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Complaint letter software problem

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Complaint letter software problem
January 07, 2019 1st Anniversary Wishes No comments

This template will help when writing complaint letters to companies to let them know of the issues you are having and to seek their help in resolving the issue.

Complaint letter is a type of letter which is written when something wrong or bothersome is required to be brought to people’s attention. Therefore, it is very important to follow a set of guidelines to make sure that this letter points out the issue or problem at hand without sounding whiny and childish. The letters that this write-up talks about are not specific to any domain or industry; these can be written by people, institutions and even organizations. Be it a newspaper article that has hurt your feelings or a Government plan that you don’t approve of or even an event that you don’t think is being conducted in the right manner, complaint letters can cover a plethora of issues. Not only that, such letters can be both closed and open; while a closed letter is available only to the addressee, an open letter is addressed to one person but is presented via such a medium that is open for all. Common examples of open letters can be found on internet blogs and newspaper editorials etc. These are often addressed to people in power like the president or prime-minister etc. Irrespective of the addressee, however, such letters have an etiquette that must be known and followed by all. The following section sheds some light on how to write a complaint letter.

Tips On Writing A Complaint Letter

    • Clearly mention the facts explaining the reason of writing the letter.
    • Explicate the problems which you are undergoing and mention the names of the people involved. Make sure you have sufficient proof for naming these people or else this letter and the underlying accusations might just backfire.
    • Always stick to the point and mention the problems openly and truthfully. Do not talk about your assumptions in the beginning of the letter; there would be ample time in the second half of the letter for that.
    • Understand that you are complaining to the addressee because s/he is in a position to help you so don’t get informal; maintain the professionalism and make sure that your letter is error-free.
    • After mentioning the issue/problem, write about all that you have done so far to deal with the problem at your end. This would convey your commitment to the people you are writing to.
    • Follow up the explanation of the problem and your efforts so far with a possible course of action that can be taken to deal with the issue. Try being realistic here as the recipients may not be as vindictive as you are.
    • Do not use very complex language in framing this letter. Just like every other letter, even a complaint letter must be kept very simple, precise and appropriately descriptive.
    • Always sum up your complaint letter with a very formal “Sincerely” or “Yours Sincerely” followed by your name, contact number and other details relevant to get back to you when the complaint is acted upon.

Preparations Preceding A Complaint Letter

    • Before writing a complaint letter, ensure that you have the appropriate facts for complaining.
    • Edit the letter after writing and also use spellchecker to make your complaint letter error-free.
    • Keep one copy of the complaint letter for your records.
    • If you don’t get a positive response then write another letter by putting emphasis on your subject in a firmer tone or write to some other senior person in that particular department or the organization.

Example 1

From,
Mr. Rajesh Narula
Project Manager
XYZ Company Limited, New Delhi
Email ID: [email protected]

To,
Mr. Akash Mehra
Manager
XYZ Company Limited, New Delhi
8th November, 2011

Subject: Poor Facilities

Dear Mr. Mehra,

This is to inform you about the inconvenience faced by the employees because of poor working conditions. Our repeated verbal complaints about the inadequate air conditioning units in our Department have yielded no results. I am sure you can understand how this can affect the work productivity of the team.

I request you to kindly look into the problem immediately and take suitable action.

Thanking You
Yours Sincerely
Rajesh Narula

Example 2

To,
The Dean,
Academic Department,
International University of Information Security Management,
Virginia,
United States of America.

Subject: Complaint regarding non-availability of pilot journals in the library

Hello Sir,

I am a research scholar of the Information Security Management faculty in your university. It has been four months since the commencement of the course and till now we have none of the pilot research journals available in our international library. It was notified at the beginning of the course that some of the pilot journals may not be available due to some renovation work going on at the library journal section. But most of them were supposed to be replaced by their recent issues.

However, till date, there has been no such replenishment of the library stock and the management journal section still lacks the basic amenities required for the successful completion of our course. All our requests to the library in-charge have been in vain so far. It would be great if you could look into the matter and consider our appeal as early as possible.

