commercial correspondence - Ietters, faxes, and emails. The characteristic features of each are illustrated with examples, and guidance is. A. Ashley - Oxford Handbook of Commercial Tira Nur Fitria. lntroduction pdqe 5 n 1 Letters,faxes,and emails 7 o 2 = Contentand style 2s f+. OXFORD HANDBOOK OF. Commercial. Correspondence. Oxford universitypress need to write commercial correspondence in. English as part of .

Commercial Correspondence Ashley Pdf

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Late or No Show - Interactive Practice. Leaving Work Early. Sick day. Very Late. Machine Problems. Mail Room. Office Basics — Interactive Practice. Requesting Equipment. Reading practice. English Pronunciation Hmong Girl speaks English. Hints for making a Presentation. How to learn to hear and speak English well. Episode Eight: Crocodile Tourism. Episode Eighteen: Episode Eleven: Recounting the Past. Episode Fifteen: Sea Floor. Episode Five: Global Warming. Episode Four: Rising Dollar.

Episode Fourteen: Junk DNA. Episode Nine: Episode Nineteen: Weather Report. Episode One: Electronic Crime. Episode Seven: Episode Seventeen: Water and Ageing. Episode Six: Greenhouse Gases. Episode Sixteen: Episode Ten: Solar House. Episode Thirteen: Under the Sea. Episode Three: Company Growth. Episode Twelve: Carbon Cycle. Episode Twenty Five: Episode Twenty Four: Perfect Siesta. Episode Twenty One: Watching Birds. Episode Twenty Six: Urban Archaeology.

Episode Twenty Three: Episode Twenty Two: Finance Report. Episode Twenty: Torres Strait. Episode Two: Vitamin D. Outback Tourism. Naturopathic Medicine.

Academic Writing. General Task Writing. Blocked format. Translate into English. Translate into Vietnamese. Full blocked format. Semi-blocked format. The Language of Business Correspondence in English.

Recent site activity. Structure and presentation Content and style Enquiries Replies and quotations Orders Payment Complaints and adjustments Credit Banking Agents and agencies Transportation and shipping Insurance Electronic correspondence Miscellaneous correspondence In-company communications 16 Personnel appointments.

Any question, please send messages to michaelhoan gmail. Episode14 - A Formal Speech Business Letter and email samples Business and personal letter Sales confirmation by email Short letter of Confirmation deutsch-warumnicht? Pleased to meet you Episode Let me Help Episode The day after tomorrow Episode A big grey one Episode I usually catch a bus Episode There's a message for you Episode Enjoy Your Stay Episode You walk sadly Episode Look after yourself Episode If I were you Episode The Most Expensive Wine Episode I thought I saw him Episode It's made of gold Episode You should relax Episode First, fry the prawns Episode That was Delicious Episode He says he knows my brother Episode You were going too fast tomorrow Episode This is the house Episode This is your nephew Episode I had to find a job Episode Second on the Left Episode He said he loved me Episode If I like you tomorrow Episode See You Again tomorrow Episode 5.

He didn't write Episode 7. Come to Lunch Episode 8. This is my brother Episode 9. Crocodile Tourism Episode Eighteen: Salinity Episode Eleven: Recounting the Past Episode Fifteen: Sea Floor Episode Five: Global Warming Episode Four: Rising Dollar Episode Fourteen: Weather Report Episode One: Electronic Crime Episode Seven: Enviro-Loo Episode Seventeen: Water and Ageing Episode Six: Greenhouse Gases Episode Sixteen: However, letters are different. Mention your prospective customer's name, e.

Thank the writer for his or her enquiry. Mention the date of his or her letter and quote any other references. Confirming that you can help Let the enquirer know near the start of your reply if you have the product or can provide the service he or she is asking about.

It is irritating to read a long letter only to find that the supplier cannot help. A simple answer that you have the goods in stock is not enough. Your customer might have made ten other enquiries, so remember it is not only in sales letters that you need to persuade. Mention one or two selling points of your product, including any guarantees, special offers, and discounts.

Suggesting alternatives If you do not have what the enquirer has asked for, but have an alternative, offer that.

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But do not criticize the product he or she originally asked for. It also saves on oil as it Its steel casing has been replaced by strong plastic, which makes the machine much lighter and easier to handle. Tareton Plastics have produced a high- quality substitute, letherine: We feel confident that the samples enclosed will convince you If this is the case, tell the enquirer and, if possible, refer themto another company which can help them.

I am sorry we cannot help you. Their address is All our garments are now polycotton, which is stronger, needs little ironing, and allows variations in pattern, which you can see on our website at www.

