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Apology Letter for Delay: Format & Samples

A formal letter of apology is written when one party is responsible for causing an inconvenience to another. These letters are crucial in maintaining positive relationships in both your professional and non-professional world.

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By reading over the examples below, you’ll get a good idea of just what you should include in your letter of apology.

Letter Format

A letter of apology should be considered a professional business document and should be formatted as such. To do so, use block-style. Here, all sections start at the left margin, are single spaced, and double spaced between sections. Keep the letter brief. Remember to clearly state your regrets, give dates and times if necessary, offer a solution if possible, and include a “Call to Action” statement if needed. Below, we’ve included a basic sample for you to take a look at:

(Your Name)

(Your Address)

(Your Contact Information)

 

(Double-spaced)

 

(Date)

 

(Double-spaced)

 

(Recipients Name)

(Recipients Address)

(Recipients Contact Information)

 

(Double-spaced)

 

(Dear Recipient Name: )

 

(Double-spaced)

 

I am writing this to express my sincerest regrets over missing our appointment for September 30, 2018, 9am. Due to circumstances beyond my control, I was not able to attend. My niece had suffered an ashma attack, so I needed to attend to her.

I did try to contact your place of business but received no response. I’d be more than happy to rectivy the situation. Please contact me at 555-233-4353, at your earliest convenience.

Again, please accept my apology. Rest assured, this will not happen again.

Best Regards,

 

(Insert 4 spaces)

 

(Your Signature)

(Your Name)

Apology Letter for Delay in Delivery

Here, those responsible for delivering an item to a client expresses their heartfelt apologies with regards to the delay. They state that the delay is their fault, due to circumstances beyond their control, in this case misplaced files.

(Your Name)

(Your Address)

(Your Contact Information)

 

(Date)

 

(Recipients Name)

(Recipients Address)

(Recipients Contact Information)

 

(Dear Recipient Name: )

This letter is in regard to the delay in package delivery on September 7, 2018. The package was slated to arrive by 10am on September 7th, but due to circumstances out of our control, the package will arrive on September 10, 2018.

We extend our heartfelt apologies regarding this delay. But due to a power outage, our computers were down, and we could not retrieve the necessary files, which were to accompany the package.

We promise that this incident will not occur again. We are instituting safeguards against this from happening in the future.

Sincerely,

 

(Your Signature)

(Your Name)

Apology Letter for Delay in Submitting Documents

When there is a delay with regards to document submissions, the apology letter should be sent as soon as possible. It’s always a good idea if you remember to make several copies of this letter, keeping one for yourself and to anyone else involved, especially if the documents are legal in nature.

(Your Name)

(Your Address)

(Your Contact Information)

 

(Date)

 

(Recipients Name)

(Recipients Address)

(Recipients Contact Information)

 

(Dear Recipient Name: )

Myself and my team wish to express our deepest apologies due to the delay in document delivery. We are well aware, that according to our contract, we were to have a list of our completed milestones in by November 3, 2018. However, due to circumstances out of our control, we must delay submission until the upcoming Friday.

This delay is due to the unfortunate happenstance where our lead artist was ordered home due to a bad viral infection. We are attaching his physicians note, stating his current condition and when he should be able to return to the project.

Again, please accept our deepest apologies. Thank you.

Sincerely,

(Your Signature)

(Your Name)

Apology Letter for Delay in Service

The term “service” can apply to many things. I can refer to a gardener who was late for their customers scheduled appointment, or it can mean your car service center cannot take care of your vehicle as they are waiting on a part.

(Your Name)

(Your Address)

(Your Contact Information)

 

(Date)

 

(Recipients Name)

(Recipients Address)

(Recipients Contact Information)

 

(Dear Recipient Name: )

Please allow me to offer my sincerest apologies with reference to the delay in service which occurred on November 3, 2018. Due circumstances beyond our control, we were unable to ive up to our end of the contract.

We realize this placed a huge inconvenience on your shoulders, so we are taking this time to offer amends. We intend to rectify this situation by offering you compensation, as well as providing the service you requested.

Please accept our most heartfelt apologies. Thank you.

Sincerely,

(Your Signature)

(Your Name)

Apology Letter for Delay in Response

If a client is expecting a response from you within a certain time frame, and you miss that date, a letter of apology is in order. Always state the reason for the delay in response, as it will serve to soften any immediate concerns and help you to regain trust.

