Complaint Letter Format | Samples, How to Write a Complaint Letter

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Reported by Pankaj Bhatt

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A Complaint Letter is written to acknowledge the concerned authority/board or personnel about the discomfort or discontent that they directly or indirectly caused to the complainant. Letter writing, since times immemorial, has been ascribed as a form of art because of the power that words hold upon the reader. A Letter generally has a writer and a reader. There are numerous types of Formats letter writing methods. The following article sheds light on Complaint Letter Format | Samples, How to write a complaint letter.

Complaint Letter Format

In this article, we are going to discuss everything that there is to know about Complaint letters. Complaint letter are formal in nature. They are becoming more and more common nowadays because of technological and infrastructural advancement, there happens to be a general population that is affected by one or more factors in the surrounding or is dissatisfied with a service provider for not acting up to expectation. What do they do?

Complaint Letter Format

What are Complaint Letters?

People write a complaint letter to express their displeasure through written words. In terms of technological error or unsatisfactory service, people tend to go to Consumer Protection Agencies and get their matters settled with legal help. That can be irksome and time consuming for the complainant so the first solution that should come to mind should be to write a formal letter and try to settle the matter at a basic level.

Objective of writing a Complaint Letter

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A complaint letter is written with the sole purpose of anticipating rectification for the particular subject. Still, if the authorities seem to be unresponsive, it is also within the individual’s right to exercise further lawsuits or court cases against the company given the nature of the complaint is Legitimate.

The proliferating number of companies and ever exponential government policies and schemes are bound to leave repercussions on their way ahead. These repercussions are bound to lash back at the concerned authority as neither government nor private sector services can take care of each individual so Complaint letters are one way to let them acknowledge such contingencies.

Types of Complaint Letters

A complaint letter can be either personal or systematic. It is an individual’s basic right to exercise his/her rights regarding low quality of service or displeasing situations. It is not a threat or warning but simply a chance for the responsible party to mitigate their actions in time.

Complaint letters can be of the following natures :

1. Personal Complaint Letter: Personal complaint letters are directly addressed to one individual for being a cause of discomfort to the Complainant or society and have a less formal tone in general. The personal complaint letters are written to (i) Government official (ii) A neighbor, (iii) A colleague (iv) Landlord, etc.

2. Professional Complaint Letter (Business Correspondence Complaint Letter): Professional complaint letters are written by a company or organization collectively to point out any issue in any kind of service that affected the company as a whole.

3. Routine Complaint Letter: Routine Complaint letter is written to an authority for making a considerable mistake that has been in a routine for a long time.

4. HR Complaint Letter: HR complaint letters are addressed to the authority in the Human Resource Department of a company, college, Institute, or government office. The letter is written as an acknowledgment of a bothersome activity going on in a specific department.

5. Consumer Complaint Letter: Consumer Complaint letters are very common nowadays due to the excess of purchase of goods online. They could be sent both physically or through E-mail.

Contents of a Complaint Letter

A Complaint Letter is as good as the effect it bestows upon the concerned authority, so one should carefully construct the formation of the letter. Following are some articles mandatory to include in your complaint letter.

  • Name of the sender/writer
  • Name of the receiver/Concerned official/organization
  • Date of Dispatch
  • Sender’s address
  • Receiver’s address
  • Subject of the Letter
  • Salutations (Dear/Mr./Mrs./Ms.)
  • Closing of the letter (Yours Faithfully/Obedient)
  • Resolution/Solution/Conclusion
  • Signature

How to Write a Complaint Letter

There are different formats of complaint letters for different motifs of complainants. But here are some ground rules to write a letter effectively:

