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Apology letter to customer for bad product

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Apology letter to customer for bad product
December 22, 2018 Anniversary Wishes For Parents 3 comments

An apology letter to a customer for wrong delivery of goods At [business name], we strive to deliver the best products and services and the satisfaction to our.

Nowadays, it is not only through personal interaction that an apology may be stated. People opt to create a professional apology letter to show genuineness in conveying their sincere apologies. Formal apology letters may be written due to different kinds of instances and transactions. You may also see Sample Letters.

It will be a lot easier for you to make an letters of apology if you already have a guide to follow. To help you create an appropriate and well-curated apology letter, we have collected a number of apology letter templates that you may use as references. Select the template that can help you relay your apologies based on the situation.

Apology Letter Dissatisfied with Quality of Product Template


File Format

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  • Pages

Size: A4, US


Restaurant Apology Letter Template


File Format

  • Google Docs
  • MS Word
  • Pages

Size: A4, US


Restaurant Apology Letter for Delayed Response Template


File Format

  • Google Docs
  • MS Word
  • Pages

Size: A4, US


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Why Is an Apology Letter Written?

The creation of an apology letter should be guided by a letter template that is both formal and genuine. If you have wronged a person or a group, it is very important for you to be professional, but you should also remember that you should make the other end of the transaction feel that what you are saying is coming from the heart and not just for stating an empty apology.

Writing an apology may be due to different instances where an entity needs to apologize for a particular purpose or an event that occurred in an unexpected manner. A few reasons why an apology letter is written are as follows:

  1. An apology letter may be written by a business entity who has provided a product that is either defective or damaged.
  2. Creating an apology letters may also be due to incomplete packages that are sent to clients whether it is the fault of the courier or the business the client was dealing with.
  3. Businesses can create an apology letter to their clients for errors in billing, quotation, job order or invoices.
  4. An individual can send an apology letter for late payments, especially if an entity has given an additional number of days to prolong the deadline.
  5. Students can create an apology letter if they missed a project or assignment deadline.
  6. Shops, especially those who have online pages, can create an apology letter if they have delayed the shipping of products to their clients.
  7. Those who are involved in partnerships and other bonds may also create an apology letter if they have broken the trust or agreement in a business letter.
  8. There are some businesses that provide an apology letter if they have recorded the wrong information of a client that resulted to inaccurate transactions.
  9. You can write an apology letter if you have conducted an offensive, improper or inaccurate behavior that affected the processes of an entity.
  10. Companies also send apology letters to their clients if poor customer service has been given during the transaction where a client is involved.
  11. Apology letters can be created by a client who has missed a scheduled appointment, especially if there was no advance appointment cancellation made.

There are still a lot of reasons why apology letters are created and sent. May it be a kind of business or personal letter, make sure that you will create an apology letter that contains all the information regarding the reason/s you are apologizing.

Business Apology Letters

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How to Create an Effective Apology Letter

Whether you already received a complaint letter or you already know that you need to apologize without getting the specified letter, you need to make sure that you can provide a reply or a new letter to the person to whom you owe an apology with. A few steps that you may follow in creating an effective apology letter are as follows:

  1. Start creating your apology letter by first identifying its purpose. As any formal letter samples will show you, indicating the reason first and foremost will immediately inform the reader of what they are to expect when they read it in its entirety. Make sure to list down the reasons why the letter needs to be created and what the apology is all about.
  2. Create a brief idea about the mistake that you committed or any other items that you feel sorry about. Since the receiver is already aware that the letter is for you to send your apologies, the next step is for him/her to hear the mistake from you. This will set the mood and will let the letter receiver understand why the apology letter is needed.
  3. Once you have already given an idea of the mistake, specify facts that are involved during the incident. State the reasons why the incident occurred as well the mistakes and/or altercations (if any) that took place. More so, discuss the chronological occurrences of the incidents that transpired so it will be easier for the letter receiver to remember the transaction. Following the formal letter format, you must not give any more detail than is necessary. Only stick to what is relevant to your message.
  4. Always own up all the wrong things that you have done. You need to let the receiver of the letter feel that you understand that they were either hurt or disappointed. Acknowledge how they feel and let them know that you understand if they have a negative reaction about what you did. This will help you to reconnect with them in a positive manner and to prove your point that it is not your intention to hurt or disappoint them.
  5. If possible, offer a solution about the problem. It can be very helpful if you can provide something that can make up to the damage that has already been done. This is more appropriate and applicable to business transactions, especially those concerns about the products that are either broken, incomplete, or poor in comparison to the promised quality. You may also see Business Letter Templates.
  6. Do not end the letter just by apologizing. It will be best if you will be clear about the professional relationship that you would like to continue with the receiver of the letter. State your desire for better interactions in the future and the hope that the letter receiver will still trust you even after what has already happened.