However, if you are only interested in pure cotton garments, we advise you to contact Louis Fashions Ltd at Even if you can handle the enquiry, you may still have to refer the enquirer elsewhere.

Therefore, I suggest you contact our agent, R. Depre SA, rue Montpellier 28, Paris, They carry the full range of our products. Sending catalogues, price lists, prospectuses, and samples Remember to enclose current catalogues and price lists with your reply. If you are attaching catalogues, price lists, etc. If prices are subject to change, let your customer know. It is bad policy suddenly to send a letter telling a customer that prices have been increased by ten per cent after you have quoted a firmprice.

The units you referred to in your letter are featured on pp. When ordering could you please quote these numbers? The samples you asked for will follow under separate cover. It can be adapted to your specifications see the section 'Structural changes' on page However, we have included a German translation for the relevant pages and hope this will prove helpful.

Arranging demonstrations and visits Certain products, e. In these cases the supplier will either send a representative or adviser, or suggest that the customer visits their showroom. We therefore suggest that you visit our centre in Birmingham, where the equipment is set up, so that you can see the machine in action.

If you are interested in a visit, please fill in the enclosed pre-paid card and return it to us. The address is We suggest you contact us to arrange a convenient date.

Closi ng Always thank the customer for contacting you. If you have not done so at the beginning of the letter or email, you can do so at the end. You should also encourage further enquiries.

We would welcome any further questions you might have. Please remember that we offer a full three-year guarantee. Below is a guide to the subjects you should cover. These goods are exempt from V AT. A quotation is not necessarily legally binding, i. However, when prices are unstable, the supplier will say in their quotation that their prices are subject to change. If the company makes afirmoffer, it means they will hold the goods for a certain time until you order, e.

Again, this is not legally binding, but suppliers generally keep to firm offers to protect their reputation. I will inform you immediately if this happens. Whenever possible you should quote prices in your customer's currency, allowing for exchange fluctuations.

They are revised regularly, and additional terms may be added, e. The main Incoterms are in four groups, which are named after the first letter in the term. Group C The seller covers only the costs listed to get the goods to a named destination, e. Group D The seller carries all the costs and risks to get the goods to a named destination. Group E The downloader pays all costs once the goods have left the seller's premises.

Group F The seller delivers the goods to a carrier who is appointed by the downloader. Incoterms are quoted in correspondence in the following way: Abbreviations for Incoterms may also be written in lower case, e. Two other terms which should be noted, but which are used mainly in the UK, are: Discounts Manufacturers and wholesalers sometimes allow a discount i.

These are of different kinds, e. Methods of paynnecrit When quoting terms, you may require, or suggest, any of several methods of payment, e. The same as c FR, except the seller also pays the cost of insurance.

The seller pays all delivery costs to a named destination. The downloader pays any additional costs after the goods have been delivered to a nominated carrier. The seller pays transport and insurance costs to a named destination, but not import duty. The seller pays all delivery costs on board ship, but does not clear the goods for import at the named port of destination. The seller pays all delivery costs to a port named by the downloader, but does not clear the goods for import at the named port.

The seller pays all delivery costs, including import duty, to a named destination in the importing country. The same as DD P, except that the seller does not pay import duty. The seller pays all delivery costs to the downloader's carrier, and clears the goods for export. The seller pays all delivery costs to the port. The downloader pays for loading the goods on to the ship and all other costs. The seller pays all delivery costs to when the goods are on board ship at a named port.

The downloader pays all other costs. Do not make a promise that you cannot keep as it will give you a bad reputation. If a delivery time is a condition of ordering, the customer could reject the goods or sue you if you break the contract. However, we could guarantee delivery within four weeks.

Fazed terms and negotiable terms You can quote terms in two ways: In the two examples below, the writers make firmquotes, indicating that methods of payment and discounts are fixed.

However, unless otherwise stated, payment should be made by 3o-day bill of exchange, documents against acceptance. In the next two examples, the use of the adverbs normally and usually soften the tone of the statements to indicate that, although the company prefers certain terms, these can be discussed.

In the final example the supplier softens the tone further by asking the customer to confirmwhether or not the arrangement is satisfactory. Please let us know if this arrangement is satisfactory. More often, however, they will send their official estimate formwith a covering letter. We would like to draw your attention to the trade and quantity discounts we are offering in our Special downloads section on pp.

Please contact us if we can be of any further help. Yours sincerely Tug. Details of fees and accommodation in London for that period are covered in the booklet 'Living in London' which accompanies the prospectus. At present we still have places available for students taking the English for Business Executives course beginning in July, but would ask you to book as soon as possible so that we can reserve a place for you and arrange accommodation with an English family.

