How to Write a Complaint Email

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CELPIP Complaint Email

When you prepare your response to either of the CELPIP Writing Tasks, your focus should be on writing well, expressing yourself efficiently, and ticking the examiners boxes.

Your examiner will be looking at your organization, cohesion, vocabulary, punctuation, sentence variety, grammar, and tenses.

Below, you’ll find some tips for your CELPIP Writing tips for a complaint email, but if you need more help please talk to us about tutoring.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row css=”.vc_custom_1607824972114{margin-right: 5px !important;margin-left: 5px !important;border-top-width: 5px !important;border-right-width: 5px !important;border-bottom-width: 5px !important;border-left-width: 5px !important;border-left-color: #7ab040 !important;border-left-style: solid !important;border-right-color: #7ab040 !important;border-right-style: solid !important;border-top-color: #7ab040 !important;border-top-style: solid !important;border-bottom-color: #7ab040 !important;border-bottom-style: solid !important;border-radius: 30px !important;}”][vc_column width=”2/3″][vc_column_text]

A Typical Complaint Email/Letter Question

The CELPIP Complaint email question asks you to write a formal or informal email complaining about something. You may write to a friend, family member, co-worker, or someone in authority like a boss or restaurant owner. Your complaint response describes the situation that has disappointed you and asks for some form of compensation.

For CELPIP, you have about 27 minutes to write your email. It should between 150-200 words.

A typical complaint question looks like this:

The new cheque book you ordered from your bank hasn’t arrived. It’s three weeks late!

Write an email to your bank manager. Your email should:

Complain about the bad service

Explain how you paid.

Ask what he can do.

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Read and Understand the Question

Before you start writing your CELPIP complaint Email, you need to identify two things:

Who you are writing to. Who you are writing to dictates your level of formality. If you’re writing to a friend or family member, your response will be informal, otherwise it should be formal.

Most of the time, you’ll likely be complaining to an establishment about poor service. That means you’ll be using full sentences, a formal salutation, and no contractions.

What you are talking about. Make sure that you have understood and internalized the question. It often helps to imagine yourself in the situation and think about what your gut reaction would be.

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How to Organize your Response

Your response should have four parts.

Part 1 – Identify the purpose of your letter

Part 2 – A description of the problem

part 3 – The impact of the problem

part 4 – How you would like the company to resolve the problem

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How Long Should my Response Be?

As part of familiarizing yourself with the complaint email in CELPIP Writing Task 1,  you need to know how long your response should be and how much time you have to write about it.

You have about 30 minutes to complete your response, and you should write between 150 and 200 words.

You should try to keep your word count between those numbers. Being able to express yourself efficiently is part of the test, so you should be able to say everything you need to say in about 200 words. The examiner won’t penalize you if you need a few more words to make your point, but you may be penalized for writing 250 words because that shows your examiner that you don’t write efficiently.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1628545014893{border-top-width: 5px !important;border-right-width: 5px !important;border-bottom-width: 5px !important;border-left-width: 5px !important;padding-top: 15px !important;padding-right: 10px !important;padding-bottom: 15px !important;padding-left: 10px !important;border-left-color: #7ab040 !important;border-left-style: solid !important;border-right-color: #7ab040 !important;border-right-style: solid !important;border-top-color: #7ab040 !important;border-top-style: solid !important;border-bottom-color: #7ab040 !important;border-bottom-style: solid !important;border-radius: 20px !important;}”]

How to Start your Response

Your complaint email should start with your salutation. Our complaint is formal and addressed to a person at our bank that we know, so we’ll start with Dear Mr. Smith.

Make sure both words are capitalized and there is a period (.) after Mr. This dot is important because it identifies Mr. as the abbreviated form of ‘Mister’. You also need a comma (,) before you move onto the next line. It should look like this:

Dear Mr. Smith,

If you were writing a complaint letter and didn’t know the person’s name, you would write ‘To Whom It May Concern,’. Again, all of your words should be capitalized and followed by a comma (,) before you move on to the next line.

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How to Start Part 1

Now that you’ve chosen and properly punctuated your salutation, it’s time to tell your reader the purpose of your email.

