Apologize For a Defective, Damaged, or Incomplete Product - Letters

Example Letter #1

Copied!

We are very sorry that your toaster does not function as you expected. Before we ship any toaster, we double-check every function, so your problem may be one you can solve quite easily.

When the bread does not go down, you can usually correct the problem by rotating the screw on the bottom of the toaster a turn or two to the right. If that adjustment does not solve the problem, simply return the toaster to our nearest outlet to receive a replacement or a refund. Your Doe toaster should give you many years of trouble-free service.

Example Letter #2

Copied!

We regret the keyboard you purchased is causing you difficulties. Because Doe products are tested thoroughly before shipping, it is a rare instance when one is found defective. We have enclosed a replacement keyboard for your convenience. Please return the original to us in the enclosed mailer. If you need further assistance, please call us at 555-5555. We want you to be a satisfied Doe customer.

Example Letter #3

Copied!

We were sorry that the magazine you received last month lacked the center pages. We pride ourselves on producing error-free copies, but apparently one slipped through. We are sending you another copy immediately. Please call us toll free at 555-5555 if you do not receive it within the next few days. Thank you for letting us serve you.

Letter-Writing Tips

Write this letter as soon as possible after the unfortunate incident. Focus on actions to rectify the situation rather than the damage you may have caused. Accompany your apology with a promise of compensation or restitution. A sincere apology can go a long way to winning back a disgruntled customer.

Step-by-Step Guide

1 Apologize for the reader's inconvenience. Explain (but do not excuse) the problem.

Sentences
  • We regret that your coffee maker model #123 was not completely assembled when you received it.
  • We are sorry that your electric train model #123 arrived with a defective transformer.
  • I am sorry your razor failed to function properly. We take pride in the quality of our razors, so we are disappointed that yours was defective.
  • We apologize that your bread maker was damaged when you received it.
  • I am sorry to hear that you are having difficulty with your Doe Weed Whacker.
  • We are sorry that the fish tank you ordered arrived with a crack in it. Unfortunately, glass products are subject to damage during shipment.
  • We are sorry that the desk we delivered to your home was damaged. Our warehouse manager determined that the damage occurred during shipment.
  • We are sorry that your automatic toaster came without the heat adjustment lever.
Phrases
  • apologize that your model was incomplete
  • apologize that your model arrived damaged
  • apologize for the inconvenience that
  • assure you that
  • despite our best effort
  • determined that the damage occurred during
  • did not meet your expectation
  • did not satisfy your needs
  • disturbed us to hear that your model was
  • merchandise is replaceable
  • regret the inconvenience
  • sincerely regret that
  • sorry that the merchandise arrived damaged
  • sorry that your model arrived without a
  • sorry that your system is not working properly
  • sorry to hear you are having difficulty with
  • sorry to learn about the damage to
  • sorry to inconvenience you
  • sorry for the disappointment
  • sorry your model failed to function properly
  • take pride in the quality of
  • the damage occurred during shipment
  • unable to guarantee that
  • will do our best to satisfy you
  • will stand behind our products
  • your problem is ours, too

2 Point out that this is an exceptional circumstance and that your company values quality.

Sentences
  • We are committed to manufacturing the highest quality razors in America. We succeed largely because we pay attention to the feedback we receive from customers like you whose letters point out areas in which we can improve.
  • We make every effort to ensure that our merchandise is delivered in perfect condition. Occasionally, however, unpredictable events alter the expected outcome.
  • This is the first time we have heard of this problem. Thank you for pointing it out to us. I assure you we will do our best to prevent it from happening again.
  • Nevertheless, we have generally had much success in delivering aquarium sets intact.
  • Customer satisfaction is our first priority, so I was particularly disturbed to hear about your problem with the humidifier. This is the kind of occurrence we work hard to avoid.
Phrases
  • are committed to manufacturing the highest quality
  • customer satisfaction is our first priority
  • ensure that our merchandise reaches our buyers in perfect condition
  • exactly what you expected
  • have generally had success in delivering
  • have rarely received complaints
  • have since received
  • have checked each one thoroughly
  • make every effort to ensure that
  • most of the feedback from our customers indicates that
  • our company values quality
  • pay attention to letters like yours
  • point out where we can improve
  • received a report of this kind of problem
  • succeed in large part because
  • thank you for pointing it out to us
  • thank you for informing us that
  • this is the first time that
  • unpredictable events sometimes
  • was particularly disturbed to hear about your problem with
  • was part of a bad production run from the manufacturer
  • will do our best to prevent a repeat

