Reply Negatively to a Suggestion • Letter Templates and Guides

How to write this letter:

1Review enough of the suggestion to assure the reader that you have given it proper attention. Give the bad news and explain under what conditions you might reconsider.
2Thank the reader for offering the suggestion.


Your reader deserves to know why you are not accepting the suggestion, but a long letter is not necessary. Include only enough explanation to assure the reader that you took the suggestion seriously, but you cannot implement it at this time. Be sure to acknowledge your appreciation for the suggestion.

Example Letter #1


Thank you for your great suggestions on how we could use the left-over budget money. I can tell you have given a lot of thought to your ideas, and if I had received your memo three weeks earlier, perhaps we would have used them. I am sorry to inform you that we have already allocated the money, but I think you will not be too disappointed with our decision to give the money to the local library to benefit our community's children for many years.

Thank you for your thoughtfulness. I am pleased that other members of our society also feel that we should donate the money to charity.

Example Letter #2


Thank you for your suggestion that we move the air hoses from the vicinity of the gas pumps to an area near the edge of the station property. Unfortunately we are not able to move the hoses at this time because it would necessitate digging up the island and driveway areas. However, we will consider this possibility when we do our next renovation. Thank you for taking the time to send us your suggestion.

Example Letter #3


Thank you for suggesting that we use Doe products exclusively.

While we agree that using one office supplier cuts down the number of invoices handled by the accounting department, management feels at this time that we must continue with three suppliers to satisfy our needs.

If Doe or either of the other two suppliers begin to stock all of the items we use, we certainly will reconsider this policy.

Example Letter #4


I reviewed your suggestion that we hire an additional secretary and agree that at times our present staff seems overwhelmed by the work load. Unfortunately, the home office is unwilling to consider new staff at this time. I have kept a copy of your letter and will talk to them again in six months or so.

I appreciate your initiative. The data you presented were impressive. Let's see what happens in six months.

Write Your Letter Step-by-Step


Review enough of the suggestion to assure the reader that you have given it proper attention. Give the bad news and explain under what conditions you might reconsider.

Example Sentences for Step 1

Thank you for your memo regarding the use of an outside legal firm. At this time we have no need for such services, but in case we should ever need them, I will file the name of the firm you recommended. I received your memo about increasing productivity, and I believe your idea has merit. Unfortunately, the new budget changes this year prevent us from incorporating your ideas; however, if our budget is increased in the next year or so, I would like to open this discussion again. Thank you for your letter about Publications. We have considered your suggestion and while we agree the department is not as productive as we would like, we do not believe that eliminating it would be wise at this time. I will keep your idea in mind in case we ever make such a cut. I was pleased to receive your sales ideas last week. They certainly make sense; however, I don't think we will try them right now, since sales are higher than ever. If they fall in the next year, however, we would want to reconsider your valuable suggestions. They certainly have merit. I received your letter about the monthly meetings, and I agree they are not always as productive as I would like, but we need them for the coordination of our managers. We are trying to make the meetings more productive. When the current issues are resolved, we will meet less frequently. I appreciate your letter of April 3, suggesting how to increase environmental awareness in the workplace. I have given it serious consideration since I, too, am concerned about the environment. Unfortunately, we have spent as much as we can justify on these programs this year so we will have to wait until next year to implement your suggestion.

Example Phrases for Step 1

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