2. Always assume that the customer wants to do the right thing in writing an adjustment letter even though he may be
the one at fault.
Use the expressions below in the Orientation (first paragraph) part of the adjustment letter..
1. You may have the right to…
2. You made the right move to…
3. We agree with you that…
4. We understand how you felt when…
5. Thank you for telling us that…
Avoid trite phrases when refusing a claim, such as :
1. It is my unpleasant duty to inform you that…
2. I regret to inform you that…
3. I am sorry, but I must say that…
4. I hope you can understand, but…
5. If there is anything I could do, I would, but…
3. WHAT IS AN ADJUSTMENT LETTER?
Adjustment letters are actually answers to customers’ complaints. These letters are difficult to write because a
customer has been upset by the error in the transaction or an unsatisfactory service of a product.
it is difficult to compose a letter that the receiver will find disappointing or unfavorable if the claim is not granted.
Composing statements that create and maintain goodwill toward the reader and his organization in spite of the bad news
requires a great deal of ingenuity. Adjustment letters that satisfy the complaint are easier to write.
Adjustment letter must be written in a diplomatic, tactful, and positive manner. Fairness in problem settlements is
a “must” so as not to lose goodwill. The writer should not be blunt in breaking disappointing news to the reader. He
should start the letter with a positive relationship factor. This can be done by showing appreciation for the letter received
and being sympathetic to the sender’s feeling.
An effective adjustment letter follows the structure below:
1. Reference to the letter of complaint sent to you. (Orientation)
2. Explanation for the cause of dissatisfaction. (Information)
3. Statement of adjustment/s to be made. (Information)
4. Buffer- showing that you understand the writer’s feelings ( Information)
5. Attempt to maintain goodwill (Action)
4. Do not give misleading statements that create false hope when refusing a request: however, do not refuse before
reasons for refusal or denial have been given.
Consideration and courtesy are exceptionally important when you grant an adjustment. Because your reader has been
inconvenienced, irritated, and perhaps angered, he or she becomes sensitive to the tone of your message. Even when the
request is granted, the tone of your letter can either destroy or maintain goodwill.
Study the following examples:
Poor: So that we can keep your patronage, we are willing to allow you to exchange these toys. (Motive sounds selfish.)
Better: Because we want you to be completely satisfied, we will gladly exchange the toys for you.
Poor: We will replace the 15 T-shirts that you claim are soiled even if we inspected them before delivery.
Better: The 15 T-shirt that may have been soiled in transit will be replaced.
5. Example A: Adjustment Letter (Agreement to an adjustment)
Sta. Mesa. Manila
August 21, 200_
Dear Mrs. Soriano:
Thank you for your letter telling us what happened to your Whirlpool washing machine two days after repair. We understand
how you felt when you wanted to finish your family laundry on that weekend but you could not.
We sent you a technician immediately to help you out with your problem. Unluckily, the repair was not good enough because
the Spin Timer would not function again as you had stated. Sometimes, factory defects become inevitable despite the company’s tight
quality control. So, please expect the replacement of your washing machine in three days through our delivery truck.
Your satisfaction is our priority. We hope to see you at our anniversary sale on August 29, 30, and 31.
Mandy C. Tang
A. Study Adjustment Letter Sample 1
1. What is the complaint about? (Orientation )
2. What is the dissatisfaction or inconvenience caused by the problem? (Information)
3. What action does the writer take to solve the problem? (Information)
4. How does the writer express empathy for the aggrieved buyer? (Information)
5. Is there any attempt on the part of the writer or businessman to maintain or gain goodwill? Cite it.
6. Pick out the “buffer” aiming to lessen the tension between the two parties.
7. Example B: Adjustment Letter (Refusal of a requested adjustment)
June 30, ____
Dear Miss Soriano:
We appreciate your letter calling our attention to the discrepancy in the price of your Top Shop blouse which appeared in your
account. We immediately checked the prices shown in your letter of June 29 against our master list. (Orientation)
Your figures were correct with one exception: Top Shop blouse was listed at P 1,500.00 when the actual price is P 1,900.00.
One of our salespersons might have inadvertently placed the wrong price tag on the same blouse thinking that it was included in the
articles on sale. (Information)
We apologize for the oversight. We realized that you could not have purchased the blouse had you known the correct price, or
you might have wished to return it.
