Skip Nav
Nope! What This Person Did on a Plane Is Not OK in the Very Least
This Study Found That Millennials Want 1 Simple Thing — and We Couldn't Agree More
The Genius Reason You Should Take a Photo of Your Stove Before You Travel

Write a Complaint Letter

Money Tip: It Pays to Complain

My best friend has been back from her honeymoon for only a few weeks, and she already has another trip on her brain. The difference between her honeymoon and the next vacation? She and her new husband will be treated to a complimentary hotel stay on their next trip! Because of the simple act of writing a complaint letter, they were offered a free five-day / five-night stay at one of the resort's hotels anywhere in the world.

While their Tahitian honeymoon was nothing short of incredible, they had issues throughout their stay with icy cold water in the shower and spa. When they asked about the problem, hotel staff ensured it would be fixed, but they never felt anything resembling warm water.

Upon their return, my friend wrote a letter to the hotel stating her disappointment with the issue and how it was handled. Her recommendation is to give a letter of complaint to your travel agent (if you're using one) to add a cover letter before it's sent off to the hotel for an extra punch. Her situation shows that if you have a real issue that detracted from your experience, it can pay to complain.


Join The Conversation
Hellcat Hellcat 8 years
I had an email dialogue going for a while with one restaurant owner. I had emailed after my complaint wasn't answered by his staff. he replied that same evening and sent me a gift certificate. I again emailed him back saying thank you for the certificate and that the amount was unexpected but greatly appreciated. He said he was glad to have the feedback and didn't want to lose customers. Anyhow, he didn't lose me a patron because the matter was straightened out and he was friendly about and the exact problem was solved too. I write letters often. I have even sent the product in to which I was mailing the complaint letter. That makes a huge difference but isn't necessary. I have got chocolates, candy, soup, meals, etc, all from complaining. Also, I too, have got two free nights at a hotel. Complain if you have an issue. It lets them know where there could be a problem and gives them the chance to rectify things.
fuzzles fuzzles 8 years
I have to say that it sometimes pays to call/email companies with compliments. Years back, I called a small pet food company to thank them for their cat food making my two cats euphoric when it came to their wet food feedings. The gracious customer service gal said something about sending me and my furballs a gift of appreciation. I gave her my mailing address, thinking it might be coupons for further purchases. About a week later, UPS delivered a HUGE package, easily containing a full months worth of food and everything feline that one could imagine! WOW!
dbeauty87 dbeauty87 8 years
after receiving terrible customer service at starbucks. i sent in an email of my experience, and received 5 free coupons!!!
fuzzles fuzzles 8 years
Thankfully, I've never had a big expenditure that I have felt warrented a complaint letter. But I have had several grocery items that I have called companies on to complain. Of recent memory, a can of tuna that contained about 1 tsp. of the fish with the rest of the can being water, individual cheese slices where the inner packaging was flawed, causing the cheese to begin to mold, and a package of frozen vegie burgers that had so much ice crystalization that they could have been used as hockey pucks. All three companies were cordial, and sent me reimbursement coupons. Two of the three sent me additional coupons for future brand purchases. So, yes, if you have a legit complaint, it pays to voice up.
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
i have to say that it's pretty common for me to let companies know when i'm less than pleased with service. so far the only places that i've had success were with restaurants - where i've received gift cards since they want to get me to remain a customer but honestly, i haven't had luck with hotels. i just stayed at a well known name hotel in Denver and my stay wasn't that pleasant. the room wasn't comfortable - it didn't feel clean to me, and the food was awful - not at all what i was ordering etc. i wasn't complaining to get a free stay - but i did want them to know that i wasn't satisfied and that in a time line the present when we have A LOT of options, i wasn't likely to return there. the response that i got was that they were planning for a $30 million dollar face lift/renovation to start soon and that they hoped i would come back. denver's not a place that i go to often - so it's not likely that i'll return there - they would have been smarter to just send me some type of discount or something. oh well.
Taadie Taadie 8 years
