How Do You Write a Letter Asking for Compensation?

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A complaint letter should be fair, concise and clearly state the desire for compensation. It is helpful to maintain a firm but respectful tone.

When goods or services fail to live up to expectations, it can be useful to write a letter of complaint asking for compensation. A letter is more effective than emails or phone calls because it is less common and therefore more likely to receive attention. The letter should be as brief as possible while still including enough detail. Most people will not take the time to read a long-winded complaint letter. Pertinent information may include dates, names or ID numbers of employees, serial numbers or UPC codes and enough narrative detail for the recipient to fully understand the situation. Pictures help if the compensation sought is for damage or other conditions that are best conveyed visually. Photocopies of receipts, warranties or other relevant evidence should be included as well.

If the letter writer is a long-time customer, this is worth mentioning, as businesses often reward loyalty. The letter writer may choose to request a specific form or amount of compensation or leave it open ended and allow the recipient to decide on the best course of action. If at all possible, it is more effective to address the letter to a specific person rather than a generic customer service department. Names of senior employees or board members can be found on company websites or by calling a store or business. Above all, it is important to be polite. The recipient will be more eager to make restitution if the sender is calm and reasonable.