ba2196 a bad news email

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Course learning objectives covered in this assignment:

1. Target a results-oriented business audience

2. Write and edit so that your messages are clear, concise and precise

3. Apply critical thinking skills and increase your ability to interpret, analyze, evaluate, conclude and explain


: Use what you have learned in this class about business writing (audience awareness, concision,

precision, directness, simplicity, etc.) and craft a bad news email in response to


of the scenarios below. Make

sure that this email follows the content and structure guidelines that we learned about in class.


: Please format this assignment like an email, including a “To:” line, a “From:” line and – importantly – a

“Subject:” line. Also, please end with an appropriate closing. You will lose points if you fail to format this properly.


To: Mary Smith

From: John Doe


Informative, attention-grabbing subject line that you write

Dear Mary,

Your message in here.

All the best/Sincerely/

some appropriate closing


John Doe

Scenarios (select ONE of the following scenarios to use):

All scenarios were adapted from Guffey, Rhodes and Rogin,

Business Communication: Process and Product

, South-

Western College Pub (2011).

2.) Damage Control for Disappointed Customers: J. Crew Goofs on Cashmere Turtleneck

Who wouldn’t want a cashmere zip turtleneck sweater for $18? At the J. Crew website, many delighted shoppers

scrambled to order the bargain cashmere. Unfortunately, the price should have been $218! Before J. Crew

officials could correct the mistake, several hundred shoppers had bagged the bargain sweater for their digital


When the mistake was discovered, J. Crew immediately sent an e-mail to the soon-to-be disappointed shoppers.

The subject line shouted “Big Mistake!” Emily Woods, chair of J. Crew, began her message with this statement: “I

wish we could sell such an amazing sweater for only $18. Our price mistake on your new cashmere zip turtleneck

probably went right by you, but rather than charge you such a large difference, I’m writing to alert you that this

item has been removed from your recent order.”

As an assistant in the communication department at J. Crew, you saw the e-mail message that was sent to

customers, and you tactfully suggested that the bad news might have been broken differently. Your boss says,

“OK, hot stuff. Give it your best shot.”

Your Task:

Although you have only a portion of the message, analyze the customer bad-news message sent by J.

Crew Chair Emily Woods and write an improved version. In the end, J. Crew decided to allow customers who

ordered the sweater at $18 to reorder it for $118.80 to $130.80 (depending on size), and you can use this

information in your message. (Customers were given a special order code at checkout to claim one of the

discounted sweaters.) Remember that J. Crew customers are youthful and hip. Keep your message upbeat.

example:Bad News Email Example

To: Valued J.Crew Customers

From: J.Crew Customer Support


We’re so sorry, $18 cashmere sweaters are no-go

Hey J.Crew Shoppers,

We know many of you were thrilled to snag an $18 cashmere turtleneck sweater. Due to a pricing error,

the sweater was supposed to retail for $218. Oops! But don’t worry – you will not be charged the

difference in the cost.

Instead, we’re offering a special discount just for you. Snag this luxurious sweater for only $118.80 to

$130.80 (depending on size) using the special discount code you were given at checkout. We’re getting

jealous just writing about it.

Not interested? No Worries! We have automatically removed the item from your order and refunded

you the original purchase cost. Please email our customer support team at or tweet us

at @jcrew_help (available M-F 9 am to 11:59 pm) with any questions.

See you soon,

The J.Crew Team

Live chat customer supporter @| Tweet us @jcrew_help | Email us at|

Contact us by telephone: 800 562 0258 | Fax: 434 385 5750 | Mail: J . Crew Customer Relations. One Ivy

Crescent, Lychnburg, VA 24513-1001

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