1.At the top right corner of the letter write your name, your address, Pin code with your contact number, and the date on which you posted the letter.
2.On the left side of the letter, below the level of your name and other details, should be written the name of the Personnel/authority/Company/ Government Department; It should be followed by the address and pin code on the left portal of the letter.
3.After that Write the subject matter of your letter concisely within a single line in Bold Font to highlight your focal issue.
4.After the subject matter, address the concerned administration by using salutation such as: Dear Sir/Dear Miss/Dear Mr./Dear Mr. Manager/HR etc.. If the letter is not addressed to a specific person or if you do not know the name of the receiver, use the salutation – “To Whom It May Concern: “.
5.Introduce yourself at the beginning of the letter with ample information as to who you are and what you do.
6.In the second paragraph write in brief account of the issue bothering you. Remember your words should be precise and problem oriented in this paragraph and should speak volumes. Still, it should not be impudent or disrespectful to anybody. Also, avoid sounding temperamental as it sends repulsive signals.
7.A complaint letter should be written in a humble and polite manner. It is understandable that the complainant would be angry and frustrated but angry words only reciprocate the negative outcome. Civil use of words leaves a good mark on the reader and increases the chances of rectification.
8.The third paragraph should be completely focused upon the solutions that you have to offer to fix the aforementioned problem. It should be the conclusive part of the letter.
9.Close the letter by Thanking the receiver for giving his precious time to read the letter. And write in anticipation of the resolution of the said issue.
10.On the bottom left of the letter write the closing salutations like Your Sincerely/Obedient/Faithfully etc. Then write your name below it followed by your contact number and signature.
11.Refrain from making any grammatical or spelling mistakes as it reflects your intelligence and effort. Make sure that the letter is in a proper format.
12.Remember to attach copies of documents with your letter if it concerns any. Keep the original for further operations

DOs & DON’Ts in Writing a Complaint Letter

Use Proper Grammar, pertinent use of wordsSpelling mistakes, Typo
Complain about Sincere and legitimate problemDo not ramble on for pages
Be Concise and to the pointAvoid making any threats or warning
Include the solution at handInclude unimportant details
Begin with the appraisal of the company/Organization/Personnel/Government policiesUse Curse words/Impulsive language
Write with the intention of getting a solution and give a time limit for them to take any actionWrite with the sole intention of acknowledging them of the discomfort and not presenting possible alternative or fixture

Samples of Complaint Letter

Complaint Letters can be different in nature based on the kind of complain that they stand for. So entailing below are some basic samples of different kinds of letters with the correct format. So following are the Complaint letter format examples.

A. Letter to a Government Official

Generally, a complaint letter to a government official consists of four parts:

  1. Complainant’s details
    1. Name
    2. Correspondence address
    3. Name of the post office
    4. Name of city, State (Address 2)
    5. Complainant’s contact number
    6. Date of posting
  2. Authority/Government official details
    1. Name of the official
    2. Post of the Official
    3. City, State of the Authority
  3. Subject matter of the letter
    1. One line subject
    2. Salutation
    3. Description of the issue
  4. Conclusion of the letter
    1. A legitimate solution proposition
    2. Salutation
    3. Complainant’s signature

Following is a sample of a Complaint letter written to a government official about an issue that concerns society in general. Many other letters to a government officials such as the Police Complaint letter format has the same writing format.


B. Personal Complaint Letter

Personal complaint letters are written personally to an individual without the further involvement of other people. Following is a complaint was written to one’s neighbor about the noise problem. The names in the sample are hypothetical.

A personal Complaint letter is less formal in tone if the recipient is someone you know or are acquainted with. Following are the important articles to include in a personal complaint letter in precisely the same order:

  1. Addresses of the sender/Complainant followed by the address of the recipient with Zip Code
  2. Precise Subject of the complaint in a few words, Should not exceed one line.
  3. Salutation to the person whom the complaint is referred to
  4. The main cause of disruption
  5. The immediate proposition to resolve the problem.
  6. The name of the Complainant with the date

Here is another example of a personal letter format written to express dissatisfaction with a product of a company.


The letter was written to the school authority or Principal of the school also falls in the category of Personal Complaint Letter. Given below is a standard format:

  1. Full name and Address of the Complainant with the zip code and date in the top left corner of the complaint letter.
  2. Full Name and Title of the recipient (In this case Principal)
  3. Do not write the address of Principal’s home but rather that of the school that your relative goes to.
  4. Use “RESPECTED” as salutation.
  5. Elaborate the complete issue that you have regarding the matter at hand.
  6. Offer a resolution with terms and condition and end the letter with complete signature and date.