Thanking You
Yours Truly
Michael

Above mentioned were examples of two closed letters i.e. letters meant only for the recipient’s eyes. However, there are instances when a newspaper or a weekly carries an article that hurts our religious sentiments or other beliefs. In such a case, you can address the letter to the editor-in-chief of the journal/newspaper in question and state your issue clearly. You can follow this up with explaining how and why you feel let down. The same format can be followed against certain Government policies that you do not approve of. You can address the letter to the president, prime-minister,cChief minister, governor or even the senator of your constituency, depending upon the issue and the legislative hierarchy of your country. All such letters can be signed off as written by “A concerned citizen”, if you want them to be anonymous. However, if you have no such qualms, then you can provide all the details you require. These were the basic guidelines for writing complaint letters. Hope they helped.

Put your complaint in writing to the lawyer or law firm concerned. Clearly write ' Formal say when this was [give the date or dates when the problem occurred].

FREE Sample Complaint Letters

complaint letter software problem

Here are simple tips, templates and examples for writing good complaints letters. This approach to complaints letter-writing is effective for private consumers and for business-to-business customers who seek positive outcomes from writing letters of complaint. The principles apply to complaints emails and phone calls too, although letters remain generally the most reliable and effective way to complain, especially for serious complaints.

Imagine you are the person receiving customers' letters of complaints. This helps you realise that the person reading your letter is a real human being with feelings, trying to do their job to the best of their abilities. Your letter should encourage them to respond positively and helpfully to the complaint. No matter how mad you feel, aggression and confrontation does not encourage a helpful reaction to complaints.

Good complaints letters with the above features tend to produce better outcomes:

These complaints methods are based on cooperation, relationships, constructive problem-solving, and are therefore transferable to phone and face-to-face complaints.

(Please note that UK English tends to prefer the spelling ISE in words such as apologise, organise, etc., whereas US English prefers IZE. Obviously in your letters use the appropriate spelling for your particular audience.)

Additional UK Consumer Protection Regulations became effective on 26 May 2008.

Whether you are are complaining as a consumer or responding to consumer complaints, these far-reaching new regulations which might affect your position.

Here is a summary of these regulations and their implications.


Concise letters

We all receive too many communications these days, especially letters. People in complaints departments receive more letters than most, and cannot read every letter fully. The only letters that are read fully are the most concise, clear, compact letters. Letters that ramble or are vague will not be read properly. So it's simple - to be acted upon, first your letter must be read. To be read your letter must be concise. A concise letter of complaint must make its main point in less than five seconds. The complaint letter may subsequently take a few more seconds to explain the situation, but first the main point must be understood in a few seconds.

Structuring the letter is important. Think in terms of the acronym AIDA - attention, interest, desire, action. This is the fundamental process of persuasion. It's been used by the selling profession for fifty years or more. It applies to letters of complaints too, which after all, are letters of persuasion. The complaint letter attempts to persuade the reader to take action.

Structure your letter so that you include a heading - which identifies the issue and name of product, service, person, location, with code or reference number if applicable.

Then state the simple facts, with relevant dates and details.

Next state what you'd like to happen - a positive request for the reader to react to.

Include also, (as a sign-off point is usually best), something complimentary about the organization and/or its products, service, or people. For example:

"I've long been a user of your products/services and up until now have always regarded you are an excellent supplier/organization. I have every faith therefore that you will do what you can to rectify this situation."

Even if you are very angry, it's always important to make a positive, complimentary comment. It will make the reader and the organization more inclined to 'want' to help you. More about this below.

If the situation is very complex with a lot of history, it's a good idea to keep the letter itself very short and concise, and then append or attach the details, in whatever format is appropriate (photocopies, written notes, explanation, etc). This enables the reader of the letter to understand the main point of the complaint, and then to process it, without having to read twenty pages of history and detail.

The main point is, do not bury your main points in a long letter about the problem. Make your main points first in a short letter, and attach the details.

Authoritative complaints letters have credibility and carry more weight

An authoritative letter is especially important for serious complaints or one with significant financial implications. What makes a letter authoritative? Professional presentation, good grammar and spelling, firmness and clarity. Using sophisticated words (providing they are used correctly) - the language of a broadsheet newspaper rather than a tabloid - can also help to give your letter a more authoritative impression. What your letter looks like, its presentation, language and tone, can all help to establish your credibility - that you can be trusted and believed, that you know your facts, and that you probably have a point.

So think about your letter layout - if writing as a private consumer use a letterhead preferably - ensure the name and address details of the addressee are correct, include the date, keep it tidy, well-spaced, and print your name under your signature.

If you copy the letter to anyone show that this has been done (normally by using the abbreviation 'c.c.' with the names of copy letter recipients and their organizations if appropriate, beneath the signature.) If you attach other pages of details or photocopies, or enclose anything else such as packaging, state so on the letter (normally by using the abbreviation 'enc.' the foot of the page).

