How to Write Claim Letters and Adjustment Messages

By Lanee' Blunt

A claim letter is a way to resolve problems on errors that were made and may need an adjustment. An adjustment message is a response to a claim letter that was made against your business. Writing claims and adjustment messages requires preparation and planning before you begin to write. Write from a simple outline to keep you organized. Decide what you want the reader to do. For example, do you want your money back or do you want the product replaced?

Moderately challenging

Things You’ll Need

Claim Letter

Write about the relevant facts in the first paragraph.  Begin with the problem. Explain exactly what happened and the reason that you are writing the claim letter.  Give them any documents such as bills, advertising materials, or receipts that can back up what you are writing.

Spell out why you believe your claim should be granted in the second paragraph. Tell the reader about the specifics of the claim and the legal responsibilities and fairness. For example, the product didn’t function as the advertisement suggested.

Start the third paragraph by requesting action. Request what you expect the reader to do. Include an end date, when you expect action, and don’t threaten but you can say what you will do if your claim is not received.  Close with a “Sincerely,” and print your name.

Adjustment Message

Start your first paragraph with an approval sentence. Give the customer the good news first and comply with the customer’s claim. 

Start the second paragraph by explaining the mistake. Explain the cause of the problem and don’t blame any employees.  Focus on your ongoing efforts to avoid mistakes and difficulties of this kind.

Write the third paragraph show the customer that you appreciate their business.  Apologize if you feel that you must do so.

Close the letter in a professional manner. Express to the customer that you appreciate that they have written to you, and that you extend thanks for their past business and hope that they continue to do business with your company.  Close with “Sincerely,” or “Thank you,” and print your name.  

You should never sound too harsh or in a tone that is threatening.
Keep a copy of your letter.

Colorado State University: Writing Guide: Adjustment Letters

Washburn University: Writing the Adjustment Letter

McGraw-Hill Higher Education: Claim and Adjustment Messages

[Image of business letter] (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.office.xerox.com/small-business/tips/business-letter/enus.htm

“Business Communication”; Mary Ellen Guffey, Dana Loewy; 2010


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