Negative Letter Example

One part of your company's business (again, the same company in the Case Assignments 1 and 2) is website design and hosting services. Your company values its clients and understands that the recession has affected everyone. But lately you've realized that some clients are sapping your business's already stretched resources. One of your first patrons—Minnie MacElroy of Minnie's Miniscule Miniatures—has been a demanding client from the get-go. She asked for changes to the site design she had already approved, forcing you to put in more hours than your quote covered. Once the site went live, Minnie consistently badgered you to make other changes so often that you did them without charge just to get her off your back. When payment of her monthly hosting fee started becoming erratic, you agreed to let her slide until her business picked up. But now she's six months delinquent.

Despite repeated phone calls and several letters asking her to make a payment, you have received nothing. As a business owner, you understand how difficult it is to keep your doors open. You have had to lay off your best Web designer and are now doing your own bookkeeping instead of paying for that service. The contract MacElroy signed has a provision that if an account remains unpaid, your company may opt to render the site nonfunctional. The contract also states that your company retains the copyright on the design of any site it has created. While you are hesitant to lose any business in this economic climate, you have decided that some clients are more trouble than they are worth, and that if MacElroy doesn't begin paying the money she owes you, you will exercise your option of closing her site.

Write a letter informing Minnie that you are closing down her site if she does not pay the money she owes you. Should you fully explain that she has been a difficult customer, or should you rely on her lack of payment as your reason for threatening to break the contract?

Address your letter to

Ms. Minnie MacElroy,

27694 Bay Point Lane,

Bonita Springs, FL 34134.

(Derived from Dr. Guffey's Business Communication Newsletter)

In both letters, include a discussion to explain your approach in each case.

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