Enquiry/Inquiry Letter: Tips, Structure, Sample

enquiry letter

Businesses require information from each other, providing opportunities to expand their operations and achieve success. They typically view information requests as routine and cooperate in exchanging data. Letters soliciting information are, therefore, commonplace in the business world.

Definition of Enquiry Letter

An inquiry or enquiry letter is a letter requesting information from a provider about any details necessary for decision-making. Here are a few definitions of an inquiry letter:

  • “Letters that seek answers or information about various topics are called Enquiry or Inquiry letters.” – Raymoud V. Lesikar, John D. Pettit, Jr., and Marie E. Flatley.
  • “A letter that seeks information about the goods and services offered by a business is known as an inquiry letter.” – Morris Philip Wolf, Dale F. Keyer, and Robert R. Answer.

Is it an Enquiry Letter or an Inquiry Letter?

There exists a nuanced distinction between the terms ‘inquiry’ and ‘enquiry’. ‘Inquiry’ is commonly reserved for formal circumstances and official investigations. In contrast, ‘enquiry’ may encompass a range of requests, both formal and informal.

Importance of Enquiry Letter

When seeking information about a business’s goods and services, you typically write an inquiry letter. Inquiries are also made when requesting reciprocal information. Inquiries may be simple or specialized.

Simple requests seek information about products, people, services, and prices that can be easily and willingly provided. As a result, you expect your reader to respond promptly and positively.

Special inquiries pertain to specific favors. When crafting a persuasive or favor-seeking request, you should be assertive yet tactful. These messages should logically and psychologically create a favorable impression, regardless of the favor requested. To achieve this, it’s advisable to employ a structured approach to your message.

Because businesses generally cooperate in such situations, you can write most information requests using a direct order. This approach saves time for both the writer and the reader, getting straight to the point without unnecessary explanations or descriptions.

However, directness may not be suitable in some situations. It can be inappropriate when there’s doubt that the reader will respond favorably. In such cases, you may need to use the indirect order to explain or persuade.

Before composing a request for information, you must consider how your reader will perceive the letter. If you believe the reader won’t consider the request routine, you should use the indirect order. But if you think the reader will view the request as routine, you should use the direct order.

Situations of Enquiry Letter

  1. Job applicant’s past records.
  2. Creditworthiness of a firm or person.
  3. Financial strength of an individual or firm.
  4. Business reputation of a firm.
  5. Performance evaluation of a person.
  6. Price quotations.
  7. Payment terms.
  8. Requesting brochures.
  9. Seeking catalogs.
  10. Employment recommendations.

Conditions for Writing Enquiry Letter

Writing an effective direct inquiry letter requires following these guidelines:

  1. Begin directly with the objective. Clearly state your request without ambiguity. Provide specific details so the recipient can understand it without confusion or further questions.
  2. Inform and explain adequately. Offer sufficient explanation for your request, enabling the reader to assess whether they can fulfill it.
  3. Provide reasons for your inquiry. Explain the rationale behind your request to convince the reader to supply the requested information, establishing your sincerity.
  4. Furnish pertinent facts and specific details. Include every detail related to the requested information, such as product or service descriptions, delivery locations, delivery methods, price categories, intended payment methods, delivery times, and associated expenses.
  5. Indicate when the information is needed, if appropriate. Specify a timeframe for when you require the information.
  6. Structure the questions systematically. Follow these guidelines for structuring your inquiry:
    • Place each question in a separate sentence.
    • Structure questions in separate paragraphs.
    • Assign a numerical rank to questions (e.g., 1, 2, 3).
    • Use question sentences (e.g., “Is there accommodation for 100 guests in your hotel?”).
    • Avoid questions with simple yes or no answers.
  7. End your message courteously. Conclude the letter with a polite, friendly remark to maintain a positive tone.

Conditions for Indirect Enquiry Letter

In certain situations, direct information collection may not be feasible. In such cases, an indirect approach can be employed to encourage sources to provide the necessary information to facilitate decision-making. The letter containing an indirect request is referred to as an indirect letter. Composing a successful indirect letter requires a specific style and attention to detail. The following guidelines should be adhered to in order to make it effective:

Disclose your business and your identity.