When people read letters, rightly or wrongly they form an impression about the writer, which can affect response and attitude. Writing a letter that creates an authoritative impression is therefore helpful.


Complaints letters must include all the facts

In the organization concerned, you need someone at some stage to decide a course of action in response to your letter, that will resolve your complaint. For any complaint of reasonable significance, the solution will normally involve someone committing organizational resources or cost. Where people commit resources or costs there needs to be proper accountability and justification. This is generally because organizations of all sorts are geared to providing a return on investment. Resolving your complaint will involve a cost or 'investment' of some sort, however small, which needs justifying. If there's insufficient justification, the investment needed to solve the problem cannot be committed. So ensure you provide the relevant facts, dates, names, and details, clearly. Make sure you include all the necessary facts that will justify why your complaint should resolved (according to your suggestion assuming you make one).

But be brief and concise. Not chapter and verse. Just the key facts, especially dates and reference numbers.

For example:

"The above part number 1234 was delivered to xyz address on 00/00/00 date and developed abc fault on 00/00/00 date..."


Constructive letters and suggestions make complaints easier to resolve

Accentuate the positive wherever possible. This means presenting things in a positive light. Dealing with a whole load of negative statements is not easy for anyone, especially customer service staff, who'll be dealing with mostly negative and critical communication all day. Be different by being positive and constructive. State the facts and then suggest what needs to be done to resolve matters. If the situation is complex, suggest that you'll be as flexible as you can in helping to arrive at a positive outcome. Say that you'd like to find a way forward, rather than terminate the relationship. If you tell them that you're taking your business elsewhere, and that you're never using them again, etc., then there's little incentive for them to look for a good outcome. If you give a very negative, final, 'unsavable' impression, they'll treat you accordingly. Suppliers of all sorts work harder for people who stay loyal and are prepared to work through difficulties, rather than jump ship whenever there's a problem. Many suppliers and organizations actually welcome complaints as opportunities to improve (which they should do) - if yours does, or can be persuaded to take this view, it's very well worth sticking with them and helping them to find a solution. So it helps to be seen as a positive and constructive customer rather than a negative, critical one. It helps for your complaint to be seen as an opportunity to improve things, rather than an arena for confrontation and divorce.


Write letters with a friendly and complimentary tone

It may be surprising to some, but threatening people generally does not produce good results.

This applies whether you are writing, phoning or meeting face-to-face.

A friendly complimentary approach encourages the other person to reciprocate - they'll want to return your faith, build the relationship, and keep you as a loyal customer or user of their products or services. People like helping nice friendly people. People do not find it easy to help nasty people who attack them.

This is perhaps the most important rule of all when complaining. Be kind to people and they will be kind to you. Ask for their help - it's really so simple - and they will want to help you.

Contrast a friendly complimentary complaint letter with a complaint letter full of anger and negativity: readers of angry bitter letters are not naturally inclined to want to help - they are more likely to retreat, make excuses, defend, or worse still to respond aggressively or confrontationally. It's human nature.

Also remember that the person reading the letter is just like you - they just want to do a good job, be happy, to get through the day without being upset. What earthly benefit will you get by upsetting them? Be nice to people. Respect their worth and motives. Don't transfer your frustration to them personally - they've not done anything to upset you. They are there to help. The person reading the letter is your best ally - keep them on your side and they will do everything they can to resolve the problem - it's their job.

Try to see things from their point of view. Take the trouble to find out how they work and what the root causes of the problems might be.

This friendly approach is essential as well if you cannot resist the urge to pick up the phone and complain. Remember that the person at the other end is only trying to do their job, and that they can only work within the policy that has been issued to them. Don't take it out on them - it's not their fault.

In fact, complaints are best and quickest resolved if you take the view that it's nobody's fault. Attaching blame causes defensiveness - the barriers go up and conflict develops.

Take an objective view - it's happened, for whatever reason; it can't be undone, now let's find out how it can best be resolved. Try to take a cooperative, understanding, objective tone. Not confrontational; instead you and them both looking at the problem from the same side.

If you use phrases like - "I realise that mistakes happen..."; "I'm not blaming anyone...."; "I'm sure this is a rare problem...", your letter (or phone call) will be seen as friendly, non-threatening, and non-confrontational. This relaxes the person at the other end, and makes them more inclined to help you, because you are obviously friendly and reasonable.