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Kinds of Apology Letters

Though there are a lot of kinds of apology letters, they can be grouped into two categories. These categories are as follows:

Business/Corporate Apology Letters

A business or corporate apology letter is a kind of formal letter example that is written by the following entities:

  1. A company who would like to apologize to their clients which are mostly related to poor customer service or the low quality of the products and/or services being offered by the business
  2. An employee who would like to send an apology to the company management because of particular actions that he/she has shown in a particular time period
  3. A business who would like to apologize to another business due to a variety of transactions that may have affected the operations of the other business entity to whom the apology letter is for

Friendly/Personal Apology Letters

Aside from a business or corporate apology letter, you can also create a friendly or personal apology letter. An apology letter written in this manner can be due to the following:

  1. A person who would like to say sorry to a friend whom he/she has betrayed
  2. A child who would like to apologize to his/her parents, siblings or relatives
  3. A student who would like to state an apology to his/her teacher or classmates

Classifying the apology letter that you will create based on these categories will help guide you on how to properly construct the formal letter format, content and layout of the letter that you will send to another entity.

Guidelines in Creating an Apology Letter

A few guidelines that you may apply in creating an apology letter include the following:

  1. Be precise of the reason on why you want to apologize. It is important for you to not confuse the letter receiver or mislead him/her about what you truly wanted to say.
  2. It will be great to end your discussion by showing that you are responsible for the things that has occurred. More so, it will help if you provide no excuses. A person who was offended or disappointed can accept the apology even more if they know that you are aware of the results of the things that you have created or executed and that you blame nobody else.
  3. Do not promise anything that you cannot deliver as you do not want to write another apology letter. Make sure that you can provide the things that you will state so that you can rebuild the trust and confidence on you of the entity whom you are transacting with.
  4. Be aware of the selection of words that you will use in the letter and make sure that they all sound genuine yet still professional. It is very important for you to not create assumptions and other items that may just worsen the situation.

Disagreements between parties cannot always be avoided. Whether or not such incidents require a formal apology depends on the scale of the argument, the matter at hand, and the parties involved. It is imperative, however, that such disagreements should be settled as professionally and as amicably as possible. So if writing a letter of apology is necessary, then by all means, use the letters that we have made available for you. You may also see Formal Letter Templates in Word.

If you are looking for a well-crafted apology letter, check out these Apology letter to a customer: Sample 6; Tips to write an apology letter to examine how your product slipped past our quality measures. I want to extend my sincere apologies on behalf of {Your company name} for the poor customer.

Apology Letter To Customer

apology letter to customer for bad product

We investigate the fundamentals of saying sorry to a customer in a customer service letter.

The Two Key Elements of a Good Customer Apology Letter

While you can create guides, apology letter templates do not work. This is because of these two additions that must be included in any apology letter.

1. Reference the Customer’s Complaint

Don’t just say sorry, acknowledge the customer’s complaint to personalise the apology and allow yourself to show real empathy.

The beginning of any good apology is personalised, saying sorry for the specific thing that went wrong.

Neil Martin, Director at The First Word, says: “The beginning of any good apology is personalised, saying sorry for the specific thing that went wrong.”

“If the customer says something like: ‘The carriage I travelled in was very cold’, say‘I’m sorry that the carriage was cold’, not: ‘I’m sorry for the inconvenience’.”

While you cannot template this kind of personalised apology, referencing the customer’s problem takes only a matter of seconds and makes the apology much more authentic.

