in the long run. The best way to stop such dirty behavior that would otherwise rotten a company is to write an HR complaint letter. Is your boss threatening your job if you don’t “see things his way?” Is a coworker sabotaging you or worse? Write to HR. Here’s a sample to set you on your way.

Dear [HR],

My name is [name] and I have been working as [a secretary] for the past [3 years]. I am proud and happy to do my bit by offering assistance to my senior colleague. Sadly, this wonderful experience is being ruined because of a single employee: [employee name].

I’ve explored all other options prior to writing this letter and I find myself forced to resort to the human resources department for a resolution.

His/Her] continuous misbehavior and lack of conduct are just too much to cope with. It’s affecting my performance and hindering me from doing my work. [Give examples here. What, when, and where it happened? Support your case with numbers, dates and facts.]

I ask for your immediate intervention to find a solution to this problem and to establish a professional, friendly, and productive environment for all of us.

Thank you very much for your understanding.

Best Regards

Complaint Letter Sample to Management

It is frustrating when your manager seems to have a “thing” on you that you can’t explain. When writing a letter complaining about said manager’s behavior, you need to ensure that you have your name, address, the name of the manager and the account of events laid out. Especially since you addressing it to the upper echelon of the organization. This sample covers all the areas required.


Manager Operations,

Company/Institute name…

Address/Branch Address…

Sub: Complaint Letter against Manager

Respected sir,

I hope this letter meets you well. Sir, I work in your company in the research department (Department name) for the past 2/4/6 (More/less) years. The subject of my letter is actually a complaint about our department manager. (Describe your problems and situation). 

I write on behalf of the entire department. We face a number of challenges as his behavior to us is very rude and uncouth. We can’t concentrate on doing our work with his presence. He treats us like slaves in his opinion are worthless. Kindly just change our manager or at least give him a stern warning. The staff of the department will be very grateful if this is done.

Sincerely Yours,

Your name…

Job Designation…

Department Name…

4 Online Complaint Form Template to Use

This workplace harassment form template can be used by an organization to allow employees and customers to report sexual, bullying, and disrespectful incidents in the workplace.  It can easily be embedded in the company handbook or website. This employee harassment form template is great for HR personnel, employers, and company managers. It is important because Workplace harassment, whether it happens in person or online, is an issue impacting businesses.

The online complaint form template is used to receive customer complaints or employee feedback about your business or services. You can customize the ready-made form to suit your brand and embed the link on your website, social media pages or simply let customers scan QR code to give you the needed feedback. You can use this complaint form in any type of business.

With the Customer Satisfaction Survey Template, you can measure customer satisfaction when you find out what they really think about your product or service. Understanding how your customers feel about your products helps you know what areas you’re are doing well as well as those you need to improve on. You can customize this customer satisfaction template or create your own with our intuitive drag and drop online form builder.

The Hotel Feedback Form Template helps you to improve the standards of your hotel or guest houses by allowing customers to provide feedback about your hotel service. You can embed this hotel feedback form on your hotel booking site or send it to your customers’ email after they check out. With it, guests share freely their opinions, reviews & experience.


Complaint Letters are used to raise your concerns about unfair things and seek a productive outcome. While writing one, remember to use the correct tone to write a complaint letter and avoid being emotional in your letter.

In business, the purpose of a complaint letter in business is to get rectification and replacement and not finding fault. The recipient of a complaint letter should be willing to attend to genuine complaints with an open mind. The best bet for the recipient is not to react immediately either orally or in writing, but to actually make an inquest.

  • busayo.longe
  • on 14 min read


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