The use of humour often works wonders if your letter is to a senior person. Humour dissipates conflict, and immediately attracts attention because it's different. A bit of humour in a complaint letter also creates a friendly, intelligent and cooperative impression. Senior people dealing with complaints tend to react on a personal level, rather than a procedural level, as with customer services departments. If you brighten someone's day by raising a smile there's a good chance that your letter will be given favourable treatment.

Returning faulty products

Check contracts, receipts, invoices, packaging, etc., for collection and return procedures and follow them.

When complaining, particularly about expensive items, it's not helpful to undermine your position by failing to follow any reasonable process governing faulty or incorrect products. You may even end up with liability for the faulty product if the supplier is able to claim that you've been negligent in some way.

For certain consumer complaints it's helpful to return packaging, as this enables the organization to check production records and correct problems if still present. If in doubt phone the customer services department to find out what they actually need you to return.

Product returns for business-to-business complaints will initially be covered by the supplier's terms and conditions of sale. Again take care not to create a liability for yourself by failing to follow reasonable processes, (for example leaving a computer out in the yard in the pouring rain by way of incentive for the supplier to collect, is not generally a tactic bound to produce a successful outcome).

Use recorded and insured post where appropriate.

Complaints letter template


name and address (eg., for the customer services department, or CEO)

date

Dear Sir or Madam (or name)

heading with relevant reference numbers

(Optional, especially if writing to a named person) ask for the person's help, eg "I'd really appreciate your help with this."

State facts of situation, including dates, names, reference numbers, but keep this very concise and brief (append details, history, photocopies if applicable, for example if the situation is very complex and has a long history).

State your suggested solution. If the situation and solution is complex, state also that you'll be as flexible as you can to come to an agreed way forward.

(Optional, and normally worth including) state some positive things about your normal experience with the organization concerned, for example: that you've no wish to go elsewhere and hope that a solution can be found; compliment any of their people who have given good service; compliment their products and say that normally you are very happy with things.

State that you look forward to hearing from them soon and that you appreciate their help.

Yours faithfully (if not sent to a named person) or sincerely (if sent to a named person)

Your signature

Your printed name (and title/position if applicable)

c.c. (plus names and organizations, if copying the letter to anyone)

enc. (if enclosing something, such as packaging or attachments)


Complain by phone - or write a letter of complaint?

Obviously if a situation needs resolving urgently you must phone, but that's different to complaining. When something goes wrong the the temptation is often to get on the phone straight away, and give someone 'a piece of your mind' about whatever has disappointed or annoyed you, but phoning to complain in this way is rarely a good idea. This is because:

  • 'Heat of the moment' complaints almost always produce confrontation, emotion, and misunderstanding, which are not conducive to the cooperation necessary for good solutions and outcomes.
  • For organizations to handle complaints properly they need to be able to deal with facts and written records. Written details are essential to their complaints processing, and a letter is a far more reliable way of communicating these things than a verbal phone exchange.
  • You will need a your own record of the complaint to establish accountability, responsibility, that you have actually complained, when you complained, and to whom. Telephone conversations do not automatically create a record. With a phone complaint there is nothing for you to refer back to; no copies can be produced when and if you need to follow up the complaint.
  • A letter gives you the chance to present your case in the best possible way. Telephone conversations can quickly get out of control.
  • Writing a letter helps you to calm down and do things properly. Calling people immediately on the phone often fuels your emotions, especially if the person at the other end isn't good at handling you. When you lose control of your emotions you lose control of the situation, your credibility, clarity, cooperation, goodwill and objectivity; all of which you need if you want to achieve the best possible outcome.
  • For very serious matters you should be using recorded or registered post, which effectively guarantees that your letter reaches the recipient. There is of course no equivalent by telephone.

Where should you send letters of complaints?

If the organization has a customer services department at their head office this is the first place to start. The department will be geared up to dealing with complaints letters, and your complaint should be processed quickly with the others they'll receive because that's the job of a customer services department. This is especially the case for large organizations. Sending initial complaints letters to managing directors and CEO's will only be referred by their PA staff to the customer services department anyway, with the result of immediately alienating the customer services staff, because you've 'gone over their heads'.

The trick of sending a copy letter to the CEO - and showing this on the letter to the customer services department - is likely to have the same effect. Keep your powder dry until you need it.

