Test yourself: Complaint Letter

Chose the best variant.

1. Position of your address:

a) right

b) center

c) left

2. Position of date:

a) above addresses

b) between addresses

c) below addresses

3. Format of date:

a) 12/6/2007

b) 6/12/2007

c) 6 December 2007

4. Salutation:

a) Dear Sir or Madam

b) Dear Wong,

c) Dear J.Wong

d) Dear Wong, J.

e) Dear Mr.Wong

5. Subject Heading Content:

a) Please Improve Your Service

b) Complaining about your Local Tour

c) Complaining Regarding your Local Tour

d) Complaining about Local Tour

e) Your Local Tour

6. Paragraph Style:

a) block

b) indented

7. Paragraph 1, Sentence 1:

a) I am writing to complain about the punctuality, quality and customer service on your local tour of New Territories tourist attractions.

b) Your tour of the New Territories was a disaster.

c) I am writing to complain about a tour of the new Territories organized by your company.

8. Paragraph 2, Sentence 1:

a) The food was disgusting and gave me and my family bad stomachs. I had to take a day off work.

b) After lunch my family and I did not feel well due to bad stomach pains. I was forced to take sick leave next day, and I enclose a copy of the doctor's note.

c) The lunch was horrible. Why didn't you book a decent restaurant?

Final Paragraph

a) Thanks.

b) I look forward to hearing from you.

c) Thank you very much for your kind consideration.

10. Sign off:

a) Your sincerely,

b) Regards,



Task 2. Practice writing Complaint Leters


1. You are a manager of Boryspil Airport Gift shop. You received this morning fifty RK 529 calculators without instruction manuals. Write a letter of complaint to Philip Benn, Customer Service Manager of ABC (22 Foundation Dr., New York, NY 10014). State that it is busy summer period and you need the instruction manuals in a next few days. Use your name, address and write todays date.

2. You have bought a printer online from printers.com. You have received the printer you ordered, but it is very slow - it can only print ten pages per minute in black and white, and six in colour. Write a letter to the company to complain. Tell them:

What the problem is. What you want them to do about it.

3. You have bought a watch online from Avensis.com, but it stopped after she swam with it on.

4. The knife became blunt after only a month of use.

5. The hotel was an hour's drive from the beach.

6. The film was too long and very boring.

7. The batteries died after a few hours.

8. Our wooden floors have become dull.

9. The goods we ordered have not been received yet.

10. I purchased the camcorder only a month ago but the rewind button does not function properly.

11. You are a regular customer of a local restaurant. The last time you ate there, however, you felt that the standards had dropped slightly. Write a letter explaining why you were disappointed and suggesting what could be done to improve the situation. You recently hired a car for a part of your holiday. However, there were several problems with the arrangements. Write a letter of complaint to the manager/manageress explaining the problems and requesting compensation.

12. You have noticed that students at your son's school are often left unattendeded. Write a letter of complaint to the headmaster and ask him to ensure that the situation does not continue.

13. You recently travelled by coach and were very disappointed with the service provided by the staff, and the delays you encountered. Write a letter to the company to complain and to demand compensation.

14. There was no lifeguard on duty at the public swimming pool your child almost drowned.

15. Your neighbour's dog barks at night - you can't sleep

16. The hotel receptionist forgot to place your wake-up call - you overslept, missed your flight and had to pay for another ticket.

17. You found a piece of glass in a packet of frozen food - you nearly swallowed it.

18. The TV guide always has inaccuracies concerning dates and times -you can't be sure what programmes will be shown.

19. The birthday cake you ordered wasn't delivered on time - the children were extremely disappointed.

20. You are the manager of a supermarket which is losing customers because the employees of the company next can't park their cars in the supermarket parking area. Write a letter of complain to the company and suggest what should be done.

21. The nonalergic mascara you bought made your eyes water.

Apology Letter

Writing an apology letter takes a lot of hard thinking about your's and other's feelings. When you go to apologize to someone you want to make sure that you say/write the right words to satisfy that person's emotions. Sometimes it is hard for us to accept an apology from others; that's why when writing this type of letter, it is very important that you prove to this person that every word you say comes from your heart and is really meant to be accepted. (In other words, you really mean what you say.)

Another important step is to let the reader know your point in the letter or the reason for deciding to write them this letter. (For example: The reason I write this letter to you Bill is because...) This tells the reader that you are about to make a strong point. In this step you want to make sure that the reader understands what the point is, and/or what it is that you are striving for. (For example: I want you to understand that this is to save our friendship...)

