IELTS Complaint Letter: Model

Below is a model IELTS complaint letter which is estimated at band score 9. People taking the GT writing paper will be expected to write a letter for their writing task 1. That letter should be over 150 words. Complaint letters are one of the most common types of letters that you can be expected to write.

You bought a TV a week ago but when you got home you discovered it did not work properly. You called customer service to report the problem but you have not yet received any help.

Write a letter to the company and in your letter:

  • introduce yourself
  • explain the problem
  • and state what action you would like from the company

Dear Sir or Madam,

My name is John Davidson and one of your frequent customers. I am writing this letter to report the faulty TV that I purchased from your company on Tuesday last week.

On Tuesday, 12th June, I visited your store following a recommendation from friends. I bought a Toshiba LED TV which has the code 40L675B40. On purchasing this TV, I was assured that this was the latest model and the best there was to buy. However, when I got home I discovered that not only did the remote controls not work but also the quality of the picture was not as good as promised, in fact it was quite blurry. I called your customer service department immediately on Tuesday and they assured me that my TV would be replaced or fixed within two days. I am disappointed to say that this has not happened and I have received no communication since then.

I am exceedingly displeased with both the quality of the product I purchased from your company as well as the poor  service I have received since. I hope this problem will be resolved promptly. I expect to receive a replacement TV or have my current TV repaired but only if it could be fixed within a day.

I look forward to hearing back from you immediately.

Yours faithfully,

Mr J H Davidson


All Lessons for GT Writing Task  1: Letters

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  1. Hello Liz and thank you so much for the videos and the tips on your website. Do you think you will be making any videos on general IELTS writing task one?

  2. My issue is when writing the letter for Task 1 , are there specific words that have to be Capital or Case letters .. For example-
    I , Me , We , e.t.c

    Thanks for your prompt response ..

    • I am confused by your question. There are rules of English language regarding the use of capital letters. You learn those rules early in English language learning. Those are the same rules that apply for IELTS writing.

  3. Speaking
    Cue card situation where u cnt use mobile.
    Enough money brings happiness n lot of money create problems.agree/disagree.

    India August 19 th 2017

  4. Speaking
    Cue card
    Situation where u CNT use ur mobile
    Uses if mobile
    Enough money brings happiness n lot of money creates problem.agree/disagree

  5. Rita chiedu says:

    Hello Liz. Good day and thanks for ur teachings. Pls, I’d like to know if it’s necessary to include the 3 bullet points in ur letter writing introduction, then address each point paragraph by paragraph in d main body. Secondly, in the GT essay writing, when you are to discuss both views or write advantages of different. Views, do you have to include every main point of urs in the introduction, and discuss each by paragraph? Thirdly, if you are addressing a problem and ur opinion is asked for, do u include the causes of the problem as wellas the solutions in ur introduction? And do u address each problem with solution in one paragraph or discuss problems differently while solution be on a different paragraph.
    Pls respond. God bless you.

    • You never use bullet points in writing task 1 or task 2. You use full sentences. In GT writing task 2, you will follow the same techniques as the academic essay – there’s no difference in techniques. Se, see this page: You will include in your essay what is asked for in the instructions – you follow the instructions only.

  6. Dhaval Bhatti says:

    Hi Liz,

    I am a regular reviewer of your website. I used to read your article even when I was not preparing for IELTS.

    could you please help me to get a list of sample essays and letters ( not full text) I just need the topics so that I can write at least one Essay and a letter, every day.

    And thanks so much for useful tips on your website 🙂


    Dhaval Bhatti

  7. Lea Lazaro says:

    Hi Liz,

    My name is Lea and I just wanna say thank you so much for your site. I have learned a lot since day one I started reading your lessons and watching your videos. I will have my IELTS General training exam on 08th of July. I’ve gone through all your lessons and I feel confident at least that I can pass the exam.

    Just one question, what block type format of the letter I will use in writing the letter task 1. Is it depend on the type of letters?

    And please advise me Liz if my writing had improved through writing this comment.

