Apologize For a Missed Deadline • Letter Templates and Guide

Guide

1Begin with a straightforward apology.
2State what action you will take to remedy the situation. Explain (but do not excuse) your tardiness, if appropriate. Reaffirm your commitment to making things right.
3Thank the reader for his or her understanding. Indicate that you value your business relationship and assure the reader you will not repeat your tardiness.

Tips

Apologize for a missed deadline as soon as possible after the incident. The tone of your letter should be very considerate and respectful because you have probably caused some inconvenience. The letter should focus on actions taken to make up for the missed deadline. A sincere, well-worded apology followed by positive action can do much to undo any damage to your reputation.

Example Letter #1

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I am truly sorry and very embarrassed about not finishing the report by the deadline. I know you are eager to have the entire study completed by June 1, so I am working nights to have this to you by May 25. You can count on it being delivered by special mail on or before that date. I will do everything I can to make this project a success. I appreciate the opportunity to work on it, and I thank you for your patience.

Example Letter #2

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My response to your January 5 survey is enclosed. I apologize for missing your January 15 deadline. Our students returned to school on January 7, and I have been very busy with the new semester. Still, I have made every effort to give you accurate information. Even though my response is late, I hope you will be able to use it in your final document.

Example Letter #3

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We are sorry that we were unable to deliver your furniture yesterday. Because we have only two delivery people, we were left shorthanded when one of them became ill.

To ensure that this does not happen again, we have hired temporary workers and rescheduled your delivery appointment for 9:00 a.m. Friday morning. We appreciate your patience. Your business is important to us, and we hope that this incident will not hurt our relationship.

Example Letter #4

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I am sorry I missed last week's deadline for registration for the small business owners' convention. I was not sure until today whether I would be able to attend. I hope you are still able to accept my registration, which I have included with a check. If so, please send me confirmation of my enrollment; if not, please return the check to me. Thank you for your assistance with this matter.

Example Letter #5

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I apologize for not getting the brochure materials to you on time. Unfortunately, we needed some changes in the art work, and they will take several more days to complete. I should have all the materials ready by Tuesday of next week, and will deliver them to you personally at that time. I would appreciate your printing the brochures as soon as possible after that.

I realize that this tardiness affects your printing schedule, and apologize for any inconvenience this delay may have caused you.

2

State what action you will take to remedy the situation. Explain (but do not excuse) your tardiness, if appropriate. Reaffirm your commitment to making things right.

Example Sentences

Example Phrases

3

Thank the reader for his or her understanding. Indicate that you value your business relationship and assure the reader you will not repeat your tardiness.

Example Sentences

Example Phrases