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Having a problem with a product or service can be frustrating. When you’re trying to resolve a problem with a company, the first step should be to discuss your concerns with a representative of the business. If a phone call or email doesn’t resolve the problem, consider writing a complaint letter.

A letter is important. It puts your complaint on record with the company, helps preserve any legal rights you may have in the situation, and lets the company know you’re serious about pursuing the complaint.

Use this sample letter and these tips to write an effective complaint:

  • Be clear and concise. Describe the item or service you bought and the problem. Include serial or model numbers, and the name and location of the seller. If you’re following up on a conversation, be sure to say who you spoke with and confirm the details of your discussion.
  • State exactly what you want done and how long you’re willing to wait for a response. Be reasonable.
  • Don’t write an angry, sarcastic, or threatening letter. The person reading your letter probably isn’t responsible for the problem, but may be very helpful in resolving it.
  • Include copies of relevant documents, like receipts, work orders, and warranties. You also may want to send copies of emails and notes from conversations you’ve had with the seller about the problem. Keep your originals.
  • Include your name and contact information. If an account is involved, be sure to include the account number.

You may want to send your letter by certified mail and request a return receipt. That way, you’ll have proof that the company got your letter and who signed for it.

If your letter doesn’t do the trick, you may want to get outside help and look at other options. For more information, see Resolving Consumer Problems.

It is your choice whether to submit a comment. If you do, you must create a user name, or we will not post your comment. The Federal Trade Commission Act authorizes this information collection for purposes of managing online comments. Comments and user names are part of the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) public records system, and user names also are part of the FTC’s computer user records system. We may routinely use these records as described in the FTC’s Privacy Act system notices. For more information on how the FTC handles information that we collect, please read our privacy policy.

The purpose of this blog and its comments section is to inform readers about Federal Trade Commission activity, and share information to help them avoid, report, and recover from fraud, scams, and bad business practices. Your thoughts, ideas, and concerns are welcome, and we encourage comments. But keep in mind, this is a moderated blog. We review all comments before they are posted, and we won’t post comments that don’t comply with our commenting policy. We expect commenters to treat each other and the blog writers with respect.

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We don't edit comments to remove objectionable content, so please ensure that your comment contains none of the above. The comments posted on this blog become part of the public domain. To protect your privacy and the privacy of other people, please do not include personal information. Opinions in comments that appear in this blog belong to the individuals who expressed them. They do not belong to or represent views of the Federal Trade Commission.

December 13, 2017

When businesses advance various malpractices, the best thing is reporting them to an appropriate office for remedy. However, some people often posit that the malpractices advanced to them are minor or argue that a different person should do the reporting.

December 23, 2017
If you have a complaint about a business, appropriate action can only be instituted when you report to the correct office. In every state, there is a consumer protection agency that works towards protecting buyers.
December 29, 2017
I am from Cal. I went with my son to babysit for them. We were staying at Caesar’s in Los Vegas where I purchased Predire skin care, I was told I shouldn’t have any problems with it. You apply it under your eyes. Well about an hour later my eyes started to burn when I took the stuff off my eyes you could see a little red marks under my eyes. I went back in there and talked and showed this one lady she said she couldn’t help me as she was just watching the store that was around 5pm. The woman that sold me the skin care was souped to be back Monday. When I went back there on Monday she wasn’t there. I showed the other employees and filled out a paper that the one gentleman gave and wrote what happened and said he will send it to the main office. He said he couldn’t refund my money because the return policy was just exchange the stuff I received doesn’t do as she said it would. I just want my money back. The woman went with the name L Thank you
January 03, 2018
Very Informative Article dear Thanks for sharing
January 17, 2018
Dear FTC, Thank you so very much, because you have refunded me over $30,000.00, the last year. I get your emails for 3 years and read your newsletters. I will never be able to tell you my gratitude and appreciation. I urge consumers to always sign up for your emails of the rights people have. What a wonderful group of people you are. Kind Regards, Jackie
February 01, 2018
I had a leaky pipe located behind a wall in my bathroom by a plumbing co. The pipe was replaced, no repairs were made and I was charged $2849. I was told to ignore the total because I was getting a discount since I am family, which makes this more awkward! The job was described as $1000 of equipment was used and it took 2 days. I have documentation, pix dated of the work done and hours on the one day job. I disputed the price on my AmExp. card. I asked for an itemized invoice of supplies used plus labor and other charges in order to arrive at a total we could all understand. The owner of the company refunded parts of my bill, but the dispute dept. awarded me the disputed total of $1500. FIVE YEARS LATER, the owner of the company has DEMANDED I need to pay my outstanding balance. His emails are now including sharing with other family members what I'm really like, that I have no intentions of paying 'what I owe'. I no longer have the card but am able to retrieve my statements. I contacted the AmExp dispute department but never heard a response...they only accept a fax or snail mail. The owner of the company demanding his money said HE was contacting AmExp but has nothing in writing that I owe him this money. I was told before I disputed this charge that the merchant got his money. All I have is my documentation, his original invoices, his many notes and now his nasty emails. I also have my AmExp statements that show the disputed charge that I won. Thanks!
February 12, 2018
If you have a complaint about a business, appropriate action can only be instituted when you report to the correct office. In every state, there is a consumer protection agency that works towards protecting buyers. You can report to it or others such as the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Better Business Bureau (BBB), the state law office, or for products bought outside the US.
March 09, 2018