We are sure you will enjoy your stay here and look forward to seeing you. Yours sincerely M. I enclose a catalogue giving detailed information about our heavy goods vehicle tyres, including the impressive results we have achieved in rigorous factory and track tests. Please note especially the items on safety and fuel economy—the main selling points of this product. We would be pleased to supply any further information you require.

Gerard wrote to R. He implied that his store was a large one,that he was only interested in high-quality products, and that he might place a substantial order.

This is the reply. Gerard Manager Disc S. Gerard Thank you for your enquiry of 12 May in which you asked about the CDs we advertised in this month's edition oflectron'. I can confirmthat they are of high quality, and suitable for domestic recording. They are 'Kolby' products, a brand name you will certainly recognize, and the reason their prices are so competitive is that they are part of a consignment of bankrupt stock that was offered to us. Because of their low price, and the small profit margin, we will not be offering any trade discounts on this consignment.

But we sell a wide range of electronic and computer products and have endosed a price list giving you details of trade, quantity, and cash discounts. We have sent, by separate post, samples of the advertised CDs and other brands we stock, and would urge you to place an order as soon as possible as there has been a huge response to our advertisement.

Thank you for your interest. Yours sincerely R. Gerlach Sales Director Enc. As the agent made no reference to any particular line of chinaware she was interested in, and did not mention terms, this reply takes the formof a sales letter.

You will see that we can offer a wide selection of dinner and tea services ranging fromthe rugged 'Greystone' earthenware breakfast sets to the delicate 'Ming' bone china dinner service. You can choose frommore than fifty designs, which include the elegance of 'Wedgwood', the delicate pattern of 'Willow, and the richness of 'Brownstone' glaze. We would very much like to add your clients to our worldwide list of customers, and could promise theman excellent product with a first-class service.

We would be glad to accept orders for any number of pieces, and can mix sets if required. If there is any further information you need, please contact us, or go to our website at the address above.

Once again thank you for your enquiry. Yours sincerely j. Mert ot i.

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Merton Mr Sales Manager Enc. Regi ster ed No. However , the newpr oduct has not yet been tested and she knows nothi ng about i ts per for mance or safety. Enqui r y K15 3, K15 7 uni ts subjebt-: I r egr et to say that we ar e out of stock of K15 3 and K15 7 uni ts, and do not expect another deli ver y unti l later thi s month.

We ar e cur r ently testi ng a consi gnment fr om Tai wan, but these do not have a Belgi an Standar ds Insti tute stamp of appr oval and we would li ke to complete our tests befor e putti ng them on the mar ket. We wi ll contact you agai n as soon as our testi ng i s completed, or when the uni ts you r equested ar e avai lable, whi chever date i s the ear li er. Notice how Sig. Causio of Satex does not turn down his requests but makes a counter-offer.

Via di Pietra Papa, 6 Roma Dear Mr Crane We were pleased to receive your enquiry, and to hear that you liked our range of sweaters. We can confirmthat there would certainly be no trouble in supplying you fromour wide selection of garments.

However, we would be prepared to review this once we have established a firmtrading association with you. Enclosed you will find our summer catalogue and price list quoting prices c IF London. We are sure you will find a ready sale for our products in England, as have other retailers throughout Europe and America, and we hope very much that we can reach agreement on the terms quoted.

Yours sincerely D. Causio D. Causio Sig. Sales Director Encs. Causio agree to all Mr Crane's requests concerning discounts? Causio indicate that his company deals internationally?

This example illustrates an estimate sent in tabulated formin the body of a letter. It refers back to the exchange of email messages o. This includes materials and labour. Rewiring; fixing power points, boxes, etc. We can also confirmthat the job will be completed before the end of February provided that no unforeseen circumstances arise. If you have any further questions, please contact our Senior Supervisor, Mr Terry Mills, on the above number, ext.

Yours sincerely P. A covering letter is preferable as it allows you the opportunity to make any necessary points and confirmthe terms that have been agreed. The guide below is for an outline of a covering letter. You may not want to make all the points listed, but look through the guide to see what could be mentioned.

Opening Make it dear that there is an order accompanying the letter. Bifor 25 tlearsound' transisto r receivers. Enclosed you will find our official order No. Please find enclosed Discounts Confirmthe agreed discounts.

Delivery Confirmthe delivery dates. Nevertheless, to ensure prompt and safe delivery, it is a good idea to advise the company on how you want the goods packed and sent. This means that if the consignment arrives late, or in a damaged state, your letter is evidence of the instructions you gave. Note, in the first example, that crates are often marked with a sign— a diamond, a target, a square, a lion, etc.