2. Vary the Strength of the Apology for Different Situations

Customer complaints vary greatly, not just in terms of content but in terms of the emotions involved for the customer. So the degree to which you apologise must vary from one customer to another.

As Neil says: “What’s really sincere in one context can be really insincere in another because it’s either too strong or not strong enough.”

What’s really sincere in one context can be really insincere in another because it’s either too strong or not strong enough.

For example, if you represent the contact centre of a hotel chain, you cannot use the same template apology email for a situation where a customer says that their bathroom light was too dim as you would for a customer who found rats in their room.

In the scenario where rats were found in the customer’s room, you might say: “I’m very sorry you found rats in your room. I can imagine how concerning that would have been for you. We pride ourselves on the hygiene and cleanliness of our hotels and it is not acceptable that this happened during your stay.”

Whereas, for the bathroom light, a simple: “I’m sorry the bathroom light was too dim for your stay with us” is more appropriate. Anything stronger could be interpreted as sarcasm.

The Basic Rules of a Customer Apology Letter

While the two “keys” above are essential, here’s a list of other fundamental rules when writing an apology letter for customer service that you shouldn’t be getting wrong.

Say “Sorry” Not “Apologies”

Often, instead of just saying sorry, advisors follow templates that rephrase what only needs to be a simple apology.

Neil Martin says: “There is no more sincere word than the word ‘sorry’. But, particularly when it comes to letters, people feel the need to go more formal.”

There is no more sincere word than the word ‘sorry’. But, particularly when it comes to letters, people feel the need to go more formal.

“So, they end up using words like ‘apologise’ or ‘regret’, when they really just want to say sorry, as they would on the phone.”

When someone writes “apologies” or “regrets” it can seem as though they are purposely avoiding the word “sorry” and, while that may not be your intention, that is how many people will interpret it.

Don’t Use the Words “Any” or “May”

There are words that advisors may include in their letter that will completely undermine the apology and imply doubt in the customer’s story. This can frustrate customers, which is the exact opposite of what you want to do – reassure them.

A lot of companies throw a generic apology out there in the hope that it appeases whoever has written in, but people see through that.

Neil says: “Particular bugbears of mine include the words ‘any’ and ‘may’, because you should know – or at least be able to make a safe assumption – that your company has made a mistake. If you don’t, then you shouldn’t be apologising.”

“A lot of companies throw a generic apology out there in the hope that it appeases whoever has written in, but people see through that. So we need to avoid these words and make sure that every apology we write use is personalised.”

Avoid These Phrases

Using Neil’s “bugbear” words and others, here are a few apology phrases to avoid:

  • “I’m sorry that we may have…”
  • “I’m sorry for any inconvenience caused.”
  • “I’m sorry that you felt the need to complain.”

Use These Phrases

More suitable apology phrases, as discussed in our article “16 Apology Statements for Customer Service“, include:

  • “I’m sorry, I can see how [INSERT PROBLEM] must have been frustrating for you.”
  • “I’m very sorry, I appreciate how difficult it must have been for you to deal with [INSERT PROBLEM].”
  • “Thanks for alerting us to [INSERT PROBLEM]. I recognise that this can’t have been an easy thing to deal with and I’m so sorry that we have caused you to feel [INSERT EXPRESSED EMOTION].”

Understand That an Apology and Empathy Are Different Things

Earlier we stated that you shouldn’t apologise if you haven’t made a mistake. However, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t show empathy. After all, an apology and empathy are two different things.

As Neil says: “You need to know whether the customer deserves an apology or not. It’s just as bad to apologise for something that you haven’t done wrong as it is to offer an insincere apology when you have done something wrong. This is because it adds up to the same thing – sounding insincere.”

It’s just as bad to apologise for something that you haven’t done wrong as it is to offer an insincere apology when you have done something wrong. This is because it adds up to the same thing – sounding insincere.

“While sometimes you might have to give the customer the benefit of the doubt, you need to make a decision either way. And if you decide that an apology isn’t necessary, show empathy for how the customer feels.”

“There is a big difference in saying ‘this is our fault’ as opposed to ‘I understand how you feel’. Even if you don’t say sorry, you can show that you have understood the customer’s problem.”

