How to File Customer Service Complaints

Sometimes filing a complaint is the only way to get your problem solved
Image Credit: fizkes/iStock/GettyImages

When you don't get the service you want or expect from a company, you may have to file a customer service complaint. Sometimes this is your only way to resolve a problem. If you have spoken to the company's representatives, cashiers, correspondents and supervisors to no avail, filing a formal complaint may get your problem corrected in an expeditious manner.


When you get ready to file a complaint you may have to gather some information and follow the correct steps and procedures. Different companies have different procedures for filing complaints.

Video of the Day

Call the Company for Instructions

Call the company you are filing the complaint against and ask them for the procedure for filing a customer service complaint. Some companies allow you file a complaint online, and other companies will want you to put your complaint in writing. Follow their instructions to the letter.


If your customer service complaint needs to be written, get the correct address for the department where it should go. Find out if your letter should be addressed to anyone specifically or just a department. You may have to send a copy of your complaint to the president of the company.

Get All Your Information Ready

Gather all of your information. You may need the name of the person you spoke with, if he or she was the cause of your complaint. Get the names of everyone you spoke to, including supervisors. Write down the name of the department as well as the phone number for the department. If you know the dates and times you spoke with individuals, include them in your document.


Sometimes you can spend several days talking with different people trying to get a service call resolved. Write down any other details you can think of regarding your customer service complaint.

Write a Complaint Letter

Write your letter. When you are writing your letter, make sure you don't leave out any information. Write down the order in which things transpired and the order that you spoke to certain individuals. You also need to explain in detail what your complaint is about.


Provide as much detail as possible. Include the steps you took to resolve the issue. Explain why the company should take the necessary steps to correct your situation. Let the company know you will expect to hear from them in the very near future.

Send Your Complaint Letter

Send your letter. Include with your letter any photocopies of any documents that will help your case. Keep a copy of your letter for your records.


The company should get back with you in a reasonable amount of time. Allow them ​10 to 15 days​ to respond. You may want to send a copy of your letter to everyone you talked to, or, at the very least, the supervisor in the relevant department.

Follow Up When Necessary

Be warned that sometimes your customer service issues can drag on for 6 months if you don't take action. It's not uncommon to get transferred from department to department, from person to person, without anyone taking ownership of your situation. Watch out for those long hold times. You may be put on hold for long extended periods of time when you are trying to resolve your issues.


When you have such issues, follow up with the appropriate agency. If you find that you cannot resolve your issue, you may need to contact the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the Better Business Bureau, a credit reporting agency or even the Attorney General's office. They will have their own procedures for registering complaints, as well.