3. Professional Complaint Letter (Business Correspondence Complaint Letter)

Professional Complaint letters are usually written on behalf of a company or organization to another authority for poor service or any irregularities.

  • Typically the name of the Company and its headquarter is written on the top of the letter in the middle.
  • Write the date on the left corner next
  • Specify the person that you want to refer your letter to (Based on the department that the complaint letter is going out from)
  • Do not forget to write his/her title followed by complete address in two lines
  • Use Dear Mr./Ms./Mrs. (Name) as salutation
  • Use the abbreviated word Re. instead of Subject and write the name/Serial No. of the order/Purchase instead to highlight the issue fast.
  • In business letter there is generally no dragging out of the error but to the point statement of the error made followed by complete details of the articles/ purchase and how it can be mitigated.
  • Beside from the obvious error pointed out in the letter, the business letter must have enclosures of the legal documents/Billing and references for proof.

4. HR Complaint Letter

A HR complaint letter is written to the Human Resources Department of any company, University or government office to complain about something wrong occurring in any other branch of the organization by an individual.


5. Consumer Complaint Letter

Consumer complaint letters are written in the following format. Similar to Business complaint letters, the consumer complaint letter must also have documents as proof of purchase. Consumers may also enclose the photo proof of the dysfunction too.

  1. Consumer complaint Letter are written mostly in the same format as in the aforementioned Business complaint Letter
  2. There can be added the account number of the complainant as the anticipation of a refund
  3. The Complaint Letter also must contain the consumer right article of the specific country
  4. e.g., For Indian Consumers: Consumer Protection Act 2019.

E-mail Complaint Letter sample

In the era of technological advancements, writing all kinds of letters through electronic devices such as smartphones, laptops, and tablets is a normal occurrence. Which also happens to be less troublesome and takes less time than physical letters. So, written below is a sample of the complaint letter through email.


FAQs – Complaint Letter Samples

What kind of letter should I write to the authorities to mend the public toilets?
You should write a
Personal Complaint Letter to the concerned authority on behalf of a society or as an individual.

Which date should I put on a Complaint Letter?
The date that is to be mentioned in a Complaint Letter format, samples should be the date on which the letter is posted or submitted.

How many Lines should there be on the Subject matter of a letter?
A paragraph should be a maximum of 5 lines. Even in a letter having more than one paragraph on the subject matter, there should be no more than 4-5 lines.

What is the correct salutation to use in a formal complaint letter format, samples?
The correct salutation to use in a formal Complaint Letter is Dear Miss/Dear Sir, etc..

Whom to address in a Complaint Letter when there is no particular recipient?
In case of the unspecific recipient, address the recipient as “To Whom It May Concern: “

Is it important to write the Complainant’s name in a complaint letter?
Though a complaint may be written as from an anonymous complainant at a sender’s discretion, in that case, the problem must affect a larger population in general. Otherwise, if the problem has only been affecting an individual, the name of the applicant is of utmost importance.

Which act is there to protect the rights of Consumers in India?
The Consumer Protection Act 2019 of India replaced the old Consumer Protection Act of India 1986 in the year 2019.

Is it okay to send complaint letters through e-mail?
Yes, e-mails are less time consuming and faster in reaching the concerned authority.

Are all complaint letters in the same format?
There are various complaint letter formats and samples around the world, and in India, the format of complaint letters changes with the nature of the letter but has the same basic outlines.

Should one write “I” or “We” in a complaint letter?
If the problem affects only the individual, then the letter should be written from a first-person perspective, but if the problem is being endured by a large portion of society, then the letter should be written from a collective perspective.

Which documents should I enclose with a complaint letter?
If the complaint letter requires any certain document to be enclosed, it must be enclosed with both physical letters and electronic mail.

Which date must be put in a Complaint letter Format Samples?
The date on which the letter is posted or sent should be mentioned in the letter.

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