Guidelines : Point Out Other’s
Pointing Out Others’ Errors
- Begin on a neutral note. Then “creep up” on the error if you can. Passive voice constructions can be useful here: “In the future, spare parts should be sent by air freight.” (You do not say the sender has made a mistake this time.) At other times, you can walk around a direct assault with a “there are problems” approach.
- Focus on what you have done or what the reader should do to correct the problem rather than trying to assign blame. Your letter should not begin a game of “Gotcha.”
- Show diffidence and humility. Don’t patronize. Even the insertion of courtesy words such as “please” and “appreciate” fails to compensate for sarcasm. Watch unusual punctuation marks and underlined words to avoid “screaming” in print. Also, avoid showing your “tolerance” in overlooking or correcting another’s error.
- Don’t assume the error is intentional or due to carelessness. Consider the possibility that your instructions have been unclear or that circumstances prevented compliance or perfection. At the very least, consider that the reader may not have been aware of the importance of accuracy. Assume some of the responsibility for the error yourself.
- Don’t exaggerate results of the error. If readers think you have overplayed the subject, they’ll compensate by playing down its importance.
- Emphasize the importance of accuracy.
- Suggest precautions against future problems.
- For further guidelines in addressing errors, see “Complaints.”
Example 1: Pointing Out Other’s Letter
SUBJECT: Handling Incentive Payments
There are still some problems in routing incentive forms and computing payments. Let me repeat the procedure for handling such forms:
Send three copies of the incentive-computation forms to me. After I review and approve the forms, I’ll send one to the sales rep and one to Beaumont and keep one for my files.
Please make a special effort to re-check all computations before they leave your office. We do not have the manpower to do this double-checking here. When checks go out incorrectly and must be returned and re-processed, the cost goes up considerably, not to mention the inconvenience of the delayed payment.
If you have any questions at all about this record-keeping system and routing or about computing unusual splits, please call me before sending the forms. I appreciate your help in handling these correctly.
Example 2: Sample Letter for Point Out Other’s
SUBJECT: Cash-Forecast Formats
Enclosed you will find the assumptions used for the February-April 19– cash forecast; we’d appreciate having your next cash forecast sent in this format. In fact, you may want to copy this form to use in developing all your information.
If you have any suggestions for still further improvements, please let us know.
Example 3: Example Letter of Point Out Other’s
SUBJECT: Leasehold Improvements–Account 468
Thanks for your memo on the Cedarpoint account (#468); I do understand your reasoning behind expending the costs for remodeling the headquarters office.
In my opinion, however, these expenditures should be accounted for as leasehold improvements. Here’s my reasoning:
1. The improvements’ useful life exceeds one year.
2. Generally accepted practice is to capitalize and depreciate these improvements over the remaining term of the lease.
I’d like to give this further thought and talk to Ed Weese before I ask you to make definite changes. If I’m wrong, let me assure you, it won’t be the first time.
Example 4: Business Point Out Other’s Letter
SUBJECT: Computer Problems
On July 16 you informed computing services that application 4386 was malfunctioning. Your Computer Problems Form states that you would lose two lines of previously typed information every time you used the tab key.
This problem occurs frequently with new users of application 4386. Remember, the tab key is not a viable option in this application. If you need to tab over, use the right arrow key. It will function as the tab key normally does.
As we stated, this is a natural mistake for beginning users of application 4386. People are, after all, used to using their tab key to indent. Please review page 24 in the manual which provides you with a brief explanation as to why the tab key is inoperable. If you have further questions, please call Stacey King in computing services at ext. 246.
Example 5: Letter of Point Out Other’s
Company Name or Letterhead
City, State, Zip
City, State, Zip
Dear Ms. Forbes:
Recently you returned your Snap Quik camera, model number 4500, saying that film developed from this camera was producing blurry pictures. After examining the camera, we can find nothing structurally wrong with it, and are returning it to you free of charge.
You had mentioned in your letter that you had owned the previous model of Snap Quik, which may, odd as it sounds, be the reason for the failure to get acceptable prints with the current model. As you know, the previous model of Snap Quik automatically chooses between two focusing options for you. The 4500 allows you far more focusing choices. However, unlike like the previous camera, these choices must be set manually.
As you look through the lens, glance to the right at the interior of the camera. There you will see a column of small pictures, each representing a different kind of shot, such as close-up, wide angle, and long shot. The shot that is currently chosen will have a red lever showing through the picture. To change this choice, simply move the small red lever on the right side of the camera until the interior lever is behind the shot you want. The camera will then automatically choose the appropriate focus.
If this is not the cause of the malfunction, we will be happy to either replace your current camera with a new one, or, if you wish, refund your money. Please don’t hesitate to call if we can be of further service.
Example 6: Point Out Other’s
Company Name or Letterhead
City, State, Zip
City, State, Zip
Dear Mr. Michaels:
We have just received notification of the problems your company has been having with your new TalkBox 600 voice mail systems. After speaking with your assistant, I realized he had been reading from the instructions manual of the TalkBox 400 series, which inevitably led to the incorrect programming of your voice mail numbers.
I am enclosing two (2) reference manuals for the TalkBox 600 voice mail systems. The manual contains all the information and instructions you will need to properly operate your new equipment. Please review the contents—there’s a section called “Troubleshooting Tips,” which you and your staff might find especially useful. I trust the manual will answer all of your questions.
Search Docs and Letters
- Business Letters (186)
- Adjustments (4)
- Advertising (7)
- Announcement (11)
- Annual Meetings (1)
- Appointments (5)
- Approvals (2)
- Bids (6)
- Billing Problems (5)
- Collections (7)
- Complaints (5)
- Confirmations (8)
- Cooperations (1)
- Cover Letters (1)
- Decision Not to Do Business (1)
- Directives (1)
- Errors (2)
- Expenses (3)
- Government Relations (3)
- Information (3)
- Inquiries (19)
- Introductions (3)
- Legal Matters (3)
- Meetings (13)
- No Replies (1)
- Order Processing (14)
- Payments & Returns (11)
- Policy Statements (1)
- Problems, Pointing Out (1)
- Procedures (1)
- Publishing Journal Article (1)
- Recommendation (1)
- Referrals (2)
- Reminders & Follow-ups (2)
- Responses (4)
- Rumors (1)
- Safety Precautions (1)
- Specifications (1)
- Suggestions (4)
- Suppliers (10)
- Thank you (15)
- Welcome (1)
- Free Agreements & Contracts (3)
- General Docs (3)
- Human Relations (64)
- Personnel Issues (49)
- Proposals & Reports (16)
- Public Relations (57)