Useful Tips

How to write and file a consumer protection complaint?


Author: Sokolova Irina Evgenievna
Head of Analytical Department, Consumer Association of Russia

It often happens that the consumer has complaints about the quality of the purchased goods (the quality of the work performed), and the seller (or the contractor who completed the work) refuses to respond to his oral demands. In this case, the consumer must draw up a written appeal in which to state the essence of the claims he has and state certain requirements.

Let us dwell in detail on how to properly draw up such an appeal, which is usually called the “CLAIM” (or “APPLICATION”).


1 - information about who and who is contacting (by analogy with regular mail),
2 - information about the purchased product, the ordered service (work),
3 - the essence of your complaints about the product, service (work),
4 - requirements with which you contact the seller (contractor),
5 - a list of applications to the claim,
6 - consumer's signature and date.

Now we dwell in more detail on the design of each part of the claim.

Part 1. At the beginning of the appeal must indicate:

Part 2. Information about the purchased product, the ordered service (work)

The following must be reported about a product in a claim:

- what product was purchased (its name, brand, article, other distinguishing features),
- cost of goods,
- date of purchase (usually indicated on the cash or goods receipt or other document),
- if necessary, information about the warranty period established for the goods is indicated (a warranty card is attached to the claim).

Example 1.1:January 10, 2012, I purchased in your store a teapot from Dandelion Ltd, worth 2300 rubles, which is confirmed by a cash receipt. A warranty period of 1 year was established on the kettle, which is confirmed by the warranty card issued to me at the time of purchase.
Example 2.1:On March 5, 2011, I entered into an agreement with your organization No. 210 for the manufacture, delivery and installation of furniture. The amount of the contract amounted to 56,000 rubles. The furniture was delivered and installed on June 1, 2009. The warranty period was set for furniture - 18 months, which is confirmed by paragraph 4.5 of the contract.

Part 3 The essence of the claims to the product, service (work)

Example 1.2:A month after the purchase, the kettle stopped turning on (it began to leak, etc.).
Example 2.2:In January 2010, a deficiency was discovered in furniture: deformation of facades, skewed doors, etc.

Part 4 Requirements for the seller (contractor)

The claim must state specific requirements: replace defective goods, discount goods, return the amount paid for the goods, eliminate deficiencies, compensate losses, pay a penalty, etc.

The presented requirements must be justified and comply with the legislation, for example, Articles 18 or 29 of the Law on the Protection of Consumer Rights. Therefore, in a claim, it is advisable not only to list specific claims for a product (work or service), but also to refer to legal norms, which may be the basis for the presentation of these requirements.

If you want to recover damages, copies of documents that confirm the amount of losses incurred must be attached to the claim, and if you require to pay a forfeit, justify its size by making the necessary calculation.

You can include a warning in a claim text about a subsequent appeal to Rospotrebnadzor or a court to protect your rights if the seller refuses to voluntarily satisfy the consumer’s claim.

Part 5 It is necessary to indicate copies of which documents are attached to the claim.

Such documents, depending on the situation, can be: commodity or cash receipt, warranty card, contract, certificate of the warranty workshop or service center, conclusion of an independent examination, etc.

Part 6 At the end of the claim must be the last name, first name, patronymic of the consumer, his signature and date


The claim can be handed in personally by arriving at the store (or the office of the contractor, manufacturer, etc.). One copy of the claim must be transferred to any official, such as an administrator or a lawyer, if you are dealing with a large office or directly with the seller in a small outlet. Remember, the head of the organization is not required to accept the claim!

On the second copy (it must remain with the consumer), it is necessary to receive a note on the acceptance of the claim, which usually includes: the signature of the person who accepted the claim, its decoding (last name, first name, middle name, position), date of adoption, seal or stamp (legal entity) or individual entrepreneur). The presence of a seal (stamp) on the claim is not necessary - the courts, in most cases, consider it proven proven that the claim was submitted without it.

The claim can be sent by regular mail (or telegram). A letter of claim must be sent by registered mail with a receipt of delivery and with an inventory of the attachment (in the inventory, make a note - a claim with such and such requirements. For example: a claim with a request for replacement of goods).

The "path" of the letter is easy to track using the Internet resource Here you can find out the date of delivery of the registered letter to the addressee by the identification number indicated in the receipt. The printout from this site is accepted by the courts as evidence of the fact (date) of the claim.

The text of the sent telegram must be certified by mail and saved with a notification of its delivery.

Documents received from the post office (check, list of attachments, notice of delivery) must be kept - they will be evidence of receipt by the addressee of your claim.

So, in order for the claim to be drawn up correctly, the following simple rules must be observed:

- from the text of the claim it should be clear: who, from whom, why and what is required,
- the claim must be prepared in duplicate,
- you need to have confirmation that the claim was received by the seller (contractor), indicating the date of its receipt.


Suppose that the contractual deadline for the fulfillment of obligations by the contractor is violated and the consumer, guided by Art. 28 of the Law "On Protection of Consumer Rights", verbally announced the termination of the contract and demanded a refund.

The contractor ignored the consumer’s requirements; he didn’t return the money within the statutory period. The consumer is forced to apply to the court with a statement of claim, which, inter alia, requires him to pay a legal penalty for violations of the time limit for the return of funds.

But the court "believes" only the documents, i.e. he will need evidence. And the consumer will be required to present such evidence to the court - documents confirming the fact that the claim was actually presented to the contractor and the date when it was accepted by the contractor. Such evidence will be a written pre-trial claim.

But if the fact of the appeal with such a requirement is not considered proven - due to the fact that the claims were made orally, then the court will have no reason to recover the penalty.

Consider example 2.

The Law “On Protection of Consumer Rights” stipulates the seller’s (performer’s, etc.) responsibility for refusing to voluntarily satisfy consumer requirements - for such a refusal, the court exacts a fine from the defendant in favor of the consumer.

Suppose a product was purchased in which defects were discovered. The consumer verbally demanded a refund for this product, but was refused. Thinking, the consumer nevertheless went to court and won the case. But by court order, he was able to return only the amount that he paid for the goods. And if the pre-trial claim had been correctly written and handed over, the court would have awarded the consumer a forfeit (1% of the cost of goods for each day of delayed refund) and a fine of 50% of the price awarded in favor of the consumer - for refusing to voluntarily resolve the case in the pretrial order.

For example:
The product was purchased for 10,000 rubles. The seller violated the refund period by 100 days, in confirmation of this, the consumer presented a claim.
Calculate the penalty: 10,000 rubles. x 1% x 100 days = 10,000 rubles.
So, the court awarded the consumer: the cost of the goods (10,000) + forfeit (10,000), i.e. 20 000 rub.
In addition to this, the court collected a fine from the seller: (50% of the award): 20,000 rubles. x 50% = 10,000 rubles.

Thus, if a consumer wrote a pre-trial claim and handed it correctly, then, based on a court decision, he could have received 30,000 rubles.

Although the pre-trial claim is not required in most cases, we recommend that the consumer use this path to document legally relevant facts necessary for further consideration of the case in court.

The lack of a properly prepared and handed over seller pre-trial claim may complicate the course of the trial, and in some cases make it impossible to recover a penalty and (or) a fine in favor of the consumer.
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