Apologize For Poor or Inadequate Service • Letter Templates and Guides

How to write this letter:

1Begin with a straightforward apology that refers to the offense.
2Acknowledge their frustration and thank them for their concern.
3Mention any specific steps taken to correct the problem. End with a positive statement.


Write this letter as soon as possible after the incident. Don't apologize unless you plan to take full responsibility. A sincere, well-worded apology can be very effective in winning back disgruntled customers and business associates.

Example Letter #1


We hope you will accept our sincere apologies for the inconvenience your party experienced when you held an anniversary celebration in our ballroom. I know it was important for you to begin at 6:00 p.m., and the failure of our other guests to leave the room on time was a frustration to us all. Thank you for your patience while we enlisted the help of several additional persons to help with your setup.

To avoid such problems in the future, we are allowing more time between scheduled events, and are imposing a surcharge on any group that does not leave the ballroom by the scheduled time.

We have enjoyed working with your social committee, and we look forward to serving you more efficiently in the future. Again, our sincere apologies.

Example Letter #2


Your comments regarding the service you received at our store are very important to us. We want customers to enjoy shopping at Doe's, so your report of a disturbing experience with one of our sales persons is a serious concern for us. First, let us express our deepest apologies. You deserve only the best service, especially when you visit Doe's. Second, we are questioning our staff and will take appropriate action. Finally, the next time you visit our store, please ask for me. I will personally give you a special discount on your purchase and provide you with the service you should expect at Doe's. Thank you for reporting this incident.

Example Letter #3


Please accept my apology for the manner in which we handled your complaint this morning. Our salesperson has worked here only two weeks and was unaware of our policy on returned goods. We know the incident must have been very unpleasant for you. The salesperson in question will receive special training during the next two weeks so he will be better prepared to serve all our customers. We look forward to serving you in the coming months.

Example Letter #4


I am sorry that you received inferior service when you brought an important out-of-town client to dine at our restaurant last Saturday evening. I know how frustrating it is to have plans for an elegant evening unexpectedly go awry.

I appreciate your making me aware of the situation. To solve the problem, I am placing a few of our best servers on call during peak evening hours. Please accept the $50.00 gift certificate I have enclosed as a token of my appreciation for your patronage and a gesture of my desire to make amends.


Acknowledge their frustration and thank them for their concern.

Example Sentences for Step 2

Example Phrases for Step 2


Mention any specific steps taken to correct the problem. End with a positive statement.

Example Sentences for Step 3

By the time you receive this letter, our service personnel should have already installed your new water fountains. We hope you will contact us at 555-5555 if you have further questions or concerns. Thank you for your patience. Our technician will be in Springfield Tuesday through Thursday. She plans to stop by your office to give a detailed presentation explaining the functions of your humidifier. Please call Jane at 555-5555 to arrange an appointment. Again, we are sorry that she did not do this the last time she was in town. I discussed your phone call with the employee involved. She understands your concern and knows that her behavior was unacceptable. I assure you we will be attentive in preventing a repeat of Wednesday's incident. Please accept this gift certificate for the next time you visit the Doe Family Restaurant. The recent snow storms have made it difficult to serve our customers quickly, but we will do our best to get to you as soon as possible. I have instructed Jane, our service coordinator, to stop by your factory in Springfield. She will bring the equipment necessary to replace the parts on your water fountains. The manuals are out of print. A new printing will be ready at the beginning of next month, but since you cannot wait that long to begin using your network, please call Jane, our network specialist, and she will answer your questions. I assure you this won't happen again. We value our relationship with your firm and are committed to providing top quality service. We at Doe Service make customer satisfaction top priority. We hope you enjoy your new cooler. If you have questions please call John at 555-5555. With this note I have enclosed the completed version of the Doe report. I look forward to finishing this project. Your contribution has been invaluable.

Example Phrases for Step 3