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  1. #1
    HaraKiriBlade's Avatar
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    Post Complaint letter to a company

    I don't know if this section of the forum is the right place to request for proofreading; You can move this to the approperiate section if this doesn't belong here.

    Here it goes:


    Hi,

    Apparently, I have received something I didn't order and was charged $49.64 USD for it. All I've purchased was the $9.99 basic kit and I was happy with it. I have not agreed to get anything more than that. I haven't opened this second package yet, hoping to send this back and get my money back. I'm not paying for the shipping, so please do provide me with a carrier account so that I can send collect to you.

    Please contact me and arrange means of shipping as soon as possible; I always have the easier alternative of contacting VISA, report it as fraudulent and let them take care of this.

    I hope you don't mind my being arrogant, but I've run into similar situations before, and I'm sick and tired of 'you're automatically signed up for our membership program...' kind of deal.
    I didn't really write this in letter form and didn't sign off, because the company has a dedicated section for customer care where I can write complaints in their website.

    I still make quite a bit of mistakes on articles, and things such as this / that / it / these / those... little things, but things that hamper the readers from understanding my writing. There's a rare possibility that I haven't made any mistakes but there almost always seem to be at least one or two. Please correct anything strange to you, and that'd mean a lot to me. Thanks!!
    Last edited by HaraKiriBlade; 11-May-2005 at 05:12.

  2. #2
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: Complaint letter to a company

    Hi, I would never start a letter this way- being a bit old-fashioned, I'd recommend Dear Sir or Madam

    Apparently (Remove this- you either have or haven't and you should know- it lacks clarity, which is not good in a complaint), I have received something I didn't (I wouldn't use contractions in a letter) order and was charged $49.64 USD for it. All I've purchased was the $9.99 basic kit and I was happy with it. I have not agreed to get (buy?) anything more than that (I'd use the past tense to show that you have no plans to agree either). I haven't opened this second package yet, hoping to send this back and get my money back. I'm not paying for the shipping , so please do provide me with a carrier account so that I can send collect to you.

    Please contact me and arrange means of shipping as soon as possible; I always have the easier alternative of contacting VISA, report it as fraudulent and let them take care of this.

    I hope you don't mind my being arrogant, but I've run into similar situations before, and I'm sick and tired of 'you're automatically signed up for our membership program...' kind of deal.

    Here's the way I'd end (after second package):
    I will be returning the goods to you, so I would be grateful if you could provide me with a carrier account to cover the shipping costs. I also expect to have the amount debited to my VISA to be refunded in full immediately so that I will not be obliged to pursue this matter further with VISA, who take a very dim view of companies who use account details in ways other than those specifically authorised by the card holder.

    I look forward to hearing from you.

    Yours faithfully

    Harakiri Blade

    How about that?
    Last edited by Tdol; 11-May-2005 at 08:20. Reason: typo

  3. #3
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    Talking Re: Complaint letter to a company

    This is exactly what I wanted! Thanks Tdol!

    Your answers bring some new questions - not that your explanation's not good enough, just that it brings up new issues I wasn't aware of.


    I have not agreed to get (buy?) anything more than that (I'd use the past tense to show that you have no plans to agree either).
    So if I say 'I did not agree to buy anything more than that', it implies I have no plans to agree in the future? then what would 'I have not agreed...' imply? I'm not too good with the grammar namings and I don't know what this 'have done' form is called. I seem to use the past tense and 'have done' form interchangably without knowing what particular time they represent. I just use my gut feeling as to which one sounds correct but it always have been frustrating. Could you please explain this for me?


    ...pursue this matter further with VISA, who take a very dim view of companies who use account details in ways other than those specifically authorised by the card holder.
    When you say VISA take a very dim view of such companies, do you mean VISA don't care much whether the companies use my personal info in ways other than specified by me, or VISA show contempt on, look down on, or think unworthy of such companies?


    Just on a personal note, you're such a gentleman Tdol. (I'm not being sarcastic in any way!)
    Or maybe I was being a bit too rude in standard British / American's sense? I didn't mind that much because well, I wanted to show my anger to them.

  4. #4
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    Cool Re: Complaint letter to a company

    When you say "I have not agreed to get (buy?) anything", you seem to suggest you have not yet done that untill the moment you're writing the letter, but you have the intention/possibility /plan to accept the purchase, and the company just delivered it in advance. But the fact is that you don't want it at all. So past tense is better, for it just told the what was the truth, without showing any chance to buy it at anytime.

    For instance, compare the two talks.

    - "Have you finished your work?"
    - "Not yet"

    It means that the person hasn't been done with his work when the two are talking. But he will finish it sooner or later.

    - Did you do your work?
    - No, I didn't.

    This time, we only know his work was not done, totally uncertain if he will do it by any chance in the time to come.

    I wish Tdol to confirme the above.

  5. #5
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: Complaint letter to a company

    I'll confirm it. The past tense shuts the door. With regard to HaraKiri's question about a 'dim view', it means that VISA look negatively on cheating companies. In a complaint letter, I think it is better to control anger and complain clearly, but not to overstate threats. That way they know you'll take it further, but you give them the space to sort things out. Let rip in the second letter. If you give them the space to climb down and say it was a terrible misunderstanding, etc, you're more likely, IMO, to get the money back, which is what you want. Letting them lie is a small price to pay if they do what you want. If they fail to act, then go straight to VISA and let them get heavy- they'll be experts at that. One threatening letter from them will carry more weight. I think a degree of subtelty in complaint letters is a useful tool; the velvet glove with an iron fist inside it.
    Last edited by Tdol; 12-May-2005 at 02:34.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Complaint letter to a company

    I hope I'm not annoying you by asking questions after questions.

    Let rip in the second letter.
    Let my anger go berserk if they don't listen at the first try?

    BTW, thank you ricardo for easy-to-understand examples, and Tdol, for great explanations.

  7. #7
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: Complaint letter to a company

    Basically, yes. I think the first complaint should leave them room to respond without losing too much face- let it be 'an administrative error'. If they fail to take the opportunity, then make them wish they had never been born.

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