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Business Writing

Business Writing

When the Customer Isn’t Always Right


One common saying in business is that the customer is always right—except that sometimes the customer is wrong. Your ability to deny a customer’s request using solid business problem solving is essential to your success. Perhaps even more essential to your success is your ability to communicate your decision in a way that retains the customer’s goodwill and respect. Your job in this exercise is to use what you know about Adjustment Refusal method to evaluate the effectiveness of a message to a customer.


Specifically, you will have to apply what you know about making your case, refusing the request politely, and ending on a positive note.


Read the following case and write a letter using the adjustment refusal method.


You are the customer service manager for Navigate, the country’s leading producer of global positioning systems (GPS) and other navigation devices. Ms. Camille Franzen wrote to you requesting that you replace her Mountaineer 500 (M500)—a hand-held device used by hikers, hunters, and geocachers—with a new one. She enclosed the broken M500 with her letter to you.


She explained that as she was biking on a trail, she dropped her Mountaineer 500 and then biked over it because she could not stop in time. Your service technicians have confirmed that it is beyond repair.


Because her M500 is still under warranty with Navigate, she wants you to replace the device. Unfortunately, Camille has the basic warranty, which does not cover damage that results from accidents. It covers only product defects.


If only Camille had purchased the extended warranty at the time, she purchased the Mountaineer 500, you would be able to replace the device. Regrettably, she did not. It’s too bad, because the extended warranty allows for a “no questions asked” return policy in the first 90 days of purchasing any Navigate product.


Below is the recap of the Adjustment Refusal method, please review and write the responding letter to the customer.