Writing a Complaint Letter
Consumers must always write a complaint letter to the business before the Ministry can get involved in a dispute. This is the Ministry’s policy.
A complaint letter may effectively solve the problem. It also creates a ‘paper trail’ showing that you have tried to resolve the dispute.
You may also print and attach a “Notification of a Consumer Complaint” with your letter to the business. This document explains the complaint process and the consequences of ignoring a consumer complaint. It also encourages the business to take your concerns seriously.
Sample Complaint Letter [PDF]
Notification of a Consumer Complaint [PDF]
When writing a complaint letter you should:
- Consider using the Sample Complaint Letter template
- Explain what happened and include copies of receipts, invoices, contracts or other relevant documents. Do not send originals
- Be specific about what you want the business to do to resolve the problem, whether it’s a return, refund, discount, a coupon or something else
- Keep the letter brief and to the point
- Be firm but polite
- Type it, if possible, or make sure your handwriting is neat and easy to read
- Sign it, date it and keep a copy of it
- Consider attaching the Notification of Customer Complaint with your letter
- Keep a record of its delivery. For example, if you hand-deliver the letter, ask a friend to come with you and make a note of who came with you and when the letter was delivered. Or, send it by registered mail, e-mail or fax it with confirmed delivery
- Give the business a reasonable period of time to process your complaint, but specify the date by which you want a response. The Ministry considers about three weeks sufficient time for a business to respond.
If writing to the business does not resolve the dispute, you may file a complaint with us.