How To Win At Whining

Have a beef with a company over a product or service? Who hasn’t? Banks, airlines, cable companies, cell phone carriers, restaurants… they’ve all done us wrong at one time or another, and we’d like to get what’s coming to us. Trouble is, it’s usually David vs. Goliath. So what’s the best way to complain to get results?, the irreverent offshoot of Consumer Reports, says “a good complaint letter needs to hit a few different points in order to really work.” Here are its 6 things to keep in mind to write a complaint letter like a pro:


  1. What’s the essential, material, basis of your complaint? 1-2 sentences.
  2. What evidence do you have to back it up? 3-5 sentences.
  3. What is the exact, material form of redress you’re seeking? An apology back doesn’t count. You want 500 frequent miles, or you want a $35 fee waived, or you want your next cellphone activation to be free.
  4. Briefly, what channels have you gone through already to address your complaint? Name employees by name and employee or extension number.
  5. Keep it under one page.
  6. Include your contact info.
And says don’t forget to always be polite and professional while firmly asking for what you want. Otherwise, your letter will be tossed in the trash.
Let me know what experiences you’ve had with writing complaint letters that have been successful in getting what you want.



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