Initiate the letter by presenting your identity and the name of your business. This establishes your honest intentions.

Letter of Complaints and Claims

Businesses encounter various types of challenges and risks. Regardless of our good intentions and efforts, there are inevitably instances where addressing a complaint becomes necessary, and sometimes even making a formal complaint.

Complaints may be necessary for various reasons, such as incorrect delivery of goods, poor service, unsatisfactory product quality, late deliveries, damaged goods, or prices not adhering to agreements. Typically, complaints are accompanied by claims for compensation or the replacement of goods or services.

There are instances when a claim is made after the initial complaint. Two separate letters are involved in this process, particularly when the extent of damage cannot be ascertained directly and requires expert assessment.

This approach becomes essential when the property is insured, necessitating expert evaluation before filing a formal claim. Under these circumstances, complaints are lodged first, and claims are submitted only after a certified expert assesses the damage.

21 Tips For Writing a Complaint/Claim Letter

Maintain directness despite negativity.

While complaints and claims convey unfavorable news, it is essential to present them directly for two reasons: (a) business executives aim to satisfy customers, valuing their feedback, and (b) they aim to address issues in the best interest of their business. Directness strengthens your claim.

Identify the transaction early in the letter.

Clearly mention the specific transaction that led to the complaint or claim.

Begin the claim with a direct statement of what went wrong

Start by directly stating the issue or problem.

Provide enough facts to justify the claim

Support your complaint or claim with sufficient facts and evidence.

Use courteous language

void using words that convey anger or distrust. Maintain a courteous, clear, and concise tone instead of resorting to abusive or hostile language.

Handle the claim tactfully

You can either specify your desired resolution or leave the decision to the recipient. Requesting a fair and reasonable solution increases the likelihood of a satisfactory outcome.

Timeliness

Promptly file your complaint or claim to strengthen your position and ensure the recipient can investigate the issue effectively.

Focus on the main issue

Limit your complaint to a concise description of the problem, followed by either an inquiry if needed or a suggestion for rectification. Avoid introducing unrelated matters.

Conclude courteously

End your letter on a cordial note, maintaining a positive tone.

Act responsibly and ethically

Write in a manner that demonstrates your responsibility for all elements in the letter. Present your queries in an ethical manner that avoids injuring or defaming the reader or any involved party.

Stick to the facts

Maintain control over the facts presented, using them to support your arguments or desired outcomes.

Specify authorization

If seeking personal information about an individual, ensure you have obtained proper authorization to avoid violating privacy. Inform the recipient that you have the individual’s permission to request their private information.

Explain the purpose

Clearly describe the purpose or specific circumstances necessitating the information, emphasizing its relevance from a business perspective.

Treat information confidentially

Assure the recipient that any provided information will be kept confidential and not disclosed to any other parties in the future.

Describe promises accurately

Detail promises accurately and comprehensively, connecting minor promises to major ones.

Offer future assistance

Assure the reader that you are prepared to provide similar help or any other assistance in the future without hesitation.

Provide a logical conclusion.

Based on the circumstances, draw a conclusion that aligns with the situation.

Focus on one person and one job

Keep your inquiry focused on a single individual and their specific role. An inquiry letter should address one person and one job only.

Follow a direct-inquiry approach

This means beginning with a question to capture the reader’s attention, using specific requests for desired information, and providing sufficient explanation to enable the reader to respond effectively.

Include all relevant information

Provide complete details about the firm or individual you are inquiring about, including their name, address, and any other pertinent information that allows the recipient to identify the correct party.

Enclose a return envelope

Include a return envelope with your address printed on it to encourage a response.

Sample of Enquiry Letter/Inquiries

Request for quotation

Smith & Sons Ltd
25, Victoria Street
Lisbon – 1200
Portugal

May 5, 2023

Mr. Edward Harrison
Customer Service Manager
Portugal Telecom
Rua das Flores, 45
Lisbon – 1500

Subject: Inquiry about Internet Service Options

Dear Mr. Harrison,

I hope this letter finds you well. I am writing to inquire about the various internet service options available through Portugal Telecom. Over the past few months, we have been experiencing some issues with our current internet service provider, and we are actively seeking alternatives to improve our connectivity and service quality.

