Complaining about customer service Complaining about faulty goods

15 Great words to use in complaints

How to express yourself well when writing a complaint email/letter

What is the best way to complain? You should always write wherever possible when you need to complain. This is for a number of reasons. See Why you should write not ‘phone to complain effectively It is easy to be tempted into being aggressive or abusive when you are really frustrated with being fobbed off. However, this will not get you the best results. See Top 20 tips for complaining effectively which will give you lots of pointers in what to put in your email or letter.

So now you are all set to write your letter of complaint! Here I provide some of the best words to use in your complaints!

This is a list of excellent words that I frequently use in complaint correspondence. Remember you should always remain objective when it comes to describing events. You can however say how you feel about them. Don’t exaggerate, be honest. Various words carry differing levels of strength so you should use what you believe is appropriate and proportionate to the issue. You should use these words carefully. Only a couple is fine you really don’t need to use them all in the one piece of correspondence! And remember don’t use all capitals which is the equivalent of shouting.

Words can often be used with “really”,  “absolutely”, “blatantly” and “utterly”


You can use these words when describing the service you have received about a faulty item or poor service etc. This will help when you include your rights under the relevant laws, in particular the Consumer Rights Act 2015 

More help with consumer rights and how to assert them

Complaining about goods and services – all you need to know

book Logo cartoon cow at a laptop of book cover. How to Complain: The Essential Consumer Guide to Getting Refunds, Redress and Results!


You can also get more advice, tips, information and templates for your letters and further information in the book How to Complain: The Essential Consumer Guide to Getting Refunds, redress & Results!



The Complaining Cow logo download templates


If you don’t want to wait you can Purchase downloadable templates to gain redress to help with most issues.




What words do you like to use in your complaint correspondence?

5 top tips for complaining effectively

BBC Breakfast 23/08/19 Helen Dewdney discusses the Which? customer service survey