Complain About a Delay In an Order • Letter Templates and Guides

How to write this letter:

1State your concern clearly, giving your reader the benefit of the doubt.
2Provide sufficient information so your reader can find your order. Give the date and tell exactly what you ordered. If necessary, this letter can function as a reorder document.
3Repeat shipping instructions, but not payment arrangements.
4Request that the reader either send the merchandise or offer an explanation for the delay. If you have sent money, request that it be returned if your order cannot fill the order.


When the time goes beyond the standard "six to eight weeks for delivery," you may need to send this letter. Be aware that a friendly reminder usually works better than criticism in these cases.

Example Letter #1


I am eagerly awaiting the arrival of thirty extra large tulip bulbs that I ordered on March 1. Please see the enclosed copy of my order. The bulbs were to arrive for fall planting, but it is already October 15 and our ground in Kansas freezes about November 1. I fear the bulbs may be lost in the mail. Please do everything possible to locate or reship the order so I can plant them before it is too late.

Example Letter #2


I realize orders must be flooding in for your new spring line, but I've been expecting my shipment for over two weeks. I am wondering what could have caused its delay. On March 30, I ordered two pink and white baby body suits (sizes M and L), two lilac summer play dress (24 mos.), and lilac jellies (size 3). I understood the merchandise was to be sent to my home. Please send my order immediately before spring passes and I am forced to cancel my order.

Example Letter #3


Your catalogue promises timely delivery, and my bank confirms that my check has been cashed. However, I am concerned because my order has not arrived after nine weeks. On November 12, I mailed an itemized order form requesting three reams of your recycled, 20# bond copy paper and two cases of long security envelopes in off-white. I requested that these items be shipped parcel post to my office at 1600 Main St., Springfield, KS 12345. If the items have been shipped, please notify me and forward a tracking number. If the order was not shipped, please refund my money immediately. I have always had good luck ordering office supplies from Doe's in the past, and I hope we can continue to do business.

Example Letter #4


I am getting concerned about my order for a new modem. I placed the order on your web site using my credit card two months ago on June 12, 2018; my customer number is 55555, and the name on the account is Jane Doe. I requested that you ship the modem to me at 1600 Main Street, Springfield, KS 12345.

I ordered my modem through you because the price was so low; however, if you cannot get my order to me by August 20, please credit my account, and I will buy the modem locally.

Example Letter #5


I placed an order for letterhead and business cards for my new business four weeks ago. I am now meeting with clients and receiving orders but have not yet received my stationery. As you can see from my attached receipt, I paid extra for a rush order.

Please call me immediately at 555-5555 regarding the status of my order. I look forward to hearing from you.