Bad News Letters

To say “No”, nicely.
To inform a person of something negative
 Outside
of business (to customers)
 Accounts
in poor standing
 Unavailable product
 Inability to meet a request
 In-house
 Budget
(within the company)
 To address inappropriate behavior
 Problems completing a project
 Inability to meet a request
Tone is the attitude you take with your audience.
Bad News Letters should be written with tact and
give the facts
 Handle
sensitive news sensitively. What you’re saying
will upset people.
 People’s feelings are at stake.
 Best
to try to help everyone walk away satisfied that all
avenues have been explored, but there is no alternative
Indirect Approach
Saying “No” quickly can offend people.
 People
don’t like to hear no.
You have to say “No”, but build up to it, so people
are ready to listen.
Indirect Approach Format
Begin the letter with something you can agree on
Bad News
State the bad news blatantly, but respectfully.
Appreciation of the reader, or statement of fact
Present the logic behind the bad news
Friendly Close
Avoid apologies
Weakens “bad news”– opens door for unwanted negotiations
Conclude with statement of appreciation and possibility of
future business.
Intro Paragraph
 Provide
 State Bad News
Body Paragraph
 Detail
the reason behind the bad news
 Include
as many dates/times as possible.
 Be descriptive, but brief.
 Provide
supporting evidence
Closing Paragraph
 Provide
friendly close
 Discuss possibility of future business
Benson Bike Shop
123 First Avenue
Redmond, WA 98053-3345
October 11, 2010
Mr. John Anderson
1528 NE 173rd Avenue
Woodinville, WA 98072
Dear Mr. Anderson
Thank you for your letter of September 15. We appreciate your inquiry concerning your Benson
500 motorcycle. We want to satisfy our customers with high-quality products and service.
Unfortunately, your bike repair will not be covered under your warranty.
The Benson Bike Shop carries a one-year warrantee on all parts and labor under normal usage.
Page 6 of your owner's manual states that 2-cycle engine oil and unleaded gasoline must be used
for the warrantee to be in effect. Our inspection of you motorcycle engine showed that 10W30
oil had been used, along with leaded gasoline. The use of incorrect oil and gasoline has caused
the problems you are experiencing.
Our skilled technicians can repair your motorcycle engine at the usual rate. The repairs are
guaranteed for 90 days. We are confident that we can restore your engine to excellent working
condition, and we would be happy to answer any maintenance questions you may have.
Please call our repair center at 425-564-7889 to tell us if you would like us to proceed with the
repairs. As soon as your engine is repaired you will be able to enjoy riding your Benson 500
once again.
Michael Simmons
Benson Service Center

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