(Your Name)

(Your Address)

(Your Contact Information)

 

(Date)

 

(Recipients Name)

(Recipients Address)

(Recipients Contact Information)

 

(Dear Recipient Name: )

This letter is in reference to the unfortunate event of not responding to your request within the time frame you requested. We offer our deepest apologies. This delay was due to an issue with communication between our departments.

We intend to rectify this issue immediately so that it will not occur again.

Sincerely,

(Your Signature)

(Your Name)

Apology Letter to Customer for Delay in Delivery

In today’s world, a delivery can refer to anything from a concept, a package or a digital file. Often times when a delivery is delayed, it sets back the advancement of an important project, or if it’s a gift, can ruin a celebration. State what went wrong, how you will rectify it, and that it will not happen again.

(Your Name)

(Your Address)

(Your Contact Information)

 

(Date)

 

(Recipients Name)

(Recipients Address)

(Recipients Contact Information)

 

(Dear Recipient Name: )

This letter is our way of offering you our apologies for the product you ordered on October 27, 2018, missing it’s arrival date. It appears that there was an issue with communication in our warehouse, and your order was placed in the wrong shipping bin.

Rest assured we have put a rush on your package. It is currently in transit, at no extra cost to you. The tracking number is ID3425381-2.

Thank you for your patience and consideration in the above matter and assure you it will not happen again.

Sincerely,

(Your Name)

(Your Signature)

Apology Letter for Delay in Project

There may be a time when a team may not have everything perfect by the time a project is due. If this is the case, extend your apologies, give a reason for the delay, and if possible a time when the project will be delivered.

(Your Name)

(Your Address)

(Your Contact Information)

 

(Date)

 

(Recipients Name)

(Recipients Address)

(Recipients Contact Information)

 

(Dear Recipient Name: )

We are writing to express our utmost apologies due to the delay in delivering the project to you as agreed in our contract. Due to circumstances beyond our control, we were unable to secure the needed file.

However, this file has been retrieved, and the project has been approved by the design team and will be delivered to you by tomorrow morning, 10 am.

Thank you for your patience in this matter,

Sincerely,

(Your Signature)

(Your Name)

Professional Apology Letter to Client

In the professional world, composing a letter to your client will help to ease tensions when you, or someone on your staff makes a mistake that may cause your client money, inconvenience or both. This is business, so consider offering compensation for the mistake in your apology letter.

(Your Name)

(Your Address)

(Your Contact Information)

 

(Date)

 

(Recipients Name)

(Recipients Address)

(Recipients Contact Information)

 

(Dear Recipient Name: )

We are offering our heartfelt apologies with regards to the fabric not being delivered to your business on time. We realize this put you in a precarious position as you had an upcoming fashion show to attend. This was due to an unfortunate mix up at our suppliers end. They neglected to inform us that they ran short on the fabric dye necessary to making your custom fabric designs.

We value our clients most highly, and you are no exception. Therefore we will not only ship you the fabric at no cost to you, but also offer you a 25 percent off discount on your next order.

Thank you for your kind patience in this matter.

Sincerely,

(Your Signature)

(Your Name)

Apology Letter to Customer for Mistake

If your business has caused inconvenience to a customer due to a mistake on your end, a letter of apology is in order. This is a serious matter, as any delay in delivery of a letter of apology could cost your business a client. Make sure you express your regret, give a reason and if warranted, offer them compensation.

(Your Name)

(Your Address)

(Your Contact Information)

 

(Date)

 

(Recipients Name)

(Recipients Address)

(Recipients Contact Information)

 

(Dear Recipient Name: )

We are writing you to inform you of our sincerest apologies regarding the unfortunate event of you receiving the wrong menu for your catered event. This was entirely our fault, as the individual answering the phone, mixed up the orders.

As a result, with your permission, we’ll cater your next event at a discount. Thank you for your understanding.

Best Regards,

(Your Signature)

(Your Name)

Letter of Apology for Delay in Joining

There are times when we make arrangements to meet with people, whether for professional or personal reasons. If we miss joining them for a certain event, the result can be catastrophic. The individual may feel unappreciated, and simply lose faith. In this case, remember to mention the date, and reason for not joining them as agreed and offer your contact information in case they’d like to reschedule.

(Your Name)

(Your Address)

(Your Contact Information)

 

(Date)

 

(Recipients Name)

(Recipients Address)

(Recipients Contact Information)

 

(Dear Recipient Name: )

Please accept my most sincere apologies with regards to missing our meeting on September 28, 2018. I realize that this was a pivatol meeting. However, due to circumstances beyond my control, I did not receive the message that I was to join you at the Maritime Restaurant.

