Activity #1 - Writing a Complaint Letter


Writing a business letters can be kind of dry and boring, so your are going to be writing a complaint letter. Everyone has been ripped-off, scammed or disappointed in something they have paid good money for or invested in. It could be an expensive piece of clothing that shrunk, a video game that wouldn't work properly, snow board bindings that continually break, an electronic device (mp3 player) that breaks one day after its warranty is up, a terrible meal at a fancy restaurant, even a lousy rock concert. There are countless stories of how people have felt taken advantage of or felt upset and frustrated with how they have been treated.

This complaint letter will follow all the rules to writing a business letter. You will write to a company, store or place of business and describe why they are disappointed with their particular product or service and the course of action they, as the customer, would like the business to reasonably take.


Your letter should contain the following list:
  • Your name, address and phone numbers
  • Important facts: Date and place of purchase, model type or number, story behind the complaint, etc.
  • State the problem. Letter should brief and to the point
  • Addressed to the right person / department
  • Polite and friendly - rudeness will get you nowhere
  • State the course of action you would like to see (be reasonable)
  • Include any copies of receipts or warranties

After generating a list of what should be included within the letter, it should be organized just like a typical business letter, with all of the standard parts. The internet has lots of good useable templates, examples, and tips on how to write a good complaint letter. To see some examples, you can click on the links below or type 'examples+complaint+letters' into any search engine.
Example #1
Example #2
Example #3

Here are some possible ideas to get started.
  • you have purchased a product, like a television, (or another product) that did not work properly when you got it home, and the business you bought it from would not replace it because it was on sale (or another reason). Come up with what kind of television it was, the place they bought it, cost, model number, and other particulars (you will have to do some internet research for this information). Once you have all the necessary information,you can start to write your complaint letter. This is a good starter activity to introduce business letters and their format.

  • Worst case scenario you can write a letter to the Tooth Fairy, Easter Bunny or Santa Clause about how you were disappointed with the service provided to you.