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Model Letters

These letters are useful for students who want to learn how to write particular types of letter in English. There is an application for a job, a letter to a newspaper and several complaint letters.

To do some exercises on these texts click here.

Complaint letter from business to business.

Dear Mr Thompsen,

I recently received a letter from a Mr Robinson, a valued customer of ours. He purchased an Italian coffee table and four French dining-room chairs from us which your company delivered to his residence.

He has written to complain that the purchases arrived damaged. We pride ourselves in the quality of our products and would like an explanation as to how this mishap occurred. Even though the items are insured, our reputation is at stake.

I would be most grateful if you would reply as soon as possible so that this matter can be resolved to everyone's satisfaction.


Jackie Middleton

Customer Services Manager

Complaint letter from a business customer to a telephone company

Dear Sir,

I am writing this letter to complain in the strongest terms about the poor service that I have received from your company.

We signed up to your telephone and internet service package two months ago because your advertising suggests that you are better than Telco. In addition, you promise to deal with problems quickly and efficiently, something that Telco were unable or unwilling to do. However, in the first month of service you managed to cause me to lose two days worth of business because of poor administration. The main problem was that you failed to provide me with the correct telephone number, 9818 8747, that you had promised when I completed the contract. This phone number was an established business line which I had been using for the last three years. Obviously this meant that my clients were unable to contact me and it cost me many hours of phone calls to resolve the matter with your support centre.

I would appreciate it if this situation could be resolved and a substantial rebate offered on my first three month's account.

I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Yours Faithfully

John O'Sullivan

A letter to a magazine expressing an opinion about tourism

Dear Sir-As someone who has travelled throughout Asia on business and holiday I would like to give my opinion on its environmental impact. Having visited Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia I understand that tourism can bring money to developing countries. However, this money often goes into the pockets of foreign investors, and only rarely benefits local people. Multinational hotel chains also have little regard for the surrounding wildlife when they build new resorts. This can cause many problems.
In view of these facts we, as tourists, can directly affect these countries in a positive way if we are thoughtful. When we visit these countries we can visit restaurants, bars and even hotels that are owned by local people. In addition, we can refuse to give luxury resorts our patronage and therefore prevent them from becoming even larger. Most importantly we should check that any tours or excursions we take have minimal effect on the natural surroundings. Finally, we can even attempt to change the behaviour of other tourists by sharing our opinions.
If we follow these simple steps we can be sure that our pleasure is not causing any harm to people or places that we visit.

A letter in application for a job

Dear Sir/Madam,

I am writing this letter to apply for the position of student assistant that I saw advertised on your website. I am interested in working in the teachers' resource library, or in the accommodation department.

I have recently graduated from the WSB Business School in Warsaw and received high grades in both my English and Business Courses. In addition, we had to use all of the Microsoft Office programs in the preparation of our finished assignments, so I am able to do most things with computers.

Since I was 15 years old I have helped my father to run his small import-export business. I have been involved in helping a variety of clients and also the general administration of the business. In the past 2 years I have worked in the WSB library, helping teachers and students to find and use the resources there. This experience has given me the ability to deal with the needs of all types of people.

I have an outgoing, diligent personality and find that I enjoy the challenges of working in busy environments. In addition, my studies and experience have taught me to be accurate and efficient in organising my work so I would be a valuable addition to your school.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours faithfully

Pawel Minescz

Informal Letter

Hi Leo,
It's been a while since we wrote, so I thought I'd drop you a line to bring you up to date with what's been happening here.
I suppose the most important thing is that Jane's job is more secure than we thought. At the beginning of the year, when she got the job, we thought it might only be for one semester, but we just found that she has a permanent contract of sorts. Obviously this is great, as it means we can relax a little. I still don't have what I really want work wise, but it will happen soon. You have to stay positive, don't you?
My parents are both fine, and I think they are really happy that we've moved back. For us, it's great to be so close to family again, an extra sense of comfort and security. We see my sister quite often as she's in London, although we're not that bothered about going into the city.
So, what about you these days? Are you still stuck in that old job? Since I've been having so much trouble getting a job I understand your reluctance to change. There's nothing worse than filling in endless application forms, with no idea of what it will lead to.
Anyway, I've got another form to fill in so I'll love you and leave you.

An informal letter asking for a favour

Hi Jen,
I'm writing this letter because I really need your help. You're the only person who knows me well enough to give me a reference for a course I want to do.
I saw an advert in a paper recently offering a free journalism course to successful applicants. I sent in an article I wrote for the student newspaper, you know, the one about legalising drugs? Anyway, they really liked it, but as there are only five places they want a reference as well. I haven't given them your name yet, as I expect this would be the first reference you've been asked to give. Is it OK if I send them your phone number? I think they want to phone so they can have a proper conversation with you and really check me out.
I know it's been a while but if you could do it it'd really help me out. I've got a new phone number, 09957 234 563, so you can get me on that, and my address is still the same.
Hope to hear from you soon.

A semi-formal e-mail in the form of a report

Hi Doug,
Just getting back to you with a preliminary report on what we need to set up the multimedia suite in the library.
Firstly I looked at cameras and other hardware that students will be borrowing.
As you know we're dealing with about 600 students on this site. In addition, there have been 6 tutors who have already been asking about digital cameras and digital video cameras, and they hadn't even heard about this project. Judging by the interest I don't think we should buy less than 4 of each, that way we can let a class take three at a time and still have one left over. We'll also need to ensure that the cameras are only lent out for a day at a time. I'm going to try to get some advice from other colleges about equipment which is both rugged and reliable enough to be borrowed by our students. We'll probably need to get a mini disc recorder as well, so students can record high quality sound.
The second area I looked at was the computer hardware we need.
Obviously, as we'll be dealing with video, image and audio files, we'll need as fast a processor as we can get, Mac or PC. We'll also need at least 512MB of RAM, but 1GB would actually be much better. For capturing video we'll need a 10,000 rpm hard drive as well, they're much faster than the old 7,200 rpm drives. They also need to be as large as we can afford. If we can get a deal it is probably better to get Macs, even if it'll take a little while for everyone to get used to them. I suppose that depends upon our preferred suppliers though. With a discount we should be able to get at least 3 workstations.
Finally we need to consider software.
We need to have a full range of media software, from print to video on at least one computer, preferably all three. It would be great if students had the opportunity to use whatever media was best for their particular project. I think it could be very interesting to help them use the internet as a vehicle for their opinions, and for demonstrating their skills.
So that's it for now. We're really looking at a budget of £8,000 for the hardware. We'll have to look at the licenses we already have for software to see if we'll need to spend much on that.
I'll get back to you when I have more info on the cameras.