How to File a Letter of Complaint
By Anna Lynn Sibal
A trip to another place or another country is always a memorable experience, and when we travel, we certainly strive to make ever moment of our vacation to another country as good as we can make it. These perfect moments are the ones that will end up branded in our memories, cherished long after the journey is over.
There are, however, a myriad of incidents that can ruin a trip abroad. It could be because you got sick, you experienced food poisoning at a restaurant, some of your valuables got stolen in your hotel room’s safe, or the airline misplaced your luggage. The latter alone could ruin your entire trip for you.
If a mishap happens to you and you know it is your own fault, it is childish to place the blame on the management of the hotel you are staying in, the restaurant you ate at, or the airline you flew with on your way to your destination. However, there are some times that it is clear that the incident occurred because someone from the establishments you patronized during your vacation got careless, and this carelessness did you some harm.
When something bad happens to you or your belongings during your trip, the best way to address this is to approach a person who can help you with your dilemma as soon as possible. This person could be the flight attendant serving in the plane you flew in, the baggage agent at the airport, the manager of the restaurant you ate in, or the front desk personnel of the hotel you stayed in. Whenever you approach these people, you should be calm and resist from resorting to yelling at them and using bad language. You need their help, and you will get their help quickly and with a willing heart if you treat them nicely. In this way, your problem can get resolved in no more than ten minutes in some instances.
There are some instances, however, when your concerns cannot be resolved on site and you are required to make a formal written complaint to the management of the establishment you have concerns against.
In that case, this is how you should make your letter of complaint:
1. Make note of all the relevant details of your complaint at the time the incident occurs. Write down the names of the people involved, if there are any, including the people who have gladly assisted you in the matter on site, as well as the personnel who have been rude to you. Mention these people in your letter.
2. Do not throw the documents you have collected on this particular trip, documents such as receipts, boarding passes, baggage check stubs, statements of account, etc. Make copies of these documents and attach them with your letter as support your complaint.
3. When you make your letter, limit its length to one page. Make sure it is typed and signed, and include your contact details.
4. The tone of your letter should be businesslike. Stay focused on the matter at hand and do not make exaggerations.
5. State clearly what you want from the establishment in return for the inconvenience it has caused you. If you want compensation, monetary or otherwise, do not hesitate to make your demands, but make your demands reasonable nonetheless. Include an estimate of the losses you have incurred.
Always deal with mishaps with calmness and never resort to being rude. Also, be patient. Make a follow up letter if the establishment does not respond to you after a couple of weeks or so.