Complain About Overdue Work or Poor Workmanship • Letter Templates and Guide

How to write this letter:

1Before you address the problem, it is often a good idea to explain the reasons why you came to the particular individual or company for their services. State all the relevant facts concerning the case in question.
2Include copies of any documents such as receipts, invoices, contracts, or cancelled checks that will support your claim.
3Include a specific request regarding how you feel the reader should handle the problem and describe any action you intend to take.

Tips

Use the particulars of the contract or agreement as you register your complaint. Stick to the details of the agreement, so the letter is not an attack on a particular person. If you feel you must pursue legal action, tell the reader in a direct, respectful way.

Example Letter #1

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We felt fortunate to get your roofing crew to shingle our new home last fall when our general contractor had legal problems. Your workers were prompt and fast; however, the heavy winds that we experienced last week ripped off several of the new shingles. When I personally inspected the damage, I found that your crew had done a very shoddy job of installing them. They had not removed the plastic covering from the backs of the shingles so the adhesive strip could take hold, and in many cases, they had only used one nail per shingle. It is little wonder that they finished the work so quickly.

According to the standard building agreement, materials and workmanship are guaranteed for one year, so I expect you to repair the roof properly before the next storm. Since a year will soon be up and fall weather will be upon us, would you please inform me by August 15 when you plan to have the work completed. I trust this is all the action I will have to take, but I am prepared to do whatever may be necessary to get satisfaction.

Example Letter #2

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My brother, John Doe, recommended your company as one that would do a good job of building our exhibition booths, but we have seen virtually no progress on the project during recent weeks. Our conference is scheduled for March 3.

With our advance payment, you agreed to have the work completed one week prior to the opening (contract copy enclosed). I question whether you will be able to meet the terms of the contract, and am very concerned about being ready for the conference. Please call me, and follow up in writing, about how you intend to complete the work on time. If it appears that you will default on this contract, we will take immediate measures to protect ourselves.

Example Letter #3

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Before I hired you to remodel my home, I asked for references from some of your past customers. All of them recommended you highly. Now I stand in the middle of a mess: Walls are torn out, bathroom fixtures are missing, doors need to be hung, and the list goes on. And, of course, we have seen neither you nor any of your employees for at least a week and a half. Enclosed is our contract stating explicitly that you were to finish my home by May 5, two weeks ago. If we do not hear from you by Friday, May 24, we will cancel the contract, hire a new contractor, and meet you in court.

Write Your Letter Step-by-Step

1

Before you address the problem, it is often a good idea to explain the reasons why you came to the particular individual or company for their services. State all the relevant facts concerning the case in question.

Example Sentences

Because my brother recommended your firm so highly, I contracted with you to build my new home. I am writing because, according to the contract we signed, both the foundation and frame were to have been finished by July 15 of this year. It is now July 20, and only the foundation has been poured. In addition, I inspected the foundation last night and found that the living room space is two feet shorter and one foot wider than the plans call for. You have a fine reputation for installing doors of all kinds, so I trust you will correct the problem we have with the one that you installed in our house last week. The door is not working properly. It rubs against the frame and sticks shut, so my children have a hard time opening it. We selected your printing firm for the job because our friends recommended you so highly. Unfortunately, when we received our flyers, the design was not the one we had approved. On May 9, I paid an $87.00 deposit to have my kitchen floor redone. According to our agreement, you were to complete the job by August 1, but the work has not yet begun. Even more frustrating, no one has responded to my phone messages. Please respond to this letter within ten days, or I will initiate legal action in small claims court. I am writing to protest the penalty which has been leveled against our company. We were penalized $800 for not completing the roof of the Doe building on Second Street by May 23. We were not able to complete the roof on time because the company you subcontracted with to do the framing was late in finishing the upper floor of the building. Because your company has such a positive national reputation for designing and installing the best security systems, we decided to purchase our system from you. The system appears to be malfunctioning, however. Twice in the last three weeks our night watchman has caught an intruder in our building. Fortunately, no serious damage has resulted. According to the phone conversation I had with you on March 17, you were to have completed the mural on the east wall of the entry way within two months of that date.

Example Phrases

3

Include a specific request regarding how you feel the reader should handle the problem and describe any action you intend to take.

Example Sentences

Example Phrases