What are you upset about? Are you angry, annoyed, irritated about something or someone? Do you have a grievance? Have you been offended or treated unfairly? You can complain and get results. If you have a problem with your school, city, county, state, or national government you can do something about it. Or if you have disputes with your landlord, a business or company, you can use the following steps to DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT.



You will want your letter to stand out. Put yourself in the place of the person receiving your letter, and remember that your goal is not to get revenge or angry, but to get results. If you want results, the best way is to make your letter short, factual, and reasonable.

HOW TO SAY IT – State the problem clearly and fairly. What is it that is bothering you? What needs to be done to correct it? Give all the important facts. Provide complete and accurate names, addresses, and information. Include appropriate documentation. Tell why you think it is important that the complaint should be taken care of. Request a reasonable possible solution. In closing, express your confidence that the matter will be handled to your satisfaction.

WHAT NOT TO SAY – Avoid sarcasm, accusations, abuse, blaming, smart remarks, and emotional outbursts. You will only antagonize the very person who can help you. Negative letters are not effective, and they will only make you look foolish. Do not hint for free products or “compensation” beyond what you are due. Don’t threaten to sue. This is generally recognized as a bluff. People usually leave that to their lawyer. You might indicate (if you mean it), that you are going to take them to small claims court. This is one possible way of achieving a quick inexpensive solution.

WRITING TIPS – Write the letter soon after it happens. In the first line of your letter state clearly what you want from the company. Then state it again in the last line. Place more emphasis on how the problem can be resolved and less emphasis on details of the mix-up, your reactions and feelings, and what a disaster it has all been. Keep track of the names and titles of the individuals you have spoken with, the date, time, and outcome of each conversation, and include this information.

If your complaints have several items/components, set these items off in a numbered or bulleted list to make it easier for the reader to see and respond to them. Assume that the person you are writing to is unaware of the problem. Say that you are sure someone would like to know what has occurred. Write with the assumption that the reader will be willing to resolve the problem. Stick to one issue. State facts, avoid emotions. Make sure you send it to the right person. Use a light touch when possible (a little humour). Assume that the person is going to help you, and let this show in your letter. Try to get the person on your side by pointing out something you have in common. Close with an optimistic note. “I’m sure you will have a solution for this problem.”

About the Author: Writer, Speaker, Profiler Kathy Thompson has been writing for over 25 years. She has published her own articles, reports, manuals. Kathy Will write words--just the way you want them-- anything you need written. Contact Kathy Thompson at;