Great Letters That Work Hunt

MSE_Martin Posts: 8,273
First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
Money Saving Expert
Why have I started this?

If you have write to an organisation, whether to complain or ask about something, there's nothing more annoying than trying to work out the best way to phrase your letter.

Short and concise is always best, but if there's a template even better.

What I'm looking for

I'm hunting for the best template letters on anything and everything that MoneySavers have ever written that may be useful for others. It's be great if you could add in whether you had a success story.

What I hope to do is compile them into a directory of useful template letters, and possibly host them on the main site, which I hope you'll be happy to have happen.

Click reply to add yours.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Please do remember to take out your personal details (and don't libel any companies!)

Martin Lewis, Money Saving Expert.
Please note, answers don't constitute financial advice, it is based on generalised journalistic research. Always ensure any decision is made with regards to your own individual circumstance.
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  • dogsnob
    dogsnob Posts: 19 Forumite
    My second letter to a local council trying to get reimbursment after a pothole damaged my wheel. It worked and they paid in full.

    Dear Ms x,

    Your ref: xx/123

    Thank you for your letter of 07/xx/05 declining my claim for compensation in respect of damage to my vehicle.

    You will note that I said in my original letter of 12/xx/05 that, should you dispute my claim then I will pursue it via the civil courts for the full amount including any subsequent costs I incur for repairing damage to the alloy wheel.

    I believe that I am able to demonstrate, through photographic and independent witness evidence, that my loss and damage arose as a result of negligence on the part of the City Council. Your letter of 07/xx/05 advises that ‘the area’ was last inspected on 14/xx/04 whereupon actionable defects would have been repaired as necessary. I understand, and have independent witnesses who confirm, that the defect was, in fact, present for some considerable time prior to this date.

    Accordingly, I am advising you that I am to seek compensation via civil legal action in the county court. Whilst I was prepared to accept compensation of £157.99, this claim will now include the additional cost of repairing damage to the alloy wheel, plus any subsequent costs I incur through pursuance of this claim.

    You advise that ‘documentation to support the Council’s decision is available if required’. I do require this documentation and should be grateful if you would forward it to the above address. Also, as I have a general right of access under the terms of the Freedom of Information Act, I would like to make a request for information. Please provide me with paper photocopies of any minutes of meetings, correspondence, miscellaneous collections of papers, e-mails, personal notebooks, as well as prints of any electronic files that contain information pertaining to either my claim or road maintenance of xxx Avenue and xxx Road.

    Your letter also states that the Council is reliant upon random ad-hoc inspections and/or public notification to identify defects that occur between routine inspections. I would like to advise you that there are several further sunken drainage grates on xxx Avenue and xxx Road that are in a dangerous state and require repair.

    As a final offer before I seek recovery through the court system, I am willing to accept an amount of £202.64 as full and final settlement of my claim. This is represented by the cost of the burst tyre at £157.99 and the cost of repairing the alloy wheel at £44.65.

    Either send me £202.64, or provide the requested documentation within 20 working days so that I am able to submit the appropriate forms to the county court. Whilst I do not wish to enter into further written communication, should you wish to discuss the matter, you may telephone me during the day on xxx

    Yours sincerely,

    A tax-payer
    Does anyone know how to change my username? I was "Mr Investigation" and MSE's new software now shows it as "Dogsnob" !!!
  • Not entirely sure if these will count, as they do need to be used in conjunction with the information on the parent site Consumerline , but they are short and to the point.

    Note to Martin/Mod - (please pull this post if it's not suitable).
    I haven't been asked to tell you that I'm the [highlight]Board Drunk[/highlight] for this board. As the night wears on, my posts will become worse, with simple spelling mistakes, inane ramblings, and a blatant disregard for the truth. I have no authority to do anything, so there's no point asking or telling me. If you see me past midnight, please tell me to get my coat and order me a taxi.

    Free Ebay Simple Profit/Loss Spreadsheet. PM me for a download link.
  • oldagetraveller
    oldagetraveller Posts: 3,653 Forumite
    Copy of a letter sent to Lxxxxxxxl City Council (birthplace of the Beatles) in response to them hounding someone for payments in spite of them being advised in writing of an impending move. The £125 was overpayment for period prepaid prior to moving. Yes, it was me! Name and current address removed. A cheque was sent by them for the overpayment by return of post. :D

    Dear Sir or Madam 01 April 2004

    I write again with reference to the council tax bills I have received for a property I no longer live in or own.

    I enclose copies of the bills and a letter sent on the 10 March 2004. I find it amazing that a bill for 2004/2005 has been sent, it’s not as though the letter wasn’t posted in good time for amendments to be made.

    According to my calculations it’s xxxxxxxx City Council that owe me money, approximately £125. Your demands for payments are made at lightning speed, it’s a pity that refunds are not made as quickly!

    I could have sat back, done nothing and waited for the court summons. Who would have had egg on their face then? But no, as usual it’s the law abiding citizens that take the time and trouble and go to the expense of ‘phone calls and letters to try and complete a resolution.

    Payment of any refund due is to be made and received by me within seven working days, at the above address, or steps WILL be taken to secure such refund. No doubt I would have received such a demand if I’d ignored your communications, well the boot’s on the other foot this time. While I’m on a roll, an apology would be appreciated as well, in writing, as none was offered when I’ve ‘phoned.

    I’ve also stated previously in a letter to the council, regarding council tax reductions, that I’m sure if my country of origin was not the U.K. and my native language was not English, the council would be falling over itself to throw money in my direction.

