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NOT "... you failed to enclose your cheque ..."
BUT "Your goods are packed and ready for despatch. Immediately on receipt of your cheque, which apparently was overlooked in your original letter, we shall send them as requested."
Sometimes, it is just not possible to give customer what he / she wants; and in this case you must exercise extreme tact in wording of your letter.
The best way of refusing is as follows:
1. Begin with refusal - I know it's painful, but it's far better to let your customer know how things stand from very beginning.
2. Explain, in detail, why request had to be refused. This way, you have rest of your letter to try to set things right with your customer, and hopefully to end on a positive note (rather than hitting him / her with refusal at end).
expression of regret should sound sincere. "I am sorry... " sounds better than colder, "I regret to inform you "
point out all reasons for refusing request
soften blow by offering some small consideration. It might be a discount on next purchase; a voucher for a smaller item (a scarf, tie etc); a complimentary gizmo from another business (with whom you have a reciprocal arrangement); flowers; tickets to a film or whatever
Such 'sweeteners' are worth much more than their cost. Instead of a disgruntled customer, blackening your name, you'll have a happy person, willing to tell everyone her story's happy ending. Listeners will see your side and will say things like, " ...well, they didn't have to do anything really, but wasn't it nice of them?"
N.B. If spelling of words like "cheque" in this article worried you, please read this: http://www.write101.com/aus.htm
Jennifer Stewart offers Home Study courses to improve your own writing skills or professional writing services from her website: http://www.write101.com Click here for Fee Schedule: mailto:wfees@SmartBotPRO.net?subject=Feesjds