Complaint letter samples
If talking it over doesn’t work, put it in writing. You may find it useful to use one of the sample letters below as a guide for writing a complaint letter.
Just change the letter to include the details for your situation. Remember to date the letter and keep a copy for your records.
General draft letter
<Your telephone number/s>
<Your email address>
<Contact / seller’s name> Note: If your dispute is with a franchise (chain store), write to the store you originally dealt with, and send a copy to its head office.
Dear <contact name>
Re: <Subject of your letter>
Outline the history of your complaint:
- for products – state what you bought, when, where, and for what price
- for services – state the work you had done, when, where, for what price, and by who
- quote relevant account, customer, invoice, or serial numbers.
State the problem you have with the product or service – for example, was the product faulty or unfit for the purpose you specified? Include the date you first became aware of the problem.
Indicate the steps you have taken to resolve the issue, such as times you have visited, phoned or written to the trader, and the names of people you have dealt with.
Indicate that you have attached or enclosed copies of any supporting documents, such as:
- photos of problems with the product or service
- prior correspondence
- receipts (or other proof of purchase)
- warranties or guarantees
- order forms.
Note: Send copies, not original documents. You may need these documents later if you take your complaint further.
If possible, get evidence such as an independent technical report to support your claim.
Clearly state how you would like your complaint resolved – for example, you want the trader or service provider to either:
- refund your money (or provide a credit note)
- repair the product
- replace the product
- fix the work (or pay for the work to be fixed by another service provider).
Give a reasonable timeframe for the trader to take action, such as 10 working days.
Optional addition: State that if you do not hear from the trader, you will take your complaint further (to the relevant complaints agency).
Include details of when and how you can be contacted.
<Your name (printed)>
Example refund request email
Example email requesting a refund for a faulty item bought online
On DATE, I bought a ‘stainless steel ladies watch with crystals’ (item no. 30045251777) from your eBay seller store, ‘NAME’.
I used the ‘Buy it now’ option and paid $49.95 plus $7.50 shipping via PayPal. My eBay username is NAME.
After wearing the watch for only one month, several of the crystals had fallen off. I emailed you about this on DATE, and received no response.
Now the watch has stopped working. It is my view that under Australian Consumer Law, this watch is:
· not of acceptable quality (a quality appropriate to the $49.95 I paid)
· not fit for purpose (it does not work).
Please see the attached photo of the broken watch, and a copy of my PayPal receipt.
I would like to return the watch to you, to see if it can be repaired. If you cannot repair it, I would like you to refund the cost of the watch and my return postage costs.
Please respond to my email within seven working days. If I do not hear from you, I will have no other option but to take my complaint further.
You can contact me on my mobile NUMBER.
What happens next?
If talking or writing doesn’t work, the next step is to find out who is responsible for the industry or practice you are having problems with. Often an industry has its own internal complaint resolution body. These organisations can help to resolve complaints or provide advice to consumers.
If you are not sure who to contact for your particular issue, contact Consumer Protection advice line by calling 1300 304 054 or sending an email.
If you still can’t reach an acceptable solution, you can make a formal complaint to Consumer Protection.
Find out what happens when you make a complaint.
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