Although an advice note can be sent by fax or email, the customer may need to present original documents e. Of course these cannot be faxed or sent by email. Y ou should contact us immediately if any problems arise. Thank you for your order, and we hope we can be of further service in the future. This can be done by letter, or by email for speed o. The following examples can be used in both emails and letters.

We are now dealing with it and you may expect delivery within the next three weeks. Order DR4 9 March Attn. Causio Dear Sig. Causio Please find enclosed our official order, No. DR4 If you do not have any of the items we have ordered currently in stock, please do not send alternatives.

We would appreciate delivery within the next six weeks, and look forward to your acknowledgement. Order No. DR4 1 On whose terms are F. DR 4 Satex S.

Why do you think it is relatively small? We have all the i tems i n stock and wi ll advi se you about shi pment i n the next few days.

Vi a di Pi etr a Papa, Roma Telefono: We ar e sur e you wi ll be ver y sati sfi ed wi th the consi gnment and look for war d to your next or der. Advice of despatch o This email message confirms that Satex have sent the order. The shipping documents will then be sent to F. They have agr eed to pay by letter of cr edi t, whi ch we di scussed on the phone last week, and they would li ke deli ver y befor e the end of thi s month, whi ch should be no pr oblem as ther e ar e r egular sai li ngs fr om Li ver pool.

If the colour s they have chosen ar e not i n stock, they wi ll accept an alter nati ve pr ovi ded the desi gns ar e those sti pulated on the or der. Please send any fur ther cor r espondence r elati ng to shi pment or payment di r ect to MacKenzi e Br os, and let us have a copy of the commer ci al i nvoi ce when i t i s made up.

Many thanks Li nda Lowe 3 Why should there be no problemfor Glaston Potteries to deliver within four weeks? So who must Glaston Potteries write to now? There are three parties involved: When we have the necessar y documents we wi ll tr ansfer them to Bur nley Ci ty Bank, your bank's agents her e, and they wi ll for war d them to the Canadi an Uni on Tr ust Bank.

We have taken par ti cular car e to see that the goods have been packed as per your i nstr ucti ons: Each cr ate measur es 6ft x 4ft x 3ft and wei ghs 5 cwt. We managed to get all i tems fr om stock wi th the excepti on of Cat.

G16, whi ch i s only avai lable i n r ed, but we i ncluded i t i n the consi gnment as i t was of the desi gn you asked for. If you need any fur ther i nfor mati on, please contact us. Thank you ver y much for your or der. We look for war d to hear i ng fr om you agai n soon. Please confirmreceipt and quote consignment note No.

Quantity 4 8 68 4 8 72 Goods Description ERC adaptors 13 amp dimmer switches 25 0 watt 1-metre fluorescent fitting with defuser Jacar 4 -metre extension leads 3kW 3, watt point fittings 13 amp E x a m p l e a d v i c e n o t e Comments Paid on pro forma inv. State what has happened, how it happened, and what you are doing to put things right. In these cases the speed of email is very useful.

If email is not available, then fax or cable should be used as the sooner your customer is informed, the sooner they can take action. It is a good idea to keep copies of any messages you send about delays. B had not reached you.

On enquiry I found that it had been delayed by a local dispute on the cargo vessel SS Hamburg on which it had been loaded. I am now trying to get the goods transferred to the SS Samoa, which is scheduled to sail for Y okohama before the end of next week.

I shall keep you informed. This is due to a fire at our Greenford works which destroyed most of the machinery. Y our order has been transferred to our Slough factory and will be processed there as soon as possible. I apologize for this delay, which is due to circumstances beyond our control. This is due to the cut in supplies from Gara, where, as you may be aware, civil war broke out last week. We have contacted a possible supplier in Lagos and he will let us know if he can help us.

If you wish to cancel your order, please let us know as soon as possible. However, I think you will find most manufacturers are experiencing the same difficulties at present. Whatever your reason, you must be polite: Unfortunately we have run out of the strengthened denim style you asked for.

As you particularly specified this material, we will not offer a substitute, but will inform you immediately we receive delivery of a new consignment. This will be within the next two months. We are aware that other models will not suit your requirements, but hope that the dispute will be settled soon and that we will be able to supply you. We will keep you informed of developments. In these cases, it is better to indicate terms on which you would be prepared to accept the order, or, as in the last two examples below, find a diplomatic way of saying 'no'.

It is extremely unlikely that we will be able to deliver within the next four months. Therefore, regretfully, we have to decline it.

A Handbook of Commercial Correspondence

Urnfav umble team The supplier may not like the terms the customer has asked for, either for delivery: However, we might consider this sort of credit once we have established a trading relationship.

