Complain About Receiving Damaged Goods — Letter-Writing Tutorial


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.


1. State all the relevant facts concerning the situation.


  • 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.


  • 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.


  • Enclosed is a photocopy of invoice #123, dated September 1, 2001.
  • 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:<br /> 1. Copy of purchase order #123<br /> 2. Copy of carrier's bill #456<br /> 3. Our shipping clerk's memo on the damaged items
  • Accompanying this letter is a copy of the shipping contract and the purchase order.


  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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

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