An Apology Letter For A Mistake

Writing an apology letter for a mistake made is simply the right thing to do, especially in business.

A fountain pen writing mistake on a piece of paper that has the word sorry on it


Whether the infraction was intentional or not, acknowledging your error and apologizing for it shows the recipient that you can be trusted even if the mistake made suggested otherwise.

Some mistakes are more serious than others, some even have financial repercussions, but taking the time to craft a sincere apology letter will help in making things right again, and improve your chances of being forgiven.

Take for example, medical apologies, where a mistake or error can have extremely serious consequences. Research has shown that doctors aren't typically sued for malpractice because they made a mistake, they're sued because they shirk responsibility, fail to apologize and/or refuse to offer fair compensation.

An apology letter for a mistake, like in the sample below, is simply a means of acknowledging that an error was made, that it was your fault, and that you are honorable enough to apologize for it.

  Notes      Sample Apology Letter For A Mistake or Error

If you're on a first name basis, use their first name. If not, then Mr. or Ms.

Dear _______________,

Apologize with a detailed account of the mistake and any specifics that you can add.

I (We) made a mistake. I am (We are) sorry and would like to apologize for ________________

Include the details of the mistake made and be as specific as possible.

Acknowledge the hurt, damage done and implications of the error.

I (We) let you down, which is the last thing I (we) would ever want to do. I (We) can appreciate how [frustrating / disappointing / upsetting / inconvenient] this whole situation has been for you and understand that you are now dealing with the repercussions*. For that, I am (We are) also sorry.

*If you are aware of any specific problems that came up as a result of your mistake, write them out in detail instead of simply saying "the repercussions".

Take full responsibility, with a detailed account of what happened without making excuses.

It was my (our) error and I (we) take full responsibility. The mistake was due to ______________ [human error, computer glitch, oversight, etc.], that should have never happened. It seems that *_____________.

*Give the specifics of what happened in sequence to let the recipient know that you are aware of the events that caused the issue at hand. Don't use subjective wording or language, instead write it out in a very factual manner.

Promise that it won't happen again and why it's important that it doesn't.

I (We) can promise you that I've (we've) taken all the necessary measures to ensure that this won't happen again. It's important to me (us) that I (we) regain your trust and that you're able to rely on me (us) as you have in the past.

Include a statement of regret, a form of restitution (if appropriate).

I (we) regret that this ever happened and hope you will accept our sincerest apologies.


I (we) regret that this ever happened and hope you will accept our sincerest apologies and *_____________.

Include here, as appropriate, a form of restitution for the mistake or a token gesture such as a small gift.]

End with a willingness to do whatever is necessary to correct the situation.

If there is anything else that I (we) can do, please let me (us) know.



The 'Notes' at left and 'Tips' included in the right column should allow you to customize this sample apology letter for a mistake or error made, to your own situation.


Learn how the perfect customer apology letter can do more than just make things right again, it can also deliver a more loyal customer—and isn't that what we all want in the end?

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