A formal complaint letter should follow certain protocols in order to ensure that the letter is factual and impersonal. There is a tendency to make complaints' letters very personal as people have been inconvenienced and are feeling aggrieved. However, it is always important to remember the purpose of the letter. As this particular letter will be coming from The Chief Information Officer, it seems apparent that the writer of the letter wants to express his displeasure but his main aim should be to avoid what could become an ongoing struggle with the network in the future. If the system has been poorly installed, there are no doubt already communication issues, and if the quality of the system is perceived as inferior, the Chief Information Officer will be anxious to improve the quality as he will be looking at the long term effects of having used a company that has not met his expectations. He or she will be looking for reassurances that the poorly installed network will soon be brought up to standard and that the installer can guarantee an imminent improvement.
Start your letter to the company's senior management with the usual headings for formal letters. Check your guidelines or rubric for the correct set-up. Once ready to start the letter, make sure that the subject line helps the reader to relate easily to the installation now under discussion. The first paragraph will outline the problem and a possible subject line is:
Re: Installation of network at XYZ company on xxx January 2016
Note how the letter will not go into great detail about the inconveniences or the perceived incompetence of the installation team. There may have been some telephone conversations already. There are also likely to have been discussions about requirements before the contract was awarded to the installer. The letter might proceed as follows:
Further to the recent installation of the network at XYZ company, it has become necessary to detail the problems encountered and the company's disappointment at the poorly installed system and the quality of the products used. The equipment installed does not meet the brief and falls short of the standards expected by your otherwise reputable company and the installation itself was fraught with difficulty.
Due to the initial discussions before the contract was awarded, it is a well-known fact that communication systems are crucial to the successful running of XYZ company. The system was expected to be up and running within two days (in terms of signed contracts), and yet, for 5 days, XYZ company was without its network as the installers struggled to successfully integrate the existing system with the new one they were installing. This has cost XYZ company in terms of its reputation and obviously from a financial standpoint.
XYZ company reassured its customers that disruption would be minimal and steps were taken for unforseen problems. However, the problems became far more serious and the installation team did not seem to be equipped to deal with the complications. This resulted in XYZ further inconveniencing its customers. The embarrassment was worsened as XYZ were unable to offer a foreseeable end to the problems because the installation team was unable to confirm a date when the problems might be resolved. The fact that another installation team was called to remedy the problem confirms suspicions that XYZ company did not receive the best service from the start of this contract as the best team was not sent in the first instance.
Although the system is now up and running, the quality remains an issue and is of great concern. Steps need to be taken, without further cost or disruption to XYZ company, to install a superior product such as was expected and which only then would meet the requirements of the signed contract.
I invite your comments and look forward to receiving your assurance that the problems will be resolved very soon.
End your letter according to your guidelines for formal letters.