IELTS Complaint Letter: Model

Below is a model IELTS complaint letter which is estimated at band score 9. People taking the GT writing paper will be expected to write a letter for their writing task 1. That letter should be over 150 words. Complaint letters are one of the most common types of letters that you can be expected to write.

You bought a TV a week ago but when you got home you discovered it did not work properly. You called customer service to report the problem but you have not yet received any help.

Write a letter to the company and in your letter:

  • introduce yourself
  • explain the problem
  • and state what action you would like from the company

Model IELTS Complaint Letter

The letter below will show you how to organise information into paragraphs and extent information to create a high band score IELTS complaint letter.

Dear Sir or Madam,

I am writing this letter to report the faulty TV that I purchased from your company on Tuesday last week.

My name is John Davidson and I am one of your frequent customers. I live in Woodstock and have been using your services and buying your products for the last 11 years.

On Tuesday, 12th June, I visited your store to purchase a TV. I bought a Toshiba LED TV which has the code 40L675B40. On purchasing this TV, I was assured that this was the latest model and the best there was to buy. However, when I got home I discovered that not only did the remote controls not work but also the quality of the picture was not as good as promised, in fact it was quite blurry. I called your customer service department immediately on Tuesday and they assured me that my TV would be replaced or fixed within two days. I am disappointed to say that this has not happened and I have received no communication since then.

I am exceedingly displeased with both the quality of the product I purchased from your company as well as the poor  service I have received since. I hope this problem will be resolved promptly. I expect to receive a replacement TV or have my current TV repaired but only if it could be fixed within a day.

I look forward to hearing back from you immediately.

Yours faithfully,

Mr J H Davidson

Recommended for GT IELTS Writing Task 1

Click below:

Essential Tips for IELTS GT Letters: Writing Task 2

Practice IELTS Letters to practice at home


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IELTS Invitation Letter for GT Writing Task 1

Below is a model answer for an IELTS invitation letter. This particular invitation letter was reported in the IELTS exam last week. The aim of the invitation is a public event. Other invitations can sometimes include holiday invites, private celebration invites or even formal invites from a business perspective.


Writing Task 1: Write a letter to your friend who lives in another country and in your letter:

  • a. Invite him/her to a public event in your country.
    b. Describe the public event.
    c. Explain about other plans you have for your friend when he/she will visit.

IELTS Invitation Letter Model Answer

Hi Dave,

How have you been since we last met?

I thought I’d drop you a line and see if you fancy coming over for Bonfire night which is on November 5th.

Bonfire night is a great event in England, particularly in my hometown. It starts as soon as the sun has set because the event is held around a huge bonfire. As the weather is cold, the bonfire adds wonderful warmth. On the fire, there’s a guy which represents Guy Fawkes, a man who once tried to blow up Parliament. On top of that there’s also fireworks and a chance to cook your own food on the fire, which I’m sure you’ll love.

While you’re over, we’ll be able to do a trip to London as I know you’ve always wanted to visit. The Christmas lights will have been switched on by then and they are amazing. You’ll also be able to visit the Christmas markets and do all your Christmas shopping.

I really hope you’ll be able to come over. It won’t be the same without you.

Write back soon,


Words = 183

More IELTS Letters:

Model Complaint Letter

Essential Tips for IELTS Letter Writing

All Writing Task 1 Lessons


Main IELTS Pages

Develop your IELTS skills with tips, lessons, free videos and more.


IELTS Complaint Letter: Error Correction

Below are sentences written by students for an IELTS complaint letter for writing task 1 (General Training Paper). Can you re-write the sentences correctly? The more errors you have in your writing, the lower your score will be for grammar and vocabulary.

Complaint Letter Sentences: Find the Mistakes

  1. Last week I bought a TV from your store but from the first day it is not working properly.
  2. I called so many times to the customer services but they ignored the request.
  3. I request to the store manager to find the solution for TV, he told me that he will send the technician to fix the problem, but he didn’t.
  4. I am very disappointed from the services of your company.
  5. I need that someone from you fix the TV problem or replace the current TV to the new one within one or two days.


  1. Last week I bought a TV from your store but from the very first day it did not work properly.
  2. I called many times to customer services but I was either put on hold for over 30 minutes or they put the phone down on me. This is completely unacceptable.
  3. I requested that the store manager find a solution for the TV and he told me that he would send a technician to fix the problem. However, he failed to do this and I have been waiting for over one week now with no positive outcome.
  4. I am very disappointed with the services of your company. / I am exceedingly disappointed with the customer services that your company provides.
  5. I expect someone from your company to fix this problem or replace the current TV  within one to two days. (Please note that using “I expect…” is when you want to show annoyance, otherwise just use “I would like …”)



IELTS Letter: Sample Answer

Below is an IELTS letter with a sample answer which is estimated at band score 9 and is personal rather than formal. For the General Training Paper in IELTS, you are required to write a letter of over 150 words in 20 mins for writing task 1.

Last month you had an overseas holiday with some friends where you stayed at their house. They have just sent you some holiday photos.