    Best Regards,

  8. Grishma says:

    Hii mam,

    I want to know each and every difference in LRWS tests for GT and AT. I would like to tell you that, recently i attended the Academic test and come up with good score only with reference to your website and Youtube channel and I’m so glad and thankful to you for that and also willing to do the same with my General Training test which is on 8th July.. Request you to guide me in such a way that I can clear it with first attempt.


  9. Hai mam,
    I know well you are great tutor among others. it would be great if you clarify my doubts that were counting word in writing task whether they did not count repeated word in task 1 and 2 .even else repeated preposition, articles, verbs.

  10. Tamimul Haque says:

    Dear Liz
    In some letters we get an instruction that “Begin your letter as follows –
    Dear Sir or Madam”
    Should we start the heading with exactly same words “Dear Sir or Madam” or we may write only Dear Sir or Dear Madam in this case?
    Thank You.

    • Always start: Dear Sir / Madam or Dear Sir or Madam – just follow the instructions. In English we never write: Dear Sir or Dear Madam – it is considered wrong.

  11. Hi Liz!

    In the sign-off portion, for FORMAL COMPLAINT letters, would you advice to write something like “Expecting a prompt reply, (your signature)” apart from writing the usual “Respectfully yours, sincerely yours, etc…”?

    Your avid follower,

    (something like that ^) 🙂

    • Even if you use “Expecting a prompt reply” you will still need to use “Yours sincerely” or another such sign off.

  12. Dear Liz,
    Thank you so much for helping us in the preparation of IELTS. Is there any possibility, if i email you my writing easy for your assessment. It will surely help me to improve my score.

  13. Ejime Stanley says:

    Dear Liz,
    Thanks for your good humanitarian job in assisting people all over the world on IELTS exams. I have written IELTS academic and i am expecting result but i have IELTS general this 25th March. On the Task1, letter writing,for the formal letters, do we write heading after Dear Sir/Madam before the body of the letter?
    Dear Sir,
    I humbly write to apply for the post of an Electrical Engineer in your company as published in the Guardian Newspapers on the 24th February , 2017.
    Pls Liz, do we need to write the heading above for a formal letter of job application?

  14. Hello liz,
    I wish you gonna have a good day 🙂
    I have question , are they count ” I , is , are etc ” as a word !!

  15. SandeepHamsa says:

    Dear Liz
    Hai and how are you? firstly, I ‘d introduce myself my name is Sandeep hamsa from India and in the past, I wrote 3 IELTS exam I couldn’t make it to required score and I want to improve in writing module and If I write essays and letters anybody there to correct them?

  16. Hi Liz,
    I have some problems about reading task.and next month i have general ielts exam.what should i do to do my best during this short time?

  17. i would like to know do check our writings if i will send?

  18. Hi Liz! Kudos to you for this very helpful site on IELTS. I would just like to ask if it’s ok to use the block format on all types of letters when writing Task1 GT? Thanks!

  19. Moytri Barman says:

    Hello Liz,
    Is it necessary to introduce myself in very first line.i.e:
    Dear Sir,
    This is Moytri Barman.I am writing this letter with great regards to request information about the seminar on “Cyber Security” which is going to held in Germany.

    Is it necessary to write “This is Moytri Barman”.

  20. Karim Fahmy says:

    Hi Liz,

    I was wondering how would I write “Dear Sir or Madam” ?. Would it be more language oriented to write “Dear Sir/Madam” ?

    Best regards,

  21. I was looking for formal and semi-formal starting and signing off differences and i came across that says “formal letter greetings end in a colon.
    such as ,Dear Ms Jones:
    i wanted to know does this apply to formal letters for IELTS test?

  22. Hi Liz,

    I wonder this sample isn’t too long?
    It will be 213 words.
    I head 150-180 words is better.
    What do you think about it?

