How to complain in English

We usually make a complaint to express our unhappiness/displeasure/ dissatisfaction with something or someone. Below are a number of expressions you can use to make a complaint, accept a complaint or reject a complaint.


How to complain
How to complain


How to complain/Making a complaint

NB   These expressions are ordered from formal (indirect) to less formal (direct).

how to complain

How to make a complaint

  1. I’m afraid I have a complaint about ………
  2.  I’m sorry to bother/ trouble you, but …..
  3.  I’m sorry to have to say this, but ……….
  4. I’m sorry to say this, but …………
  5. I understand it’s not your fault, but……..
  6. Excuse me but there is a problem about……
  7. I’d like to complain about ……..
  8.  I want to complain about ……..
  9. I’m angry about ……
  10. I’m really not happy…

Accepting a complaint

  • I’m so sorry, but this will never happen again.
  • I can’t tell you how sorry I am.
  • Oh dear. I’m really/ terribly awfully sorry.
  • Oh, dear. I’m really sorry. I promise this will never happen again.
  • I just don’t know what to say.
  • I’m really sorry. We’ll do our best not to make the same mistake again.

Rejecting a complaint

  • Sorry, there isn’t much we can do about it/ that.
  • Well, I’m sorry there is nothing we can do about it.
  • I’m afraid, there isn’t much we can do about it.
  • I’m sorry but the meat is just alright.

Expressions to apologize and respond to apologies

How to complain about a problem video