3 State what action you will take to remedy the situation, and offer compensation or restitution, if appropriate.

Sentences
  • A replacement aquarium is on its way to you. Expect it to arrive in three to four weeks. We want you to be one of our satisfied customers.
  • The nearest service center to your home is at 1600 Main Street in Springfield. The trained technicians there can determine if repair or replacement needs to be made.
  • Please call to arrange pickup of your damaged desk and let us know if you would prefer a refund or a replacement.
  • According to the purchasing agreement, we cannot refund your money as you requested; however, we have enclosed a coupon good for an in-store credit amount equal to the value of your original purchase.
  • I have given your telephone number to our service manager. He will call you to make an appointment to look at your humidifier.
  • Please send your calculator to Doe Office Supply, 1600 Main Street, Springfield, Kansas, 12345. Our trained technicians will either repair or replace it.
  • Enclosed are the missing pieces to your water cooler.
  • Since you indicated that you would prefer a refund, please accept the enclosed check as compensation for your damaged radio.
  • We have already switched to a new brand of packing boxes that we hope will be more durable.
Phrases
  • a replacement is on its way to
  • according to the purchase agreement
  • answer your questions
  • call in advance to
  • can pick up your damaged
  • communicating problems to
  • corrective action will be taken
  • credit your account
  • delivery will take four to six weeks
  • discontinue using the unit
  • enclosed are the missing pieces to your
  • expect it to arrive in
  • hope we can continue to
  • important element in
  • in-store credit equal to the value of your original purchase
  • one of our satisfied customers
  • ordered an exact replacement
  • pick up the defective one
  • please call to make arrangements
  • please let us know if you would prefer
  • please call to let us know when we can
  • please accept the enclosed check as compensation for
  • please send your merchandise to
  • prefer a refund or a replacement for
  • repair or replace it
  • so our personnel can plan accordingly
  • take precautions to prevent
  • taking immediate steps to correct
  • the trained technicians there can examine your
  • the missing pieces that you requested
  • the nearest service center to
  • to replace or repair
  • to deliver your replacement
  • too important to us to
  • trained technicians will inspect it
  • which will prevent future problems
  • will arrange a convenient time for delivery
  • will accommodate your schedule
  • will call to make an appointment
  • wish to reassure
  • will take action to remedy the situation

4 End on a positive note. Consider directing the customer to other channels for assistance.

Sentences
  • If you have any further questions, please call John at our customer service department at 555-5555.
  • Thank you for taking the time to write to us. Your comments will help us streamline our shipping procedure so we can further minimize problems.
  • Thank you for your concern. If you have any further questions, please call me at 555-5555.
  • We are always eager to get feedback from our customers. Thank you for taking the time to write to us.
  • It is our job to keep your business up and running. Thank you for your patience.
  • Let me know what you decide. We are committed to making it right for you.
Phrases
  • any further difficulties
  • apologize for your inconvenience
  • appreciate feedback from
  • are always willing to entertain suggestions
  • are committed to
  • assistance that the company offers
  • comments will help us
  • efforts in the future
  • feedback from our customers
  • guided by your remarks
  • help us streamline our procedure
  • if you have any further questions
  • it is our job to
  • making it right for you
  • offer additional help
  • please do not hesitate to call
  • thank you for taking the time to write
  • thank you for your concern
  • thank you for your patience
  • thank you for allowing us to rectify
  • thank you for your willingness to
  • want our customers to be satisfied

How-To Articles

Letter-Writing Resources