Decline a Request For a Claim or Adjustment

Letter #1


We are sorry to learn of your misfortune on Lake Springfield when your propeller broke. We have determined from the picture you sent that the 3 HP motor was one that we sold over five years ago, and we no longer stock that model. Of course a five-year-old motor is beyond any warranty period, so we will not be able to replace the blade. However, we do carry a large stock of universal propellers, which we offer at reasonable prices. Please come by the store and we will be pleased to help you.

Letter #2


We recently received your request to cancel your life insurance policy and refund your premiums. We are sorry that you feel unable to continue paying on your policy.

As for canceling your policy, if you choose this option, we would be willing to transfer your premiums to a new term policy. Otherwise, you will forfeit your premiums. If you decide to convert to term insurance, please complete the enclosed forms and sign in the space provided. If, however, after considering term insurance, you decide that you prefer to cancel your policy altogether, please call 555-5555, and we will be happy to oblige you.

Thank you for your business. We look forward to serving you in the future.

Letter #3


Please know that Doe Auto Supply regrets your dissatisfaction with the seat covers you purchased last May. You are correct that the seat covers came with a warranty. In order to receive a refund you must return the seat covers in their original packaging and with the store receipt. These conditions appear on the box the seat covers came in. We will comply with our warranty as soon as we receive these items.

Letter #4


I can imagine how disappointed you must have been to discover that the backpack you bought from Doe Camping Supply was too small to hold your gear for an extended trip. While I sympathize with your plight, you did buy the backpack during our two-day Thanksgiving Blowout Sale. Signs posted during the sale said that we could offer no refunds or exchanges. This is the only way that Doe's can continue to bring you such low prices on our blowout sales. Having to process returns and exchanges would greatly increase the price of the gear.

I am enclosing a $5.00 gift certificate you can redeem at any Doe Camping Supply store. It is good on all merchandise, including sale items. We value your patronage here at Doe's and hope you will continue to consult us for all your outdoor supplies.

How to Write this Refusal Letter: Expert Tips and Guidelines

A well-written letter declining a request for a customer claim or adjustment can turn down the request and still retain the customer's goodwill. Your letter lets the customer know you value him or her and have given the problem your time and attention.


  1. Let the customer know you understand his or her position or that you have given his or her complaint serious consideration.
  2. Present an explanation of why you are unable to approve his or her request. Make your refusal brief but clear.
  3. If possible, offer the reader an alternate plan or suggest a compromise.
  4. Close on a positive note.

Write Your refusal in Minutes: Easy Step-by-Step Guide with Sample Sentences and Phrases

1 Let the customer know you understand his or her position or that you have given his or her complaint serious consideration.

Sample Sentences for Step 1

  • We received your letter and have carefully considered to your request for a refund on the boots you purchased at Doe's.
  • We are sorry you have found the no-grease cookie sheets you bought to be less than satisfactory.
  • Thank you for contacting us regarding your problem with your Doe's curling iron.
  • I sympathize with your disappointment at not receiving the free Doe's doll with your recent order.
  • I, too, would be frustrated about not being able to buy a replacement belt for my humidifier.
  • How disappointing to discover that your car requires metric tools.

Key Phrases for Step 1

  • after careful consideration
  • am sorry you are having problems with
  • appreciate your letting me know about
  • are sorry you have
  • discussed your request for an additional
  • for your suggestion for improving the
  • for your note about
  • for contacting us regarding your problem with
  • have found our product unsatisfactory
  • have been experiencing problems with
  • have been less than satisfied with your
  • have experienced difficulties with your
  • how disappointing to discover that
  • in response to your request for
  • know how important it is to
  • quite understand your frustration
  • received your request for a refund
  • received your letter
  • reviewed the service contracts supporting your
  • sympathize with your
  • thank you for
  • understand your concern
  • was sorry to hear that
  • your disappointment at not receiving the
2 Present an explanation of why you are unable to approve his or her request. Make your refusal brief but clear.