You can generally find the address of the customer services department on (where appropriate) product packaging, invoices, websites, and other advertising and communications materials produced by the organization concerned. Local branches, if applicable, will also have the details.

If your complaint is one which has not been satisfactorily resolved by the normal customer services or complaints department, then you should refer the matter upwards, and ultimately, when you've run out of patience, to the top - the company CEO or MD.

The higher the level of the person you are writing to, the more need to make your letter clear, concise, authoritative, etc. When referring complaints upwards always attach copies of previous correspondence.

If departmental managers and functional directors fail to give you satisfaction, get the top person's name and address from the customer services department. If this is not possible, call the organization's head office and ask for the Chief Executive's PA. Very large organizations will often have a whole team that looks after the CEO's correspondence, so don't worry if you can't speak to the PA her/himself - all you need at this stage is the name and address of the person at the top. You don't need to give a reason for writing, and you certainly don't need to go into detail about the complaint itself because the person you'll be speaking with won't be responsible for dealing with it. Just say: "I'm writing to the Chief Executive - would you give me the name and address please?" And that's all you say. Only the most clandestine organization will refuse to give the details you need (in which case forget about complaining and find another supplier).

Where to complain if the person at the top fails to satisfy your complaint

If you have exhausted all avenues of complaint at the organization itself, and you are determined not to let matters go, you must then find the appropriate higher authority or regulatory body.

However, first sit down and think hard about whether your complaint and expectations are realistic. If you are too emotional about things to be objective, ask a friend or colleague for their interpretation. If you decide that you truly are getting a raw deal, next think seriously about whether to forget it - to take the FIDO approach (forget it and drive on) - for the sake of your own peace of mind. Some battles just aren't worth the fight. Could the energy you'd use in pursuing the complaint be better used to resolving the situation in a different way? Plenty of people spend lots of time and money pursuing a complaint, which they win in the end, but which costs them too dearly along the way. If the personal and emotional cost is likely to be too great, be philosophical about it; FIDO.

Having said all that, if your complaint does warrant a personal crusade, and some things are certainly worth fighting for, very many organizations are subject to a higher authority, to which you can refer your complaint.

Public services organizations - schools, councils, etc - will be part of a local government and ultimately central government hierarchy. In these structures, regional and central offices should have customer services departments to which you can refer your complaints about the local organization that's disappointed you.

Utilities and other major service organizations - for example in the energy, communications, water, transport sectors - generally have regulatory bodies which are responsible for handling unresolved complaints about the providers that they oversee. At this stage you will need clear records of everything that's happened.

Unresolved complaints about companies that are part of a larger group can be referred to the group or parent company head office. Some are more helpful than others, but generally group and parent companies are concerned if their subsidiaries are not looking after dissatisfied customers properly.

Generally look for the next level up - the regulatory body, the central office, the parent company - the organization that owns, controls or oversees the organization with which you are dissatisfied.

Sample complaints letters

These simple letters examples show the format and style of effective complaints letters. While the samples deal with relatively simple minor situations, the same format can be used for more serious complex problems and complaints. Remember, don't attempt to put every detail into the letter. Keep the letter concise, short and simple; use attachments, photocopies of previous correspondence, reports, etc., to provide the background.


Complaints letter example: faulty product

(use letterheaded paper showing home/business address and phone number)

name and address (of customer service department)

date

Dear Sirs

Faulty (xyz) product

I'm afraid that the enclosed (xyz) product doesn't work. It is the third one I've had to return this month (see attached correspondence).

I bought it from ABC stores at Newtown, Big County on (date).

I was careful to follow the instructions for use, honestly.

Other than the three I've had to return recently, I've always found your products to be excellent.

I'd be grateful if you could send a replacement and refund my postage (state amount).

I really appreciate your help.

Yours faithfully

signature

J Smith (Mrs)

Enc.



Complaints letter example - poor service

(use letterheaded paper showing home/business address and phone number)

name and address (for example to a service manager)

date

Dear (name)

Outstanding service problem - contract ref (number)

I really need your help with this.

Your engineer (name if appropriate) called for the third time in the past ten days to repair our (machine and model) at the above address, and I am still without a working machine.

He was unable to carry out the repair once more because the spare part (type/description/ref) was again not compatible. (I attach copies of the service visit reports.)

Your engineers have been excellent as always, but without the correct parts they can't do the job required.

