Writing a letter

Writing a letter of complaint

Tracy from Skillswise explains how to put together a letter of complaint with our useful template.

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Angela Rippon: When it comes to challenging a rip-off, a well written letter of complaint can very often make all the difference in the world.

Woman One: I typed a letter and just said you’ve got your facts wrong.

Man One: From the telephone calls I was not getting anywhere. So, I then decided to write and send an email to them.

Man Two: I wrote a final letter to them saying that if you don’t reply within 14 days I will take you to court.

Angela Rippon: Our colleagues from the BBC’s Skillswise website have put together a template letter that you can use to complain as effectively as possible. It makes clear the key points and information that you need to include.

Tracy from Skillswise: It’s essentially a form to enable you to just order your thoughts and the facts before you go ahead and write your letter of complaint.

Angela Rippon: So, what have we got there for instance.

Tracy from Skillswise: So, what we’ve got here is:

Who the letter is to – don’t just write to the company, try and get a name of someone if you can. Once you’ve done that then you need to kind of get the evidence together as to why it is you are complaining. For example, any telephone calls you may have made and any costs you may have incurred making those calls, any letters they may have sent to you.

Then a paragraph or two about what you’d like them to do, how you’d like your problem to be addressed.

Angela Rippon: And don’t be rude.

Tracy from Skillswise: Never be rude. Be firm but polite.

Quick tips for tutors

A short video that features Angela Rippon and a member of the Skillswise team demonstrating a template on the Skillswise website that helps people to gather the information they need to to write a letter of complaint.

May be used in class to introduce the topic in class and stimulate discussion around the featured story. Alternatively could be used to introduce the following topic(s):

Writing a letter

Planning your writing

Format and style