We are interested in obtaining information about your internet service plans, including the following:

  1. High-speed broadband options for both residential and business use.
  2. Pricing details for different internet packages.
  3. Any special promotions or discounts available for new subscribers.
  4. Installation and equipment fees, if applicable.
  5. Duration of contracts and terms of service.

Additionally, we would appreciate it if you could provide us with a coverage map or information on the availability of your services in our area. Our office is located in Lisbon, near Victoria Street, and we would like to ensure that your services are accessible to us.

Please send us a comprehensive brochure or pamphlet detailing your internet offerings, along with any relevant contact information. If possible, we would like to schedule a meeting or phone call to discuss our specific requirements and get a better understanding of how Portugal Telecom can meet our internet needs.

We understand that you value customer satisfaction, and we hope to explore the possibility of establishing a reliable and efficient partnership with your company. Your prompt response to this inquiry would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you for your attention to this matter. We look forward to hearing from you soon.

Sincerely,

John A. Smith
Managing Director
Smith & Sons Ltd

Inquiry letter

Smith & Sons Ltd
15, Avenida da Liberdade
Lisbon – 1250
Portugal
Phone: +351 21 123 4567
Email: info@smithandsons.pt

September 22, 2023

Mr. Benjamin Alexander Thackeray

Managing Director

Westminster Marketing Solutions

London SW1A 1AA

Dear Mr. Thackeray,

I hope this letter finds you well. I am writing to request your assistance in evaluating Mr. Reginald Fitzwilliam for the position of Marketing Manager at our company, Smith & Sons Ltd. Mr. Fitzwilliam has listed Westminster Marketing Solutions as one of his previous employers, and we believe that your insights would be invaluable in our hiring process.

Your candid response to the following questions will greatly aid us in determining Mr. Fitzwilliam’s suitability for this role:

  1. What is your assessment of Mr. Fitzwilliam’s leadership abilities, particularly in managing a diverse marketing team of 20 individuals?
  2. How effective was Mr. Fitzwilliam in adapting marketing strategies to a rapidly changing business environment? We are keen to understand his ability to navigate dynamic market conditions.
  3. Could you provide insights into Mr. Fitzwilliam’s work ethic, including his capacity to handle high-pressure situations? The role of Marketing Manager at our company often involves tight deadlines and demanding projects.
  4. Can you comment on Mr. Fitzwilliam’s integrity and trustworthiness? This role entails responsibility for managing marketing budgets and client relationships.

We assure you that your responses will be treated with the utmost confidentiality, and your cooperation in this matter is highly appreciated. Your insights will be instrumental in helping us make an informed decision about Mr. Fitzwilliam’s candidacy.

We are also open to reciprocating your kindness, and if you require any assistance or support from Smith & Sons Ltd in the future, please do not hesitate to reach out to us.

Thank you in advance for your valuable cooperation, and we look forward to hearing from you soon.

Sincerely,

George Archibald Sinclair

Director of Human Resources
Smith & Sons Ltd

Enquiry letter About hotel facility

Smith & Sons Ltd
42, Avenida da Liberdade
Lisbon – 1200
Portugal
Phone: +351 21 987 6543
Email: info@smithandsons.pt

July 10, 2023

Marketing Manager
The Royal Coastal Resort
Albufeira
Algarve, Portugal

Dear Marketing Manager,

Subject: Inquiry Regarding Meeting Room Facilities and Rates

I hope this letter finds you in good health. I am writing on behalf of Smith & Sons Ltd, a prominent British company specializing in steel products. We are currently in the process of organizing a corporate event and are interested in exploring the meeting room facilities at The Royal Coastal Resort in Albufeira.

