Respond to a Complaint, But Needing More Information - Letters

Example Letter #1

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Thank you for your letter requesting a replacement tire for your car. We are sorry the tire has not performed to your expectations, but before we can make an adjustment we will need to see the tire and either the sales slip or the warranty card. As soon as you can bring these to our dealership, we will make every effort to get you back on the road.

Example Letter #2

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Thank you for informing me that we over billed your company's account $50.00. I am trying to credit your account, but because we have more that one Doe in our files, I need more information. Please send me your account number and, if possible, a copy of your last billing statement with the over billed amount on it so that I can find the error at its source.

I look forward to receiving the information soon, so I can correct the error. Please call my office at 555-5555 if you have any questions.

Example Letter #3

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We apologize that our automatic car wash took your money without rendering service. I sent my service representative out yesterday to examine stall #5, the one you described. I would be happy to refund your money but you failed to tell me how much you lost. Please phone me at 555-5555 to clear up this problem.

Example Letter #4

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I am sorry to hear that you have had problems with your new sprinkler system. I will send out a service technician tomorrow to see what we can do. It would be helpful if you could have your warranty on hand for us to review. I am sure we can resolve things to your satisfaction.

Letter-Writing Tips

When you don't have enough information to respond to the complaint immediately, this letter will serve to either ask the customer for more information or to inform the customer that you are collecting more information from another source before responding. It lets the customer know that you take the complaint seriously.

Step-by-Step Guide

1 Acknowledge the complaint and express sympathy, referring to the customer's problem, rather than to the complaint.

Sentences
  • I am sorry to hear of the problem you experienced with your new hairdryer.
  • We are sorry your new sewing machine is not working to your satisfaction, and we understand that you are requesting a replacement.
  • We appreciate your taking the time to write about the poor service you received last Thursday.
  • Thank you for bringing to my attention your unpleasant experience at one of our local Doe's restaurants.
  • Thank you for your letter concerning the damage to the shipment of umbrellas you received on April 30.
Phrases
  • am sorry to hear of the problem you experienced with
  • appreciate your taking the time to write
  • concerning the damage to the shipment of
  • failed to provide the services promised in our agreement
  • has told me of your dissatisfaction with
  • have received your claim forms for the damage
  • know that our company is not ignoring your problem
  • particularly distressed when a customer feels
  • poor service you received last
  • problem you experienced with the repair work
  • sorry your new oven is not working to your satisfaction
  • take pride in our work
  • thank you for bringing to my attention your unpleasant experience
  • thank you for bringing your concerns to our attention
  • thank you for taking the time to inform
  • thank you for writing me concerning your problem with
  • thank you for calling our attention to
  • value our customers' input
  • your recent displeasure concerning

2 Explain that you are investigating the problem. Ask for the information you need.

Sentences
  • I have spoken to our engineers, and they would like to examine the hairdryer. I am sending you a new dryer and a mailing label. Please put the faulty hairdryer into the new packaging, affix the label, and return it by mail.
  • As soon as I can determine who our new representative is in your town, I will send you a telephone number to call to arrange a time for him to check out the machine. He will be able to determine the seriousness of the problem.
  • Because our floor manager is on leave this week, we have been behind in answering inquiries, but you may rest assured that the matter will be investigated.
  • There are, of course, three Doe branches in Springfield. I would appreciate it if you would call me, Jane Doe, at 555-5555, and tell me the location of the branch you visited. I will respond promptly.
  • We have examined our paperwork and every thing seems to be in order so far, but we would like to check the delivery cartons. Our representative, John Doe, will call you to arrange an appointment early next week.
Phrases
  • addressing your situation properly requires
  • after I have completed my investigation
  • arrange an appointment to inspect the damage
  • based on his findings and recommendations
  • can arrange a mutually convenient time to meet
  • currently investigating why your material arrived
  • do whatever is necessary to correct this situation
  • first step is to locate
  • have briefed John Doe on the situation
  • have our regional manager contact our dealer and
  • make whatever adjustments or repairs are necessary
  • name of the installing dealer
  • need additional time for a thorough evaluation
  • need to investigate this matter
  • one of our representatives will phone
  • personally dispatched one of our managers
  • provide me with a little more information
  • starting at the beginning to uncover
  • what I need to know is
  • will thoroughly review the matter
  • will take me some time to review this with
  • will stop further collection proceedings until
  • your complaint is in good hands

3 Close with an expression of good will and assurance that you will try to satisfy the customer.

Sentences
  • I am sure you will enjoy using the replacement hairdryer, and I look forward to serving you in the future.
  • We value your business and are confident that you will soon be enjoying the full use of your sewing machine again.
  • Good service to our customers is and will remain a hallmark of Doe Corporation, but mistakes do happen. Thank you for helping us to make sure that this particular mistake does not happen again.
  • I assure you that the problem will be corrected. I am enclosing a coupon for two free entrees for you to use on your next visit to Doe's.
  • We thank you for your cooperation and want to assure you that we will sort out this problem fairly and equitably.
Phrases
  • am enclosing a coupon for your next visit
  • am sure you will enjoy using the replacement
  • apologize for your inconvenience
  • assure you that this problem will be
  • be back in touch with you as soon as
  • confident that you will soon be enjoying the full use of
  • customer satisfaction is one of our greatest priorities
  • demand and deserve nothing less than the best
  • excellent customer service is and will remain a hallmark of
  • fairly and equitably
  • look forward to an amicable resolution
  • look forward to serving you in the future
  • make sure this does not happen again
  • rest assured that the problem will be corrected
  • thank you again for writing and letting us know
  • thank you for your cooperation
  • thank you for your prompt notification
  • thank you again for your comments
  • thank you for helping us to
  • thank you for your patience
  • value your business
  • will make every attempt to resolve the problem

Letter-Writing Resources