I am more than willing to reschedule. Please feel free to contact me at 555-555-2938, and we can discuss a possible meeting again in the near future.

Sincerely,

(Your Signature)

(Your Name)

Letter of Apology for Delay in Replying

Replying to an important invitation is crucial to both professional and personal relationships. If you are sent an RSVP, for instance, and the invitation gets lost in the shuffle, they’ll never receive your reply, and either think you do not care, or have no interest. This can be devastating, so you must send an apology letter immediately.

(Your Name)

(Your Address)

(Your Contact Information)

 

(Date)

 

(Recipients Name)

(Recipients Address)

(Recipients Contact Information)

 

(Dear Recipient Name: )

I am so sorry that I did not reply to your letter within the time frame suggested. The reason being that I did not receive your original letter until yesterday, due to a mix up in the mail room.

I’d like to offer some sort of compensation, as the correspondence involved an inconvenience experienced on your end. Please call me at 555-555-2938 at your convenience to discuss the matter further.

Thank you.

Best Regards,

 

(Your Signature)

(Your Name)

Letter of Apology for Delay in Payment

In this case, look to see if your company has a specific protocol to follow, especially if this is in regard to invoices. Keep in mind that if this involves the accounting department, to make a copy of the letter, so they can keep it on file.

(Your Name)

(Your Address)

(Your Contact Information)

 

(Date)

 

(Recipients Name)

(Recipients Address)

(Recipients Contact Information)

 

(Dear Recipient Name: )

This letter is in regard to the recent confusion involving the September invoices dated the 13th of September. We deeply regret our error and offer our deepest apologies. This will never happen again.

Due to circumstances beyond our control, the mail did not reach its proper destination in time. As a result, we did not receive your invoice. Please accept this apology, and if you have any further questions, to please contact our office at, 555-234-3821.

Thank you for your kind consideration to the above matter.

Sincerely,

(Your Signature)

(Your Name)

Apology email/Letter for Missing Deadline

Whether you missed a deadline for a school assignment or professional project, an apology letter is a necessity. For instance, it illustrates to your professor, your sincerest regrets and eagerness to make amends. Include contact information as a call to action statement, to encourage communication.

(Your Name)

(Your Address)

(Your Contact Information)

 

(Date)

 

(Recipients Name)

(Recipients Address)

(Recipients Contact Information)

 

(Dear Recipient Name:)

This letter is in reference to our design team missing their milestone for September. As a result, the deliverables were not able to be delivered as promised. The deadline was missed due to an error in communication between your personal assistant and mine.

We believe we can rectify this situation, resolving the issue without any inconvenience to either party.

We are grateful for your kind consideration to this matter. Please contact either myself or my team leader for any further information.

Sincerely,

(Your Signature)

(Your Name)

Tips to Help You Write Your Own Letter of Apology

  • Don’t Wait Too Long: When it comes to composing a letter of apology, sooner is much better than later. Write the letter as soon as you can. This will show you have good character, have nothing to hide, and that you’re willing to make amends, if possible.
  • Always Include a Reason: Don’t leave your recipient hanging. Explain the situation to them. Most people are reasonable and will respond positively to a well written letter of apology. Include dates and times if necessary. Be specific but brief.
  • Be Professional: Consider this a formal document. Your letter should be respectful, intelligent and considerate of their feelings. Your vocabulary should include words that are kind, sympathetic to the needs your client, while expressing your sincerest regrets.
  • Reinforce Trust: At this time, you need to re-establish trust between yourself and your client. State that you are in the process of rectifying the situation, so that it never occurs again. As stated, most people are reasonable, and understand that ‘life happens’, and there are times when it’s not possible to control all things in a situation.
  • Offer a Solution: This might not be possible in all cases, but to help regain any lost trust with your client, it’s often a good idea to offer a solution. For instance, if you are a merchant, and someone on your staff made a mistake, you may consider offering your client a discount. Consider including a “Call to Action” statement where you provide your contact information as an invitation for the other party to contact you to discuss the matter.

In the end, it’s all about re-establishing trust and regaining any lost confidence that your client may have experienced. Ensure that your letter of apology is respectful, and that it centers on the client and their needs, rather than your own. While not required, it is a good idea to treat it as a formal business document. Keep in mind that these are still letters of communication between yourself and your client, so they will probably be kept on file.

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