Correct a Customer's Error or Assertion • Example Letters, Plus Guides and Samples
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.
How to write this error letter:
- Introduce the topic without accusation.
- Share the results of your investigation as gently as possible.
- State your conclusions, indicating that you are open to further discussion or explanation.
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.
Write Your Letter Step-by-Step
1 Introduce the topic without accusation.
Sample Sentences for Step 1
- Thank you for your call about this month's bill.
- I have checked your August 31 statement, and compared it with the information you furnished me.
- Your query about water usage and billing has been forwarded to me.
- We received your letter reporting that part of your shipment was missing, even though you were billed for all of it.
- I am sorry to hear that the dolls you received were the wrong size.
- Thank you for bringing to our attention your concern about invoice #456.
- Your letter about the price you were charged for your crystal glassware was forwarded to me.
Sample Phrases for Step 1
- am sorry to hear
- appeared to be an error in
- appreciate doing business with you
- appreciate your choosing us to
- for your call about
- for sharing your concern about
- for your letter about
- for expressing your concerns
- for writing to us about
- for contacting us about
- for taking the trouble to
- has been forwarded to me
- have processed your request
- informing us that
- received your request
- received your letter
- received your letter about the
- seemed there was an error in your
- seemed to be a discrepancy on your
- thank you for
- that part of your shipment was missing
- that your merchandise was damaged
- that you had not yet received your shipment
- that part of your shipment seemed to be missing
- was forwarded to me
- your query about
- your inquiry about
- your concern about
- your inquiry regarding
2 Share the results of your investigation as gently as possible.
Sample 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.
Sample Phrases for Step 2
- according to our files
- after reviewing your account
- after reviewing your order form
- all appear to be correct
- apologize for not checking with you first
- bill we sent was accurate
- billing statement was sent out after
- compared your information with
- didn't find any errors in
- double-checked everything
- enclosed are copies of
- enclosed are the results of
- enclosing the relevant copies for your review
- enclosing a copy of the price list for your review
- examined these for possible errors
- has not changed over the past
- have reviewed your order forms
- have enclosed a copy of your order
- have reviewed your account
- have rechecked your bill
- have checked your statement
- have discovered that
- have made our share of mistakes
- have thoroughly investigated the
- hence the increased rate
- hence the late charge
- is easy to overlook
- it appears that
- our usual practice in such cases is to
- our records show that
- perhaps you had not expected
- prices on your bill are the same as
- results of our investigation
- reviewed your file
- ship our stock from
- so you can compare them with
- think I have found the error
- think I see where the misunderstanding may have arisen
- this information was listed on the
- to enable you to compare them
- verified the accuracy of
- was credited to your account on
- was included in the catalog
- was slightly higher than we had estimated
- were no apparent discrepancies between
- your account balance seems to be correct
- your account balance still comes out at
- your check arrived after
3 State your conclusions, indicating that you are open to further discussion or explanation.
Sample Sentences for Step 3
- If, after reviewing this information, you still have any questions, please feel free to call me.
- It appears, however, that your current balance is correct. Please let me know if I can help you further.
- Please rest assured that our meter readers are careful and accurate. We are committed to keeping our customers' costs as low as possible.
- Your roses should arrive within the next two weeks. If you are in any way dissatisfied with them, be sure to contact us again.
- We have already shipped the medium dolls. If you wish to return the larger ones, please use the enclosed shipping label.
- If you have any additional information, or there is something we have overlooked, please don't hesitate to call us.
- If you have further concerns about this matter, please call me at 555-5555.
Sample Phrases for Step 3
- after reviewing this information
- are open to further discussion
- are careful and accurate
- are unable to refund your
- be sure to contact us again if
- can find no evidence of an error
- can verify the costs
- committed to keeping our prices as low as possible
- feel free to contact me directly
- hope this will answer your question about
- if you still have any questions
- if you are in any way dissatisfied
- if you feel that we have overlooked anything
- if you wish to return the
- if you think further action is warranted
- if you have any additional information
- if you have additional information
- if you have any more questions about
- if you have further concerns about
- if this is not satisfactory
- if you have further requests
- if I can be of any further assistance to you
- let me know if
- our breakdown is as follows
- please feel free to
- please don't hesitate to
- please use the enclosed shipping label
- should arrive within the next two weeks
- will be happy to answer any questions