Complain About Receiving Damaged Goods • Example Letters, Guides and Samples


Most businesses are eager to satisfy their customers and will respond to a complaint letter. There is no need to be challenging, so use a congenial tone. The problem is a mutual one. If you do not receive satisfaction, consider taking more serious action.

How to write this complaint letter:

  1. State all the relevant facts concerning the situation.
  2. Include photocopies of purchase orders, contracts, or invoices that will validate your claim.
  3. Include a specific request regarding how you feel the situation should be rectified.
  4. Close the letter on a positive note, expressing confidence that the reader will do what is necessary to rectify the situation.

Example Letter #1


A few weeks ago I ordered a terra cotta vase through your mail order catalog, but when it arrived it was shattered into several small pieces. It appeared that the box had been crushed by something quite heavy. I hope you have another just like it, because I would still like to receive the vase.

I am returning the invoice that was in the box, and will return the broken pieces, if necessary, to receive a replacement. Otherwise, I will eagerly await the arrival of a new vase. If it can be delivered before Christmas, I will be most grateful.

Example Letter #2


We appreciate your willingness to deliver our new copy machine a day early. Unfortunately, it arrived with some damage to the front door. The machine works, but the door is an eyesore and doesn't close all the way. I have enclosed a Polaroid photo of the door so you can see the problem. I trust you will send someone to replace the door as soon as possible.

Example Letter #3


Yesterday my order of flour and sugar canisters arrived damaged. The large flour canister was in pieces. I am returning the canisters with a copy of my purchase order. Please ship us a new set and pay the shipping since we already paid it twice. Thank you for your help.

Write Your Letter Step-by-Step

1 State all the relevant facts concerning the situation.

Sample Sentences for Step 1
  • On March 3, we ordered a single-phase electric motor from your company. When we received it on March 12, the casing was cracked, and the shaft was slightly bent.
  • On August 21, I purchased an external CD ROM drive at your downtown store. When I unpacked it, I found that it did not include the cord to connect it to my computer, and the drive door would not close completely.
  • On June 2, we received a two-bag shipment of your whole grain flour. When it arrived both of the bags had been ripped open, resulting in a loss of at least 20% of the flour we ordered.
  • After your company moved our office furniture, we discovered three cracked picture frames, an oak chair missing a leg, and a scratched wooden desk. Our order number was 12345.
  • Last week one of our subcontractors, Doe Security Systems, received twenty cases of your wall-mounted motion detectors (part # 123). When they opened the boxes to visually inspect the detectors, they found that many of the mounting brackets were twisted or broken in half.
Sample Phrases for Step 1
  • a number of blemishes
  • after your company moved our
  • agreed to accept shipment
  • appeared to have been dropped
  • are most dissatisfied
  • arrived in unsatisfactory condition
  • caused us to lose
  • compared with an identical model
  • did not work
  • expected everything to be
  • extensive damage to
  • had been damaged
  • have never before experienced this
  • need to inform you
  • non-refundable policy surely does not include
  • not in working order
  • packaging was intact
  • products were damaged
  • seemed to work well until
  • should have been included
  • upon opening the containers
  • usually in good working order
  • was not included in the
  • was not included
  • was not aligned properly
  • were dismayed to discover
  • were distressed to discover
  • were not aware at the time
  • when we opened the boxes
  • when the shipment arrived

2 Include photocopies of purchase orders, contracts, or invoices that will validate your claim.

Sample Sentences for Step 2
  • Enclosed is a photocopy of invoice #123, dated September 1, 2018.
  • I have included a copy of the purchase order that corresponds to this shipment.
  • Please see the accompanying contract for the shipping instructions.
  • With this letter you will find:
    1. Copy of purchase order #123
    2. Copy of carrier's bill #456
    3. Our shipping clerk's memo on the damaged items
  • Accompanying this letter is a copy of the shipping contract and the purchase order.
Sample Phrases for Step 2
  • accompanying this letter are
  • according to our records
  • am sending photocopies of
  • are not liable for
  • as protection against
  • as the contract states
  • clearly demonstrates that
  • feel we are justified in
  • has been documented
  • have included these to show
  • have sent a copy of the entire file
  • have sent these to substantiate
  • have enclosed copies of
  • providing proof of damage
  • purchase order clearly states that
  • should assist you in tracking down
  • the accompanying documents
  • the enclosed photographs of
  • the following paperwork
  • to substantiate my claim
  • to verify these assertions
  • will verify my claim
  • will shortly receive copies of
  • would be happy to show you

3 Include a specific request regarding how you feel the situation should be rectified.

Sample Sentences for Step 3
  • I am returning the motor and would appreciate a replacement at soon as possible.
  • We would appreciate it very much if you would replace the damaged mounting brackets for the roof blowers.
  • We are sending the damaged monitors back to you and request that you send us replacements as soon as possible.
  • Please send us another bag of flour at no additional charge to compensate for the flour lost during shipment.
  • I am returning the damaged CDs. Please credit my account accordingly.
  • Because you contracted with the carrier to ship the hardware, I would appreciate it if you would negotiate with them to settle the issue.
Sample Phrases for Step 3
  • am surely entitled to
  • am returning the defective
  • apart from this problem
  • appreciate your efforts
  • as soon as possible
  • as we agreed
  • as stated in the contract
  • because you contracted with
  • certainly merits action
  • credit my account with
  • damaged goods will be returned
  • direct exchange would be
  • entitled to a replacement
  • expect more careful handling
  • have received an estimate
  • if you could rectify this situation
  • kindly issue us a full refund
  • request that you refund
  • request full reimbursement of
  • situation warrants immediate action
  • situation seems to merit a
  • specifically request that
  • will be happy to send you
  • would very much appreciate it if
  • would be happy to negotiate with
  • would appreciate your early attention to

4 Close the letter on a positive note, expressing confidence that the reader will do what is necessary to rectify the situation.

Sample Sentences for Step 4
  • I trust that your firm 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 sure that we can arrive at a solution that will work well for both of us.
  • Thank you for addressing my concerns. I look forward to doing business with you again.
Sample Phrases for Step 4
  • am confident that
  • am sure that
  • arrive at a satisfactory solution
  • as soon as possible
  • can't wait to receive
  • clear up this problem
  • determine the best solution to
  • do what is necessary
  • don't hesitate to
  • for addressing my concerns
  • for resolving this matter
  • for giving this matter your consideration
  • have always been satisfied with
  • have never been disappointed in your
  • have always enjoyed
  • have confidence that
  • hope we can maintain
  • hope to hear from you
  • look forward to
  • make every effort to
  • most effective avenue to pursue
  • thank you for
  • to hearing from you
  • to receiving the replacement
  • trust that you will
  • will deal with this
  • will do your best to
  • will be mutually beneficial