Clearly state the problem and explain what you want the reader to do. Avoid accusations and threats, particularly in a first letter. If the problem remains unresolved, you may wish to state clearly in a later letter what action you will take, but only if you are prepared to follow through.
1. Refer directly to the point of disagreement.
- Pursuant to the notification I received on July 23, regarding my claim (#12345) on my policy (#54321), I regret to inform you that your proposed settlement is unacceptable.
- I just wanted to let you know on an informal basis that I feel uncomfortable giving our contract to the Doe Corporation.
- We just received your notice that our rent will increase from $555 to $655 per month, effective August 1.
- We understand that despite many tenants' letters of protest, you plan to go ahead with a rent hike without correcting any of the lease compliance problems we mentioned in our last letter.
- On Monday I received a rather confusing letter informing me that the article I wrote for next month's issue of The Report had been rejected because the topic was "not relevant" to the subscribers of the magazine.
- a notice that
- according to the lease
- according to my records
- am not liable for
- am disturbed about
- do not understand the
- have no recollection of
- have enclosed a copy of
- in accordance with
- in spite of the
- informing me that
- is quite unacceptable
- is our understanding that
- just received your
- may recall that
- notified me of
- on the basis of
- please refer to
- pursuant to your letter of
- received notification that
- seems to be an error in
- the terms of our contract
- understood that
2. State your disagreement. Give evidence or support for your view, if appropriate.
- The settlement you offered is not enough to cover the repair costs for my car that was damaged in the flood. I am enclosing photocopies of estimates from two upholstery repair shops and two auto stereo stores. To restore my car to its preflood condition, a settlement of at least $1650 is necessary.
- I know their proposal sounds very attractive, but I doubt they can really do a good job for the cost they show in their bid. On an earlier job they gained a reputation for using inferior materials and attempting to add charges for "unforeseen expenses."
- We protest this increase. It takes the rent price far beyond that of similar apartments in the area. Many tenants will no doubt move out.
- Doe Apartment renters have elected my wife and me to represent their interests in this matter. We feel strongly that a rent hike at a time when the owner is not living up to his part of the rental agreement is unacceptable.
- The letter was confusing because Jane Doe had assured me that the article would be published. I think it is very relevant in a time when government-funded benefits are the topic of much discussion. Other magazines with comparable readership have published essays on related topics.
- am enclosing copies of
- an untenable situation
- are certain that
- a violation of
- consider the ramifications of
- contradicts the terms
- does not seem fair
- had previously assured me that
- have you considered
- in the long run
- need more input
- is not acceptable
- long-term effects
- may lead to
- may give rise to
- may initially seem attractive
- must protest this
- must disagree with
- on behalf of
- our previous agreement
- situation certainly merits
- this course of action
- urge you to reconsider
3. Clearly state the outcome you desire. If appropriate, state what action you are prepared to take to protect your interests.
- Please review these data and send me a revised settlement offer sufficient to cover our replacement and repair costs.
- I feel that the competing proposal would be safer. I know the bid is higher than Doe's, but in the end it would probably be worth it. I will be glad to talk about this in more detail.
- When we moved in we were told that rent would not increase more than 5% a year. We request that you honor your word.
- If you raise the rent in August without having repaired every item on the attached list of maintenance problems, we will begin a rent strike until all the work is done. We sincerely hope this action does not become necessary, but we are all determined to follow through if it does.
- Please clarify for me what happened. Has the editorial policy changed since I spoke with Jane Doe? Are there other considerations of which I am unaware?
- a written explanation
- a prompt correction
- be aware that
- honor the agreement you made
- if necessary, call me at
- in the light of
- inform me of
- it may become necessary to
- kindly check your records
- let me know
- please review the
- please clarify this
- request that you honor
- send written acknowledgment
- set up an appointment
- study the enclosed
- trust that it will not come to
- trust that it will not be necessary to
- urge you to reconsider
- wait a while before
- will have no choice but to
- will call you on
4. End by expressing your confidence in reaching a mutually agreeable solution.
- Our family has held policies with Doe Insurance for as long as I can remember, and we have always received good service. I trust you will honor this reasonable request, too.
- I trust the right decision will prevail. Of course I will work closely with whoever gets the contract.
- We feel you have been fair in the past, and feel confident that you will honor this request.
- We are sure the owner will take action so a strike will not be necessary. Please contact us if you have any questions.
- You can see why I disagree with the content of the letter. I believe you can make some sense of it for me.
- am confident that
- am sure that this
- appears to be a misunderstanding
- can reach me at
- can sort out quite easily
- if you have any questions
- if you need any more information
- look forward to
- please feel free to
- resuming our mutually beneficial
- take immediate action
- thank you for
- to our mutual satisfaction
- trust that you will honor
- trust that this will
- will be happy to
- will abide by your
- would appreciate your
- your immediate attention to
- your attention to this matter
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