Email templates about services

Use these draft letters as a guide when you need to put your complaint about services in writing.

Email templates about services

It can be difficult to know how to go about making a complaint. So we’ve put together these templates you can use to help you stand up for your rights.

You might also want to consider becoming a Consumer member. Membership of Consumer means you can read about products put to the test by us, before you buy, so next time you can choose with confidence.

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How to –

How to address poor work

Dear ...

[Address and job number if there is one]

On [date] you carried out the following work for me. [Describe].

The work is unsatisfactory because [describe].

You have an obligation to carry out work you do with reasonable skill and to an acceptable standard. You have not met these legal requirements.

I am happy to give you 14 days to put matters right but in the meantime I will be withholding the payment of your account.

Please contact me to arrange a convenient time to have the remedial work done.

How to dispute a charge higher than the quote

Dear ...

[Type of work]

On [date] I asked you to carry out the following [describe]. I was given a quotation of [amount].

When I received my bill I was charged [amount]. This is [amount] more than the quotation.

You have perhaps made a mistake in the preparation of my account. However, if the job did involve you in more work than you expected, then that is not my responsibility. A quotation is binding in law and I have no liability to pay more than the figure you first quoted.

I am very satisfied with the work you have done and enclose my cheque for the original quoted amount.

How to dispute a charge higher than the estimate

Dear ...

[Address and estimate number if there is one]

On [date] you [describe work] for me.

You will remember that I asked how much the work would cost and you gave me an estimate of [amount].

I was shocked when yesterday I was told the charge would be [amount]. This was almost [$ more than] the estimate you gave me.

I pointed out the large difference but you said I had to pay or else you would hold my [item if it is the repair of a product].

Under duress I paid, but I have now taken advice from [name] and am told that in law a final price should be close to the estimate – certainly no more than 20% above.

I ask that you refund [amount] within 5 working days. As you will see, I have allowed what I consider to be a reasonable margin for unexpected costs you may have failed to include in your estimate.

I look forward to receiving your payment.

How to dispute an excessive price

Dear ...

[Type of work]

On [date] you [describe the work] for me.

The work was urgent and in the rush I did not ask for – nor did you give me – a price for the job.

Yesterday [date] I received your bill and was horrified at the total.

I have contacted 3 other [name trade or profession] and they gave me estimates ranging from [quote figures] that they would have charged for [describe].

Under the law, you are only entitled to charge a reasonable price for your services. I am not prepared to pay what you ask unless you can justify exceptional circumstances.

Thank you for your prompt service and satisfactory job. My only argument is with the amount you are billing me.

As a sign of good faith I have enclosed payment for the average of the 3 estimates I have obtained.

If you wish to discuss this matter further please don’t hesitate to contact me.

How to warn a tradesperson about delays

Dear ...

[Address and job number if there is one]

I am concerned about your delay in completing the [describe work] contracted for the above property.

Before I accepted your quote you assured me the work would be completed by [date]. Now [period of time] later it is still not finished. [Detail what remains to be done].

I cannot wait any longer for you to complete this contract.

Please finish the work within [include reasonable time] from the date of this letter or I shall have to consider our contract at an end. I will then have the work done by another tradesperson and will deduct the cost from the amount owing to you.

How to give final notice to a tradesperson

Dear ...

[Address and job number if there is one]

In my letter of [date] I asked you to complete the work you have been doing at the above address within [quote time]. I am disappointed that you have neither replied to my letter nor completed the work.

I am therefore left with no alternative but to consider our contract at an end.

I shall have the work completed by another contractor at your expense. I am obtaining quotes from other tradespeople and will send you copies in due course.

How to claim for damages to your property

Dear ...

[Address and job number if there is one]

On [date] your company carried out [describe the work].

While the job was being done your employee [describe the damage].

I ask that [describe] is repaired to its original condition within [state time].

I hope that you can meet this deadline. However, if you do not I will employ another firm to carry out the repair and will deduct the cost from your bill.

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Member comments

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Chris and Lauren D.
26 Sep 2017
Are you comparing apples with apples?

In the section, "How to dispute an excessive price", it is worthwhile including copies of the quotes that you are using to justify your payment. The reason is that you need to be comparing apples with apples, i.e. comparing what work is quoted for versus what work was actually done. Sometimes the scope of work between quotes is quite different, and some quotes will "tag" things that are specifically excluded. An exclusion example could be if asbestos is found, or hidden damage that is only found after opening up a wall.

If you are not sure what work is being charged for, then you can always request a detailed breakdown of what work was actually done.

Hope this helps.