How to Write a Cancellation Letter (Step-by-Step)

Sometimes you change your mind and need to cancel an agreement after the fact.
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When you must cancel a service or some other type of agreement, it's important to convey your intent in a timely and professional manner. It's also prudent to communicate your wishes in writing to create a permanent record of both the message and its delivery to your recipient. Make sure you know your rights and responsibilities before you proceed. Then write a cancellation letter that will communicate your desires in an effective manner.

Step 1

Check any agreements or contracts before cancellation to ensure that you are within your rights to cancel. For example, many new contracts for services or goods must include a clause for a three-day right to cancel. If this clause doesn't apply to your situation, check the cancellation language within the contract to learn the circumstances under which you can cancel and the timing of your cancellation. Once you learn the requirements, conform your cancellation request to fit the requirements of the contract.

Step 2

Place the date at the top of the letter. Include your name and address as an inside return address, one blank space under the date. Place the company's name and the name of any specific contact person below your inside return address. Add a subject line with your account or order number.

Step 3

Open the letter with a directive to cancel the services or agreement. For example, you might write, "In accordance with my right to cancel my purchase agreement for housecleaning services, I am writing to inform you that I am canceling my contract."

Step 4

Follow the opening sentence with a paragraph to support your right to cancel. If you have a contract, reference the specific section of the contract that supports your right to cancel. For example, you might write, "According to section 5b of my service contract (copy enclosed), I have three days from the date of this contract to cancel my service. Today, February 5, is day two." Another example might be, "According to section 7a of my agreement, after one year of service, I have the right to cancel with 30 days of notice."

Step 5

Give the final date of service, if applicable. Include information about final payments, if applicable. For example, you might write, "Please consider September 15 as the final date of service, according to the terms of the agreement. I will remit payment in full for the balance of my account after this service. I will not require your services or products after this date and I will not pay for any further services or products."

Step 6

Request a refund for monies paid, if applicable. For example, if you are cancelling a service for which you made a prepayment, you might write, "Please refund my payment of $583.75 back to my credit card." Request written confirmation of your cancellation directive.

Step 7

Close the letter with a professional closing such as "Sincerely" or "Best Regards." Skip four lines and enter your full typewritten name. Skip one line and reference the copy of the agreement as an enclosure.

Step 8

Make a copy of your contract or agreement. Circle the clause or section that applies to your cancellation. Sign the letter and make a copy to keep for your records. Place the original letter into an envelope along with the copy of the contract. Seal the envelope.

Step 9

Mail the letter certified mail with a return receipt requested.

Step 10

Follow up on the cancellation letter by calling the company if you do not receive written confirmation of the cancellation within 30 days.


The cancellation should take effect with the date of your letter. When you are submitting your cancellation notification to comply with stated periods in a contract, make sure you write and date your letter within the time period.