  23. Hi Liz,
    Could you please do me a favour and assess my letter. I recently started preparing for IELTS General.

    Dear Sir,
    I am writing to you regarding a problem I had with your hotel. I would like to recreate the situation for you.
    Last week, I appeared at your hotel for a professional conference. The venue was Eagle Conference Centre from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM. The services of the hotel were not up to the standard like Chairs were not aligned in correct order by the hotel staff, Internet Access was too slow and there were not enough cell phone charging stations.
    I expect immediate action to be taken on your side and resolve these issues. I recommend guiding your staff by giving them proper trainings and upgrade the technological services.
    Expecting prompt action.

    yours faithfully,

  24. Hi Liz,
    Have a question for you.

    How would one start and end a complain letter to your next neighbour, in the letter you have to complain to him/her about the problem you have with him/her, make suggestions to these problems, and inform him/her about your next line of action, should he/her not adhere to your suggestions.

    Should i address this letter as a complete formal letter both in beginning and signing off. Or an informal letter?

    Do one need to include his/her signature when we end formal letters?

    • This will probably be a formal letter to a neighbour that you don’t know very well. But you should use their name “Dear Mr Brown” for example.

      • Thanks Liz for the response.

        One more question, for formal letter, do we need to put our signature and the end of our sign off ? Just like you recommended on your blog that we should add tittle to the names in formal letters.


    • In this question the first thing it asks you to do is introduce yourself.
      There is no introducing yourself in this letter. Other than at the end ( Yours Faithfully )
      As i have been reading all kinds of tips, every single tip suggests to answer the required tasks in the question. Would what you have written be classed as answering all parts of the question? Even without introducing yourself in the letter from the start?

  25. Dear Liz,

    Kindly upload an informal latter of band 9, just like you posted the above formal one. If you can email me one at It would be wonderful.



  26. Please read my notice:

  27. Hi Liz

    When asked to introduce yourself,do we need to give our name and street name in the body paragraph or do we just need to introduce about the date and model number of the item purchased like in the above sample letter?

    Basically, what are they asking us to do: introduce ourselves or introduce the items we purchase?

    Thanks in advance!

    • You introduce who you are in relation to what the person reading the letter needs to know. If you are writing to complain about a TV you bought, the information about yourself relates to the produce you bought not your name (which is at the end of the letter) or your street (which is irrelevant to the purpose of the letter). You are being marked on the information having the right purpose.
      All the best

    • Hi Liz, I want to ask something in regards to the writing exam in General Training IELTS. In task 1 (writing a letter) and task 2 (writing an essay) do we need to make indentions in every paragraph?

      • Indents are not always very clear so I don’t recommend them. It’s better to leave one empty line between paragraphs.

  28. Hello Liz,
    I recently came across one of your practice questions, a letter of complaint which goes:

    “Work is being done on the street where you live. The noise is disturbing you.
    Write a letter of complaint to your local council. In your letter:
    Introduce yourself
    Explain what the problem is
    Suggest solutions to the problem”

    How would you write the introduction of this letter please? I see from various comments that you shouldn’t write your address in the body of a letter. Isn’t this appropriate for the content of this particular letter?

    • That’s right. The address is never given in the body of a letter. In fact, you don’t need to give it in IELTS. Here is how you would start this:

      Dear Sir,

      I am writing to complain about the level of noise relating to road works being completed in Bedford Street, Brighton, which is where I live / of which I am a resident. (you can choose how to phrase it).

      After that, you have two more body paragraphs. So, we mention the street and town because we need to explain where the noise is. But we don’t need to give the street number or postcode (so not the full address). This is in fact the only time you would write your street name and town name – when you are complaining about something in your own street.
      All the best

  29. Onyenna says:

    Hi Liz,

    A big thank u for the selfless service u renderto us here.

    From the instruction giving, we were asked to introduce ourself. So, i was thinking we need to begin such letter by writting our name and possibly home address?

    Please, could u explain why u adopt this approach.

    Thanks for reading.

    • This is a letter of complaint. The house address and name is never given inside the body of a letter.
      All the best

  30. GS Bhatia says:


    Can you compare :
    1. I am writing to report the faulty TV that I purchased from your company on Tuesday last week
    2. I feel extremely disappoint to acquaint you about the malfunctioning of the Television, witch I bought a couple of days back from your showroom located at city centre.

