Tutorial for “Apologize For a Shipping Delay or Error”

Tips

Write this letter as soon as possible after the incident. Do not apologize unless you plan to take full responsibility, and in no way blame your reader or anyone else. A sincere, well-worded apology can be effective in winning back a concerned customer's confidence and patronage.

Steps

1. Begin with a straightforward apology that refers to the problem.

Sentences

  • We are sorry you did not receive your order of 500 steel bearings last week.
  • I am sorry that your tuna shipment did not arrive at the warehouse as planned.
  • We are sorry that you have not yet received your order.
  • We are sorry that you received the wrong video.
  • Thank you for choosing Doe Supply for your automotive needs. We are sorry that your tire shipment will be delayed.
  • We are surprised that you did not receive your shipment of auto parts and apologize for the delay.
  • We are sorry that your television did not arrive with the June shipment.

Phrases

  • accept our apologies for the delay
  • apologies for the mix-up with
  • apologize that your shipment will be delayed
  • apologize that your shipment of
  • apologize for inaccurate information
  • apologize for the delay
  • are unable to ship it because
  • certainly justified in being upset with
  • did not arrive at the warehouse as planned
  • did indeed ship you the wrong ones
  • don't know what happened to your shipment
  • error that led to our misunderstanding
  • error crept in because
  • experiencing delay in filling orders
  • found the source of the error
  • have not been able to deliver your
  • made an error in putting your shipment together
  • most sincere apology for
  • perplexed that you did not receive your shipment
  • shipped the wrong order
  • sorry that your order did not arrive with
  • sorry for the delay
  • this item is on back order
  • unfortunately fell behind in our orders

2. Briefly explain, without excuse, what happened.

Sentences

  • We managed to track down your shipment. Unfortunately, it was routed to a steamer headed for a Pacific Island. We apparently entered the wrong shipping code into the computer.
  • The trucking strike has caused delays throughout our industry. We hope the temporary personnel we hired can help us get caught up with shipments.
  • As you have undoubtedly read in the newspapers, the trucking strike has caused delays throughout our industry. We are making other shipping arrangements and hope to get your filters to you with only a slight delay.
  • While tracking the source of the error, we discovered that we sent your shipment to Springville instead of Springfield.
  • Our packing room manager was injured setting up a fireworks display last week. He assures us that he will be back at work on Monday.
  • We still have not figured out why the original package did not get to you. While we are investigating this problem, we will send you a duplicate by certified mail.
  • We are still not sure what happened to our shipment. Our truck driver has not responded to calls on the CB and we are concerned because of the civil unrest in that part of the country. As soon as we find out anything we will let you know.
  • We made contact with Jane, the driver, and she reported having transmission problems that will make her two days late. She assured us she will be in by Friday with your furniture. We regret this unfortunate delay.
  • As you can imagine the months of May through August are busy times in the roofing business. Occasionally we fall behind because of high demand.

Phrases

  • change of personnel in the department
  • could not provide us with
  • developed mechanical problems that made it unsafe
  • discovered that your shipment was sent to
  • disrupted by a mechanical problem with
  • entered the wrong shipping code
  • fell behind because of high demand
  • get caught up with shipments
  • getting the plane off the ground on schedule
  • had more scheduled than they could handle
  • inclement weather caused
  • investigating this problem
  • making other shipping arrangements
  • packing room manager was injured
  • reported having transmission problems
  • track down your shipment
  • truck driver has not responded to
  • trucking strike has caused delays
  • was at the loading ramp at

3. Explain what you have done (or will do) to fix the situation.

Sentences

  • We will do all we can to make sure you get your shipment as soon as possible.
  • We have already mailed you a copy of the new video. With this package we have enclosed a prepaid mailer you can use to return the old one.
  • As soon as we found out what happened, we called our driver and instructed him to take a different route.
  • As soon as we found out what happened, we put your order on rush delivery. It should be at your office tomorrow.
  • I have sent your order by express mail. Your software should arrive in time for your presentation on Tuesday.
  • We have hired a new group of temporary employees and hope to put your order on next week's truck to Springfield.
  • We have contacted our driver and have instructed him to stop at your store when he comes back through Springfield at the end of his route. You can expect him tomorrow.
  • We sent a duplicate shipment on March 2, the day your letter arrived.
  • Unfortunately, there is nothing we can do at this point except wait for Jane to arrive. I am sure she will come as quickly as possible.

Phrases

  • already mailed you a copy of
  • called our driver and instructed him to
  • can expect him tomorrow
  • do all we can to make sure
  • enclosed a prepaid mailer you can use to return the
  • every effort to see that it doesn't happen in the future
  • instituting a more rigorous training program
  • make sure you get your shipment as soon as possible
  • make every effort to
  • preparing a complimentary
  • put your order on rush delivery
  • sent your order by express mail
  • sent a duplicate shipment on
  • will uncover the root of the problem
  • will do our best to give you better service
  • will not repeat those errors

4. Express your concern and end on a positive note.

Sentences

  • We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused you, and we hope that our proposed remedy is satisfactory. If you have further questions or concerns, please call 555-5555.
  • Thank you for your order. We assure you that we will do our best to prevent a recurrence of this problem.
  • We apologize for the confusion. We are committed to providing prompt and efficient service.
  • Thank you for your patience. I know it can be frustrating when a delivery date is uncertain. We trust we have taken sufficient measures to remedy this situation and that we will be able to count you as one of our many satisfied customers.
  • Thanks for bringing this to my attention. I value your perceptiveness and have always enjoyed the professional relationship we have had with your firm.

Phrases

  • apologize for any inconvenience
  • can be frustrating when
  • committed to providing prompt and efficient service
  • do our best to prevent a repeat of
  • further questions or concerns please call
  • hope you will continue to
  • hope that the measures we have taken will
  • hope that our proposed remedy is satisfactory
  • appreciate your support
  • make every effort to support our clients
  • remain deserving of your
  • thank you for giving us the opportunity to
  • value our business relationship
  • value your friendship

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