How to write a business letter to a manufacturer to complain about a product

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Answered by: Karen, An Expert in the How to Write Well Category
How to Write a Business Letter

Writing a business letter is a fairly simple task. A business letter has a specific layout. The typical business letter contains the wirter's address at the top, then the addresee's address a little further down. Fortunatley, most word processing programs, such as MS Word, have programs that will assist you with the correct format of a business letter. The most difficult component of a business letter, however, is the body.

Whether you are writing a company to complain or to praise their product, it is a good idea to do a little research first. You are more likely to achieve your desired result if you can address your letter to a specific person. Most companies have a department to field complaints or inquiries about their products or services. Your letter should be short and to the point. It should be no longer than two or three paragraphs. The first paragraph should reference the specific product, the location where you purchased it and the date of purchase. It should also briefly state the issue. For example:

"Dear Mr. Smith,

I am writing in regards to your Carolina Gel Pen. I bought a three pack of your gel pens from Quilty's Stationery in Philadelphia, Pa on July 3rd, 2012. I have used each of the pens and they have all exploded causing permanent stains to my clothing. This experience has caused me a significant amount of inconvenience, time and money. I think that I will have to think twice before purchasing one of your products again."

The second paragraph should offer a few more details: "I used the first gel pen on July 3rd, hours after I purchased it from Quilty's. I was trying to write a shopping list on ordinary white lined paper. I was only able to record a few items before the pen started to drip. The dark green ink leaked all over the notebook page and onto my white shirt causing a large dark stain. I hand washed my shirt immediately. The stain didn't come out. I then had the shirt dry cleaned. The dry cleaner attempted to remove the stain, but advised me that the stain was hopeless. My shirt has been ruined."

The third paragraph should detail what action you would like the company to take in regards to this issue: "I am enclosing pictures of my shirt as well as a receipt for its purchase. I purchased it from Nordstrom's for one hundred dollars. I would like your company to reimburse me for its cost. Thank you for your time. I look forward to your response."

It is customary to end a business letter with either, "Sincerely" or "Respectfully Yours"and then your name. You may write your letter by hand, but it will be easier to read if it is typed.

Overall, be careful to maintain a calm tone throughout your letter and avoid using inflammatory language. A neutral tone will make it easier for your reader to consider your issue. This is how to write a business letter.

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