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© Ugur Akinci
When writing a letter to complain about a consumer product (or service), pay attention to the following points:
1] Control your anger. Never write in an aggressive, sarcastic, and libelous/insulting manner.
Don’t forget: the person reading your letter may have nothing to do with the product or service in question. Yet he or she may be important to make sure your letter reaches the right person or office. By insulting the reader you can close the door slam shut on an easy resolution of the issue.
2] Always keep a written and online copy (for emails) of your letter.
If you have a Gmail account, Gmail Documents is a good place to save a copy of your letter. Even when your hard disk crashes, you’ll still be able to reach to the copy through your Internet browser. Such copy may be crucial if and when you need to go to court to resolve the matter.
3] Include full information about yourself at the letterhead, including your name, last name, street address (much better than PO Box), phone number, and email address.
4] Make sure to mention all the specifics of the case and spell out your complaint clearly. For example if it is about a washing machine that broke down a week after you bought it, specify the store (with address) where you bought it; how much you paid for it; model name and number; catalog or SKU number; web-site link (if any); etc. Then write your complaint clearly:
“Despite the fact that the machine came with 1-YEAR warranty against all defects during normal use, it broke down the first time I tried to wash half a dozen socks and two shorts — which is way less than a normal load for the HeavenWash Model # 456-RU.”
5] Most importantly, tell the other party WHAT you want them to doabout the problem and WHEN you expect them to do it.
Be reasonable in your time estimate. If, for example, you want them to come to your house and replace the old machine with a new one, don’t give them a 24-hour ultimatum. Be reasonable and accept the fact that such an exchange will take at least a week or two.
However be very clear about when you expect them to send you a REPLY and what you intend to do if you do not hear from them.
If you wish you can send a copy of your complaint letter also to theConsumer Protection Agency of your state (if you live in the United States), province, or city. If you do, mention the fact in your letter as well.
6] Don’t forget: in every letter, the P.S. (Post Script) note that comes after the signature is the FIRST thing read after the header and the first sentence or two.
Therefore don’t hesitate to repeat your strongest message one more time in the P.S. note as well. That way you’ll make sure that your core message will definitely be read by the other party.