Explain an Error You Have Made • Example Letters, Guides and Samples
When a customer complains about an error, or if an error affects several people, it is wise to take the trouble to explain and probably apologize. The letter needs to be detailed enough to explain what happened, but should not be lengthy.
How to write this error letter:
- Explain the error.
- State how you plan to correct the error.
- Apologize if necessary and offer reparation, if appropriate.
Example Letter #1
I must apologize for the error we made in our estimate for redecorating your kitchen. This estimate did not include the price of the refrigerator you requested. The additional cost of the model B123 refrigerator is $895.00. The estimate must be increased by this amount. Once again, I apologize for the error.
Example Letter #2
Please accept my apologies for the error in your shipment of bed linen. We sent you Stewart plaid instead of Black Watch plaid. As soon as we noticed the mistake, we shipped the correct linen, which should arrive within ten days. Please return the Stewart plaid linen in the box you receive, covering your address with the shipping label supplied. Also enclosed with your new linen is a coupon for a 15% discount on you next purchase.
Example Letter #3
Please forgive me but I have made a mistake. I filled your order for the bed linens you purchased but I did so incorrectly. I simply misread your order form and sent you the linens in stewart plaid as opposed to black watch plaid. Yesterday I packaged a lovely set of black watch plaid flannel sheets and coordinating bedspread. They should arrive within ten days. Simply return the steward plaid linens C.O.D. I have also enclosed with your new linens a coupon for a 15% discount on your next purchase as my way of apologizing.
Example Letter #4
Please accept our sincere apology for the room service charges that were incorrectly billed to your credit card. Charges to Room 402 for May 20 were mistakenly assigned to Room 404. We have notified the credit card company of our error, and they are removing the incorrect charges from your bill.
We appreciate the opportunity to serve you and regret the billing error. We hope you will stay with us again on your next visit to Springfield.
Example Letter #5
When you were in the showroom yesterday, I told you we would receive shipment of Doe's new sports utility vehicle in three days. In fact, the cars will be shipped from our Springfield plant in three weeks and will arrive here a week later. I will hold your down payment check in our office until we hear whether you want to wait for the shipment to arrive.
Regarding your other order, the silver LX with all the extras is still reserved for you. We appreciate your patience and understanding, and my manager has agreed to reduce our price on the sports utility vehicle by $1,000 because of the inconvenience. I'm sure you will be delighted with both vehicles.
Write Your Letter Step-by-Step
1 Explain the error.
Sample Sentences for Step 1
- The booklet you ordered contains several typographical errors.
- We changed our payroll program this month, and unfortunately made an error in transferring data. Consequently, we did not withhold your FICA tax this month, so we must withhold a double amount next month.
- I made an error in booking your symphony season tickets. You asked for the second Friday night of each run, and I inadvertently booked your seats for the first Friday night.
- I made an error in booking the room for our September meeting. I booked the conference room for the wrong date and by the time I realized my mistake, another group had reserved the room. We will have to meet in the media center instead.
- Thank you for your call. I did indeed make an error in your flight bookings and am grateful that you caught it so early.
Sample Phrases for Step 1
- after checking our records
- after reviewing your statements
- after reviewing our records
- an embarrassing oversight
- an embarrassing situation
- an unusual but nonetheless inconvenient error
- assumed you had coverage
- assumed the information was correct
- booked for the wrong date
- data transmission was unsuccessful
- did not deduct the
- did indeed make an error
- error resulted from
- error led to money being withheld from
- has come to my attention that
- has had several repercussions
- has a number of typographical errors
- have discovered that
- have found an error in
- in transferring data between
- in your booking
- in calculating the
- inadvertently made your booking for
- information had not been processed
- information was missing from
- made an error in
- miscalculated the total
- mistake resulted in
- number of grammatical errors
- processed your claim incorrectly
- regret the inconvenience
- regretfully underpaid you
- result of a clerical error
- some of the data are missing
- such mistakes seldom happen
- such errors seldom occur
- thank you for calling our attention to
- unfortunately undercharged you for
- unfortunately made a mistake
- was an unfortunate mix-up
- when the change was made
2 State how you plan to correct the error.
Sample Sentences for Step 2
- Please return the proofs so that we can correct them and send you a second set without delay.
- This error will be corrected with your July paycheck. We have been working overtime to make the necessary adjustments, and the program is now running as it should. Please do not hurry to spend your "raise," because your July paycheck will be short by the amount that we failed to withhold in June.
- The amount involved is fairly small, $75.45, and we would like to simply forget it, but the law will not permit us to do so. Would you please send us a check for the $75.45 at your earliest convenience?
- The seats you have already received for first Friday nights are excellent ones. I am holding second Friday tickets for you, but their location is ten rows farther back. Would you prefer to keep the tickets you have or attend on your first choice of nights? Please call me at 555-5555. I will hold these tickets for you for three weeks.
- I thought it would be better to adhere to our prearranged date, and change the venue, but I will be more careful in future.
- Your new flights are detailed on the enclosed sheet.
Sample Phrases for Step 2
- an itemized statement of
- at your earliest convenience
- can easily be corrected
- happy to answer your questions
- have input the missing data
- have enclosed a check for
- have made alternative arrangements
- have already corrected the
- if you would prefer to
- late charge will be deleted
- law will not permit us to
- offer you first choice of
- outstanding balance will be adjusted
- please send us the balance
- please return the proofs
- please send us a check for $450.08
- will ship the missing
- will clear up the matter
- will not occur again
- will work overtime to
- will be reflected on
- will make the necessary adjustments
- will compensate you for
- will hold the replacement tickets for
- will correct this without delay
- will send you corrected copies
- will send you an amended copy of
- will be reimbursed for
- will be no charge for the new
- will conduct a thorough investigation into
- will issue a corrected invoice
- will send you a copy of the revised
- will be up and running by
- will show up on
- will be reflected on your next statement
- won't happen again
- would appreciate your prompt attention to
3 Apologize if necessary and offer reparation, if appropriate.
Sample Sentences for Step 3
- We regret any inconvenience this may cause you. There will, of course, be no charge for the new set of proofs.
- I am truly sorry for the mix-up.
- We are glad that we could cover most of your costs from the accident, and only regret having to ask you to send a small portion back.
- I apologize for the error. Thanks for supporting the Symphony.
- I am sorry for any inconvenience this may cause you. We will see you in the media center next Thursday.
- We will, of course, cover the penalty for changing the flights. Thanks again for pointing out the mistake.
Sample Phrases for Step 3
- apologize for the mix-up
- apologize for the error
- are glad that we could cover most of your costs
- are sorry about this oversight
- are doing everything we can to
- assure you of our complete cooperation
- assure you that we appreciate your
- at no additional cost
- bringing this to our attention
- dispatchers will in future
- for your patience and understanding
- for being so supportive
- for bringing this error to light
- for pointing out the mistake
- happy to review your account
- have enclosed a small gift
- hope this will assist you in
- hope you will accept our apologies
- hope this will be satisfactory
- how much we appreciate
- most eager to get the matter corrected immediately
- please let us know
- please understand our position
- realize the effects of such errors
- regret the miscalculation
- regret having to ask you for
- regret the inconvenience
- regret having made the mistake
- sorry for the inconvenience
- thank you for
- this has caused you
- to apologize for the error
- trust that there will be no more errors in
- want you to know
- will make sure that
- will, of course, cover any penalties for
- will not happen again
- will in future double-check all
- your expressing your concerns
- your cooperation in correcting this error