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Writing formal letters/Letter of complaint

The structure of formal letter:
  • Address and date (Адрес и дата)
  • Salutation (приветствие)
  • The body of the letter (текст письма)
  • Complementary close (Заключение)
  • Signature (Подпись)
Kind of a letterSalutationComplementary close
1. Formal letter to officials and supervisorsSir, MadamYours respectfully/ respectfully yours
2. Letter to business firms and companiesGentlemen, LadiesYours truly/ yours respectfully
3. Letters to persons unknownDear Sir/ Dear Madam/ Dear Mr./Miss/Mrs. Yours truly/ sincerely yours
4. To persons well-known to writerDear Ms./Mr./Mrs./Yours cordially/ sincerely yours

Letter of Complaint. Structure:
1. Introduction (reason for writing/ exact details)
2. Development (details of problem)
3. Conclusion (What you expect from the company)

Use the frame below to jot down all the points you want to include in your letter
Who is the letter to? (Be specific.)Is it your complaint or are you writing onsomeone else’s behalf? (Is it a sole or joint account?) 

Why are you complaining? What evidence do you have?
What would you like them to do?
When do you want them to respond?How do you want them to get in touch with you?

Useful expressions:
  • I am writing to complain about ...
  • I am writing to express my strong dissatisfaction at ..
  • I was extremely disappointed with ...
  • ... was not what I had expected ...
  • It was not up to standard
  • It didn't work = was out of use
  • I expect a letter of explanation/ substantial refund (возмещение убытков)
  • I'd like to request financial compensation


5 High View


                NB1 3RS

22 August 2007



Dear Mr Black

Holiday Reference Number: CT2118M

Following our telephone conversation earlier today, I am writing to give details of my

dissatisfaction with my holiday at the New Hotel, Los Christianos, Tenerife (10 to 18 August

2005) that I booked with your company for myself and my family.

My central complaint is that the hotel fell far short of the description in the brochure. We had

booked two double en-suite rooms (numbers 213 and 214); although said to be four-star

accommodation, the bedrooms were very cramped and the furnishings worn and dirty. In

addition to this, the toilet was blocked in room 214 and the shower wasn’t working in room

213. The hotel’s grounds, described in the brochure as ‘pleasant, tranquil, and spacious’ were

in fact bordered on two sides by a very busy main road, while the swimming pool was closed

the entire week for repairs. 

When we spoke to your representative (Tracey Mills), she promised to try to get the shower

and toilet fixed but this took an unacceptably long time to happen – 3 days from when we first

complained. I asked her to fill out a holiday report form detailing these issues and enclose a

copy for your information, together with photos of the bedrooms and the hotel grounds.

As stated in my telephone call, I feel that we are due a full refund for this holiday as it failed to

meet the description in the brochure, together with compensation to make up for the fact our

holiday was ruined. I look forward to hearing from you within the next fortnight.

Yours sincerely

Maria Johnson 

- Write a complaint to the manager of the restaurant explaining that you were dissatisfied with the dishes served and the work of thr waiters
- Write a complaint to the manager of the retail electronics shop explaining that the radiator you have bought is not up to standard and is leaking.
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