Size of order Bad reputation The quantity required might be too large: The quantity required might be too small: I regret that we never sell individual garments. At that time we had expected to be able to complete the order well within the delivery date which we gave you of 18 June, but since then we have heard that our main supplier of chrome has gone bankrupt. It will be necessary to find an alternative supplier who can fulfil all the outstanding contracts we have to complete.

As you will appreciate this will take some time, but we are confident that we should be able to deliver consignments to our customers by the middle of next month. The units themselves have been assembled and only need completing. We regret this unfortunate situation over which we had no control, and apologize for the inconvenience caused.

We will understand if you wish to cancel the order, but stress that we are confident that we will be able to complete delivery by the middle of next month. Please let us know your decision as soon as possible.

Thank you for your consideration. Panton Managing Director Regi ster ed No. E ngland 5 3 Tr; r t r t 10 0 1 Why have Panton Manufacturing not completed the order? Eric Van Gellen Thank you for your or der , No. HU, whi ch we r ecei ved today. Ther efor e, i n thi s i nstance, I r egr et that we have to tur n down your or der. Email is a convenient way of acknowledging themquickly. Apologize for the inconvenience. They are not only requests for payment but also records of transactions which give the downloader and seller information about what has been bought or sold, the terms of the sale, and details of the transaction.

An invoice may be accompanied by a short covering letter or email offering additional information the customer might need. B for. D for f Lovo forma invoice: As soon as we receive your cheque we will send the goods which should then reach you within a few days. We would appreciate it i fyou could return any unsold chairs by the end of May as agreed.

PL, is for your order, No. The total of f 15, includes cost, insurance, and freight. Statements of account rarely have letters with themunless there is a particular point that the supplier wants to make, e. Note the expression AS AT e. May I remind you that your June statement is still outstanding, and ask you to settle as soon as possible?

Banks usually require two of their directors' signatures on drafts, and make a small charge. The bill states that the customer will pay the supplier an amount within a stated time, e. The bill is sent direct to the customer or paid through a bank. See pages 4 for more on bill of exchange transactions.

Cheques can take three working days to clear through the commercial banks, and can be open, to pay cash, or closed crossed , to be paid into an account. The bank then transfers the money to the supplier. They will deliver goods and accept payment on behalf of the supplier. They can either be cito s s ED, in which case the money can only be paid into the supplier's account, or left open for the supplier to cash.

Methods of payment: Payments are subject to Eu directives, e. Bill of exchange The procedure is the same as that for trade in the UK, but shipping documents usually accompany bills when the bank acts as an intermediary in international transactions. In a transaction between businesses in Germany and the UK, for example, the supplier could wait up to three weeks for payment.

The money is credited to the supplier's account as soon as confirmation of shipment is made. The supplier's bank should usually have either an account or an agreement with the customer's bank.

The bank fills out the order for the customer then, for a small charge, hands the Imo over, and the downloader sends it to the supplier. International Post Office Giro Payment by International Post Office Giro can be made when either the customer or supplier, or both, do not have bank accounts. An order for the amount to be paid is filled out at a Post Office, which forwards it to the Giro Centre. The Giro Centre will send the amount to a Post Office in the supplier's country, where the supplier will receive a postal cheque.

They can then either cash it, or pay it into a bank account. Giros are charged at a flat rate. In effect, a promissory note is an r ou I owe you.

Advice of payment Correspondence advising payment, particularly in the UK, tends to be short and routine. L dated 2 August. This can be paid into your account or cashed at any Post Office. Correspondence confirming payment in trade transactions outside the UK may be more complicated if you want to make specific points.

Please find enclosed our draftfor drawn on Eastland City Bank, Sommerville. Could you please acknowledge receipt? Could you confirm the transfer has been made as soon as the correspondent bank advises you? Please advise us when the goods will be shipped and are likely to reach Barcelona.

Commercial Correspondence Ashley

We shall collect the consignment as soon as it arrives in Bonn and pay your bill on the date agreed. Acknowledgement of payment Correspondence acknowledging payment also tends to be short. Thank you forpaying so promptly, and we hope to hearfrom you again soon. Thank you for letting us know, and we look forward to hearing from you again in the near future.

We feel sure you will be pleased with the consignment and look forward to receiving your next order. RE has been credited to our account. We would like to thank you, and would be pleased to help if you need further information, or would like to place another order. BE and the documents have been transferred to you. We are sure you will be pleased with the consignment — The Nippon Bank in Tokushima have told us that the proceeds of your letter of credit have been credited to our account.