Just remember that if a customer has had a problem and they’ve taken the time to talk to you about it, empathy always has a place, but the apologies only have a place when the company’s done something wrong.

Some examples of empathy statements that don’t ‘say sorry’ to the customer include:

  • “I can see how frustrating this must be for you…”
  • “Thank you very much for alerting us to this…”
  • “I appreciate you bringing this to our attention…”

For more examples of similar phrases, visit: 18 Empathy Statements That Help Improve Customer-Agent Rapport

Reflect Back Where Appropriate

Reflecting back the customer’s words will help to demonstrate that you have understood their problem and helps to further personalise the apology.

Neil says: “If we describe an event in two different ways, even if the same thing happens, we won’t really feel as though the other person is on our wavelength. So it’s best to describe it using their language.”

However, Neil also warns: “Just be careful that it is appropriate for you to use their exact language and that you actually agree with the customer, because by reflecting back someone’s words, you are, in a way, complicit with them.”

“So, if someone says that ‘this is absolutely abhorrent’ and it wasn’t, don’t reflect back their words if you don’t really agree with them.”

However, when used correctly, this technique can be great to show the customer that you understand their problem, which is important in reassuring the customer after an apology.

Don’t Be Too Defensive – Even When the Customer’s Wrong

Culturally, organisations can be very defensive, with many advisors feeling as though their job is to defend the reputation of their company, which can lead to them adopting the wrong approach when writing.

When it comes to a customer service letter, there is a misconception that the letter is almost some sort of legal document, when it’s not.

Neil adds: “A lot of people in complaint handling interpret their role to mean that we can never say the words ‘I’m sorry’, thinking that saying so is a sign of weakness.”

“When it comes to a customer service letter, there is a misconception that the letter is almost some sort of legal document, when it’s not. Just remember that you’re still in the realms of good will and not legality.”

This brings up another point of not being scared to be informal, particularly if the customer isn’t formal themselves. If you use less formal techniques, such as writing “I’m” instead of “I am”, you’ll appear more genuine.

How to Structure an Apology Letter

Now we know the keys in terms of language and approach to an apology letter, what about the order in which we present information?

Start With a Thank You and Then Apologise Straight After

While a letter may seem like a more formal channel of communication, the structure of an apology shouldn’t differ too much from an email, in that the apology statement should come as early as possible.

Neil Martin

As Neil Martin says: “When somebody is expecting an apology, they want it straight away. So, while you might want to start the letter with a ‘thanks for getting in touch’, as a convention, the apology should follow straight after.”

“The exact same words mean a lot less at the bottom of the page. Often an advisor will write something from a chronological point of view, explaining what they’ve done before ending on the ‘… therefore I’m sorry’.”

However, when reading a long block of text, it will be common for the customer to just scan the page. Therefore, if you bury the apology, not only will it seem as though you’re “hiding” it, but there’s a chance that the reader will never even see it.

Follow That Up With Your Solution

The basic principle of writing to customers is to order the content in terms of importance to the customer. Therefore, straight after the “thank you” and apology should come the solution.

Neil adds: “People want to know what you’re going to do to resolve their query. So, whatever the solution may be, put that right after your personal apology.”

“Some people will be interested in why you think that solution is appropriate, but some people won’t. So, while you should include details of your investigation or your explanation for your decision, don’t put that first.”

With this in mind, the structure of your apology letter should follow the format below:

  • First say thank you to the customer for getting in touch
  • Apologise for what’s gone wrong or show empathy if an apology is not required
  • Share what you’re doing to put it right
  • Tell the customer why you’re taking these actions
  • Include a call to action if the customer needs to do anything
  • Offer further reassurance and other contact details.

A Customer Apology Letter Example

Now we know how to structure an apology letter to a customer and the key do’s and don’ts, let’s take a look at an example that includes all of these best practices.

In this example, we are offering a response to a complaint where a customer has complained about having to stand up on a train.

The Customer’s Compliant

Dear Sir/Madam,

I went from Swindon to Bath last Saturday to watch the rugby. It was packed the moment I got on and I had to stand all the way. I then had the same on the way back – not great! It put a real downer on the day.

