How to Write an Adjustment Letter

An adjustment letter is a type of business letter submitted in response to a customer’s complaint letter or claim, written by a manager of an organization or business representative. It is also referred as a complaint response letter, claim adjustment letter, customer complaint reply, letter of response to a complaint, letter of complaint response and other similar terms. Adjustment letters deal with all kinds of complaints and claims: unsatisfactory service, defective product, goods not delivered, salary not received, shipment arriving late, etc.
Because of the customer-vendor relation, an adjustment letter also serves as a legal document confirming the details of the correspondence and explaining the resolution or dissolution of a problem situation between two parties. It is significant to understand that adjustment letter writing does not mean that your claim or complaint will be accepted. It merely informs the sender that their complaint letter or claim has been received. It depends on the validity of the claim that will determine whether or not an adjustment letter will contain a confirmation of the mistake and its correction.


  • Answer a complaint promptly.
  • Adopt the you-attitude – write in a positive and cheerful tone.
  • Acknowledge the problem and accept blame gracefully.
  • Focus on the relevant facts rather than emotions.
  • Emphasize the corrective measures being taken.
  • Treat a client with respect, even if their claim is insulting.
  • Follow a simple business format.


  • Use abusive and insulting language. Be diplomatic and polite.
  • Be negative or suspicious about the customer’s claim.
  • Blame other individuals, departments, or company policy.
  • Argue with the customer or contradict them.
  • Overcompensate the client.

Guidelines – How to Write an Adjustment Letter

    1. Begin the letter with a positive statement. Write that you are pleased to hear from the client or express regret over the troublesome situation, or both.
    2. Refer to the date of the customer’s claim or original complaint letter and explain the purpose of your letter. In case of the invalidity of the claim, do not rush to notify them of your refusal immediately, unless you can do so delicately.
    3. Express the problem again so that the customer realizes that you comprehend their complaint.
    4. Explain the circumstances that led to the situation. Provide a respectful and factual explanation to show the client that they are being treated in a fair manner.
    5. Give your decision in relation to the claim. If the customer is right, recognize this fact and extend a sincere apology. State specifically which corrective actions will be taken. If you deny the request, explain the reason inoffensively and, if possible, offer some substitute or partial compensation, or some friendly advice. Never promise the customer to do the impossible or violate company policy, but do persuade them that you have their needs in mind.
    6. Conclude the letter amiably, perhaps expressing hope that you and the customer will continue doing business.
    7. Read your letter one more time and check your spelling, grammar, sentence formation and structure. Pay special attention to the clarity, accuracy and a sense of validity of your paragraphs. Eliminate any confusing details.

Adjustment letters are significant because they inform organizations of their shortcomings. The client and the vendor gain a rewarding experience in customer satisfaction. Dealing with genuine claims and complaints ensures that the law is being adhered to. Adjustment letters must be handled carefully as they test your tact and diplomacy as a writer.

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