Complaint Letter

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Complaint letters, or letters of complaint, can be written for a wide variety of situations. Most complaint letters are from an individual to a company or government organization. An actual letter to a senior person in the organization will be much more effective than an e-mail or a phone call to a customer service person. As the sample below illustrates, it is important for a complaint letter to make a specific and compelling case that essentially demands action.

(print Complaint Letter from private citizen on standard stationery)

4739 French St.
Tampa FL 33660

July 18, 20xx

Mr. Kevin McManus
National Manager, Customer Service
Energy Corporation Inc.
Heritage Building, Suite 200
795 Foundation Dr.
New York, NY 10014

RE: EnerCorp Credit Card: 263 181 869 3 900XX

I had been an EnerCorp credit card holder for the previous ten years. Before that, I was a Texacana card-holder for over 20 years. I seem to recall that when EnerCorp took over/bought out Texacana ten years ago, the switch of companies/credit cards was handled smoothly and seamlessly. I wish the same was the case ten years later when EnerCorp recently transferred its credit card operations to NYBank.

I was well aware of the impending changeover to NYBank a couple of months before it happened. I had received a notice of the planned change in the mail, and it was discussed often at my local EnerCorp station when I paid for my gas (with my EnerCorp credit card). More than once, I inquired, and was assured that I would receive a new credit card in the mail before the April 27th deadline. Unfortunately, that did not happen. April 27th came and went, without me receiving a replacement card, or even an application for a new one. Apparently, I am not the only one that this happened to.

After realizing that I was suddenly without a gasoline credit card, after 30 years with one, I called a couple of your 1-800 numbers and I was advised that I would have to re-apply for a credit card with EnerCorp via the NYBank. Incredible as this seemed, I requested an application and one was sent. It appears to be the same kind of application that one fills in after walking in off the street. The fact that I had been a credit card-holder with EnerCorp (and its predecessor Texacana before that) for some 30 years in total, did not seem to cut any mustard with you people, or your friends at the NYBank.

It is hard to believe that companies are still doing business this way in the year 20xx. Have you people (or your colleagues at NYBank) ever heard of the concept of MVC (Most Valuable Customer). Just in case you aren't familiar with this approach, the MVC is the customer that you already have (i.e. me). Normally, these are the customers you don't want to lose. After all, research has revealed that it will cost you seven times as much to find a new customer as it does to keep an existing one (i.e. me). What about current "customer-centric" concepts such as One-to-One marketing? Or, have you ever heard of customer relationships management (CRM)?

For your information, about two years ago American Hardware transferred its credit card management program to Master Card and it was absolutely transparent to American Hardware card-holders who simply received a replacement Master Card before the American card expired. Maybe you should have consulted those companies.

In closing, would you please advise me as soon as possible if EnerCorp (now via NYBank) is still interested in doing business with me, or if what has happened here is your not so subtle way of telling me to do my gasoline business elsewhere.


John Swetnam, M.B.A.

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