Crummy Letter Examples – How to Spot Crummy Letter Examples

| April 24, 2012 | 0 Comments

There are many crummy letter examples on the internet, and if you use one as a guideline or template it could mean the end of an otherwise lucrative business relationship. Writing a bad business letter could alienate a client, customer, or valuable business associate. You might also want to use a cover letter example to apply for a job; choosing a bad example could jeopardize your chances of securing that position. To avoid making business or career mistakes, read on to learn how to spot crummy letter examples.

Tips for Spotting Crummy Letter Examples

It’s not always easy to immediately spot crummy letter examples. Many of the sample letters you’ll find online are written in language that the average person can understand, and even uses on a daily basis. When writing business letters however, one must learn a bit of a different language, and even a different way of speaking. The major difference between good letter examples and crummy letter examples is word choice.

Identifying Crummy Letter Examples Tip#1 – Poor Word Choice

Poor word choice is a common denominator in many of the bad letter examples that are found online. Speaking in slang or generational jargon to a business person is unacceptable, unprofessional, and ultimately self-defeating. Let’s take a look at one of our crummy letter examples that uses poor word choice. This one is an example of an email sent by a college student to inquire about a possible internship.

Hey what’s up?

I was just on the net cruising some job sites and saw you could use an intern this summer. Cool, I’m your man. I’m smart and a hard worker, even when I’ve been out partying the night before. What’s the deal with the application process? Can you holler at me and let me know what’s up with dat? 


Randy Smith

Even if you know the person you’re sending such a letter to, it’s best not to speak so informally. The person being addressed is in a position of importance, and should be spoken to with due respect. A better way to word the letter would be:

Dear Mr. Employer,

I came across you’re website while searching the internet for job opportunities and noticed that your company has an opening for an intern. I am very interested in learning more about the position, and would like to know if I may telephone you to discuss the role and application process in detail?


Randy Smith

Such a choice of words is much more acceptable, and there is no doubt which email would get the best response. Choose your words wisely, avoiding slang, being respectful, and carefully checking for spelling mistakes.

If you like you can Download This One of Our Crummy Letter Examplesand the Accompanying Correct Version to use as a reference.

Identifying Crummy Letter Examples Tip# 2 – The Wrong Format and Content

Crummy letter examples are frequently formatted incorrectly. If you’re letter is not formatted correctly, it more than likely won’t be taken seriously. Inappropriate content is also a common feature of crummy letter examples. What you include in your letter is as equally important as how you organize the content. Let’s take a look at a badly formatted letter example containing inappropriate content. We’ll use the scenario of a person writing to a company to complain about bad customer service.

I went to your store the other day and the salesperson was rude. She didn’t know nothing about fashion. The stupid cow didn’t have a clue what size I was, and she must have been color blind. Where do you find such idiots? The person who hires them must be stupid themselves. 

Then the blouse I was going to buy had a stain on it. She acted like she didn’t see it. I knew she was just trying to rip me off. Then the manager came over and told me to stop shouting. I told him to shut his fat face because I’m the customer and the customer is always right. You better do something about those two fools or I’m never shopping in your store again.

Miriam Webster 

Notice that the above letter is neither addressed nor dated, nor is it properly closed – no “Sincerely” or “Regards.” The content of the letter is offensive and vague. More than likely the store will be happy not to see this person come in again, as she was insulting to staff, management, and the readers intelligence.

In contrast, proper business letters are normally written in the “Block” style of letter writing. The text is written in sections and aligned to the left of the page. Content should be accurate and reliable, containing specific information about products, dates, staff, events etc. You should never be insulting or aggressive, and never use curse words.

Being vague or rude will only cause the reader frustration, and they will most likely disregard such a letter and give their attention to one that is more respectful easier to understand. Let’s take a look at a properly formatted version of the above example with the appropriate content.

Mrs. Miriam Webster
42 West 14th. Street
New York, NY
Tel: 212-444-7869

March 9, 2011

Bainbridge’s Department Store
Customer Complaints Department
1249 Broadway
New York, NY

Notice that this letter begins with a proper formal addressing, unlike most crummy letter examples. This is very important when sending a business letter, as it lets the reader know that your accompanying message is important. The first paragraph should get straight to the point, and state only facts – no emotions!

Dear Sir/Madam,

On March 3 I visited your store at 1249 Broadway with a view to purchasing a new outfit. I approached one of the salespersons and asked if she could give me some advice regarding the latest spring collection. The name on her name tag was Deborah. 

The writer has provided information as to when and where to situation occurred, and the name of the salesperson who attended her. The next two paragraphs provide the specific details of what occurred on that day, something often overlooked in badly written crummy letter examples.

Unfortunately I was met with indifference and a casual remark of “Can’t you decide for yourself; I don’t know what size you could possibly be?” Needless to say I was quite embarrassed and shocked. I continued shopping on my own, and eventually found a blouse that I was interested in. I noticed however a small stain on the lapel of the blouse, and approached Deborah, who was now at the register, if I would receive a discount because of the stain. 

Deborah however was adamant that there was no stain. I tried in vain to show her where it was, but to my frustration she continually denied there even being one. During the course of our discussion, the manager Scott Stevens came over. The first thing he said was that I should stop shouting. Perhaps in my frustration I did raise my voice, but I assure you I was not shouting. I tried to show the stain to Mr. Stevens and to inquire of him about a potential discount, but he said he had a meeting to attend, and that Deborah was capable of dealing with me.

Because I liked the blouse so much and the stain was small and barely noticeable, I purchased the item at the ticketed price. Before paying for the item however, I took a photograph of the stain, and as you can see it is clearly visible on the photo I have included with this letter.

Crummy letter examples rarely offer s remedy or solution in such a situation, but a good business letter always does. You might say something like this:

As you can clearly see the stain and I paid full price for an obviously damaged item, I feel an appropriate solution would be to credit with me a discount to my account #443999MW. I have been a customer of Bainbridge’s for over 20 years, and would like to think that this incident is an exception rather than the rule.

I look forward to your prompt reply and attention to this matter. I will look for a refund on my next statement, and should you require further details or information please contact me.


Miriam Webster 

As you can see there is a big difference between a correctly formatted business letter and the crummy letter examples that you may find online. If you like, you can Download The Above One of our Crummy Letter Examples and the accompanying Corrected Version to use as a reference.

Tips and Useful Points to Keep in Mind for Spotting Crummy Letter Examples:

  • Keep an eye out for poor word choice.
  • Make sure that any sample you decide to use is properly formatted
  • Watch out for slang or inappropriate content

Category: Bad Business Letter Examples

About the Author ()

Melanie Walters is a writer and editor for several businesses both online and offline. Her experience with writing business letters and marketing materials has helped her understand exactly what works in written communication for businesses. In the 10 years she's been writing, Melanie has amassed a large collection of letter examples that she gladly shares with you here on Letter Example

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