Thank you for your custom, and we hope you will be in touch with us again. We have pleasure in enclosing our new summer catalogue. These documents prove that a shipment has been made fromGlaston Potteries to MacKenzie Bros so that the Canadian bank can now release the money that MacKenzie Bros said they would pay in their letter of credit. There will also be additional charges that MacKenzie Bros will pay their bank for handling the transaction. It might be helpful to refer back to enquiry, reply, order, and advice c You will see fromthe invoice that CIF charges have been deducted fromthe gross price.

This is because under UK law the customer must be told exactly what they are paying for. There are also two payments which are listed here as cash, although the word cheque can also be used in this context. L L 7 Cash Di sc.

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Mendez owe at the beginning of the month? June statement open? The customer, 6 Mr Crane of F. If you look back to page 5 8,you will see that Satex S. Notice how the letter begins with confirmation of payment, then states the present arrangement, and finally makes the next order subject to Mr Causio accepting the new terms. The letter is firm, but still polite. For this kind of correspondence a letter is more appropriate than an email message.

Order 14 4 63 16 June 20— Satex S. We have accepted the sight bill, and the bank should send you an advice shortly. We have been dealing with you on a cash against documents basis for over a year and would like to change to payment by 4 o-day bill of exchange, documents against acceptance.

When we first contacted you last February you told us that you would be prepared to reconsider terms of payment once we had established a trading association. We think that sufficient time has elapsed for us to be allowed the terms we have asked for. If you need references, we will be glad to supply them. As we are planning to send another order within the month, could you please confirmthat you agree to these new terms of payment?

Note that MacKenzie Bros will accept either replacements for the broken crockery or a credit note. Glaston Potteries will claimon their insurance company for the breakages, although they might not get compensation as they have been negligent in their packing. The pr oceeds wi ll be cr edi ted to you as soon as Canadi an Tr ust r ecei ve the documents. We usually ask you to wr ap each pi ece of cr ocker y i ndi vi dually and pack no mor e than ten sets i nto a cr ate to allow for easy and safe handli ng.

Thi s was not done wi th our last consi gnment and as a consequence ther e wer e br eakages see attached li st. We would li ke ei ther r eplacements to be i ncluded i n our next shi pment, or your cr edi t note. Would an open systemlike email or fax be satisfactory, or should you send a letter? These situations can be sensitive.

If you are writing to a supplier to explain why you have not cleared an account, remember that they are mainly interested in when the account will be paid. So, while you must state why you have not paid, you must also explain when and how you intend to pay.

Begin the letter with your creditor's name this should always be done once correspondence has been established, but it is essential in this case: Refer to the account and apologize in clear, objective language i. Notice the verbs clear and settle an account are used rather than pay. Explain why you cannot clear the account, but do not be dramatic. We are waiting for our insurance company to settle our claim so that we can renew our stock and pay our suppliers. The debt was considerable and its loss has made it difficult for us to pay our suppliers.

Notice in the last example above that there is no reference to the bankrupt customer's name, nor how much they owed. It would be unethical to give this sort of information. Also notice how the debtor generalizes the situation, explaining that other suppliers have not been paid yet. This shows a willingness to clear the debt, and will gain your creditor's confidence. If you cannot offer a part payment, give as precise a date of payment as you can.

We expect this to be within the next two weeks. Replying to requests for more time There are three possible ways in which you might reply to a request froma customer for more time to settle an account: If you agree to the request, a short letter is all that is needed.

I sympathize with the problem you have had in clearing the balance and am willing to extend the credit for another six weeks. Would you please confirm that the credit will be settled then? Therefore your account has been extended another month, but I will have to insist on payment by the end of July 86 If you refuse the request, you will need to explain, politely, why you are refusing. I appreciate your difficulty, but we ourselves have to pay our own suppliers and therefore must insist on payment within the next ten days.

We look forward to receiving your remittance. YR go c, has not been cleared, we understand the problems you have been facing in the current recession. However, it was because of the present economic climate that we allowed you a two-month period to settle, and while we would like to offer you more time to clear the balance, our own financial position makes this impossible.

Therefore, we must ask you to settle the account within the next fortnight.

An offer of a compromise for example paying part of the money will also need an explanation. Unfortunately, we cannot extend the credit any longer as we allowed a considerable discount for prompt payment. We look forward to your remittance and confirmation that the balance of the account will be cleared in July — I was sorry to hear about the strike which has held up production in your plant for the past few weeks and understand why you need more time to clear your account.

Nevertheless, when we allowed open account terms, we emphasized this was on condition balances were cleared promptly on due dates as credit facilities put a strain on our own cash flow situation. We look forward to receiving your acceptance and confirmation.

There may be a number of reasons for this: Therefore, a first request should take the formof a polite enquiry. Try to make the letter impersonal. You can do this by using the definite article, e. The first example will give you an idea of this style.

