How to write a well-worded legal letter
When it comes to our money, it’s no wonder we get cranky when we feel we can’t connect with the right person in a large business or government department.
Often these multinationals are so efficient, they lack the personal touch. You phone to speak to someone and after you have clicked through 6 options on the phone menu, you’re asked to wait for an operator and reminded every 2 mins that “your call is valuable to us”. Really? If it was that valuable, why are you keeping me waiting?
It’s even worse if you need to call Centrelink. Last week it was revealed that in the first 10 months of the current financial year, over 42 million calls to the Government agency received an engaged signal, that’s according to evidence presented to a Senate estimates hearing. By comparison it was 29 million in the 2015-16 financial year and 22 million the year before that!
I’ll admit to being pretty sneaky when it comes to complaining to big companies. There are a couple of ways to find out who is in charge of a business you’re complaining to. One is to google the business name and the letters ‘CEO” and see what happens. Alternately you can call the main number and say you have an invitation to an industry event that you’d like to invite the CEO to. For example, if it’s a furniture company, call and say you would like to forward an invite to the CEO to an upcoming furniture expo. Most times you will get his her name and address. You need to sound convincing though.
If this sounds to deceptive, consider downloading a letter from the Financial Rights Legal Centre.
Alexandra Kelly Principal solicitor for the legal rights Centre and her advice is:
- Keep the emotion out of it. If your letter is abusive, even if you’re entitled to be angry, it will most likely be put in the too-hard basket.
- Stick to the facts
- Get advice if you’re unsure before you draught the letter
The Financial Legal Rights letter templates are interactive so you just put in some details, answer a few questions and it will generate a letter for you automatically.
The types of letters available include
- Requesting documents
- Notifying of Hardship
- Changing a repayment arrangement
By using these documents it formalizes your situation and creates a paper trail.
Financial institutions have obligations they have to meet…so with the right terminology and advice you can have confidence that you are speaking the correct language and getting to the right person.