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Complaints and Replies to Compalaints




Complaints may be of several kinds, and may arise from delivery of damaged goods, wrong goods, or too few or too many goods. Even if the right articles are supplied in the right quantities, they may arrive later than expected, which will cause problems to the buyer and, correspondingly, to his customers. Then the quality of goods may be unsatisfactory: they may be not according to the sample or description on the basis of which they were ordered, or they may simply be second-rate products.

If a customer is unsatisfied with the execution of his order, he will complain. While doing so he should refer to the articles in question, by pointing out his own order number or that of his suppliers invoice, or both. He should also specify the nature of his complaints, and declare what action he wants his supplier to take.

Below are the examples of the sentences which may be used in complaints of poor quality goods, wrong goods and goods missing from the delivery:

1. Unfortunately, we discover you have sent us the wrong goods.

2. On comparing the goods received with the sample, we were surprised to discover that the colour is not the same.

3. We cannot possibly supply our customers with the articles you have sent to us because of the poor quality.

4. We cannot accept these goods as they are not the size and shape we ordered.

5. Unfortunately we have not received from you all the goods we ordered. The following are missing.

6. You have short-shipped1 this consignment by 150 kg.

The replies to complaints must always be courteous; even if the sellers think that the complaint is bottomless they should not say so until they have reliable grounds2 on which to repudiate the claim3. If the complaint is justified, the sellers should at once apologize to the buyers and suggest a solution.

When the sellers are the first to discover that a mistake has been made they should not wait for a complaint, but should write, cable or telephone at once to let the buyers know, and either put the matter right4or offer some compensation.

If on making a claim the buyers have offered to keep the goods, the sellers will probably agree to this and to a price reduction. Yet, if the value of goods in question is high, it might be advantageous to have them returned, though in this case, the added risk of damage in reverse transport5 should be taken into account.

There is no need for the suppliers to go into a long story6 of how the mistake was made; a short explanation will be enough.

Further you will find the possible replies to the complaints of poor quality, bad packing and goods short-delivered:



1. We were very sorry to receive your complaint that the textile you received was not of the quality expected.

2. We think the best procedure will be to have the pieces inspected by a specialist and we are arranging for this to be done.

3. We greatly regret that you received only 3 dozen instead of 4 dozen ordered. On investigation we found that the packers misread the number, and we have arranged with them for the immediate dispatch of the missing 1 dozen.

4. There was a slight delay due to the breakdown of machinery, which held up production for 2 days.

5. We are extremely sorry about this delay, which you will understand was due to circumstances beyond our control7.

6. The packers do not agree that there is any defect in the material used, and there have been no previous complaints: they insist that the boxes must have been subjected to very bad treatment.


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