Writing a Bad News Message – Refused Request (ASSESSMENT/TEST)- CHAPTER 6

Someone has asked you for something, and you must refuse—a very common business situation. Such messages are almost always negative, although they vary in degree of negativity. Usually in such messages you have two goals:

  1. to refuse, and
  2. to maintain goodwill.

Before you write anything, you should think through the situation and work out a strategy—that is, how you will explain or justify your decision.


  1. Determining the effectiveness and/or weaknesses of a message.
  2. Planning Your Communication Strategy Using a Problem-Solving Approach (Chapter 1)
  3. Revising for effective, positive communication


Step 1: Open a new Microsoft Word document and immediately save the file as follows: Lastname-Firstname-Ch6-Bad News Message-Refused Request (For example: Carcioppolo-Joann-Ch6-Bad News Message-Refused Request )

Step 2: List the weaknesses in this ineffective indirect-order bad news message below, based on the following:

  1. general plan for indirect-order messages (LO 6-2),
  2. the suggestions for developing the strategy using the indirect-order for refused request messages (LO 6-3);
  3. the appropriate format and letter parts from Chapter 2 and Bonus Chapter A; and,
  4. the appropriate writing style suggestions from Chapter 4 (LO 4-1 through LO 4-16).
  • Cite your reasons based on the appropriate chapter and learning objective.

Step 3: Plan your communication strategy using the Problem-Solving Approach and Audience Analysis Checklist handouts from Chapters 1 and 2. Please include these documents with your assessment submission.

Step 4: REVISE the message to meet the indirect-order message plan for a Refused Request(appropriate document format/open/body/close) and appropriate writing style.


Mr. Skinner:

Your May 12 claim of defective workmanship in your Model 227 Dandy Klipper riding mower has been reviewed. After considering the information received, I regret to report that we cannot refund the purchase price.

You have had the mower for 15 months, which is well beyond our one-year guarantee. Even though your repair person says that you had problems earlier, he is not one of our authorized repair people. If you will read the warranty you refer to in your letter, you will see that we honor the warranty only when our authorized repair people find defects. I think you will understand why we must follow this procedure.

If you will take the machine to the authorized service center in your area (La Rue Lawn and Garden Center), I am confident they can correct the defect at a reasonable charge.

If I can be of additional service, please contact me.


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