Tutorial for “Complain About Poor Facilities or Equipment”

Tips

Be respectful. Remember that the person who reads this letter may not personally be responsible for the problem. Making changes in public facilities often requires the cooperation of several offices. Be firm but understanding. If you have a problem with a private facility, you can expect more rapid response. If the problem is serious, or you receive no response, you may wish to involve other offices or agencies.

Steps

1. Give all the relevant facts concerning the situation.

Sentences

  • We are writing again to complain about the oven in our apartment. It still leaks gas and is a serious safety hazard. For more details see the enclosed copy of our March 3 letter.
  • Last Sunday, while in the Memorial Park, I noticed how much trash there was on the grass and on the tennis courts. More dangerous still was all the broken glass on the tennis courts.
  • As a new manager of a local PONY baseball team, I want to register a complaint about the maintenance of Centerville field. The third base dugout is in such disrepair that it is unusable. Half of my team must remain standing throughout the game because of a broken bench. The infield grass is covered with large rocks, making it difficult and dangerous to play on. Also, the sprinklers in the outfield rarely collapse all the way, inviting serious injury to an unsuspecting player.
  • I need to draw your attention to the faulty fire hydrant outside of my shop. Twice in the last week it has leaked badly from its base, flooding the front of my clothing store. Besides the obvious inconvenience, I am worried that the high water pressure in the evenings might cause the hydrant to fail completely.
  • We homeowners in Doe Canyon are concerned about the flood control dam at the top of the canyon. It is old, filled with debris, and no longer stretches across the whole canyon.

Phrases

  • besides the obvious inconvenience
  • call your attention to
  • care about the condition of
  • care about the safety of
  • contract clearly states that
  • creates a potentially dangerous
  • dangerous for all involved
  • direct your attention to
  • find it necessary to complain about
  • has been malfunctioning
  • has been a problem for
  • has been no change in
  • have seen no action in spite of
  • have written you previously
  • in spite of our requests
  • inviting serious injury
  • is quite inadequate for
  • is clearly defective
  • is causing damage to
  • is just a question of time before
  • is very annoying
  • must bring this to your attention
  • need to report that
  • need to maintain our facilities
  • needs to be rectified
  • potential disaster area
  • presents a serious safety hazard
  • remains defective
  • think you should know
  • want to register a complaint
  • was inadequately repaired
  • will cause further problems
  • wish to inform you
  • with many children in the area

2. Include any specific requests you have regarding how the situation should be rectified. Declare your desire to cooperate in any way.

Sentences

  • Please repair the gas leak in the heater or I may be obliged to file an official complaint with the city.
  • Please see that local litter and vandalism laws are enforced with respect to this situation. Our organization will help in any way we can.
  • We would appreciate it greatly if the Fire Department could find another way to conduct their hose exercises, so that our houses are not soaked every week.
  • We hope the city will consider using pressure plates next time they work on the traffic lights around the city. It is very frustrating waiting for a light to turn green when there is absolutely no traffic coming in the other direction.
  • We fear it may be a potential disaster area and request an inspection of the dam as soon as possible.

Phrases

  • according to our contract
  • according to our agreement
  • according to our calculations
  • are willing to lend a hand
  • are obligated to
  • are willing to help
  • are willing to arrange for
  • are willing to assist with
  • as soon as possible
  • at your next meeting
  • contract clearly states that
  • feel obligated to
  • if you were in our place
  • if you do not clean up
  • if the repair is not performed
  • may result from this negligence
  • needs immediate action
  • on the agenda for
  • please enforce the existing statute
  • problem could be eliminated by
  • request an inspection of
  • request that you
  • requires immediate action
  • requires immediate attention
  • situation can be rectified by
  • something needs to be done
  • trust that the city will
  • will take our case to
  • will help in any way we can
  • will file an official complaint
  • will register a complaint with
  • would not be too difficult to
  • would like to recommend
  • would like to suggest
  • would appreciate it greatly

3. Close the letter on a positive note, expressing assurance that the problem can be solved.

Sentences

  • I trust that you will make every effort to clear up this problem.
  • Thank you for your help.
  • I will appreciate your immediate attention to this matter.
  • I hope to hear from you soon.
  • Please contact me as soon as possible. I am eager to help rectify the situation.

Phrases

  • am sure we can find
  • am sure you will
  • are more than qualified to
  • are all proud of our
  • as soon as possible
  • as a concerned citizen
  • can expect to hear from
  • for sorting out this matter
  • for your assistance
  • for your cooperation
  • for your willingness to
  • have a great tradition of
  • have always enjoyed
  • have never before been dissatisfied with
  • have confidence that
  • hope to hear from you soon
  • if you need more information
  • look forward to
  • make every effort to
  • thank you for
  • to hearing from you shortly
  • to getting this problem cleared up
  • to everyone's satisfaction
  • to a cleaner city
  • will be happy to
  • will find a workable solution to
  • will give immediate attention to
  • wish to assure you that

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