Laws may vary from state to state. The information in this site has been presented with a New Hampshire audience in mind. Consult your local library to learn more about the laws in your state.
Remedies: Writing a Complaint Letter
Handling your own complaints can be a very easy process. If you are dissatisfied with a product or service, a fast and efficient way to get your complaint resolved is to express this dissatisfaction to the retailer or the manufacturer. Refer to the section on Remedies: Effective Negotiation to help you with that method. You may also need to write a letter explaining the problems to the company. The following are suggestions on how to write an effective letter of complaint.
Before You Begin
Check to see if the company has a toll-free 800 or 888 number for its customer service department. Look on the package labeling, in the toll-free number directory (available at your local library) or call the 800 number directory assistance (1-800- 555-1212). If there is a customer service 800 or 888 number, follow the suggestions in Remedies: Effective Negotiation when talking with the service representative.
Sometimes a letter of complaint is the best route to achieve your goal. Check the product label or warranty for the name and address of the manufacturer. Also, your local library might have reference manuals listing corporate addresses and officers, such as Standard & Poor's Register of Corporations, Directors and Executives which lists 37,000 American business firms. If you have the brand name but not the manufacturer, your local library may have the Thomas Register of American Manufacturers which lists product lines and their manufacturers. You should direct your letter either to the customer service department or to the company's president.
A complaint letter is important because it:
What to Say
There are some important points to cover in writing your letter:
If you are unsuccessful in getting your complaints resolved directly with the company and must contact other sources for assistance, refer to your letter. Remember that if you have to contact other sources such as the New Hampshire Consumer Protection & Antitrust Bureau, the Better Business Bureau, or a trade association, be sure to give information about what you have done thus far to get your complaint resolved.
Microsoft Word format. You can download a free reader from Microsoft.
New Hampshire Department of Justice | 33 Capitol Street | Concord, NH | 03301