Positive Tone in Adjustment Letters

This page is to help you develop your ability to use a positive tone in letters of adjustment. Letters of complaint are often written with a very negative tone, but you should not copy the negative words, you should replace them with positive or neutral ones.


Negative Positive / Neutral
your complaint your comment
failure operation / functioning
problem issue
the lack of the number of
too many the large number of


Here is a letter of complaint. The tone is negative, as shown by the following words and phrases: spoiled, unworkable, and several wasted hours. Read the situation and the letter, then move on to the reply and edit it.

You are an administrator for Exhibitions International, a company which organises business exhibitions and trade fairs around the world. You have received the following letter of complaint about your company's most recent exhibition.

Flat 303 Lucky Mansions
856 Cheung Sha Wan Road
Cheung Sha Wan

The Administrative Officer
Exhibition Services
Exhibitions International
33 Kadoorie Avenue

Dear Sir/Madam

I attended your exhibition Sound Systems at the Fortune Hotel from and found it informative and interesting. Unfortunately, my enjoyment of the event was spoiled by a number of organisational problems. I explain each of the problems below.

Firstly, I had difficulty in registering to attend the event. You set up an on-line registration facility, but I found the facility totally unworkable. Even after spending several wasted hours trying to register in this way, the computer would not accept my application. I eventually succeeded in registering by faxing you.

Secondly, the exhibition was held at one of Hong Kong's most prestigious hotels, but frankly the venue was better suited to a medium-sized business conference than to a large exhibition open by registration to the public. The lack of space led to serious overcrowding in the venue, particularly at peak visiting times (i.e. lunch times and early evening). On one or two occasions I was also seriously concerned about the physical safety of attendees.

The final point I want to make concerns product information. It is very enjoyable to see and test a range of excellent sound systems, but it is also important to be able to take away leaflets on interesting products, so that more research can be done before deciding which system to buy. However, by the time I attended the exhibition all the leaflets had been taken.

Could I please ask you to look into these matters - not only on my behalf but also on behalf of other attendees, and in fact on behalf of your company, too.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours faithfully

Michael Leung

Michael Leung


In the following letter choose the options that give the letter a positive tone. You can see your score underneath the letter. Then click the 'See Feedback' button next to the score.

Exhibitions International
33, Kadoorie Avenue, Kowloon
Phone: 9876 5432 E-mail: enquiries@xint.com.hk

Mr M Leung
Flat 303 Lucky Mansions
856 Cheung Sha Wan Road

Dear Mr Leung

Re: (1)  Customer Service

I refer to your letter of , in which you made several (2)  related to the (3)  of our online registration facility, the (4)  of space at the exhibition venue, the physical safety of the attendees, and the (5)  of product leaflets. I thank you for your comments, which can help us improve our services in the future.

Our online facility was (6)   because (7)  visitors to that webpage (8)  the registration deadline, which made the server (9)  .

The hotel was (10)   for the large number of attendees due to (11)   registering just before the deadline. These registrations caused the situation in which we booked a place which was (12)  for (13)  exhibition (14)  .

To state it simply, we were (15)  . This resulted in  (16)  conditions because we (17)  space required and the security officers were (18)  to control the visitor flow.

As our resources were (19)  number of visitors, we (20)  also (21)  information leaflets on the products, which (22) . Online copies of the leaflets are available at

For next year's exhibition we will prepare for a larger number of visitors. I hope you will come.  I look forward to seeing you there.

Yours sincerely


Wong K.K.
Administration Officer


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Last updated on: Monday, March 26, 2012