    (First one is the written by you. This is simple, clear but plan writing. Should we follow this or until now I was trying to make the start a little complex, see second and guide accordingly)
    I need 7 band and I learnt that I should not write simple sentences
    should I write TV or Television?

  31. Hi,

    I am preparing for IELTS G but have certain questions. Do you have any video or link which explains how many sentence in each paragraph? both for task 1 and 2.

    • I only have model letters and model essays which show the organisation and paragraphs. See the relevant sections of this blog.

  32. Hi Liz,

    Could you please do me a favor and assess my letter.


    Dear Sir/Madam,

    I am writing this letter to express my dissatisfaction regarding a TV I bought from your shop last week as well as your customer service.

    My receipt number is 54682 and the TV model is Toshiba AR3526. The main problem is that the quality of picture is not acceptable at all. I would say that its quality is much weaker than my old TV that I bought it three years ago. More importantly, it has just one USB jack which only support USB1. What is more annoying is that when I called your customer service department, they told me a professional technician would call me back within 24 hours in order to discuss these difficulties in more detail and give me advise. Now, three days has passed and no one has called me yet.

    Based on what was mentioned above, I expect these problems will be resolved within two days. Otherwise, I have the right to make a request for a full-refund.

    I look forward to hearing from you so soon.

    Yours faithfully,
    John Smith

    • It’s well organised and the information is clear. However, when you write ” I expect these problems will be resolved within two days”, you should explain how because the instructions ask for details about that. So, make it clear what you want the company to do exactly. Also review some of your grammar: “it has just one USB jack which only support USB1″ = ” it has just one USB jack which only supports USB1″ – you need the “s”.

  33. Hey LIZ, I am practising essays and letters and if you could check my complaint letter would be perfect. If you have time of course. Thanks in advance.

    Dear Sir or Madam,

    I am writing this letter with regards to the purchase that I did a week ago. I am an old client of your shop and I have not had a problem with something that I bought.

    I decided to buy a LED TV taking advantage of an offer that I saw for Christmas. The product has a one year guarantee but I did not expect to use it. At the begining the TV worked well but two days later the image started to disappear without a reason every one hourmore or less. Then the problem became worse and it happened every fifteen minutes including a bad noise from behind. Finally today I could not turn on the TV, it does not work any more.

    I think the company had no idea about the problem but from my pioint of view employees have to check all products before delivering. I did not receive a solution and I am worried because I need it for work. Please contact me as soon as possible to find a solution.

    I look forward to hearing from you immediately.

    Yours sincerely,

    Eduardo Aguirre

    • Two issues with this.
      1. The instructions say that you must state what action you want from the company. You asked them to contact you to find the solution. You should state the solution you actually want. If you fail to do this, you will not have completed the instructions and it will affect your score.
      2. Grammar – “to the purchase that I did ” = “…I made”. Learn more about the difference between do and make. There’s no difference in meaning but there is a difference in when to use which one. It’s similar in Spanish to learning when to use “ser & estar”. Also “I have not had a problem ” which you wrote in the introduction, it confusing for the reader. Be clearer.
      Otherwise, it’s all very good. The right tone, well expanded and well organised.

  34. Time Traveller says:

    Hi Liz ,
    I have come across this letter topic through your blog . I hope you would provide feed back on my answer to this topic and give estimated band score .
    You have just spend a week with a friend on holiday .When you got home , you realized that you had left your wallet there . Write a letter to your friend ; thank your friend for the holiday , explain that you left your wallet in their house and explain them how to send it back .
    Dear John ,
    I hope that you and your family are in good health . I am writing to you to thank you and all your family for the remarkable generosity you showed to me during the week vacation I spent with you . Not only did you provide me with free accommodation ,all facilities and sustenance , but you helped me greatly to enjoy a memorable vacation . Actually , all exquisite words fail to express my profound gratitude for you , your parents and your siblings and I hope that I could reciprocate that unforgettable holiday within the coming summer vacation . So , please , convey my profound regards to your family .