    Yours faithfully
  • dccarm
    dccarm Posts: 1,263 Forumite
    My letter to a well known electricity supplier almost a year ago. They replied to tell me "I could be confident the matter would be dealt with promptly" and I am still receiving bills. So I can't claim it was effective, but I had great fun writing it, and as they keep sending reminders the fun just goes on and on. :rotfl:

    Dear Sirs,


    I refer to a letter I received today from a company called ******** regarding our “outstanding” electricity charges (copy attached). This is now the second letter I have received from a debt collection agency threatening disconnection of our electricity supply, the first coming from ***** Debt Management earlier this month (copy attached). I have now wasted hours of my time speaking to debt collection agencies, your own customer services staff and your own debt recovery team as well as contacting you in writing on three separate occasions.

    In my first letter on March 26th of this year (after your first Final Reminder stating that we owed £140) I asked you quite clearly to investigate the bill you believed to be outstanding, and to forward me the details of volumes and dates of supply if the investigation proved the bill to be correct. No reply was forthcoming. You then issued a final reminder on May 25th, followed by a disconnection notice on June 17th. I telephoned customer services on June 23rd and spoke with a Mr. AN Other who assured me that our electricity supply could not be cut off while our account was in dispute and that the matter was under investigation. Imagine my surprise two weeks later when the letter from ***** Debt management appeared on my desk telling me that “We have been trying to contact the owner of the above property” and that they had “been asked to make a visit to this property to confirm the current occupier.” And imagine my greater surprise when another series of telephone calls led to the revelation that our account was not, and never had been, placed in dispute by your customer services. On the occasion of my last telephone call I was assured once again that our account was in dispute and the matter under investigation. Yet here I am again, making telephone calls and writing letters to try and ensure our company can continue to operate without the threat of an incorrect disconnection occurring.

    In the forlorn hope that someone might actually read one of my letters and act upon it I would like to reiterate the current situation. We do not, and have never used you as our electricity supplier. The supply number/ meter reference that you appear to be billing us on does not match the supply number that we actually have. If you still believe that we owe you money then please forward me details of the volumes, meter readings and dates of supply and we will pay you any amounts that are genuinely owed. Otherwise please stop wasting my time by threatening to disconnect us. If our electricity supply is disconnected as a result of your continued incompetence we will expect damages for the loss of business that will result and will use legal channels to ensure that these are paid in full.

    Yours etc
  • Bargainbabe_2
    Bargainbabe_2 Posts: 1,741 Forumite
    Ok this is a letter I sent to Vodafone to cancel my contract because they didn't offer me the phone I wanted. It's not the best letter in the world but hey it got the result I was after baby! 2 days after I sent this letter I was promptly offered any phone of my choice if I signed up with them for another 12 months:

    Dear sir or madam,

    I hereby give one months notice to terminate my monthly contract with Vodafone which I pay for via Direct Debit . My contact details are displayed above. My account details are as follows:

    Account Number- *************

    Mobile number- *************

    I would also like to know my PAC code so I can port my number when I move networks. The only reason why I have decided to leave Vodafone is due to the fact that my upgrade options were quite poor and I would like a better phone than the one I already have.

    I look forward to hearing from you in the near future.

    Yours faithfully,

    "There are no pockets in a shroud..."
  • MonkeyGirl
    MonkeyGirl Posts: 587 Forumite
    A letter I often send to companies asking for prizes and it has worked a lot of the time and we have had decent stuff :).

    Dear Sir / Madam

    My partner and I run a non profit making organisation (my website address would go here) which offers support and friendship to people who have Myalgic Encephalopathy also known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (M.E and CFS for short) and for people that are friends and carers of an M.E / CFS sufferer. My partner and I run a competition every month to make things more fun and interesting at (website name goes here), and wondered if you would be interested in donating something that can be used as a prize or prizes to enable us to keep doing this.

    Thank you for any help you can give us.
  • dogsnob
    dogsnob Posts: 19 Forumite
    I think THIS is one of the best letters i've ever read to wangle out of paying a speeding fine. Sorry it's a link, but I only have a pdf copy so couldn't post the text.

    Edit: Mods - Re. Mumstheword's comments - The link I have posted refers to information that is widely available on the internet, but if you feel the link is innappropriate then please delete my post.
    Does anyone know how to change my username? I was "Mr Investigation" and MSE's new software now shows it as "Dogsnob" !!!
  • Mumstheword
    Mumstheword Posts: 3,760
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    dogsnob wrote:
    I think THIS is one of the best letters i've ever read to wangle out of paying a speeding fine. Sorry it's a link, but I only have a pdf copy so couldn't post the text.

    Yes, that is excellent (but the bloke DID commit the offence and got off on a technicality!!). However, there's a lot of personal detail inthere that could do with removing!
    *** Friends are angels who lift us to our feet when our wings have trouble remembering how to fly ***

    If I don't reply to you, I haven't looked back at the thread.....PM me :)
  • rushnowt
    rushnowt Posts: 24,749 Forumite
    This is by far the best letter I've ever read, I seriously PMSL when I read it :rotfl:
    Nobody can make you feel inferior, without your permission ;)

    Love doesn't make the world go round, it's what makes the ride worthwhile

    ya still freezing :p

  • My advice for any serious complaint is to take it as high as possible as quickly as possible. In my experience, email is the most efficient means of doing this. Ideally, send the complaint to a generic customer services email if you can obtain one, but cc. someone like the Customer Services or Communications Director. It is surprisingly easy to get hold of these names, and their email addresses, employing the right tactics. Simply find the company's head office switchboard phone number, dial, and ask in a confident tone for this person's name. Behave as if you are calling for business reasons. If necessary, get transferred to their PA and demand an email address. It works!

    Put effort into the wording of the complaint, and don't get carried away with sarcasm. If you want to see any of my letters, to Lloyds TSB for instance, please let me know. If you want me to find a name for you, hell, I'll give it a bash!
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