The next thing that needs to be acknowledged is not only what the problem is but how to solve it. Let the reader know that you were wrong and that you are sorry. What can you do to make it up to that individual? Then you wait for a strong reply. At this point you should be able to tell whether or not you have made the right decision. (Do you feel you have done the right thing?)



Your response needs to be sympathetic, but also needs to reflect the responsibility and accountability that your organisation bears in relation to the complaint. Remember that the writer of the complaint letter, is another human being, trying to do the best they can, with the same pressures and challenges that you have.


Respect the other person. Focus on the issues and solutions, not the personality or the emotion. You should therefore always demonstrate a willingness, and the capability, to understand a customer's feelings and situation, whether or not you actually agree with their stand-point. The demonstration of empathic understanding goes a long way towards soothing a customer's anger and disappointment, even if you are unable to provide a response which fully meets their expectations or their initial demands.


Use phrases like, "Oh dear, I understand that must be very upsetting for you," rather than "Yes, I agree, you've been badly treated." You can understand without necessarily agreeing. There is a difference, moreover, angry and upset people need mainly to be understood.


Be careful about accepting liability if you have no guideline or policy enabling you to do so, and in any event, wherever you perceive potentially significant liability could exist, delay any decision or commitment until seeking advice from a person in suitable authority.


Always try to speak to people on the phone even if you're writing a letter make contact by phone as well. Voice contact is so much more reliable and effective when trying to diffuse conflict and rebuild trust.


Before you send anything read it back to yourself and ask, "What would I think if I received this? How would I feel?" If your answers are less than positive you should re-write the letter.


Before sending any response letter ensure that you satisfy yourself that you are operating within your organisation's guidelines covering service levels, remedial action, compensation and acceptance of liability or blame.


In dealing with complains of any sort, take heart from the fact that customers whose complaints are satisfactorily resolved, become even more loyal than they were before the complaint arose.


Apology Letter Template

Your Contact Information: Your Name Your Address Your City, State, Zip Code Your Phone Number Your Email Address Date Business Contact Information: Name Title Organization Address City, State, Zip Code Salutation: Dear Mr./Ms. Last Name, First Paragraph: The first paragraph of your letter should state what you are apologizing for, give as much detail about the situation as possible and take full responsibility. Middle Paragraph: Explain your role in the situation and ask for forgiveness. Promise that it wont happen again, and if applicable, what steps were implemented to prevent the problem from occurring again. Final Paragraph: Again, apologize for the inconvenience. If possible provide a form of restitution such as a discount on the current or future transaction. Complimentary Close: Respectfully yours, Signature:   Handwritten Signature   Typed Name Typed Title


Sample Apology Letter


5925 Crystal Springs Rd Douglasville, GA 30134   May 2, 2009   Mr. James Vogel 2232 Ridge Road Hiram, GA 30141   Dear Mr. Vogel:   Thank you for your letter of May1. 2009.   Please accept our apologies for the recent problems you had regarding our lawn service. We recently converted to a new scheduling system, and experienced problems with the software. The vendor has since applied a patch, and our systems are now 100% functional. Our team will be out early next week to perform the work requested.   We have applied a 10% discount on your order, and again apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused you.     Sincerely,   Signature   Charile Cronin Customer Serivce Manager



Task 3. Practice

You received a complaint letter (see Task 2.) Write an answer. Apologize for the mistake in delivery. State that that was due to an error in packing. Promice to offer a discount of 5% off the next order. Thank your customer for his/her patience and express your hope to receive the next order.



Unit 8 Fax


Despite the widespread use of emails today, the fax still remains a preferred means of communication for various business functions in a large number of cultures throughout the world, faxes are sent in numerous situations - to place and confirm orders /bookings, make and answer enquiries, request and confirm payment, request action, give orders, etc Faxes are also used to send documents such as fliers, prospectuses,, invoices, order forms and other business documents. In many cases, documents are faxed first to save time, and tlie original and /or legal document is sent by post later.



When writing faxes, you should follow the standard format The fax given below shows where the following different components should appear on the page (though b-f may be in a different order).


a letterhead

b name of the person/people who will

c receive the fax c name of the person /people sending the

d fax

e sender's fax number e date

f total number of pages

g opening

h body of the fax

i closing

j signature


Language styles

Faxes can be formal or semi-formal depending on their context and form. They can take the form of business letters or emails, or be in note form like memos. The style of language used should be adapted to each situation.


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