My brother godsister wrote complaint letters to the hotel where she had her wedding and got almost 10,000 refunded to her because of things in her contract that were not followed through with. It ranged from the not having enough chairs ont he patio for the cocktail reception to not having the room ready until an hour after the ceremony. She sent copies of her complaints to the hotel and the BBB. It works.
geebers geebers 8 years
bluebellknoll - it varies. I usually don't ask for specifics but I do request some sort of compensation. Oftentimes the company responds with something more than I have asked and a few times I get no response at all. In these cases I don't go back to that service. You really need to lay it out logically and without being rude or attacking anyone. It is also really important to mention positives so they see your letter in a constructive way. And don't forget to mention it if you are a long-time customer!
thelorax thelorax 8 years
I've received extra nights at a hotel, free dessert at a restaurant, discounts on general merchandise, etc. before but these things were graciously offered by the manager. I've never asked for anything in particular before.
bluebellknoll bluebellknoll 8 years
I've sent a few complaint letters/emails but really haven't received anything for my troubles. For those of you who have received things - did you ask for compensation or was it offered by the company first?
thelorax thelorax 8 years
I think it's a good idea to complain *within reason*, regardless of the potential compensation goodies, because that kind of feedback holds businesses accountable for quality service and safety. I won't hesitate to politely complain - and if I'm met with rudeness or a dismissive attitude, I might take it all the way to the Better Business Bureau if it's a serious matter.
carhornsinapril carhornsinapril 8 years
this is a great tip. i ordered a fancy handbag (my first!) online last year, and it arrived clearly used--with a little schmutz and someone's WATCH inside of it. i wrote a complaint email to the company, telling them that it was kind of a bummer to drop so much money on a product and have it arrive in that condition, and requesting that they monitor the condition of their returns a little more closely. they apologized profusely & refunded me 1/3 of the purchase price. needless to say, i was thrilled.
SugarKat SugarKat 8 years
Also, if you talk to the manager right after you get the bad service, a lot of times they'll knock stuff off your bill or give you free dessert. They want you to leave happy...don't fight, make it right!
SugarKat SugarKat 8 years
I sent an e-mail in to Papa John's once and they sent me a gift card to Red Robin saying that they hoped I'd visit their other establishments even if I'm not open to Papa John's anymore. I am!
bellaressa bellaressa 8 years
Makes me want to write letters from now on.
Angelica Angelica 8 years
I am with SugarKat! You should definitely speak up if you aren't pleased with service, especially if it happens on an important vacation like a honeymoon. Going through the travel agent is such a great idea.
prettywarrior prettywarrior 8 years
As long as you have a true problem, there's nothing wrong with bringing it to someone's attention, especially if you do it politely and promptly. But speaking as someone who worked in customer service for nearly a decade, there's nothing more frustrating than a customer who is obviously making stuff up or nitpicking little details in order to get a free meal/hotel room/etc.
psychobabble psychobabble 8 years
I've never been a complainer but my husband loves doing online feedback for stores and chain restaurants. It's probably because he used to do mystery shopping for extra cash in school. But whenever we have a bad experience somewhere, be it hair in onion rings or a really bad server he sends a quick email to the chain HQ, we've gotten a few free meals out of it at places we eat all the time.
soulight soulight 8 years
You should always try to draft some type of complaint letter because businesses are usually very open to your experience. I complained to Verizon after they dropped the price of a phone right after a customer service rep assured me it would not drop within the month. Next thing you know I see the new advertised price in the paper. Verizon then refunded me the difference. Right now I'm trying to convince the bf to switch to Verizon when his plan ends so it pays for them to keep the customers happy too.
TidalWave TidalWave 8 years
i have never had luck with complaint letters.
SugarKat SugarKat 8 years
Yes, you should complain. A lot of places would rather fix the situation rather than have you tell everyone you know that your honeymoon was horrible. Even if just one person is deterred, they it's worth it for them to make amends.
Shopaholichunny Shopaholichunny 8 years
Oooo wow. *jealous*
Lovely_1 Lovely_1 8 years
wow! smart lady!
Luxury Charter Yachts
Bubble Dome Houses in Ireland
Vacation Outfits Based on the Weather
How to Visit Walt Disney World With Kids
From Our Partners
Latest Afforable DIY & Organization
All the Latest From Ryan Reynolds