Can I ask that you look into this to ensure that the next service visit, arranged for (date), resolves the matter.

Please telephone me to let me know how you'd like to deal with this.

When the matter is resolved I'd be grateful for a suitable refund of some of my service contract costs.

I greatly appreciate your help.

Yours sincerely

signature

J Smith (Mrs)

Enc.


Responding to customer complaints and complaints letters

Responding to complaints letters is of course a different matter than doing the complaining.

If you are in a customer service position of any sort, and you receive complaints from customers, consider the following:

Firstly it is important to refer to, and be aware of, and be fully versed in your organisation's policies and procedures for dealing with customer complaints. If your organisation does not have a procedure for complaints handling then you should suggest that it produces one. And publishes it to all staff and customers. For large, complex supply or service arrangements, and for large customer accounts, it is normal and sensible for specific 'service level agreements' (SLA's) to be negotiated and published on an individual customer basis. Again, if none exists, do your best to help to establish them - your customers will thank you.

It is essential to refer to the standards and published deliverables relating to the particular complaint. Your response needs to be sympathetic, but also needs to reflect the responsibility and accountability that your organisation bears in relation to the complaint. All organisations should have a policy for dealing with complaints, especially where the complaint is justified and results from a failure to deliver a service or product to a stated and agreed quality, specification, cost or timescale. Your organisation ideally should also have guidelines for dealing with complaints that might not justified; ie., where the customer's complaint is based on an expectation that is beyond or outside what was agreed or stated in whatever constitutes the supply contract. Matters such as these, in which a complaint might not be justified, generally require pragmatic judgement since the cost and implications of resolving such matters can be significant and far-reaching.

Aside from the judgement about solutions, remedial action, or compensation, etc., it is always vital to respond to all complaints with empathy and sympathy. Remember that the person on the other end of the phone, or the writer of the complaint letter, is another human being, trying to do the best they can, with the same pressures and challenges that you have. Respect the other person. Focus on the issues and solutions, not the personality or the emotion.

You should therefore always demonstrate a willingness, and the capability, to understand a customer's feelings and situation, whether or not you actually agree with their stand-point. The demonstration of empathic understanding goes a long long way towards soothing a customer's anger and disappointment, even if you are unable to provide a response which fully meets their expectations or their initial demands.

Use phrases like, "Oh dear, I understand that must be very upsetting for you," rather than "Yes, I agree, you've been badly treated." You can understand without necessarily agreeing. There is a difference, moreover, angry and upset people need mainly to be understood.

For this reason, all communications with complaining customers must be very sympathetic and understanding. An understanding tone should also be used in writing response letters to customer complaints, and in dealing with any failure to meet expectations, whether the customer's expectations are realistic and fair, or not.

Here is a simple template example of a response letter to a customer complaint. There are many ways to alter it. Use it as a guide.

Before sending any response letter ensure that you satisfy yourself that you are operating within your organisation's guidelines covering service levels, remedial action, compensation and acceptance of liability or blame.

Customer service response letter to a customer complaint - template example


Name and address

Date

Reference

Dear.........

I am writing with reference to (situation or complaint) of (date).

Firstly I apologise ('apologize' in US) for the inconvenience/distress/problems created by our error/failure.

We take great care to ensure that important matters such as this are properly managed/processed/implemented, although due to (give reason - be careful as to how much detail you provide - generally you need only outline the reason broadly), so on this occasion an acceptable standard has clearly not been met/we have clearly not succeeded in meeting your expectations.

In light of this, we have decided to (solution or offer), which we hope will be acceptable to you, and hope also that this will provide a basis for continuing our relationship/your continued custom.

I will call you soon to check that this meets with your approval/Please contact me should you have any further cause for concern.

Yours, etc.


Other points of note when dealing with customer complaints and complaints letters:

Always take personal responsibility for problems until they are fully resolved. Don't just 'throw it over the wall' and hope that a colleague sees it through. You must be the guardian of the complaint and look after the customer to ensure that your organisation does the right thing, even when someone else has responsibility to deal with it. Always check that the customer has been looked after, and the problem finally resolved - it's just a phone call.

Always check your policies, procedures, standing instructions, latest bulletins, etc relating to service delivery levels and complaints resolution. If procedures and standards are hazy then do your best to encourage management or directors to create and publish clearer expectations and procedures for staff and customers. When things go wrong it's normally because people don't understand what expectations are, rather than a failure of an individual, or the action or reaction of a customer.