However, the seven-day grace period for returned merchandise has lapsed. Hence, the blouse cannot be returned anymore nor
can refund of P400.00 which you are requesting be granted. We will, therefore, credit your account for the full purchase price since the
blouse is good as sold. (Action)
Please let us know if you have further questions, Ms. Soriano. We do value your regular patronage. (Buffer)
Mandy C. Tang
Study Example B. Find out the answer to the following:
1. What is the complaint? (Orientation)
2. What could have caused the discrepancy?
3. What adjustment does he suggest?
4. Which line shows that the writer (sales personnel) understands and empathizes with the reader (customer) ?
5. Which line shows the company’s attempt to maintain or gain goodwill?
9. Example C: Adjustment Letter (Unwillingness to adjust)
December 09, 200_
Dear Mr. Cruz:
I feel terribly embarrassed about the misplacement of your conference materials. I know this oversight caused you problems.
And the fault was ours.
Manila Hotel has been consistently rated No. 1 for efficient service in this area, and we would appreciate your giving us a
chance to prove to you our best services. You and your group have been our guests for the past four years, and we would be honored to
welcome you again. To show that we mean, what we say, Manila Hotel is pleased to offer you a 25 percent discount on your conference
facilities along with a 10 percent discount on hotel rooms booked by your members.
Perhaps, you will be happy to know that our convention and banquet rooms are due for remodeling this month. At the same
time, we are installing up-to-date multimedia equipment to be used by our guests and conference attendees.
We would be delighted to welcome Junior Philippines Institute of Accounts again in the coming years. I look forward to hearing
from you at your earliest convenience.
A. Study Example C. Adjustment Letter, Find out:
1. What is the reason for writing the letter of adjustment? (Orientation)
2. What is the cause of the dissatisfaction or problem? (Information)
3. What action does the management propose to solve the problem? (Action)
4. Cite the “buffer” that is included in the information part.
5. Does the letter show an attempt to maintain or gain goodwill?
B. Give an appropriate opening orientation paragraph for each of the situation given below.
1. A delay in delivery was reported by an angry customer.
2. Five defective copies of a book were returned.
3. Guests in a party refused to touch the sour palabok. The host felt embarrassed.
4. Returned T-shirts looked soiled and payment made could not be refunded.
5. The health insurance was rejected by the hospital.
11. C. Match a possible reason (Information) for each of the situations cited Letter B. You may choose from among the list
1. The T-shirts were water stained because they seemed to have been wet by the rain; hence, they are unsalable.
2. An accident in the highway stopped the flow of traffic for several hours. All the vehicles in both lanes were in a
3. The quality control office must have failed to scrutinize the blinding of the book because the supervisor had been
4. The cold weather might have affected the book blinding.
5. The travel time to deliver the palabok was too long to prevent it from spoiling.
6. The previous illnesses of the applicant should be indicated in the application form but the applicant concealed the
7. The applicant did not meet the age qualification.
12. D. Provide the corresponding action (granting or rejecting) for each of the requests in the complaint in Letter B.
E. Give the possible complaints for the following:
1. Food catered during a birthday party.
2. Over-charge for 150 books entitled Fundamentals of Research and Business Correspondence.
3. Discourteous salesman at a department store.
4. Dirty glasses used at a dinner dance.
5. Wrong color of delivered sala set.
F. Provide the action that you would like the reader (business personnel) to take in response to the above mentioned
G. Give a “buffer” that can best lighten up the strain between the sender (customer in Letter A ) and the receiver
(business personnel in Letter B. )
13. H. Write a claim letter based on the following situations.
1. You are the president of JPIA, and you are claiming the 50 complimentary T-shirts promised by CBB Garments
Factory for having ordered 1,500 T-shirts to be used by accounting students, but which were not included in the
2. You are asking Great Wall Publications the 20-percent discount that goes with the order for a thousand books
entitled Winning Strategies for Learning Skills in English, but which was not reflected in the invoice.
14. LANGUAGE FOCUS
The first column below are some of the worn-out expressions commonly used in a letter of application.
The second column shows the improved versions of the said expressions.
1. Permit me to say
2. At an early date
3. At this time
4. Would like to take this opportunity to say thank you…
1. May I say…
3. Presently, now
4. Thank you