    Another intrinsic important issue I am writing about is that I soon after leaving your house , I realized that I have forgotten my wallet in your house . Actually , I wasin a hurry while I was leaving your house in order to catch the train and , therefore , I left my wallet on the desk situated in the main hall just beside the TV . It is a black leather-wallet that contains most of my credential cards such as my driving license and even my identity card . Therefore , I hope that you could return it to me within the next few days as soon as possible .

    One way to return it could be vial express mail such as DHL mail company . Another possible way is through handing it to my friend Thomas who is living in the residential block next to yours , because he is paying me a visit within a couple of days . Sending it back with Thomas seems to be the most suitable way for it saves both time and money . I will call him to pass you at your house to pick up my wallet . I appreciate your help and hope that returning my wallet is not going to be a burdensome job . I am looking forward to hearing from you .

    Yours sincerely ,
    Hani shaker

    • This is a letter to a friend so you need to use a tone and language which is less formal. Unfortunately, this letter contains too much formal language. “I am writing to thank you…” should be “I want to say thanks for …”. The word “sustenance” should be “great food”. The words “accommodation and facilities” this is vocabulary for a hotel not staying with a friend. “Another intrinsic issue…” is for an academic essay. You will need to review all your language in order to use the right tone. This also looks very long – you are only aiming for 150 to 200 words. More words will not give you a higher score and will waste time.
      All the best

  35. Hi Liz,

    First of all, I really want to thank you for creating such a wonderful blog. It has helped me a lot for my IELTS preparation.

    Now about this particular sample letter, I just wanted to clarify a couple of things. Can “Tuesday” be dropped from the intro as the following paragraph begins with “On Tuesday” anyway. Having it in both places makes it a bit redundant.

    Also while signing-off, is the title “Mr.” necessary before the name? Is’t it a title for the others to use and NOT something one uses to address himself?

    • Yes, you can drop the word “Tuesday” in the first sentence is you wish. No, you can’t drop the title. It is essential to use a title when you sign off from a formal letter.
      All the best

  36. Should there be a comma placed after “Dear Sir or Madam” (or after any other salutation, as a matter of fact)? The reason I ask, is that the next sentence starts with a capital letter: “I am writing…”. Is there a rule about it?

  37. Hi Liz, I need 6.5 bands plz check the following letter and write your comments.

    Dear Sir/Madam,

    My name is Ali. I am living in street number 22, house number 3 in Bahria town. Last week I bought a TV from your store but from the first day it is not working properly. I called so many times to the customer services but they ignored the request.

    I bought the Panasonic Tv on 8th April from your store in Riyadh. The serial number of this TV is N2765. First time when I switch on the Tv, I faced two problem. Firstly, Sound system is not working properly and secondly the picture resolution is not fine. I request to the store manager to find the solution for TV, he told me that he will send the technician to fix the problem, but he didn’t.

    I am very disappointed from the services of your company. I need that someone from you fix the TV problem or replace the current TV to the new one within one or two days.

    I am looking forward to hearing from you soon.


    • Don’t put your address in the body of the letter. We don’t include that information inside a letter. Also don’t include your name inside the letter. When you put your name at the bottom, it should be your full name, unless you are writing to a friend. It should be signed “Your faithfully” because you started with Sir/Madam – that is a fixed rule. You have the right content but there are grammar and vocabulary errors – try to work on these problems.

      I will use your letter to write a lesson showing how to improve sentences. I will post it either this week or next week – please watch out for that lesson.
      All the best

  38. Hi Liz,

    It is good to hear from you once again, I hope that you has a wonderful holidays.

    Now straight to the letter.
    Could you please take a look and give me your opionion?

    Dear Sir or Madam,

    I am writing in regard to a TV that I bought from your store last week.

    You can imagine how unhappy I was to discover that the TV was not working properly.
    Naturally, I tried to figure out if I was making any mistake in the settings, but I realized that the configuration was fine and the problem was on the television. After a few days of using the TV, the speakers started to failure until they stopped to sound at all. I was very surpised to see that the new model with two years of warranty could breaks so soon.

    I called to the customer sercice and it was in vaine, because ther put me on hold for 2 hours and I ended up hanging the phone without any solution and displeased as well.