Be careful about accepting liability if you have no guideline or policy enabling you to do so, and in any event, whereever you perceive potentially significant liability could exist, delay any decision or commitment until seeking advice from a person in suitable authority.

Always try to speak to people on the phone - even if you're writing a letter - make contact by phone as well. Voice contact is so much more reliable and effective when trying to diffuse conflict and rebuild trust.

Before you send anything - read it back to yourself and ask, "What would I think if I received this? How would I feel?" If your answers are less than positive you should re-write the letter.

If you ever find yourself using a nasty old standard customer complaints response letter, that your department has been using for ages, to the distress of your complaining customers, take responsibility for getting the standard letter replaced with something that is positive and empathic and constructive.

A complaining customer is an opportunity for the supplying organisation to improve and consolidate the relationship, and to keep the customer for life. Make sure you use it.

In responding to serious, large complaints and implications, you should initially respond with an immediate solution to resolve the current issue, and then arrange with the customer how best to develop and agree a remedial change that will prevent re-occurrence, which for large contracts should probably entail a meeting, involving relevant people from both sides. In some situations you will find that the need is actually for a fully blown re-negotiation of the service level agreement. In such cases do embrace the opportunity as a very positive one - a chance to consolidate and strengthen the relationship, and normally an opportunity to extend the length of the contract.

In dealing with complains of any sort, take heart from the fact that customers whose complaints are satisfactorily resolved, become even more loyal than they were before the complaint arose.






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How to write effective complaint letters

complaint letter software problem

We all experience poor quality service, and from time to time, faulty or damaged goods.

Whether you disagree with your neighbour about an overgrown hedge or whether the electricity company have charged you too much, the same principles of letter writing apply.

Most errors are unintentional. Businesses want satisfied customers as they are more likely to return. Keep this in mind when you write your letter.

Tips for writing a successful complaint letter

Structure

The ideal structure to use is one that explains:

  • the subject of your complaint
  • your original expectation about the subject
  • what went wrong
  • details of any attempts by the other party to put right the problem, and why they did not work
  • why the fault or error or action affects you so greatly
  • what compensation you seek

If you feel it is not inappropriate, you could end the letter by confirming that you realise that the person to whom you are writing is not responsible, or that "these situations do happen from time to time" or something else that shows that you are a 'reasonable' person with whom the other person can deal.

Address the letter to a real person

Find the person who can help you resolve the problem, and write to him or her directly (not a department or just to "Dear Sir"). Action is more likely to be taken if you delegate the responsibility to a person or group of people.

You might be able to find out who best to deal with by phoning the company or looking them up on the Internet.

Be honest and straightforward

Write to the point, and in clear language.

Do not include subjective opinions, except to the effect that your expectations were higher - for example, that you would have expected a better service from such a prominent company, or the product to be free of faults.

Don't lie about what happened to make your situation seem worse than it was. If the other side can prove that you did, it will weaken all your arguments.

Include sufficient detail to back up your claim and to show that you have thoroughly researched the subject.

You can show you have researched your subject by quoting the law where relevant such as not complying with requirements under consumer contract law to provide certain information.

Maintain a firm but respectful tone, and avoid aggressive, accusing language

Keep the tone of your complaint letter professional. The person who you are dealing with might not be directly responsible for the problem, and will be more likely to help you if he or she sympathises with you.

Remember though – be especially tactful if you want to maintain a future relationship with these people. Don’t let your complaint damage any goodwill too much.

Include your contact information

Include your name, address, phone number, and e-mail address, if appropriate, so that the person you are writing to can contact you to discuss any questions or concerns.

Tell them what you want

Do you want your money back or the product to be replaced? Maybe an apology is enough.

Tell the person exactly what you expect. That way, he or she is more likely to be able to resolve the problem fast and give you what you want.

Do not threaten action

Don't threaten any action unless you are willing to follow through with it.

If you don't have a strong case, or you are asking for perhaps more compensation than you think you might receive, or if the cost of the action is greater than the compensation, the other party will think that you are bluffing.

Take action only if it is worth it, and only when all avenues of discussion have been exhausted.

Similar to this point is that you should know what your backstop is. For example, you might be prepared to make a small claim for damages, but you might not be actually be entitled to any recourse at all. If you play hardball, they will play hardball. If you want them to do this, you have to make certain that without a shadow of a doubt, you are right to demand what you are asking for.

