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A letter of complaint

Learn how to write a letter of complaint.

Do the preparation task first. Then read the text and tips and do the exercises.

Reading text

Dear Sir/Madam,

I am writing to express my dismay at the service at your Eden Hill branch on Saturday 14 January.

I often collect prescriptions from the pharmacy on behalf of my grandmother, Mrs Elaine Bingham. On this occasion there were two prescriptions: one for 10 x 50 mg Kendomol and one for 50 x 100 mg Leoprone. I was served quickly even though there appeared to be only one pharmacist on duty. However, as I was leaving I saw that I had been given 500 mg tablets of Kendomol. This is ten times stronger than the prescription called for.

If I hadn't noticed the difference between the prescription and the actual tablets, my grandmother could have taken a dangerous overdose of Kendomol. I would be worried about getting any future prescriptions at Eden Hill.

The pharmacist apologised and corrected the mistake but I wanted to bring it to your attention. I think it happened because there were not enough staff on duty. I understand that mistakes happen but there needs to be a minimum of two pharmacists at all times so all prescriptions can be checked.

I hope you can take steps to make sure this mistake does not happen again.

Yours faithfully,

Roger Bingham


  1. Focus on the most important facts. Don't give unnecessary background information.
  2. Make sure you include:
    • the reason for writing (e.g. I am writing to ...)
    • what went wrong
    • what you would like to happen now.
  3. Complaint letters are usually written in a formal style.
  4. Use passives to be less direct and more formal, e.g. I was served quickly.
  5. Use Yours faithfully to sign off if you don't know the name of the person you're writing to.



Language level

Upper intermediate: B2


today visit Mc donald branch for lunch, I have ordered 2 burger with orange juice, The counter staff Provided one burger with orange juice. At the time of hungry, I had been kept patient myself. and I told her, I have requested 2 burgers, But you given one burger, so please change my order, she called her super wiser and show my receipt and advise like this , he paid Rs. 150 for this order he want 2 burgers, that order would be Rs 190 so he has to pay Rs 40 for more, but he paid by credit card, how we can solve this problem.
Finally I paid extra rs. 40 and solved the problem.

But What is my question, At the time of discussion,I asked her , I have requested two burgers but you provided 1 burger only, this sentence is correct or not...? Please note, and any one can correct the words....?

Hello shamsukprm
Your question clearly communicated your intention. In standard British English, it is not completely correct because 'given' is an incomplete verb form. I would say something like 'I have ordered two burgers, but you have given me one. Please change my order.'
All the best
The LearnEnglish Team

I've made a complain about a service on a website about a software licence, one day. The customer service didn't understand what i'm saying, I write in english just for spare them to write the reply in french, but even in english, they didn't undersant what I want and I've been quickly irritated, after 5 mails exchanges, so I've complain rudely and tell them they're paid for nothing, they are incapables, etc... An hour later I've got a refund and 6 one-year licences for 6 of their products ! I win ! :D

To tell the truth , i do not write complaint letter. I will try to write. I bought some products from supermarkets. They take from me 2000 dram (armenian money). When i came home and calculate , i saw that there is wrong in bill, they overcharge.I went back and write complaint letter , they refund me.

That is nice! I have not written any complaint letter yet.

Personally i've never made complain by myself but i participated to. We were complaining about a trip operator company who made mistakes in our booking. At the end we received a balance relating to the lack of some service and accommodation.

Yes I have made a complaint. My internet connection was very bad, meanwhile I had to send an important email.