banking selection committee's process is very odd. you should be send a alarm to download admit card.

March 29, 2018
My nextplus number is hacked help me to get rid of it
GA Peachstate
April 13, 2018
I am currently a government contractor. I work in an area where teleworking is common among FTE's as well as contractors. In my contract, teleworking is eligible however; the client is stating they do not want me to telework as my function is needed to be physically in the office every day. Mind you, the client in management teleworks, the entire team I work on teleworks, and the other person who is providing the additional service on the same contract as I am, teleworks. I have even asked it to be granted to me as a reasonable accommodation as a person with disability which I self identified at hire. I am at my wits end seeing everyone around here have the opportunity to work from home and I don't. I'm not a receptionist and 100% of what I do is electronic. Any advice?
April 29, 2018
Thanks so much!
the man
May 11, 2018
when the mail man deliver the mail sometimes they won't give you the want adds because they don't think there important but people want to know what on sell every week at the stores adds are important to us the post office should tell there carrier make sure they deliver the adds if they want there job
June 26, 2018
Thanks for sharing
November 17, 2018
Hi, I'm a local student. I've been working over a week for a restaurant in Australia. But, they suddenly fired me reasoning that I applied for another job. Now they are not paying me for all the hours I worked for them. Wasting my time by postponing lies. I was bullied in the work. And now I want to write a complaint letter about the boss to the ombudsman. If someone with similar experience. I appreciate any help at this moment.
Don't use yasd…
November 28, 2018
THank yoi
December 02, 2018
Thank you wish me luck on my exam
April 19, 2019
I am a user of Vodafone network and am not able to make any calls and incoming calls while am at my home. I complained several times to the Vodafone network team,but there is no proper solution for this.But every time they are showing the advertisement that Vodafone have strong network coverage and speed. Actually they are buffing the people. i need justice.!
Nihal Singh
April 22, 2019
It is one of the best articles for motivating the people and the others because most of the people did not come front to complain about the other because of grammar and vocabulary. Now it is an easy way to write the letter.
October 07, 2019
Good day I am so upset with telkom services today they decided to suspend my account saying it was in arrears and there was no such,when i called to reactivate my account they told it takes about 5-48 hours fro that to be done. meaning on my side i have to be inconvenienced by them, yet when they want there money want it without stories. Now i'm stranded with internet and i can't even make phone calls. this is so not accepted, I am so angry.
November 23, 2020
I account has hacking ..sir.. some one person.. what i will do
August 19, 2020
I had ordered for a new sim through vodafone pay.on 23 August 2020.The delivery date for the same was 14 August but till know I.e on 19 August I haven't received it.On contacting customer care they don
September 09, 2020
my Vodafone sim is blocked
September 20, 2020
my complaint to YouTube for not updating my account because my phone is to old (Galaxy S7 phone) didn't work and i like to give my viewers good content so i will look for a diffrent websiteto do this but thanks for trying (Coved-19 is a hard time and will hope full soon be over)
Nandie Mdletshe
November 03, 2020
We paid money at Sandy spa & were promised accommodation, day before our vacation we were told that accommodation is fully booked, then we requested refund, the owner of Sandy spa told us that she don't have money & she don't know when she will have it. What must I do in this situation
November 17, 2020
I have been calling every 1 hour and they never answer
George Tappin
March 29, 2021
We didn’t get a refund from Apple Vacations