You may prepay for services from time to time, possibly to get a better deal on the work, or maybe because it is one of the terms of an offer to schedule services in advance. Sometimes when you do this, things come up, and the services do not get completed as you planned. In this case, you may have to write a letter to the service provider or contractor asking for your money back. Writing a letter in this type of uncomfortable situation requires tact and talent.
Write your letter in paper form. While email is a popular and quick means to communicate with people and businesses, it may not meet the legal requirements that a letter does. Paper, mailed letters also tend to be more effective in communicating exactly what may have gone wrong, and what you are looking for to remedy the situation.
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Compose your letter in block business format, where the entire letter is left-hand justified, or each written line is even on the left side of the page. Start at the top with the date, and move down to write your name and address. Move down a couple of lines from there, and write the address of the person that you are sending the letter to. Move down a couple more lines and write your greeting. Greet the person by name, and keep away from "Dear Sir" or "To Whom it May Concern."
Write clearly, using professional, clear language. Use straightforward terms which are easy to understand, and make a direct request for the refund, stating the reason that you are asking. Include any pertinent information, such as the date that the work was supposed to be started and finished. Also include any efforts that you have made to contact the person to arrange for the work to be done. Make the letter friendly and professional, and refrain from harsh language or business jargon.
Say exactly what you are looking for in the letter. This is a call to action; if you want a $200 refund, then say so. Include a date that you will contact the business by if you have not heard from them. Give plenty of contact information for yourself, and say what your preferred method of contact is. Proofread your letter carefully, running a spell check on the letter if you are using a computer. State a date that you expect to hear back by, and make it clear that you will call if you do not.
Mail any letter requesting something that may result in legal action later by certified mail, return receipt requested. Keep a copy of the letter with the delivery receipt as proof of the correspondence.
Do not threaten legal action or make hollow threats in your letter. With many businesses, the mention of a lawyer places the letter into an entirely different category. A business that was completely willing to issue a refund at first, may refer the letter to its legal department when you mention legal action, which could slow down, or stop the refund process.