Hello everybody! How are you today? Our topic for this week is ‘A letter of complaint’. Imagine you have bought a new TV and it doesn´t work, or you have rented accommodation and the roof is leaking or the toilet doesn´t flush. What would you do? What would you do if your flight to London is delayed? You must write a letter of complaint. How? Go on and find out the answer.
To begin with, you have to know that a letter of complaint is a formal letter, so you have to follow all the rules you normally take into account when you write a formal text. For example:
-You have to put your address (without your name) and the date in the top right-hand corner.
-You have to put the company address in the top left-hand corner.
-You cannot use contractions.
-You have to start the letter with ‘Dear Mr/Ms/Miss’ and a surname (if you know the person you´re writing to) and a comma, not a colon.
-You have to star the letter with ‘Dear Sir or Madam’ (if you don´t know the person you´re writing to).
-You have to divide the letter into at least three paragraphs.
-You can end the letter using two differents endings: ‘Yours sincerely’ (if you know the person you´re writting to) or ‘Yours faithfully’ (if you don´t know the person).
Secondly, you have a long list of expressions you can use to express your concerns. Here you have some of them.
-I am writing with regard to…
-I am writing to you to complain…
-I am writing to you to express my concerns…
–I wish to express my dissatisfaction with…
-I am writing to complain about…
-I have discovered a number of problems with…
-I have left several messages on your answerphone but as I have not receive a reply…
-The first and most serious problem is the fact that…
-My central complaint is that…
-I have tried to… but this has made no difference.
-A furhter source of irritation is that…
-I am also concerned about the fact that… which constitute a safety hazard.
-Finally, I would like to draw your attention to the fact that…
-As a result I have to… as a temporary measure.
-As you will appreciate, these problems have been causing me a great deal of inconvenience and distress…
–I would appreciate it if you could replace…
-I would be therefore grateful if you could contact me on the above telephone number as a matter of urgency, and let me know how you propose to resolve these problems.
–Please let me know as soon as possible what action you propose to take…
-I look forward to hearing from you.
-Firstly, first of all, at first, in the beginning…
-On the one hand… On the other hand…
You can have so many different problems. Here you have some of the more common problems.
PROBLEMS WITH ACCOMODATION
-The kitchen sink is blocked.
-The bathroom tap keeps dripping.
-The tiles in the bathroom are chipped and cracked.
-The roof is leaking.
-There are mice under the floorboards.
-The walls are paper thing.
-The walls are damp.
-The hall carpet is stained and filthy.
-The bell isn´t working.
-The rooms were very cramped.
-The toilet doesn´t flush.
-The central heating system is erratic.
-The windows do not shut properly.
-The swimming pool was closed the entire week for repairs.
-Several of the sockets in the bedroom are loose.
-The lift in this block is frequently out of order.
PROBLEMS WITH CLOTHES AND TECHNOLOGY (COMPLAINING IN A SHOP)
Although in these cases, you simply go to the shop and complait, this vocabulary can also be useful for you if you want to write a letter.
-There is a hole in the sleeve.
-The sweater has shrunk.
-There is a stain on the collar.
-The zip is broken.
-There is a button missing.
-The DVD player doesn´t work.
-The headphones are broken.
-The instructions are missing.
-When I attempted to return the… to the store, the cashier said that the store was unable to replace it or offer me a refund but advised me that it could be sent away for repair.
-I am writing to you to ask for a full refund of the £… retail price.
PROBLEMS WITH AN AIRLINE
-The flight was delayed…
-The flight attendant was very impolite…
-Nobody informed me…
Now, here you have two examples of letters of complaint.
20 February 2019
Las Palmeras, nº 2
Dear Mr Bradbury,
I am writing to express my disappointment with aspects of my recent holiday in Canarias. Unfortunately, during my stay in your hotel I found a number of problems that your personnel were not able to sort out.
The first and most serious problem was the fact that the walls were paper thin, which was extremely annoying as I could hear every noise other guests made. I tried using earplugs but that made no difference, especially if there were some teenagers in the adjacent room. A further source of irritation was that the windows were jammed shut. As a result, I had to use a fan as a temporary measure, but even so the temperature was boling.
I am also concerned about the fact that the only chair was broken, which made it terrible uncomfortable to sit on. Finally, I would like to draw your attention to the fact that the bed sheets were filthy, which constituted a health hazard.
As you will appreciate, these problems caused me a great deal of inconvenience. I never thought a cut-price hotel could have such a disastrous service. I would be grateful if you could contact me on the above address to let me know how you propose to compensate me. Otherwise, I shall be forced to take further action.
I look forward to hearing from you before the end of the week.
Calle Ríos, nº 20
20 February 2019
317 Portobello Road, London W10 5SZ
Dear Sir or Madam,
I am writing to express my strong dissatisfation with the service that I have received from you company.
One month ago, I booked plane tickets to travel from London to Madrid because I had to go to my son´s wedding, and the depart day (two days ago), I arrived at the airport four hours before the takeoff to be relaxed. However, when I was about to get on the plane, a flight attendant told me, in a very impolite way, that I could not board because the flight has been delayed for at least eighteen hours. As you can imagine, I was terribly upset because nobody has informed me before and I could not go anywhere. I had to spend the whole night sitting on an uncomfortable chair at the airport. That was unacceptable, and to make matters worse, I arrived at my son´s wedding late.
Considering the circumstances, I feel that your company should compensate me for my wasted time. I would be grateful if you could return the money I paid for the tickets, but in addition I would like a written apology from the flight attendant who shouted at me. In another case, I shall be forced to take further action.
I expect to hear from you before the end of the week.
And that´s all for now! Can you write your own letter of complaint? See you next week!