Start a new line and  say, “I’m writing to complain about…

Don’t start your email by telling readers who you are. Typically, we expect readers to look at the signature at the bottom of the email if they want to know who the email is from.

Your statement of purpose might look like this:

I am writing to complain about your bank’s service and to track down my new cheque book. 

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How to Start Part 2

Now that you’ve identified the purpose of your email, it’s time to describe the problem. The problem here, is that we’ve been waiting for three weeks for a cheque book that has been delayed.

Your description of the problem might sound like this:

Three weeks ago I filled out the appropriate order form for a cheque book and paid with cash. I was assured that it would be delivered to my home within six business days.

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Improve Your Basic Tense
Accuracy & Vocabulary

Check out this workbook to improve your vocabulary and basic tense accuracy.

Practice your present, past and future tenses in their simple, continuous, active, and passive forms.

Also available as a downloadable PDF E-book[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1629835875993{padding-top: 20px !important;padding-right: 10px !important;padding-bottom: 20px !important;padding-left: 10px !important;background-color: rgba(122,176,64,0.3) !important;*background-color: rgb(122,176,64) !important;border-radius: 20px !important;}”]

Improve Your Perfect Tense
Accuracy & Vocabulary

Check out this workbook to improve your vocabulary and perfect tense accuracy.

Practice your present perfect, past perfect and future perfect tenses in their simple, continuous, active, and passive forms.

This book is also available as a downloadable PDF E-book[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1626976794547{border-top-width: 5px !important;border-right-width: 5px !important;border-bottom-width: 5px !important;border-left-width: 5px !important;padding-top: 5px !important;padding-right: 10px !important;padding-bottom: 25px !important;padding-left: 10px !important;border-left-color: #7ab040 !important;border-left-style: solid !important;border-right-color: #7ab040 !important;border-right-style: solid !important;border-top-color: #7ab040 !important;border-top-style: solid !important;border-bottom-color: #7ab040 !important;border-bottom-style: solid !important;border-radius: 30px !important;}”]

How to Start Part 3

Okay, so our readers know we’re complaining, and they know what we’re complaining about. Next we want to tell them let them know just how inconvenient this slip-up they’ve made is for us.

We might say something like this:

It has now been three weeks since my order, and I have some urgent bills to pay. I have tried calling the bank several times, but no-one seems to be able to tell me anything about my cheques.

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How to Conclude your Complaint Email

Part 4 is actually the conclusion of our email. Here, we want to propose or request a resolution and reiterate our main points. We’ll keep our tone fo total frustration consistent as we ask how much longer we will have to endure this annoyance.

Make sure you leave a line space before you start this paragraph.

We might say something like this:

Please let me know how much longer I will have to wait and what can be done in the meantime to cover my bills. As a new customer, I am stunned at your bank’s inefficiency and am beginning to wonder whether another bank would make me feel more valued.

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How to End your Complaint Email

Now that we’ve finished the body of your email, we’ll just go to the next line and let our bank manager know that we’re anxious to hear from him.

Remember that the tone here is formal, so we mustn’t use any contractions, abbreviations or partial sentences.

We’ll say:

I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Now we can finish our formal salutation by saying:

Yours Sincerely,

…And on the next line, we’ll sign our full name:

Joe Beckman

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Please call, text, or contact me if you need a little help preparing for CELPIP.

613-614-6460

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Your final response might sound like this:

Dear Mr. Smith,

I am writing to complain about your bank’s service and to track down my new cheque book. 

Three weeks ago I filled out the appropriate order form for a cheque book and paid with cash. I was assured that it would be delivered to my home within six business days.

It has now been three weeks since my order, and I have some urgent bills to pay. I have tried calling the bank several times, but no-one seems to be able to tell me anything about my cheques.

Please let me know how much longer I will have to wait and what can be done in the meantime to cover my bills. As a new customer, I am stunned at your bank’s inefficiency and am beginning to wonder whether another bank would make me feel more valued.

I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Yours Sincerely,

Joe Beckman

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This video provides you with more tips for How to prepare a CELPIP Complaint Email.

Please visit our YouTube channel for more videos.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

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