You know that rugby match days are going to be busy so why don’t you put on more trains and carriages? I really don’t fancy the prospect of standing again.

Yours sincerely,

The Apology Letter

Dear Steve,

Thanks for getting in touch about your return journey from Swindon to Bath last Saturday.

I’m sorry to hear you had to stand on the way to and from Bath when you travelled with us. I can see how this would put a downer on your day.

We do put on extra trains and carriages during match days. At certain times, particularly the 11.13 service and the 17.52 service you were on, the trains get very busy as these are such popular times to travel.

The best way to make sure you get a seat is to book in advance at trains.com. You’ll also get the cheapest fare that way.

Or if you prefer, give us a call on 01234 567890 and one of our team will be happy to book them for you.

Please let us know if there is anything else that you would like to discuss, we always appreciate feedback from our customers.

All the best,

However, there are also a few other additions to this letter which improve its quality. These include:

It adds in personal information – As well as reflecting back on what the customer said, this example goes one step further, identifying what times the customer travelled. This signals to the customer that the advisor has done their research.

It uses first-person pronouns – The advisor takes ownership of the customer’s problem, saying “I’m sorry” and “I can see”, instead of using the more corporate “we”, which lacks authenticity.

It sticks to one idea per sentence – In this letter, long chunks of information are broken up into short sentences, to make all the information easily digestible, with each sentence presenting one idea at a time.

It follows the customer’s lead – Instead of starting with “Hi” the advisor uses “Dear”, just like the customer had done, so the advisor is leading with language that they know the customer is comfortable with.  

It directs the customer to a more efficient channel – After presenting all the key bits of information, the advisor presents internet self-service and offers a phone number, which helps to influence the customer’s choice of channel.

In Summary

When writing an apology letter for customer service, you must say “sorry”, reference the customer’s issue and show empathy, while it’s also important to vary the strength of the apology so it fits the seriousness of the issue.

Other best practices include using the customer’s language where appropriate, avoiding words like “any” or “may” and sticking to one idea per sentence.

Finally, in terms of structuring the apology letter, start by thanking the customer for getting in touch, then add your apology statement and empathy, before sharing the proposed solution.

For more on writing letters to customers, read our articles:

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Apology for Defective Product

apology letter to customer for bad product

Dear {Name},

Thank you for notifying us concerning the faulty product that you purchased from our site at {location} on {date}. I am sorry to hear that {product} did not meet the high standards of our company.

I would like to apologize on behalf of {company} for the inconvenience this has caused you. We strive to create durable, quality products, and I would like to assure you that the particular product you purchased was an unfortunate anomaly.

Please {instructions on how to return the product} and send it to {address} by {date}. We will send you a replacement within {number} days after receiving the defective product.

I am also happy to {further reparations} in order to compensate you for the inconvenience. Thank you for your loyal patronage of {company}.



Download this apology letter template — free!

Formatted and ready to use with Microsoft Word, Google Docs, or any other word processor that can open the .DOC file format.

Index of letter of apology templates

But when we write an apology letter to customers or to other people we have to a customer because of delayed shipping of ordered products a company apologizing to a customer for poor customer service; a client or an.

Writing an Apology Letter

apology letter to customer for bad product

[First Name][Last Name]





[First Name][Last Name]


Dear [First Name][Last Name]

Re: Apology for wrong delivery

Please accept our most sincere apologies for the difficulties and inconvenience you experienced for the mix-up your last order. We are deeply sorry that this issue has caused so much distress to you. At [business name], we strive to deliver the best products and services and the satisfaction to our valued customer like you. Unfortunately, due to key staff changes, the issue you have experienced went unnoticed through our process.

We have corrected your order and shipped it out this morning. At Mega Zone, we show our deep appreciation for our customer. Please accept a 10% discount on your order for the difficulties and inconvenience that you experienced. If you have any enquiries regarding this matter, please feel free to discuss it with me at above email or phone.

Yours Sincerely

[First Name] [Last Name]

[business name]
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Dear {Name},. Thank you for notifying us concerning the faulty product that you purchased from our site at {location} on {date}. I am sorry to hear that {product}.

apology letter to customer for bad product
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