Respond to a Complaint • Letter Templates and Guide

How to write this letter:

1If you agree that the complaint is justified (even if only in part), say so, and express your desire to correct the problem. If you do not agree with the complaint, politely thank the writer for bringing the problem to your attention.
2Explain what you have done or plan to do to resolve the complaint, or explain why you are unable to resolve it.
3Close with an expression of good will.

Tips

Use a polite, understanding tone. Don't argue. Even if you do not agree with the complaint, and can do nothing about it, a considerate response will often help soothe an irate client.

Example Letter #1

Copied!

Thank you for your letter alerting us to the problem you have been having with our store in Springfield. I am sorry you have been subjected to such a frustrating series of events. We pride ourselves on responding to customers' concerns very quickly, so what you have experienced is inexcusable.

I have spoken with our manager in Springfield and have instructed him to give you a full refund plus 20% off your next purchase. I extend my own apologies for the inconvenience this problem has caused you. It is apparent that we need to train our holiday help more thoroughly.

I wish you an enjoyable holiday season.

Example Letter #2

Copied!

I certainly understand your frustration at being sent the wrong order last week and realize that you need some of your order immediately to satisfy demand. I hope the merchandise we rushed to you on Monday arrived in time to get you past the crisis.

Please accept my sincere apologies. We will make every effort to see that this never happens again. We appreciate your business and will do everything we can to serve your needs.

Example Letter #3

Copied!

I agree that John Doe's newest CD is a poor excuse for music; other critics say the same. Still, you purchased the CD, opened the jewel box, and kept it for at least two weeks; consequently, I am sorry, but I cannot give you the requested refund. You might go to one of the used CD exchange stores in town and trade it for something more to your liking. I value your business and I am sorry, but I cannot exchange CD's simply because the music is bad.

Write Your Letter Step-by-Step

1

If you agree that the complaint is justified (even if only in part), say so, and express your desire to correct the problem. If you do not agree with the complaint, politely thank the writer for bringing the problem to your attention.

Example Sentences

We are sorry to hear of your dissatisfaction with your new hair dryer. We make every effort to be fair in the replacement or repair of defective merchandise in accordance with the terms of our limited warranty. I fully understand your frustration at not receiving the shipment by June 30. You are justified in being upset that no one has responded to your letter of April 1. Our customers deserve better. Thank you for writing about the problem you are having with the new engine. I believe we can easily resolve the matter. Thank you for your courteous letter explaining the problem you had with our salesperson. Thank you for calling our attention to the damage that your speakers received during shipment. It is important to us that such problems are reported promptly so we can correct them. Thank you for bringing this issue to my attention. Let's get together on Monday to discuss a solution. I appreciate your bringing this to my attention before the problem got out of hand. I am sorry that you had to write about the problem. I had hoped to resolve it last week. Thanks for caring enough to point out what is happening in the front office. I appreciate your informing me of the problem. You are absolutely right in your assessment. Thanks for being so observant. I am sorry that our misunderstanding has caused you so much concern and am glad that I now have a chance to set the record straight. I am sorry for the oversight. Please drop in, and I will be happy to honor the 10% discount agreement. I understand your impatience regarding the list of final candidates.

Example Phrases

2

Explain what you have done or plan to do to resolve the complaint, or explain why you are unable to resolve it.

Example Sentences

Upon reviewing your claim, I found several factors that contributed to the conditions noted on your claim. The most serious was that the dryer had been damaged by a severe impact after it had been installed. The warranty covers defects that arise in normal use, but not from abuse. When the engine responds in the way you describe, it is because the oil and gasoline mixture is not correct. If you follow the instructions on page 4 of your user's manual, the problem should disappear. We are sorry, but we no longer make the 2GS model. The machine you purchased is not covered by the same warranty as the newer digital models We would be happy to either replace the clock, give you a full refund, or credit your account with the amount of the purchase. Please let us know by mail or telephone which of these options you prefer. You can be assured that I will handle the problem immediately. This issue should not come up again. Beginning tomorrow, we will instruct our staff to use the parking lot at the south end of the building. I plan to personally visit the site to determine who is best suited to take his place. If you will return the merchandise with the receipt, we will be happy to refund your money or credit your account. Please drop in with your receipt, and I will refund the 10% as we agreed. Because the clock was not under warranty, we really cannot accept responsibility for its failure. I am sorry to report that we do not have the resources to handle your problem in this office. We recommend that you turn to your local retail office. Our service representative makes calls every weekday. He will call for an appointment on Monday and then determine whether the machine requires only minor adjustments. Otherwise, we will replace it without charge. You will hear from me as soon as I receive the documents. The committee will meet next Wednesday to determine who the final candidates will be. You will receive a letter soon after that informing you of their decision. We regret to inform you that the warranty on the vacuum expired one year ago.

Example Phrases

3

Close with an expression of good will.

Example Sentences

Example Phrases