Correct a Customer's Error or Assertion • Letter Templates and Guides

How to write this letter:

1Introduce the topic without accusation.
2Share the results of your investigation as gently as possible.
3State your conclusions, indicating that you are open to further discussion or explanation.


This letter explains to a customer why his or her claim or assertion is incorrect, and at the same time seeks to retain the customer's business and good will.

Example Letter #1


Thank you for your note about the cost of the paint you bought for your summer cabin. I have checked your original order against the catalog price list, and have discovered where the misunderstanding lies. You will recall that you changed your order from the generic brand to Doe paint which has a ten-year warranty. The price you referred to in your correspondence was for the generic brand.

I wish I could give you the Doe paint for the price of the other, but it was already discounted on our summer sale. I am sure you will be very pleased with the performance of this high quality paint. If we can help you in any other way, please do not hesitate to call or write.

Example Letter #2


Thank you for your letter of January 20. You indicated that the lilac bush we shipped to you should have been a dwarf bush. I am enclosing a copy of your order and also a copy of pages 24 and 25 of our catalog. The lilac you ordered is #47 on page 24 and costs $5.00. The dwarf lilacs were described on page 25 and costs $12. Please call my toll-free number if you would still like us to ship the dwarf bush. We can still ship it within the next two weeks or, if you prefer, will send it in the spring, at the ideal time for planting.

Example Letter #3


I am sorry that the Persian Rug we sent you is not the shape you wanted. I reviewed the order form (copy enclosed) and am afraid that what we sent does match the form. Making sure that you have the rug you want, however, is far more important than an accidental error on the form. We will be happy to exchange the rug, and only regret that we will have to ask you to cover the cost of returning the first rug to us. You may send it in the original container. Just place the enclosed label with your merchandise return authorization number (MRA123) in a conspicuous place.

Example Letter #4


Thank you for contacting us regarding the surcharge that was included on your statement. In our mailings for the last three months, we have been informing our members of the new policy effective this month of charging a fee for any account that does not maintain a $100 minimum monthly balance. As we have noted in the last three mailings, this replaces our old policy of charging a service fee for any account not maintaining an average monthly balance of $300. While you did maintain an average monthly balance of $300, your balance on January 29 dropped to $89.17, below the new minimum monthly balance.

Because we have made every effort to inform our customers of the new policy, I am not authorized to reimburse you for the service charge; however, if you have further concerns, you are welcome to discuss them with our Adjustments Manager, John Doe, who will be happy to answer any questions you may still have.


Share the results of your investigation as gently as possible.

Example Sentences for Step 2

We reviewed your file for possible errors, but I am afraid we did not find any. It appears that the bill we sent was accurate. I am enclosing a copy of all your orders for the past three months, so you can compare them with your records. I still find your account balance to be $930, but I think I can see where a misunderstanding may have arisen. The credit of $238 for the goods you returned was reflected on your July statement. We received the goods on July 30, so perhaps you had not expected the credit to come through so rapidly? I understand that your water bill seems somewhat high for spring, considering that you have not yet started watering your yard, but this was actually our first meter-reading in four months. It is very difficult to read a water meter during the winter months, so we bill on the basis of estimated usage. Your winter usage was slightly higher than we estimated, hence the increased charge. Although we are able to ship seeds and bulbs within 48 hours,
we ship our nursery stock from Springfield, Kansas, which takes
up to three weeks. We include this information in the catalog and on the shipping label, but it is easy to overlook in the excitement of planning a garden.
The dolls, as you know, come in three sizes: large, medium, and small. I have enclosed a copy of your order, which shows the catalog number of the larger dolls, along with the price of the medium ones. We went with the catalog number, seeing as you have ordered the larger dolls several times before. I apologize for not checking with you. We have reviewed your order forms and our calculations, and they appear to be correct. I am enclosing the relevant copies for your review. The prices on your bill are the same as those on our price list, which has not changed over the past nine months. I am enclosing a copy of the price list for your review.

Example Phrases for Step 2


State your conclusions, indicating that you are open to further discussion or explanation.

Example Sentences for Step 3

Example Phrases for Step 3

Recommended Articles