As far as your charges for air freight are concerned, we agree to pay the extra costs which you invoiced. However your costs for packing and insurance must have been lower for air cargo, and we request you to take this fact into consideration and to make an adjustment to the invoice amount. Would you please send us a rectified invoice, reduced accordingly.
We look forward to your dealing with these questions without delay.
Very truly yours.
If this kind of letter is sent the customer is understandably annoyed, nevertheless there is no reason to write an angry letter of complaint. In the EXAMPLE 5 there are two complaints: the first is about the "Swinger" dresses colour and the second - about the fact that air freight seems too expensive to MATTHEW & WILSON.
From this letter we see that the results are better for the correspondent takes the trouble to explain his complaint clearly and proposes ways in which matters can be put right.
Letters that are written in response to claims may be called adjustments. These letters are among the most difficult to write as they require under all circumstances patience, tact, and diplomacy. You will not lose your customer if you react at his claim promptly.
148 Mortimer Street
London W1C 37D
MATTHEWS & WILSON
421 Michigan Avenue
Chicago, III.60602 2nd December, 1996
The colour of the dresses about which you complain is indeed lighter than it should be. Apparently this was overlooked by controller responsible. Please accept our apologies for the oversight.
We are sending you a new lot by air this week, and would ask you to return the faulty clothes at your convenience, carriage forward. Alternatively you may keep this lot for sale as seconds at a reduced price of &1,120.
You are perfectly correct in saying that packing and insurance costs are normally less for cargo sent by air. May we remind you, however, in this case your request to send the goods by air was made at very short notice. It was not possible for us to use the lighter air freight packing materials, as most of the dresses were ready for shipment by sea freight (please see our letter of 9th November). Furthermore, our insurance is on an open policy at a flat rate, and depends on the value of the goods, not the method of transport. For these reasons our invoice No.14596 dated 15th November 1996 is still valid, and we look forward to receiving your remittance when due.
The suppliers show their understanding of situation and express their willingness to adjust it. They say exactly what steps they are going to take, because a disappointed customer cannot be put off with mere apologies - he is entitled to know how the mistake will be remedied. The supplies convince their partners that they are really interested in maintaining good will. They try to avoid negative statements, and what even worse, accusations; they never forget that it is their customer who keeps them in business.
Even when they write their customers about rejecting their claim on air freight, they try to give logical reasons for the refusal.
The conclusion that therefore suggests itself is that writing of business letters is highly complicated science. It is not enough for a good business letter writing to know lexics and grammar, but you should comprehend the whole range of such things as: occasions on which the particular letter is written, the style of letter, useful expressions, and accepted idioms.
There are certain rules which not everybody could learn since they have to be felt by correspondents. Letter writing requires long practice and experience. Those who write letters should always remember, that what makes the letter attractive and therefore promotes one's business is not always the message of the letter, but it is the manner and style in which the message is written.
The "golden rule" that must be followed by every business correspondent is that the official letter should be formal, courteous, tactful, concise, expressive, and to the point.
1.WINCOR, RICHARD Contracts in plain English
Научная и деловая корреспонденция
3.GOWERS, ERNEST The complete plain words
Основы деловой переписки
Business Letters for All.