Appeal to Higher Authorities When Complaint Letters Don't Work • Letter Templates and Guidelines

How to write this letter:

1Explain your reason for writing the letter. Then give a full description of your complaint, including relevant dates, verbal exchanges, complete names, actions, transactions, invoice or file numbers, or previous correspondence.
2Enclose copies of all letters, receipts and documents. Keep the originals. Close with an expression of confidence or expectation.


Before writing, decide which person, agency or organization will help you the most. It is best to write to the closest person or agency that has immediate overseeing responsibility for the person or business against which you have a complaint. Omit irrelevant details and use firm but respectful language.

Example Letter #1


Since I am unable to get a helpful response from your Springfield office, I am turning to you as a last resort. I own a small parcel of land at the base of Mt. Baldy where dirt bike riders like to try their skill at climbing the steep slopes. The State has erected signs indicating that motorized vehicles are prohibited in this area because of the serious erosion they cause, but no one is enforcing the restriction.

When the bikers come off the mountain, they often ride across my property, causing deep ruts in the soil and destroying the vegetation. I have confronted them on several occasions, but my requests have been ignored. When I ask your office in Springfield to enforce the restriction, they say they will, but they do nothing. I am enclosing copies of the last two letters I sent, along with photographs of the damage the bikers have done.

I trust you will look into this matter and see that proper action is taken to uphold the law and preserve the beauty of the Mt. Baldy area. I will gladly do what I can to be of assistance.

Example Letter #2


I write you in the hope that you can persuade your Springfield office to honor all the terms of its contract with me. On numerous occasions I have tried to discuss the situation with the office manager, but he is unwilling to cooperate. In short, I cannot solve the problem myself, and I want to avoid hiring a lawyer unless it becomes absolutely necessary.

Enclosed are copies of the contract and documentation proving that the office has violated the contract on several occasions. Unfortunately, this regrettable performance reflects poorly on your entire corporation. I request your assistance in resolving this problem. If I can supply any other information, please call me at 555-5555.

Example Letter #3


I have written three letters to Doe Corporation and complained in person one other time, trying to get my CV joint replaced. They installed the joint less than two months ago, and it has already gone bad. I've enclosed copies of my letters, the purchase order, and the warranty. I feel a little prodding from the Better Business Bureau might help. I look forward to hearing from you.

Write Your Letter Step-by-Step


Explain your reason for writing the letter. Then give a full description of your complaint, including relevant dates, verbal exchanges, complete names, actions, transactions, invoice or file numbers, or previous correspondence.

Example Sentences for Step 1

I am writing to seek your help in resolving a problem that the Springfield office appears unwilling to address. On June 3, I complained to John Doe (copy of letter enclosed) about the way my assistant was treated when she delivered notices. As she entered the office she was greeted with cat calls and vulgar language. This kind of unprofessional behavior places our good working relationship in jeopardy. Our continued efforts to resolve a problem with your corporation have been unsuccessful, so we are looking to you for help. For years we have enjoyed good associations with the Doe Corporation, so we were shocked at the callous treatment we received from your sales representative last Thursday. In our discussion of the contract details he behaved unprofessionally and used vulgar language. His behavior places our working relationship with your firm at risk. As a last resort I am turning to you to resolve an ongoing problem with your company. I know Doe Corporation strives for customer satisfaction, but for some reason the Springfield office has procrastinated in dealing with the rude behavior we have experienced from the newest employee. I hope you can influence the Doe Corporation to honor an agreement we made regarding a legal assistant. I have been very dissatisfied with the performance of the clerk they assigned to work with my office. It was my understanding that we would meet with him every week to review progress, but I have only seen him once in the last five weeks, and the Doe office will not return my calls. I am turning to you as a last resort to request your help in collecting a refund for an overpayment. My son purchased a rifle from the Doe Corporation on June 5. When he told me that he had paid $330.00 for it, I was surprised, because Mr. Doe had assured me that my son would get a 10% discount. After receiving no response from several telephone calls and letters, I now request your assistance in persuading the Doe Corporation to honor their explicit warranty on a chest that I purchased on May 25. The enclosed documents show that the warrantee on the chest covers faulty workmanship and material, if a claim is made within a week of purchase. You can see from the copies of the receipt and my letter to the company that my claim was made within that time. It is unfortunate that I now must turn to you for help in getting the Doe Corporation to correct my payment record, so that my credit rating will not be affected. I have requested the correction several times by telephone to no avail. I am enclosing copies of canceled checks that validate every payment I made in September. The Doe Corporation has withheld a refund for several months, so I am asking your assistance in securing it. Mr. Walfied assured me that he would send a refund by June 1, but he has not followed through and will not return my calls. I have now purchased another trailer and need the money immediately to cover the payment. Please note the dates of our transaction on the enclosed photocopy. I am writing out of frustration since I have been unsuccessful in getting the Doe Corporation to respond to our service needs. We have had continual problems with the dishwasher that we bought from them on November 15. Currently, the dry cycle does not work, and they do not respond to our calls for repair or replacement. I hope you can get their attention. I need your assistance in resolving a problem with the Doe Corporation. It has been over a sixty days since I placed a prepaid order for new tires. I have written several letters and have telephoned to find out what has happened to my order, but I have received no response. If my order is not filled immediately, I must have a refund.

Example Phrases for Step 1


Enclose copies of all letters, receipts and documents. Keep the originals. Close with an expression of confidence or expectation.

Example Sentences for Step 2

Example Phrases for Step 2