Write a letter to your friends. In your letter:

  • thank them for the holiday and the photos
  • explain why you didn’t write earlier
  • invite them to come and stay with you

Band Score 9 Sample Answer

Hi John and Laura,

How are you both? I hope this letter finds you well. Although it’s such a short time since we last saw each other, it feels much longer.

Thank you so much not only for such a memorable holiday but also for the lovely photos that you sent of our holiday together. It brought it all back to me so vividly. Staying with you and seeing where you live was a real eye-opener for me. Australia is certainly a scenic country with remarkable landscape and wildlife, particularly up in the north where you are.

Sorry, it has taken me so long to write back and thank you. Almost as soon as we landed back in the UK, my mother became sick. Since then we’ve been running around looking after her and getting carers sorted out. She seems to be improving now and hopefully will be back to normal soon.

Next month, we’ll be celebrating our Wedding Anniversary and we’d be delighted if you could come over to celebrate it with us. It’ll be a chance for you to meet the rest of the family and see a bit of England. Of course, you must stay with us. There’s plenty of room and we’ll pick you up at the airport. I really hope you can make it.

Take care and write back soon.



IELTS Letter Writing Tips 

IELTS Letter Writing Tips: Essential Top 10 Tips

Essential IELTS Letter Writing Tips for General Training Writing Task 1. Last up-dated 2019. Learn the right approach and techniques to get a high score in your IELTS GT letter. On this page, you will find:

  1. Instructions about IELTS Letter Writing with Tips
  2. Types of IELTS Letters
  3. Letter Aims
  4. Opening your Letter
  5. Signing Off
  6. Grammar
  7. Vocabulary
  8. Spelling
  9. Structure & Paragraphs
  10. Planning your Letter
  11. Model Letters

1. Instructions for IELTS Letters

You will be given instructions and three points to include in your letter.Below is an example of the type of instructions you can get:

You recently had a holiday visiting your friends and you stayed in their house.

Write a letter to your friend. In your letter:

  • thank your friend for staying with them
  • tell them what you enjoyed most about the holiday
  • explain you are sending photos of the holiday with the letter

Tips for IELTS letter writing:

  1. Spend 20 mins on this letter. Spend 3 -5 mins planning and then the rest writing. Always leave 2 mins to check your letter for spelling or grammar mistakes. You will need a full 40 mins for task 2, so don’t go over 20 mins for task 1. It is your responsibility to control the time in your writing test.
  2. You must write over 150 words (aim for between 160 and 180 to be safe). Writing a letter over 300 words is a waste of time.
  3. Your letter is worth 33% of your final writing score. See this page: How your final writing score is calculated
  4. You do NOT need to write an address on the letter
  5. Pay close attention to who you are writing to and the relationship you have with that person. This will decide your style of writing and your tone.
  6. Pay attention to the aim and purpose of the letter.
  7. It is essential that you use the three points to structure your letter and provide the foundation for the information.
  8. All points must be included clearly in your letter. If you fail to include all the points in your letter, your band score will be lower.
  9. You must use your imagination to fill in details and decide the names of the people in your letter.
  10. Begin your letter by addressing the person and then an opening line. Always sign off appropriately.

2. Types of IELTS Letter

There are three different types of letters: personal, semi-formal and formal. Each type of letter will use different language. It will have a different beginning and a different way of signing off. Your first task, before you start writing, is to decide which type of letter you must write by identifying the task given. Below are examples of the three different types of letters.


You would like to invite a foreign friend to visit you for your birthday

Write a letter inviting your friend. In your letter:

  • tell your friend about your birthday
  • explain how much the visit would mean to you
  • suggest that your friend stays at your house for the visit

Click below for tips:


A personal letter is to someone you have a close personal relationship with about a social situation or personal situation.


Your friend has a travel company and would like you to come and work with him.

Write a letter replying to your friends offer. In your letter:

  • explain what you know about your friends company
  • choose whether you accept or decline the offer
  • give reasons for your choice

Click below for tips:


A semi-formal letter is to someone you have a close personal relationship with, such as a friend, about a formal or serious situation such as work. This means it’s to someone you know informally about something formal = semi-formal. Note: A personal relationship means you share your private life (your home life) with that person =  a friend. It does not mean your teacher, your boss, your manager or anyone else you know in a formal setting such as school or work.


You are interested in applying for a scholarship program to study at a foreign University.

Write a letter to inquire about the course. In your letter:

  • explain which course you are interested in
  • tell what you know about the University
  • explain why you should receive the scholarship

Click below for tips:


A formal letter is to someone you know in a formal way (a landlord, a boss, a manager, a teacher etc) or someone you have not met and whose name you don’t know (customer services, local council, hotel manager etc) about a serious or formal situation.

3. Letter Aims

Letters can be based on different content which will affect the style of the letter. Below is a list of some of the common contents for letters. Although there are hints about whether the letters are usually formal or not, please note that you will know the style by reading the instructions given to you.

