Decline Orders or Requests For Information • Letter Templates and Guides

How to write this letter:

1Thank the reader for the order or request, or offer a compliment.
2Explain, if possible, why you are unable to fill the order or give the requested information. State the refusal briefly but clearly.
3Close on a positive note.


A brief letter explaining why you are declining an order or request for information helps retain the goodwill of your reader.

Example Letter #1


Recently we received your request for an item-by-item register of cases 35 to 43 of the John Doe Photographic Collection housed here in the Springfield University Library Archives.

We always try to assist our patrons in their various research projects, although the small size of our staff often prevents us from following up on specific kinds of inquiries. Because the Doe Collection, a very recent acquisition, is enormous in size and has not yet been cataloged, the best we can do for you at this time is invite you to survey the collection in person. Library attendants will be on hand to assist you during your visit, and a light table is available in our Special Collections Reading Room for your perusal of photographic slides and transparencies.

To help you plan your visit to our library, I'm enclosing a flyer with our Reading Room hours and policies, along with a summary of various library services. We wish you the best of luck in your research and look forward to your visit.

Example Letter #2


We appreciate your interest in Doe's English Language schools, but we do not supply large quantities of our brochure to free-lance recruiters. I am enclosing one brochure giving pertinent information about our program. It is intended for your personal use and is not to be used in a business that would recruit students. We routinely receive more student applications than we are able to accommodate, so we do not actively recruit. Of course we will be pleased to consider your personal application.

Example Letter #3


Thank you for your recent order of the Business and Industry Directory for the State of Kansas. This directory has always been a big seller. Unfortunately, the 2018 directory is no longer in stock and the 2019 directory will not be published until November.

You may want to order the same directory on CD. Although it costs $20.00 more, those who have used it give glowing reports. The entire 2018 directory is on the disk. You may access information by town, zip code, or business name. It is actually a much more efficient source of information.

I have enclosed an order form and a brochure explaining the CD in more detail. You may order by phone or by returning the order form at the bottom of the brochure. In either case, we will ship the day we receive the order.

Thank you for your understanding. I hope the CD alternative meets your needs.

Example Letter #4


Thank you for your inquiry about our tax preparation services. I am sorry that we will be unable to help you with your individual tax return. For the past few years Doe has focused exclusively on corporate returns, and we cannot take on any new individual clients. I would be happy to send you the names of several other tax attorneys in the area who can give you competent service. Please call my secretary at 555-5555 if you would like such a list. Thank you for thinking of us at Doe & Doe.


Explain, if possible, why you are unable to fill the order or give the requested information. State the refusal briefly but clearly.

Example Sentences for Step 2

Example Phrases for Step 2