Write this brief letter as soon as possible after the incident. Focus on actions taken to rectify the situation rather than on any damage that resulted. Do not apologize unless you plan to take full responsibility and do not blame your reader. A sincere, well-worded apology can be very effective in winning back disgruntled customers and business associates.
1. Begin with an apology that refers to the offense.
- I am sorry that the figures I quoted in my estimate were inaccurate.
- Please accept my apologies for having supplied incorrect information.
- I am sorry. I gave you inaccurate information concerning the Doe contract.
- Yesterday I told you that John Doe from the auditor's office would be coming to our offices today. I apologize for giving you incorrect information and possibly causing you undue stress.
- Jane, yesterday I told you that I could sell you the bearings for $69 a case. This morning I learned that the price rose over the weekend to $73 per case. I am sorry for this unexpected development, but I am afraid any transaction will have to be based on current figures.
- I rushed you this letter to let you know that I gave you incorrect information about the Doe contract. I am sorry about this oversight and I hope this reaches you before you make any critical decisions.
- I am sorry that you were embarrassed in this morning's meeting because the information I gave you was inaccurate.
- I apologize that the report I gave you was incomplete.
- apologize for passing on this incorrect information
- brochure claimed that
- caused by our eagerness to provide
- claims we could not follow through on
- gave you inaccurate information concerning
- having supplied incorrect information
- hope I did not cause you undue stress
- hope this reaches you before
- left out important information
- make any critical decisions
- mistakenly mailed to
- our records were not updated
- sorry about this oversight
- sorry for omitting
- sorry that the figures were inaccurate
- sorry for this unexpected development
- the report I gave was incomplete
- the mix-up caused
- to let you know that I gave you wrong information about
- typesetter's mistake
- was a glaring error
- you received incomplete forms
2. Mention any specific steps taken to correct the problem, if applicable.
- The correct information is not available now. I will send you an update next week.
- On page 3, line 4, the sentence should read "The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog," and not "The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy duck."
- Enclosed is a revised report with corrected information. I told Jane that it was my fault that she was given inaccurate statistics.
- I was unaware that an updated disk had already been sent. Next time I will check the log before sending you another.
- I don't think it is necessary for you to revise this error right now. A new version with corrected information is already on its way.
- Enclosed with this letter are the missing three pages of the report.
- I will send you the latest version of the report tomorrow.
- I hope the documents I sent will give you all the information that you need. If not, please call me at 555-5555.
- a new version with corrected information
- a corrected copy is on its way
- a revised report with corrected information
- am sending the missing three pages of
- has already made an update
- at this time the information is not available
- changed the account to show
- correct the error immediately
- enclosed updated material
- enclosed with this letter are the
- will send you an update next week
- insist on handling your account myself
- next time I will be sure to check on
- plan to complete them by tomorrow
- taken the matter up with management
- the correct information is not available
- the sentence should read
- will be able to offer even better
- your concerns are at the top of my list
3. Acknowledge the reader's frustration, if appropriate. If your apology concerns an error or omission you were unaware of, thank the reader for bringing it to your attention. End with a positive statement.
- We thank you for your patience. Please call me at 555-5555 if you have any further questions or concerns.
- I am relieved that you caught this error and avoided acting on incorrect information. Thank you for pointing it out to us. We will all benefit from your alertness.
- John, you have long been a valued client with our firm. We thank you for your patience and understanding concerning this matter.
- Thank you for pointing out this error to us.
- I understand that such inconveniences can be very frustrating. Thank you for your patience.
- It is fortunate for us that you were alert in catching this error. Thank you for pointing it out.
- Thank you for being understanding in this unfortunate matter. I assure you, it won't happen again.
- I am glad you noticed this mistake before it went any further. Thanks again.
- We are all lucky that you were so alert. Thank you.
- acting on this information
- apologies for the mistake
- apologize for the confusion
- ask for your understanding
- for causing you stress
- for causing you concern
- for pointing out this error
- for the inconvenience it caused
- letting us know about our oversight
- lucky for all of us that
- no one has noticed this problem before
- please accept my apologies
- sorry to have caused
- sorry for the misunderstanding
- such inconveniences can be very frustrating
- thank you for being understanding
- thank you for your kindness
- thanks for pointing out
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