Tutorial for “Apologize For an Invoice or Billing Error”

Tips

Billing and invoice errors are relatively minor mistakes that can usually be corrected easily. Make your apology brief and to the point. Words such as "oversight" and "error" help keep the mistake a minor issue. Focus on actions taken to correct the error. Sincere, well-worded apologies can generally satisfy the customer.

Steps

1. Admit that the customer is right.

Sentences

  • We checked your calculations and you have indeed found an error in our invoice.
  • You are absolutely right. Our records show that we failed to apply the 15% discount that we offered in our promotional agreement.
  • Our records verify your statement. We did overcharge you for your visit to the Doe Family Restaurant last month.
  • You are correct. Your March bank statement shows that we over credited your account. The problem would have been caught eventually, but we thank you for pointing it out.
  • You are correct. Our Springfield store did fail to credit your account for the return of 24 handbags.

Phrases

  • am very sorry that you received
  • an error in our invoice
  • apologies are in order
  • apologize for the error
  • applied the wrong discount
  • are sorry we omitted
  • billing department failed to
  • checked your calculations
  • compounded the error by
  • credit your account for your return of
  • did not record your payment
  • failed to credit your account
  • failed to make the proper entry
  • failed to apply the discount
  • failed to verify
  • incorrect computer entry
  • overcharged you for
  • over credited your account
  • regarding our error in your billing
  • sent the notice by mistake
  • thank you for clarifying the problem
  • thank you for pointing it out
  • thanks for letting us know that

2. Explain the error, if appropriate.

Sentences

  • Sometimes the person who prepares the invoice does not get all the necessary information. I failed to tell him that you had been given a discount.
  • We experienced some difficulty with our billing computer. Fortunately, we were able to correct the problem with no loss of data. Regrettably, however, several bills were mailed in error before we resumed normal operation.
  • We incorrectly entered your 29 February payment twice.
  • We are not sure exactly how this error got into the invoice we sent you. Rest assured we will rectify the situation.
  • Regrettably, we put the price of your meal before the decimal point, so your bill came to $2,798.00 instead of $27.98. We apologize for the error.

Phrases

  • before we realized what we had done
  • clerical errors occur at times
  • failed to inform him that you had been given a discount
  • does not get all the necessary information
  • error in recording the payment
  • failed to make the proper entry
  • failure of our accounting controls
  • incorrect computer entry
  • it is sometimes the case that
  • our data processing department erred
  • our billing computer's hard drive crashed
  • simply forgot to tell
  • the error comes from our
  • unfortunately sent out

3. Explain what you and the reader must do to remedy the problem.

Sentences

  • When paying this month's bill, simply write your check for the correct amount and add a note to our accounts manager, indicating that you talked with me.
  • Please send us a check for the corrected amount. I have sent a note to the accounting department to make the adjustment when they receive your check.
  • We will apply the overcharge to next month's bill, unless you specifically request a refund check. We will be happy to do as you request.
  • Just write the correct amount in the "amount enclosed" box and send us the corresponding check.
  • Please subtract $249 from the bill we sent you. The correct amount is $14,997, not $15,246.
  • We will take care of this matter and assure you there is no further need for concern.
  • We will take care of the matter. Your next statement should reflect the correction.

Phrases

  • account is clear
  • accounting department will make the correction
  • add a note to our accounts manager, indicating that
  • as you can see from the enclosed statement
  • have referred the problem to
  • have contacted the agency and explained that
  • have adjusted our records to reflect
  • have enclosed a corrected invoice
  • have sent a note to the accounting department
  • have called a meeting to discuss
  • have made the necessary adjustment in our records
  • have credited you for the amount
  • have taken action to rectify the situation
  • have canceled the invoice amount
  • have corrected the error
  • have the option of canceling the policy or
  • make every effort to avoid such mistakes
  • send us the corresponding check
  • simply write your check for
  • specifically request a refund check
  • subtract the amount from the bill
  • will apply the overcharge toward next month's bill
  • will gladly do as you request
  • will make sure that
  • will take every precaution to make certain that
  • will take care of the matter

4. Offer an apology.

Sentences

  • We apologize and thank you for drawing our attention to this oversight. We appreciate your patronage.
  • We apologize for the inaccuracy. We are committed to providing accurate, professional banking services.
  • Jane, I am sorry about this oversight. You are a valued customer at our firm. In the future we will be sure to double-check our invoices.
  • We are sorry for the confusion this oversight has caused.
  • Thank you for your patience and cooperation in correcting this oversight.

Phrases

  • apologize for this oversight
  • apologize for the error
  • apologize for the omission
  • apologize for the inaccuracy
  • apologize for any inconvenience
  • appreciate your business
  • are a valued customer
  • please accept my sincere apology
  • sorry about this oversight
  • sorry for the confusion
  • sorry for the mistake
  • thank you for your patience
  • very sorry for the inconvenience

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