Change an Order — Letter-Writing Tutorial


Changing an order is not difficult if you can catch it before it is processed or shipped. Because of its urgency, this information is best transferred by phone or fax. It is imperative that you provide sufficient information for the reader to track it down.


1. Indicate why you need to change your order.


  • This morning, while looking over the order I sent to you yesterday, I realized that I requested 15,000 quartz halogen task lights instead of 1,500. Clearly, I need to change the order.
  • After looking more closely at my inventory printout, I realized that I didn't order enough micrometers for our big micrometer sale next month.
  • The owners and architects of the Doe Building have been adjusting the plans. Consequently, the structural steel specifications have changed slightly.
  • When I ordered seats for the evening performance on November 12, 2002, I expressed a preference for the mezzanine section, but I neglected to mention that my wife is confined to a wheelchair. Please provide aisle seats.
  • The demand for umbrellas this fall has far exceeded our expectations, so we will need to double our order.


  • a clerical error
  • a typographical error
  • adjustments to our plans
  • afraid that I need to
  • after looking more closely
  • an unfortunate error
  • change our delivery date
  • changes in the specifications
  • circumstances have altered
  • due to unprecedented demand for
  • had not made provision for
  • make a change in our order
  • minor changes to
  • possible to reschedule
  • realized that I failed to
  • reviewing yesterday's order
  • revise our agreement
  • take into consideration
  • unfortunately neglected to
  • will need to change

2. Identify the original order by date and provide other information sufficient for the reader to find it. Clearly explain the change you desire.


  • I ordered a "ten hp extra high torque motor," stock #6K885, listing for $774.00 in your most recent catalog. This should actually be the five hp model, stock #6K882, for $444.50.
  • My order, dated October 23, 2001, requested several items for our Christmas display, but you need to cancel the potted pear tree, #A776. We still have the tree we ordered from you last year, which is flourishing and now three feet taller!
  • The revised specifications and drawings for the structural steel are attached.
  • Since my partner has resigned from the organization, his name (John Doe) needs to be removed from the card.
  • The part I originally needed was described in your catalog as "Stock # 6C647, electrical plug lockout device," listing for $19.56 each. However, I found that what I actually need is Stock # 6C650, the next larger size.


  • account number is
  • customer number is
  • details I gave over the phone were
  • enclosed is a copy of
  • faxed the original order
  • had requested a
  • have enclosed the
  • items in question are
  • kindly delete the
  • order was placed by
  • order number is
  • placed the order on
  • our order consisted of
  • placed on purchase order number
  • placed the order on
  • purchase order number is
  • quantity should be changed to
  • replace with item number
  • revised specifications are
  • should be replaced by
  • telephone number is
  • the following items
  • the original order was dated
  • the purchase order number is
  • the following list of items

3. Adjust payment arrangements, if necessary, to reflect the cost of the new order.


  • The order was to be charged to my account.
  • If you will inform me of the additional cost that this change will incur, I will forward another money order to cover the difference.
  • I assume that my charge account bill will reflect the changes I specified here.
  • I originally arranged to pay for this shipment COD, so if that is still acceptable I will pay when the order arrives.
  • I assume that this change in the order will result in a price reduction, so please refund the difference.


  • bill the service charge to
  • bill me for the additional
  • in accordance with your policy on
  • kindly credit my account with
  • partial credit to my card
  • please refund the difference
  • please leave the credit on our account
  • please refund my
  • request a refund of the balance
  • same payment arrangements
  • send me a statement
  • send me a check in the amount of
  • statement will reflect
  • the provisions for canceled or altered orders
  • understand that there is a fee
  • will contact you regarding
  • will expect a partial refund
  • will pay the balance on delivery
  • will send an additional check

4. Give apologies and express appreciation.


  • I depend on your rapid service and high quality products to keep my equipment running, and I apologize for any inconvenience this change may cause.
  • I am sorry for the trouble.
  • Please accept my apology for this inconvenience.
  • I appreciate your attention to this matter and extend my apologies.
  • I am disturbed that my technician did not do a better job of diagnosing the problem in the first place. His error has caused a lot of inconvenience for your staff. Thanks for your understanding.


  • always appreciate your
  • am sorry for
  • any trouble we have caused you
  • apologize for any inconvenience
  • apologize for our unfortunate error
  • appreciate working with
  • appreciate your patience
  • assured that this will
  • extend my apologies to
  • has always impressed me
  • have always been satisfied with
  • look forward to
  • please accept my apologies
  • regret causing you inconvenience
  • thank you for your understanding
  • the services you provided
  • with your customer service
  • with your products and service
  • your attention to this matter
  • your professional attitude
  • your prompt attention to

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