Sample Sentences for Step 2

  • According to your letter, the boots were fine until your son wore them in water. Since the boots were not defective until they were mistreated, we are unable to refund your money.
  • Because you bought the cookie sheets at a close-out sale, they were sold on the "as is" table that is clearly marked, "all sales final." As I am sure you can understand, we cannot offer you a refund when others who bought items from that table will not receive one.
  • Since the curling iron is more than two years old, your 90-day warranty no longer applies. I regret to inform you that Doe's will not be able to repair the curling iron free of charge.
  • As you will recall, the doll was offered free, while supplies lasted, to anyone placing an order of $100 or more. I am sorry to report that before your order was received, we had already received more than 1000 orders and depleted our entire stock of free dolls. Since the offer clearly stated "while supplies last," we will be unable to send you a free doll.
  • We have not manufactured the T123 humidifier for five years. We continued to stock the T123 belts for three years, but demand for the belts was so low that we stopped carrying them.
  • When you bought the tools at our clearance sale, all sales were final. We cannot make an exception in your case without making the same exception for all our customers.

Key Phrases for Step 2

  • all sales were final
  • am sorry to say that
  • are unable to approve the
  • as much as I would like to say "yes,."
  • at a close-out sale
  • because you bought the product at
  • cannot make an exception
  • demand far exceeded our supply of
  • did not receive your check until
  • do not have enough staff to
  • does not offer refunds due to customer error
  • have found no way to
  • is not possible for us to
  • no longer carry
  • not possible to
  • not able to fix the product free of charge
  • our warranty states that
  • regret to inform you that
  • regret that I am unable to
  • simply unable to change our policy
  • since you purchased the product at our clearance sale
  • sorry to inform you
  • sorry to report that
  • to offer you a refund
  • to refund your money
  • was sold on the "as is" table
  • your warranty has expired
3 If possible, offer the reader an alternate plan or suggest a compromise.

Sample Sentences for Step 3

  • However, we do still have a large inventory of the work boots, and if you bring the boots to our salespeople in the shoe department, they will be happy to exchange the boots for a pair in your husband's size.
  • Perhaps you can phone our baking specialist between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. on Mondays to discuss how to make the best possible use of your cookie sheets.
  • Currently, our new curling irons are 20% off. Perhaps now is the time to replace your old one.
  • If you would like to contact our catalog department, one of our customer representatives would be happy to assist you in ordering one of our Doe's dolls at the regular catalog price.
  • If you would like to contact the factory that makes the belts, the Doe Corporation, they may be able to supply you with additional belts. You may write to them at 1600 Main Street, Springfield, KS 12345, or phone them at 555-5555.
  • Have you considered placing an ad in your local paper offering to trade your tools for a set of metric tools?

Key Phrases for Step 3

  • although we cannot refund your money
  • am enclosing a copy of
  • another possibility would be to
  • are currently on sale
  • at the regular catalog price
  • have you considered
  • if you would care to
  • if you will contact your local dealer
  • is still a very good deal
  • may be able to
  • may we recommend that
  • might write to them at
  • offer an excellent range of
  • the enclosed catalog
  • the enclosed coupon for
  • to supply you with
  • to provide additional
  • will have to charge you for
  • will be happy to exchange the
  • will repair it to your satisfaction
  • would be happy to
4 Close on a positive note.

Sample Sentences for Step 4

  • We appreciate you as a customer and look forward to serving you in the future.
  • I am sorry I could not be of more help to you. Please contact me if you have further questions.
  • Thank you for choosing Doe's beauty aids.
  • I hope this information will be of value to you. Please let me know if I can help you further.
  • Thank you for contacting me with your concerns. Best wishes to you.
  • Enclosed is a gift certificate for $5.00 towards your next Doe's purchase.

Key Phrases for Step 4

  • appreciate you as a customer
  • appreciate your contacting me
  • best wishes to you
  • do all we can to
  • enclosed is a gift certificate for
  • for choosing our company's products
  • for your interest in
  • hope you will continue to enjoy
  • hope this information will help you
  • hope we can continue to
  • will let you know if
  • if the situation should change
  • if you have further questions
  • let me know if I can help
  • look forward to
  • please contact me if
  • sorry I could not help you more
  • thank you for
  • to serve you well
  • to doing business with you in the future
  • to serving you in the future
  • towards your next purchase
  • will make every effort to