  • complaints (usually formal)
  • invitations (usually personal or semi-formal)
  • applications or resignations (usually formal)
  • request (any style common)
  • making arrangements (often formal)
  • explanation (sometimes semi-formal or personal)
  • informative / news letter (often personal/ semi-formal but formal can also appear)
  • apology (could be any style)

 4. Letter Openings

Letters usually start with an opening statement which explains the reason for writing the letter. This opening statement varies depending on whether you are writing a formal or informal letter. Below are two examples of an opening statement. Can you spot which one is formal and which one is informal?

A)  I am writing this letter with regards to the scholarship program to study at London University which I read in Sunday Times on December 1st, 2014.

B)  It’s been so long since we last were in touch but I haven’t forgotten all the wonderful times we spent together last year. It’s my birthday coming up and I wanted to invite you over to stay at my place for the celebration.

C) I’m just writing to say thank you for the offer of joining your company.


A is formal, B is personal (informal) and C is semi-formal

5. Signing Off

Depending on the style and aim of the letter, you will need to adapt your final sentence or comment.

  • Dear Sir / Madame = Yours faithfully,  (formal letters)
  • Dear Mr Robson = Yours sincerely, (formal letters)
  • Dear John Robson = Yours sincerely (formal letters)
  • Hi Dave / Dear Dave = See you soon, / Take care, / All the best (informal or semi-formal)


  1. You use “Sir / Madame” when we don’t know the person’s name that you are writing to, for example when you write to the manager of a hotel or the local council. You do not use these titles if you know the name of the person. You should NOT use those titles in your speaking test.
  2. You can also write a formal letter to someone whose name you know. You can use either “Mr Robson” or “John Robson”.
  3. We use no title and no last name when we write to a friend.

Below are some examples of final comments before signing off, can you tell which ones are formal and which not?

It’ll be great to catch up again soon. Give my best to everyone in the family.

I look forward to hearing from you.

The first one is personal and the second one is formal.


You should write a name at the end of your letter. You can use your name or you can invest one.

  • Dear Sir = Yours faithfully, John Brown (always with a family name but with or without a title)
  • Dear Mr Robson = Yours sincerely, Mrs Susan Harper (always with a family name but with or without a title)
  • Hi Dave or Dear Dave = See you soon, Brian (not title and no family name because it is informal)

6. Grammar: Formal and Informal

Formal and informal (friendly) letters contain different language and style of writing. While informal letters can contain contractions (I’m writing …), these contractions are unacceptable in formal writing so you need to write the words in full (I am writing …. …).

In a formal letter, you could write “I am writing with regards to ….”. whereas for a semi-formal letter you can write “I’m writing about…” or “I’m writing to say..” or “I just want to let you know that..”. So, it is important to adapt your writing to suit the style of the letter. Also remember to use a range of different sentence structures in order to get a high score.

7. Vocabulary: Formal and Informal

For vocabulary, be very careful using academic language in a personal letter. This would be inappropriate and will reduce your band score rather than increase it. Here are some examples of the difference between formal and informal language:

  • You will be collected at the airport = I’ll pick you up at the airport
  • The next available appointment is on Thursday = how about we meet up on Thursday?
  • I would like to invite you to visit my house on…. = Why don’t you pop round to my place on …..
  • I highly recommend that you come in August = it’d be great if you came in August
  • Please respond at the earliest convenience = Get back to me as soon as you can
  • Unfortunately I will not be able to attend  on … = Sorry, but I won’t be able to make it on ….

8. Spelling and Punctuation

The examiner will check your accuracy in your spelling and your punctuation (this means your use of commas and full stops). If you make frequent errors in spelling or in punctuation it is unlikely to get over band score 6.

9. Structure and Paragraphs

You must also organise your letter into paragraphs. This is an essential part of your letter writing and the examiner will be marking you on your ability to use effective paragraphing. In IELTS writing task 1 (GT), the letter structure below is most common as it usually follows the three points which you must include in your letter. However you must adapt it to suit the task given to you by IELTS. So spend time reading the instructions and deciding your paragraphing.


  • title
  • opening statement – reason for writing
  • body paragraph A (one point with detail)
  • body paragraph B (another point with detail)
  • body paragraph C (final point with detail)
  • closing statement (if needed)
  • signing off
  • name (choose a name or use your own)

10. Planning Your Letter

You should spend at least 3 or 4 minutes planning your letter. Covering all the points in your letter, adding details, using the appropriate style of letter writing and using paragraphs well count for about 50% of your marks. So it’s worth taking time to plan your letter well. Follow the points below for a well planned letter:

  1. read the instructions
  2. identify what style of letter you must write
  3. read through the points you must include in your letter
  4. think about how many paragraphs you will have and where to put each point
  5. plan what information you will add to each point
  6. decide how to open the letter
  7. think about the language you will use (both grammar and vocabulary) – it must suit the style of the letter
  8. decide how to close the letter
  9. plan the content of each body paragraph
  10. start writing

11. Model Letters for IELTS GT

Also Review


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