Bad News Message/Letter

Make sure you include the seven parts of a letter, block format, and the bad news message structure. Include a DATE (make one up).


Dewey Cheatem Community Education Department Manager Mira Costa College, 1 Barnard Drive, Oceanside, CA 92056


Fin Gerpickin Training Manager Taylor Guitars 123 Mission Avenue, Oceanside, CA 92056


MiraCosta College offers a two-week ‘Customer Service Academy’ course for local businesses in Oceanside, as part of their Community Education Department.

These courses are offered as community service outreach program to the local business community. Prices are set to break even, not to make a profit. In fact, the Oceanside Chamber of Commerce helps subsidize the expense of offering these courses by paying for the training materials that go with the course. In order for the course to break even (cover the cost of the instructor), the course must have full registration before it is offered.

These Customer Service Courses are capped at 30 students, and demand has been high for some time since they are only offered once a quarter. In fact, you had to turn away five students for this most recent session.

Taylor Guitars – located in Oceanside– had signed up four of their customer service employees to attend your last session. But they never showed up. Today, two days into the two-week program, you received an email from Fin Gerpickin – Training Manager for Taylor Guitars, explaining the situation. A new guitar line was experiencing quality problems, and the customer service department was slammed answering calls. As a result, the four Taylor Guitar employees were unable to attend.

Fin Gerpickin of Taylor Guitars is asking for a full refund for the tuition cost for the four employees because of the customer service crisis they are experiencing. Tuition is $500 each attendee; $2,000 total. Because these courses are offered at cost to the local community and also subsidized by the Chamber of Commerce, you cannot honor a refund. There are still eight days of training remaining in the course. Now you must write a bad news letter to Fin, delivering the bad news. You’ll want to maintain goodwill and seek to convince Fin that your response is fair.

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