We kindly request information about the availability and rates of your meeting rooms. Specifically, we would appreciate answers to the following inquiries:

  1. Date Availability: Our preferred dates for this event are September 15th and 16th, 2023. Could you please confirm if meeting rooms are available on these dates or suggest alternative dates in September that are available?
  2. Capacity and Facilities: We anticipate hosting a general sales meeting for approximately 100 participants. Additionally, we plan to conduct six to eight smaller group meetings, each accommodating 10 to 20 participants, on both days. Are your facilities equipped to accommodate these requirements? Also, could you provide details on the availability of audiovisual equipment and technical support?
  3. Catering Services: We intend to serve luncheon on both days and a dinner on the evening of the first day. Do you offer catering services, and if so, can you provide sample menus and pricing options?
  4. Accommodation Rates: As we expect around 100 sales managers to attend the meeting, we would like to inquire about special convention rates for guest rooms at The Royal Coastal Resort during the event.
  5. Refreshment Services: Please provide information about the types of refreshment services available during our meeting sessions, including coffee breaks and snacks.

We kindly request that you include detailed descriptions of the services you offer and approximate costs in your response. The Royal Coastal Resort is renowned for its exceptional hospitality, and we believe it would be an ideal venue for our corporate event.

As we are in the early stages of event planning, we kindly request that you provide this information at your earliest convenience, ideally by August 1st, 2023. Your prompt response will greatly assist us in making an informed decision.

We appreciate your attention to this inquiry and look forward to the possibility of hosting our event at The Royal Coastal Resort. Thank you for your cooperation.

Sincerely,

George Alexander Fitzwilliam
Vice President, Sales & Marketing
Smith & Sons Ltd

Specimen of a Reply

The Royal Coastal Resort
Albufeira
Algarve, Portugal
Phone: +351 28 765 4321
Email: info@royalcoastal.pt
Website: www.royalcoastal.pt

July 25, 2023

George Alexander Fitzwilliam
Vice President, Sales & Marketing
Smith & Sons Ltd
42, Avenida da Liberdade
Lisbon – 1200
Portugal

Dear Mr. Fitzwilliam,

Re: Inquiry Regarding Meeting Room Facilities and Rates

I hope this letter finds you well. On behalf of The Royal Coastal Resort, I would like to express our appreciation for considering our venue for your corporate event. We understand the importance of your inquiry and would like to provide you with the information you requested.

  1. Date Availability: We are pleased to confirm that our meeting rooms are available on your preferred dates, September 15th and 16th, 2023. We have reserved these dates for Smith & Sons Ltd.
  2. Capacity and Facilities: Our resort offers a range of meeting rooms that can accommodate your requirements. We can arrange the main meeting room for your general sales meeting, with a capacity of up to 100 participants. Additionally, we have several smaller meeting rooms suitable for your group meetings, complete with audiovisual equipment and technical support.
  3. Catering Services: Our culinary team is renowned for its expertise, and we can certainly provide catering services for your event. We will be delighted to share sample menus and pricing options for luncheons and dinners. Please let us know your dietary preferences and any specific requests.
  4. Accommodation Rates: We can offer special convention rates for guest rooms at The Royal Coastal Resort during your event. Our reservations team will reach out to you separately to discuss room bookings and rates in more detail.
  5. Refreshment Services: We offer a variety of refreshment services, including coffee breaks with snacks, to keep your participants energized during the meeting sessions. Our team can customize these services to meet your specific needs.

Enclosed with this letter, you will find detailed information on our meeting room facilities, catering menus, and accommodation rates. Please feel free to reach out to our dedicated events coordinator, Ms. Sofia Rodrigues, at events@royalcoastal.pt or by calling +351 28 765 4321. Ms. Rodrigues will be your primary contact for further inquiries and to discuss the finer details of your event.

We appreciate your interest in The Royal Coastal Resort and the opportunity to be of service to Smith & Sons Ltd. We look forward to the possibility of hosting your corporate event and ensuring it is a memorable and successful occasion for all participants.

Thank you for considering our resort, and we eagerly await your response to move forward with the planning process.

