Having acknowledged your responsibility and explained what went wrong, you should put matters right as soon as possible, and tell your customer that you are doing so.
— We have now checked our accounts and find that we have been sending you the wrong statement due to a confusion in names and addresses. The database has been adjusted and there should be no more difficulties. Please contact us again if a similar situation arises..
— The paintwork on the body of the cars became discoloured because of a chemical imbalance in the paint used in spraying the vehicles. We have already contacted our own suppliers and are waiting for their reply Meanwhile we are taking these models out of production and calling in all those that have been supplied.
It is useful when closing your letter to mention that the mistake, error, or fault is an excepttion and it either rarely or never happens. You should also, of course, apologize for the inconvenience your customer experienced
— In closing we would like to apologize for the inconvenience, and also point out that this type of fault rarely occurs in the Omega.
— Finally, may we say that this was an exceptional mistake and is unlikely to occur again. Please accept our apologies for the inconvenience.
Rejecting a complaint
If you think the complaint is unjustified, you can be firm but polite in your answer. But even if you deny responsibility, you should always try to give an explanation of the problem.
- Our factory has now inspected the unit you returned last week, we see no difference between our sample and it. In this matter we are not willing either to substitute the unit or to offer a credit.
We are disappointed to find that the quality of the goods you supplied does not correspond with that of the samples submitted.
To prove our statement we are enclosing one of these samples and a cutting of the material received yesterday.
We are prepared to retain these unsuitable goods, but only at a substantially reduced price.
This delay is causing us great inconvenience, as we have promised our customers early delivery.
Please look into the non-delivery of the 20 typewriters which we ordered on April 19th.
This order was placed on condition that we received the machines by May 1st.
We shall be compelled to cancel our order if the goods are not received by the end of next week.
Two cases in the consignment were found to be damaged on arrival. We have marked the consignment note accordingly.
After investigating your complaint, we have ascertained that an error was made in our dispatch department.
We very much regret having given you cause for complaint.
Steps are being taken immediately to ensure that such mistakes do not occur in future.
Since this delay is beyond our control, we cannot assume any liability.
Your claim has been passed on to our insurance company, who will get in touch with you soon.
We apologize for the delay and enclose our credit note.
A replacement for the faulty equipment was dispatched today.
If you keep the damaged goods, we are prepared to invoice them at 50% of the list price.
EX. 1All the sentences below could be used in complaints, or replies to them. Match the sentences in column A with sentences in column Â with similar meanings. Then put a tick by the sentences which are most suitable for business correspondence.
1 You should put it right.
2 Please ensure that the problem does not arise again.
3 In this case we are not responsible for the error.
4 Please could you send us a refund.
5 We're sorry about the muddle.
6 We're planning to buy from someone else.
7 Your machine doesn't work.
8 I regret that in this case we are unwilling to offer a refund.
a We want our money back.
b We would be grateful if you could correct the error.
ñ We apologize for the confusion.
d We will have to consider changing to another supplier.
e There appears to be a defect in the mechanism
f We're not giving you your money back.
g This time it's not our fault.
h Make sure it doesn't happen again.
EX. 2 Complaint about late delivery
There are no capitals, punctuation, or paragraphs in this letter of complaint about late delivery to a manufacturer of medical equipment. Write out the letter correctly. Divide the body of the letter into two paragraphs.
ISTITUTO Di MEDICINA
Telefono: +39 0586 43-74-25
Fax: +39 0586 43-74-26
15 June 20—
mr h. toda
dear mr toda
we are writing to point out that the above delivery which arrived yesterday was a week late this is the second time we have had to write to you on this subject and we cannot allow the situation to continue we have already explained that it is essential for medical equipment to arrive on due dates as late delivery could create a very serious problem unless we have your firm guarantee on the promptness of all future deliveries we will have to look for another supplier please could you confirm this before we place our next order
head of administration
EX. 3 Reply to complaint about damage
Brian Harrison, Sales Manager at Seymore Furniture, emails Jo Hayes, his PA, asking her to draft a reply to Sr Mendez. Note that his instructions only concern the letter's content and signature: he assumes that Jo will open and close it in an appropriate way. As Jo Hayes, write the letter.
To Jo Hayes
Subject: Reply to Mendez
Could you write a letter replying to the complaint from Sr Mendez? Explain that the goods were checked before they left our warehouse, so the damage must have happened during shipment. Say that we'll accept the goods C/F, and that we'll send the refund by banker's draft as soon as we receive them - and apologize for the inconvenience caused.
Please don't pp it - I'll sign. Cheers, Brian
PS Ask him about the other 2 crates.
20 October 20—
EX. 4 Reply to complaint about late delivery
The sentences have become confused in Mr Toda's reply to Sig. Lotti's letter. Rewrite the letter with the sentences in the correct order, starting new paragraphs where appropriate.
1 Consignment no. AWB 4156/82
2 I trust that this will clarify the situation, and look forward to continued good trading with you.
3 However, the two orders you mentioned were sent to our factory rather than our administrative offices at the above address.
4 We would like to take this opportunity of reminding you that to avoid delay in future all orders should be sent to our office address.
5. Sales manager
6. Thank you for your letter of 15 June concerning late delivery of the above consignment.
7. Hirio Toda (Mr).
8. We understand how important prompt deliveries are to our customers.
9 Dear Mr Lotti
10 Yours sincerely
Types of business document
Match each document type on the left with a definition on the right.
a request to supply goods (sent by the customer)
a request for information (sent by the customer)
an approximate calculation of the cost of something
the price given for goods or a piece of work
a letter where the customer tries to get better terms
a document that proves you have paid for some goods
a list of amounts paid and still owed, sent every month
a bill for goods sent or work done
a letter to a customer about an unpaid invoice
a letter saying you are not satisfied about something