A letter of complaint

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.

Task 1

Task 2

Task 3


Worksheet100.2 KB

Language level


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Profile picture for user Hennadii

Submitted by Hennadii on Tue, 17/11/2020 - 14:50

Oh, I definitely complained several times. I did it writing a letter (when the Internet wasn't so useable), via emails and, of course, calling. What were the reasons? Honestly, I can't remember now. Obviously, I didn't get what I expected and was so frustrated that wanted to compain. Of course, my intensions to complain weren't only because of bad mood but for trying to change things for better. Someone's work, for example. I think, sometimes everyone needs to get some useful feedback and not only like "wow, you are soooo gooood" but "c'mon, you can do your job better" as well. Let's thell the truth, many people work lousy. Especialy in government organs. If you won't complain about that you will always have bad service.
Profile picture for user shelly

Submitted by shelly on Thu, 22/10/2020 - 07:35

Dear Sir/Madam, I am writing to express my dismay about your service at the supermarket at Xinlu road on Saturday 14 January. All my daily supplies are purchased from your supermarket because it is convenient and reliable. On this occasion I bought a pineapple and asked for cutting service. A few minutes later I was told to pick up my fruit. However when I got it I found it was not the pineapple I had chosen. When I told the waiter about the mistake, she was very unfriendly. I know this happens sometimes, especially on Friday evening. I would like to get an apology from your staff and get my refund. I hope you can take steps to make sure this mistake does not happen again. Yours faithfully,

Submitted by Denise on Sun, 11/10/2020 - 19:45

Dear Madam, I’m writing to let you know my dismay with their service provided by your bakery. I had ordered two birthday cakes for a very special occasion and one of them was brought to me with the wrong name on it and a different flavour. I ordered a strawberry cake and it came a peanutbutter one.This could have caused a big health issue as I have some guests that are allergic to nuts. I understand that mistakes can happen but I hope you can take steps to make sure this doesn’t happen anymore. Yours faithfully, Denise P. Correia

Submitted by cittàutopica on Thu, 08/10/2020 - 16:00

Exactly a short time ago I made a complaint towards the my Consumer's Association, because the company which manages my mobile subscription hasn't followed up on my request of cancellation. Now the Association is getting in touch with the Company for solving this problem.

Submitted by Ugulhan on Tue, 06/10/2020 - 08:15

I didn't make a complaint as a formal form. But, this example form is useful to know how to write your complaint.

Submitted by YaMaCa on Mon, 05/10/2020 - 09:24

I have received some times some deliveries that didn't fill my expectations. Following the example : Dear Sala I am writing to express my dismay at the delivery from your store on 23 August currently year. The product received is wrong, I solicited one red jacked and I got one purple. I want a full refund and take steps this doesn't happen again. Faithful G

Submitted by Huynh Nguyen on Sat, 12/09/2020 - 13:16

Dear Sir/Madam I am writing to express my dismay at your service at your hotel. I have been a regular customer of your hotel for a long time. Whenever I came to this place for business, I always stay here. Four days ago when I visited your hotel, although I've already booked the room directly through you before. But when I came, the receptionist told me that she could not find a record of my booking, unfortunately, there also did not have any available room for me on that night. It was terrible. I think this happened because some glitch at your booking system. I would like to draw your attention to this matter. I hope you can take steps to make sure this mistake does not happen again in the future. Yours faithfully, Huynh

Submitted by mxoubi0 on Tue, 11/08/2020 - 15:32

I am writing this email to express that we have several problems in the accommodation room especially in the air condition, and power electricity. First of all, those problems have been happening since I joined the university in 2019 as I am studying mechanical engineering in the engineering faculty. Once the problem started we called the technician to solve the issues but every time he said that we need lots of material and tools to replace the damaged items with a new one because those items had been used since established the building but unfortunately nothing happened because of the shortage of the money resources. I would like to suggest that if we solve the problem and the things will be paid by the students it will be easier for everyone and the bill will be charged latter. I look forward to hearing a positive response.

Submitted by Fernando Daniel on Fri, 26/06/2020 - 00:01

After-sales department From my consideration: I am writing to express my disappointment due to the delay in service. I always buy their products for their reliability and excellent design. Last week I bought a television. When the product was delivered to me, it had some scratches on the screen. I called the department to report the situation and they told me the product would be changed within the term of 48 hours. The exchange was made, but it took six days! I could understand some delay, but it seems to me that six days is an excessive one. On the other hand, at no time did the company call back to feed me back about it. I would like to draw your attention to this matter, and I would appreciate better communication from the Company to its customers. Sincerely