Keep copies and records

Send photocopies of receipts and other documents but retain all originals. The copies help to back up your argument and show that you mean action. Keep a copy of the complaint letter for your records.

Be persistent

If a first letter does not bring action, assume a stronger but still respectful tone in the next one. If two or three letters do not resolve the problem, send one personally to the president or CEO of the company or business.

Get other signatures

In many cases, you can increase the effectiveness of your letter by getting several others to sign it with you.

This is particularly the case when trying to influence or change legislation, denouncing material from the media, and so on.

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Use these as a template when writing consumer complaint letters. These free samples of complaint letters should help you get results. 8D Manager Software.

How To Write A Complaint Letter

complaint letter software problem

Sample of
Customer Complaint Letter

Here is a sample of customer complaint letter. Included are 3 samples. Use these as a template when writing consumer complaint letters. These free samples of complaint letters should help you get results. 

Sample of Customer Complaint Letter #1

Dear Sir or Madame,

I recently purchased your product through a local retailer and I was very upset to find that it did not work as expect. (insert nature of complaint here) I have been a very loyal customer of your company for a number of years and this is certainly not the quality that I have come to expect from you.

Under normal circumstances, I would simply return this item to the store, but I was told that this is not an option, since the item had already been used. Well, of course the item had already been used, as there would be no other way for me to learn that it was defective!

As I stated previously, I have come to expect much more from your products and, therefore, this has been very upsetting for me. If you wish to return to the top of this industry, you will definitely have to improve the quality of your products, as this simply will not cut it in the future.

I do not believe that I am asking for much in return for my time and effort, as all I want is my money back or to have this product replaced with one that works properly. I will gladly return the defective item to you, should you send a postage-prepaid box to my house.

I do not feel that I am being unreasonable with my request.

Sincerely,

See below for another sample of customer complaint letter.

Sample of Customer Complaint Letter #2

To Whom It May Concern,

I am a long time customer of your company and I was very upset when I recently purchased one of your products only to have it be defective. (insert nature of complaint here) While this is a first for me when dealing with your company, I am definitely not happy about it and would like you to handle this complaint swiftly.

Whenever I have purchased items from you in the past, I have received high quality merchandise that I am proud to use. This time, however, I am appalled at the quality and I wonder how you could allow such a product to hit shelves at all.

I would hope that this is simply a one-time thing, as I do not want to believe that this company has gone downhill so quickly. All that I am asking in this case is to receive my money back, as I do not believe that this product was delivered to me as promised.

I am really not trying to be difficult, but it seems as though too many companies are now offering substandard products and expecting to get away with this. I, however, will not stand for spending my hard-earned money on an item, only to have it not only be defective, but not even be the same item that I thought I was purchasing.

I really do not want to be rude, but the quality of this product is nowhere near what I would expect from a company like yours and I believe that this should be dealt with as soon as possible.

Yours Faithfully,

Sample of Customer Complaint Letter #3

Hi,

I have been a devoted customer of yours for years, but I was greatly upset with the last product that I purchased from you. (insert nature of complaint here) While I have maintained a healthy business relationship with your company for years, it is now extremely strained as a result of this latest product, which I think you will agree is not up to your regular standards.

I do not like complaining about things at all, but something definitely had to be said in this situation because if this level of quality continues, I will no longer be able to continue this relationship. I can also speak for other people who have recently conducted business with you, as they have not been happy with their recent business dealings either.

The fact of the matter is that your company is beginning to slip and, therefore, something needs to be done about it. I don't know the specifics of what is going on behind the scenes there, but something definitely needs to change internally within your company if you want to keep your customers happy.

While I wish to stay loyal to your products, as I have done throughout the years, you need to understand that I expect a certain quality in return for my money and you are no longer providing this for me.

Please clean up your act soon or I will be forced to move on.

With Anticipation,


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8D Manager Software with 8D, 9D, 5Y and 4M report generator. Your corrective action software for managing, measuring, and reporting issues.

8D Manager

8D Manager Software with 8D, 9D, 5Y and 4M report generator. Your corrective action software for managing, measuring, and reporting issues.

8D Manager

8D Manager Software with 8D, 9D, 5Y and 4M report generator. Your corrective action software for managing, measuring, and reporting issues.

8D Manager

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Type your letter if possible. Sample Complaint Letter State exactly what you want done about the problem and how long you are willing to wait to get it.

complaint letter software problem
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