How to Write a Complaint Letter to the CEO

Writing complaint letters in general can be therapeutic in nature. If you intent to mail the letter and have it receive attention, it needs to maintain a positive and professional quality, stick to the facts, be short as possible and encourage an open door for problem resolution. Sending a complaint letter puts your complaint on record with the company and may help you retain certain legal rights depending upon the situation.

Type the date at the top-left corner of the paper. Skip down two lines. Type the name of the CEO and below that the complete address.

Skip down two more lines and begin the letter with "Dear Mr." or "Dear Ms." with the CEO's last name and then a colon at the end. Drop down two more lines.

Include in the first paragraph all of the circumstances surrounding your purchase or interaction with the company. Describe the date, the first and last name or the first name and ID number of the employee you spoke with, the location of the store and what your understanding of the situation was.

Skip down two lines and continue with the description of what happened when you noticed the problem begin to surface. For example, "Instead of making 6 cups of juice, the product I purchased only produced 4 cups after I followed the user directions. I called your customer service department and spoke to (fill in the blank) and he told me (fill in the blank.) This did not resolve my issue. Your employee (name of employee) told me I was not allowed to return the item since it had been used even though I provided it back in its original packaging along with my receipt."

Skip two more lines and describe how disappointed you are when it comes to any satisfaction policies or customer service polices the company may hold that you are aware of. Describe what you want done to resolve the issue. For example, "All I want is to receive a refund for the full purchase price of my product."

Enter two more lines of blank space and finish the letter with an expectation that the company will contact you with a satisfactory arrangement. Include your contact information and keep copies of everything you are sending the CEO for your records.


If you do not have a typewriter or a computer, attempt to use one at your local library or use a friend's. If you absolutely cannot type up your letter, print your letter in ink in the most legible writing as possible. (See ref 2) If you feel it will draw more attention to your cause to mail your letter to more than one department head, feel free to do so.


Do not make false accusations in your complaint letter as this can be considered liable down the road and lead to possible costly legal issues. Do not come across with an angry or violent tone. Do not make actual threats.

Things You'll Need

  • Word processing software (optional)
  • Name of CEO
  • Contact address of CEO
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About the Author

Misty S. Bledsoe has been writing since 1995. She specializes in writing about religion, technology and solar concepts, and her articles appear on various websites. She holds a Bachelor of Science in information technology from American Intercontinental University.