Sincerely,

Isabel Martins
Marketing Manager
The Royal Coastal Resort

Complaint and /or claim letter for damaged goods

Smith & Sons Imports Ltd
45, Avenida da Liberdade
Lisbon – 1250
Portugal
Phone: +351 21 555 7890
Email: info@smithandsonsimports.pt

June 5, 2023

The Marketing Manager
Oriental Communication Service
45 Orchard Road
Singapore 238878

Dear Sir/Madam,

Subject: Complaint and Claim for Damaged Goods – Invoice # OC4326 dated March 01, 2005

I trust this letter finds you in good health. I am writing to express my deep concern regarding the recent delivery of communication devices under invoice # OC4326, dated March 01, 2005, received by City Intercom Service. Regrettably, the consignment arrived in an extremely damaged condition, resulting in substantial losses.

Upon inspection, it was found that 15 of the communication devices are beyond repair, having suffered irreparable damage. Additionally, 25 other devices sustained varying degrees of damage but are repairable. We immediately reported the damage to our local forwarding agents prior to taking possession of the packages, and they disclaimed any responsibility, attributing the damage to inadequate packing.

In light of this unfortunate situation, we kindly request the following actions to rectify the matter:

  1. Adjustment of Price: We request that you adjust the price of the damaged goods, amounting to Tk. 250,000 (Two Lac fifty thousand only), with our next consignment from Oriental Communication Service.
  2. Supply of Parts: We request the timely supply of the necessary parts, as listed in the attached document, for the repair of the damaged devices. We kindly request an adjustment of the amount of Tk. 12,000 (Twelve thousand only) with our next consignment as the cost for repairing the devices.
  3. Disposal of Defective Units: Please provide guidance on how to handle and dispose of the defective units to ensure they do not pose any safety or environmental hazards.

We trust that Oriental Communication Service will take the necessary measures to address this issue promptly and uphold our longstanding business relationship. We understand that mistakes can occur, but we hope that steps will be taken to prevent such occurrences in the future.

We kindly request a written acknowledgment of this letter and confirmation of the actions to be taken within 15 days from the receipt of this correspondence. This will allow us to plan accordingly and minimize disruptions to our operations.

We appreciate your immediate attention to this matter and your commitment to resolving it to our mutual satisfaction.

Yours sincerely,

Sir William Alexander Worthington
Managing Director
Smith & Sons Imports Ltd

Complaint and /or claim for poor service

Smith & Sons Electronics Ltd
7, Rua da Rosa
Lisbon – 1200
Portugal
Phone: +351 21 345 6789
Email: support@smithandsonselectronics.pt

May 20, 2005

The Customer Service Manager
Electro-Tech Repair Services
25, Avenida das Tecnologias
Lisbon – 1500
Portugal

Dear Sir/Madam,

Ref: Faulty Stereo Cassette Recorder, Model Number 660 – Chalan Number 223/05

I trust this letter finds you well. As per our telephone conversation earlier today, I am writing to formally address the issues we encountered with the stereo cassette recorder, model number 660, which we received on May 5, 2005, in accordance with your chalan number 223/05. The recorder appears to have several faults, and we kindly request an inspection and a quotation for its repair.

The identified faults are as follows:

  1. The recorder does not reproduce audio clearly on the right-hand speaker, resulting in poor sound quality during playback.
  2. Distortion is evident, suggesting a potential issue with the recording head that may require replacement.
  3. The winding mechanism of the cassette player appears to be faulty, making it difficult to rewind or fast-forward tapes effectively.

While these are the primary issues we have identified, we acknowledge that a comprehensive inspection may reveal additional faults that need attention.

To expedite the resolution process, we kindly request that you provide us with a quotation for the repair by telephone at your earliest convenience. We are eager to have the necessary repairs carried out promptly so that the recorder can be restored to optimal functionality and subsequently sold as quickly as possible.

Please treat this matter with urgency, as it is essential for us to address this situation efficiently. We appreciate your immediate attention to our request and look forward to your prompt response.

Thank you for your cooperation, and we trust that Electro-Tech Repair Services will assist us in rectifying the issues with the stereo cassette recorder.

Yours faithfully,

Sir Charles Montgomery
Director of Customer Relations
Smith & Sons Electronics Ltd