Please could you contact us and let us know why the balance has not been paid? Could you please let us have a cheque to clear the amount as soon as possible?

If payment has already been sent, please disregard this letter. Second request If a customer intends to pay, they usually answer a first request immediately, offering an apology for having overlooked the account, or an explanation.

But if they acknowledge your request but still do not pay, or do not answer at all, then you can make a second request. As with first requests, you should include copies 87 ea a. Enclosed you will find a copy of the statement and our letter. Myfirst letter, dated 21 April, asked why the account had not been paid, and you will see from the enclosed that State that you have not received payment, if this was promised in the reply, or that no reply has been received.

Insist that you receive payment or an answer within a certain time. However, we must now insist that either you settle the account before the end of this month or offer a reasonable explanation for not doing so. Explain that you have been patient. We now, reluctantly, assume that you have no intention of clearing the balance. Let the customer know what you are going to do, but do not threaten legal action unless you intend to take it, as it will make you look weak and indecisive.

In the two examples below legal action is not threatened. Please send your remittance immediately. In the next two examples legal action is threatened. Notice the language used to do this. Do not use obscure language e. We will take other steps or We will use other methods to enforce payment , and do not try to sound like a lawyer e. Unless payment is forthcoming, we will be obliged to take steps to enforce our claims.

A direct, clear statement is more effective. Email vanBasten. We had intended to pay the statement as usual, but a large cash shipment to one of our customers in Australia was part of the cargo destroyed in the fire on the Tippa when she docked in Bombay in late November.

Our insurance company have promised us compensation within the next few weeks. Once we have received this, the account will be paid in full. We feel confident that you will appreciate the situation and hope you can bear with us until the matter is settled. Yours sincerely a v- ait , Rast a ' D. Her r Schuber t accepts the r equest and asks for payment as soon as possi ble. We were sorry to hear about the difficulties you have had, and understand the situation.

However, we would appreciate it if you could clear the account as soon as possible, as we ourselves have suppliers to pay. Bishkin Z enith S. My government has put an embargo on all machine exports to Z urimba, and consequently we have found ourselves in temporary difficulties as we had three major cash consignments for that country. However, I amat present discussing sales of these consignments with two large Brazilian importers, and amcertain that they will take the goods.

I would be most grateful if you could help me in this matter. The costs of this procedure are paid by the customer. However, the customer in this case has not said they will not pay, but cannot pay at present. If Mr Bishkin forced Mr Franksen to pay, the result might be bankruptcy, and all Mr Bishkin would get is a percentage of his customer's debts like the other creditors.

This could be as small as five per cent of the total debt. So he does not want to force the bill on Mr Franksen yet. On the other hand, he has waited long enough for his money, and cannot be expected to wait another sixty days, even with the interest offered.

In his reply to Mr Franksen he offers a compromise. I think the following solution might help us both. But I expect you to pay the remaining 17,74 9. Please confirmyour acceptance by signing the enclosed bill and sending it to me with your draft by return of post.

I hope that your negotiations with the Brazilian importers have a positive outcome and trust that this setback will soon be resolved. Yours sincerely N. RiAkikt, N. Bishkin Mr Director Enc.


It appears that this invoice has not yet been settled. I see fromour records that since we began trading you have cleared your accounts regularly on the due dates.

That is why I wondered if any problems have arisen which I might be able to help you with? Please let me know if I can be of assistance. Yours sincerely Richard clific Richard Cliff Director 6 rn 3 r o 'CI 93 Rept, to fi r est papest You will see fromMr Hughes' reply to Mr Cliff's letter that the invoice had been paid, not by cheque, which was Mr Hughes' usual method of payment, but by credit transfer.

However, as Mr Hughes changed his method of payment, he should have informed his supplier as banks do not always advise credit transfers. This is a good example of whyyou should not assume that a customer has failed to pay an account.

Remember that this type of correspondence is best handled by letter, not email or fax. As my bank statement showed the money had been debited to my account, I assumed that it had been credited to your account as well. It is possible that your bank has not advised you yet. Could you please check this with Bamley's, and if there are any problems let me know, so that I can make enquiries here? Giordianino Omega S. Giordianino With reference to my letter of 10 August, I enclose copy invoices which made up your June statement, the balance of which still remains outstanding.

Please would you either reply with an explanation or send us a cheque to clear the account within the next seven days? Cost ello R. Costello Sr Credit Controller End. Here is Sig.

Giordianino's reply to Sr Costello's letter. However, I amsurprised that you did not receive our circular letter informing all our suppliers that we were moving from Milan to Turin. I have checked our post book, and find that a letter was sent to you on June As you will see fromthe copy enclosed, we warned suppliers that there might be some delay in clearing accounts and replying to correspondence as the move would involve employing new staff who needed time to get used to our accounts and filing systems.