    I am very disappointed with both the equioment and the service I have received. Therefore, I hope you can sattle this matter by replacing the damaged TV and send me a new one as soon as possible.

    I looking forward to hearing from you immediatly.

    Yours faithfully,

    Eng. Sánchez.

    • It’s very good well done. You have the right tone, good vocabulary and a range of sentence structures. One thing to work on is your spelling. This might be due to typing though. Check your spelling because it will reduce your score. For example, sattle = settle, surpised = surprised, in vaine = in vain.

  39. Acually, i have problem with listening and reading . please help me what is steps to develop them.
    best reagards

    • Please visit the information pages (FAQ) which you will find in the listening and reading sections of this blog. They contain both information and tips.

  40. Hai Liz,
    My Ielts exam on 11/4/15 at Nottingham. I have know clues about writing task 2. Please help me .
    Thank you.

  41. Hi liz
    Could you please check this letter.
    Letter to someone about a museum that you have visited,
    focus on where you went, what you saw there, how you felt about.

    Dear Sarah,
    I hope you are fine.I would like to let you know some wonderful moments I spent visiting the Royal Historical Museum in the center of the city in Sydney last weekend.
    As the name stands, there were various instruments made up of metal ,wood and other valuable materials which were used in world war 1 and world war 11.I couldn’t take off my eyes from very fascinating pictures of great worriers, who devoted lives for the country. The attractive weapons used in the fights were displayed in such an appropriate odder which signifies who and when was it used. The valuable clothes were also placed next to the weapon. This proper allocation of these items brought a clear vision of the war and the great heroes in my mind. The most interesting thing was the deadly bullets used in the war, a very heavy and powerful metal which were a cause of disaster and finally won a victory against the enemy.
    After having noticed all these historical monuments , I felt proud of the brave soldiers who fought continuous to bring peace in the world. I will never forget their bravery .
    yours loving friend

    • It’s pretty hard to give feedback because this does not seem to be an authentic IELTS task. They usually state who the person is – for example, a friend or a manager etc. They rarely say only “someone”. Therefore the tone can only be guessed at. Try to take all practice letter tasks from either my blog or the IELTS Cambridge books 1 to 10.

  42. Annabelle Buenaventura says:

    Dear Ma’am,

    My question is not about the essay. I just want to ask what types of questions in reading where the questions goes in order with the text? Because it was my mistake before when I took IELTS. After reading question number 1, I will begin again with the first paragraph again to find the answer. I did not know that there are questions that goes along with the text. I hope you can help me on this.

    God bless! You helped us so much.

  43. Shrijana says:

    Hi liz,
    In this complaint letter the first bullet point is about introduce yourself but you did not write about that am I write is it about the product or introduce the person who brought this?
    Please if you could explain this I need explanation .
    Thank you.

    • My introduction paragraph introduces me as a customer. That is all that is relevant for the situation. The company certainly does need to know more about my live. You need to make a decision about what kind of information is appropriate for the situation given. If it is a personal letter and you must introduce yourself, then you will give much more detail.
      All the best

  44. Hi LIZ,
    thanks for help. i have ielts exam on next week and i dont have reading material. would u plz help me in this case or where i can get general reading passages.

  45. MOHAMMED says:

    Hi Liz.
    I would like to ask a about the writing course , when it will be released ?

    • Yes, it’s taking longer than planned. I’m still hopeful for this month. It will only be one video with detailed explanations on opinion essay writing. Other videos about other essay types will take longer to make. I’ll post a link when it’s ready.
      All the best

  46. Prottoy says:

    Hi Liz
    I am facing problems regarding the writing section. Specifically its about writing long complex sentences.
    Can you give me some advice on how can I avoid simple sentences and use complex sentences?

  47. Mohamed Sadek says:

    Hi Liz
    How could I cover my mistakes in listening?
    should I repeat the records more than once?
    how could I use the transcript?

    • First, do the listening only once. Then listening again to see if you change any answers. After that listen and read the transcript at the same time. Then check your answers and check the answers in the transcript as well to see why you made any mistakes and what you can learn from it.

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