Thursday Writing Prompt No. 116


I’m angry right now. Yep, I’m trying to make a doctor’s appointment and I find myself caught up in automated answering machine hell. I detest these things as it is, but this one wants to sell me every medical procedure that this doctor’s office offers. Really? Really!

So, let’s write a complaint letter together! Now you might be thinking “I want to write fiction, not a letter!” But any kind of writing will help you hone your craft, and if you usually write fiction or poetry then writing nonfiction will be like cross-training for your writer’s mind.

Complaint letters aren’t meant to be negative, even though they are about something bad–or at least, something not as good as it might be. The key to writing a good complaint letter is to be very specific about what the problem is and what kind of remedy you want from the individual or company that you are dealing with. Avoid writing things like “this sucks” because it doesn’t really mean anything. What is the problem, and why it is a problem?

Here’s your scenario: you go to the grocery story and buy some frozen dinners, only to find once you’re at home that one of the boxes has been opened and the inner seal on the food is punctured. You try to return it to the store but the manager won’t give you a refund because you can’t prove that it came from the store this way.

You drive home angry, your foot pressed to the accelerator, and leap out of the car. Rushing to your computer, you look up the company’s website and find their contact page. Your fingers hover over the keyboard, itching to let loose. What do you write?