You will be pleased to hear that we have now settled into our new offices and will have a fully trained staff by the end of next month. Could you please note our new address for future reference? Yours sincerely giovaliamiAo D.

Giordianino Sig. Accountant Enc. Bank Draft No. Giordianino done about the outstanding account, and what will he do in the near future? Our Ref: We have waited three months for either a reply to explain why the balance has not been cleared, or a remittance, but have received neither.

We are reluctant to take legal action to recover the amount, but you leave us no alternative. Unless we receive your remittance within the next ten days, we will instruct our solicitors to start proceedings. Yours sincerely J. Millai J.

Millar Mrs Chief Accountant Enc. An invoice may be a. Remember, your creditors are more interested in when they will get their money than in good excuses. The first is to write a polite letter which accepts that there may be a good reason why the account has not yet been cleared. The second is a more insistent request which refers to the letter you have already sent, and encloses copies of invoices and statements.

You can, in the second request, state that you expect payment or a reply within a reasonable time. A final demand must be handled with restraint. Review what has happened, explain the balance has been outstanding for a long period, and if necessary threaten legal action if the account is not paid within a specified period. If you have to respond to an unjustified complaint, be polite and remember that anyone can make a mistake.

Below are two examples of unjustified complaints, and the replies to them. Notice how restrained the replies are. I have enclosed a copy of the statement and The government is fighting inflation I checked the item you referred to, the Scriva Pen, catalogue No. G14 on our price-list. Some complaints, e. Opening Do not delay. Complain as soon as you realize a mistake has been made; delay weakens your case and can complicate the matter as details may be forgotten. There is no need to open by apologizing for the need to complain We regret to inform you Simply begin: P32, which we received yesterday.

The ieenguage of rnplaieds Emotional terms like disgusted, infuriated, or amazed have no place in business. You can express dissatisfaction by saying: Do not be rude or personal. In most cases correspondence between companies takes place between employees in various departments. Nothing is gained by being rude to the individual you are writing to. You may antagonize someone who has probably had nothing to do with the error and, rather than getting it corrected, he or she could become defensive and difficult to deal with.

Therefore, do not use sentences like: We told you to deduct discount from net prices, not CIF prices. Discount is deducted from net prices, not CIF prices. Do not use words like fault your fault, our fault or blame you are to blame — these expressions are rude and childish. Do not write: It is probably the fault of your despatch department. Instead, write: Never blame your own staff, and finally, while writing the complaint remember that your supplier will almost certainly want to help you and correct the mistake.

Suppliers are not in business to irritate or confuse their customers but to offer thema service. Explaining the prroblem If you think you know how the mistake was made, you may politely point this out to your supplier. Sometimes, when a mistake occurs several times, you may be able to work out why it is happening more quickly than the company you are dealing with. My name and address are C.

Schwartz, Bergstr. But there is a C. My account number is , but they have been sending me statements coded I would appreciate your looking into this. Suggesting a solution If you think you know how the mistake can be corrected, let your supplier know.

Asking fo[ r time to investigate the corn piaint Sometimes you cannot deal with a complaint immediately, as the matter needs to be looked into. Do not leave your customer waiting but tell themwhat you are doing straight away. In this case, an email or fax message is appropriate as the customer then knows immediately that you have received the complaint and are doing something about it.

I shall get in touch with the haulage contractors. You employed them, so you are responsible for their actions. Solving the problem Having acknowledged your responsibility and explained what went wrong, you should put matters right as soon as possible, and tell your customer that you are doing so. The database has been adjusted and there should be no more difficulties. Please contact us again i f a similar situation arises, and thank you again for pointing out the error. We have already contacted our own suppliers and are waiting for their reply.

Meanwhile we are taking these models out of production and calling in all those that have been supplied. The fault was in the weave of the cloth, which was due to a programming error in the weaving machines. This has now been corrected and replacementfabric will be sent to you. Rejecting a complaint If you think the complaint is unjustified, you can be firmbut polite in your answer. But even if you deny responsibility, you should always try to give an explanation of the problem. Therefore, in this case we are not willing either to substitute the articles or to offer a credit.

We can repair the machine, but it will be necessary to charge you as incorrect use of the unit is not covered by our guarantee.I shall keep you informed. In the two examples below, the writers make firmquotes, indicating that methods of payment and discounts are fixed. Please confirmyour acceptance by signing the enclosed bill and sending it to me with your draft by return of post.

Shows some signs of wear, and may have some markings on the inside. The Most Expensive Wine.