INDIRECT APPROACH: UNION BANK
Not this time: Letter denying debit adjustments to Union Bank of California Customer.
You are an operations officer in the ATM Error Resolution Department at Union Bank of California. Your department often adjusts customer accounts for ATM debit errors. Mistakes are usually honest ones- such as a merchant swiping a customer’s check debit card two or three times, thinking the first few swipes didn’t “take”, when they actually did.
Customers having problems on their statements are instructed to write a claim letter to your department that describes the situation and includes copies of the receipts. Customers are notified of the outcome within 10 to 20 business days. Usually, you credit their account.
However, you’ve received a letter from Margaret Caldwell, who maintains several hefty joint accounts with her husband at your bank. Three debits to her checking account were processed on the same day and credited to the same market, Wilson’s Gourmet. The debits carry the same transaction number, 1440022-22839837109, which is what caught Mrs. Caldwell’s attention. But you know that number changes daily, not hourly, so multiple purchases on the same day often carry the same number. Also, the debits are for different amounts ($23.02, $101.95 and $47.50), so these transactions were not a result of repeated card swipes. No receipts were enclosed.
Mrs. Caldwell writes that the store was trying to steal from her, but you doubt that and decide to contact Wilson’s Gourmet. Manager Ronson Tibbits tells you that he’s had no problems with his equipment. He also mentions that food shoppers commonly return at different times during the day to make additional purchases, particularly for beverages or merchandise they forgot the first time.
You decide that these charges did not result from a bank or merchant error. It doesn’t matter whether Mrs. Caldwell is merely confused or trying to commit an intentional fraud. Bank rules are clear for this situation: You must politely deny her request.
YOUR TASK: Write a letter to Margaret Caldwell, 2789 Aviara Parkway, Carlsbad, CA 92008, explaining your refusal of her claim #7899. Keep in mind that you don’t want to lose this wealthy customer’s business.
The tone of this message is just as important as the format.
FORMAT: This needs to be in a block letter format.
You are being graded on the INDIRECT APPROACH FOR NEGATIVE MESSAGES (You can find this information in your textbook, the chapter on Writing Negative Messages):
1st paragraph – BUFFER
Middle paragraphs – REASONS AND EXPLANATIONS
AFTER ALL THE REASONS – THE MAIN IDEA:
(UNABLE TO USE REFUND THE MONEY TO YOUR ACCOUNT)
Last paragraph – COMPLIMENTARY, ENCOURAGING AND FRIENDLY CLOSE
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