A buyer and a seller come to a trade agreement. During the discussion, the seller (whose product is good quality) shows that they are a generous person, like so:

  • The buyer expresses that although they can handle the original price, a little discount for each product would make the total more affordable. The seller agrees to a discount.
  • The buyer requests that due to the time it takes for delivery, the products be sent at once. However, the buyer says that the money can't be sent at once because, even though a discount has been agreed, the sum total is still large. The buyer requests instead that the money be transferred in monthly installments. The seller agrees to both of these requests.
  • Eventually however, despite the seller having accepted all the requests of the buyer, it transpires that the buyer has to buy an alternative product from a different seller. The seller understands the situation and kindly allows the buyer to cease the transaction without incurring any costs, penalties or obligations.

Thanks to this generous conduct, the buyer wants to thank the seller. What would be an appropriate term to use in these circumstances?

Thank you so much for your _______

I know that kindness, caring or help would fit, but I want to find a more specific word or phrase.

  • ... or indulgence (old-fashioned). – Edwin Ashworth Aug 10 '15 at 16:18
  • @Charon Accomodate a good root word pick but I think another variation is more apt to the unadapted example sentence, which would be Accommodation. – Tonepoet Aug 10 '15 at 22:59
  • @Charon is there any difference between accommodating and flexible? – Ooker Aug 11 '15 at 4:14
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    I would say that accommodating carries more the connotation of meeting another person's specific needs, whereas flexible means that there is optionality in the offering but it isn't an adaptation to specific, ad hoc requests from the other party. – Charon Aug 11 '15 at 8:05

10 Answers 10


The seller has been very considerate; he has shown considerateness or consideration.

adjective con·sid·er·ate \kən-ˈsi-d(ə-)rət\
: thinking about the rights and feelings of other people : showing kindness toward other people [m-w.com]

noun con·sid·er·ation \kən-ˌsi-də-ˈrā-shən\
: careful thought : the act of thinking carefully about something you will make a decision about

: a desire to avoid doing something that will make another person sad, upset, angry, etc. [m-w.com]

As @talmu pointed out in a comment, it would be more acceptable/idiomatic for the given situation to say something like "Thank you for being so considerate."

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    If considerate is used, in this case I'd say it's more acceptable to say "Thank you for being so considerate," than "Thank you for your consideration." The latter form is more appropriate when the person giving thanks is being considered by the person being thanked, e.g. for a job position. – talrnu Aug 10 '15 at 20:48

You're correct that kindness, caring, and help are the wrong words to use in a business context most of the time. Businesses are not in business to help the needy, they're there to make money. Also don't use a word like generosity that might prompt the seller to reconsider whether they're giving up too much in the deal. I would suggest a word such as flexibility.

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  • what is the difference between flexibility and accommodating? – Ooker Aug 11 '15 at 2:43
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    In your sentence above, there would be very little difference, and you could definitely say 'Thank you so much for your accommodations'. If I had to nitpick though, I'd say flexibility compliments a quality of the seller, whereas accommodations highlights a favor done for the buyer. You don't want to come across as a charity case in your dealings. – public wireless Aug 11 '15 at 15:24

I’d suggest using understanding (= a willingness to understand people's behavior and forgive them), either alone or perhaps with the bracketed language below:

Thank you for your [continuous] understanding [throughout this process].


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  • what is continuous? – Ooker Aug 11 '15 at 2:40
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    @Ooker I was suggesting the possible addition of continuous here to try to convey that the seller's understanding (kindness/consideration/whatever) was present (non-stop, constant, steady) and appreciated throughout/during the entire process, from the negotiation stage of the transaction through its conclusion/termination. – Papa Poule Aug 11 '15 at 15:59
  • I see. You should implement this into your answer. – Ooker Aug 12 '15 at 5:52

customer service (noun):

  1. the way that an organisation deals with customers, before, during, and after a sale, and the activities involved in dealing with customers

'The mobile operator has a reputation for outstanding customer service.'

Source: Cambridge Business English Dictionary

  1. the assistance and advice provided by a company to those people who buy or use its products or services

'A recent survey on customer service concluded that nine out of ten customers say how they are treated by a business is a major factor in determining where they will buy.'

Source: ODO

Suggested phrasing of OP's sentence:

'Thank you so much for your outstanding customer service.'

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    Or just service. – jxh Aug 10 '15 at 23:33
  • I think that service or customer service is only used in the company - customer relationship. While this relationship satisfies the customer (outstanding), it still doesn't reflect the human - human relationship behinds it. It's professional, not empathy – Ooker Aug 11 '15 at 2:38
  • @Ooker Your understanding is incorrect – Julie Carter Aug 11 '15 at 5:37
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    @Ooker if you're writing to an employee or manager for an organisation, using a term such as 'customer service' is likely to benefit them more than concentrating solely on their personal qualities. One way round would be to praise their handling of the overall customer experience, and then draw out qualities such as their thoughtfulness and consideration. They may wish to show your letter to management and other contacts, who will be interested in your comments on both the professional and personal aspects of the sales experience. – Julie Carter Aug 11 '15 at 10:06
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    ah, I see the problem here. The seller is only one person, not a company – Ooker Aug 11 '15 at 10:22

Thank you so much for being so accommodating.

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It could be goodwill on the part of the seller, who hopes the gesture will also reflect on his business’s own goodwill.

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Kind-heartedness would probably fit best.

From what I understand, the seller has already sent all of the items but has not gotten all of the money yet? And instead of asking to send some of the items back, the buyer may keep them? That is a kind-hearted gesture, because the seller is willing to take some financial pain (cost of product) to prevent the buyer from more financial pain (cost of product and/or shipping).

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Why not helpfulness?

  • Example: The level of expertise and helpfulness is higher in small shops.
  • Definition: friendliness evidence by a kindly and helpful disposition
  • Synonyms: cooperation, kindness, support, assistance, sympathy, friendliness, rallying round, usefulness, benefit.
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I would suggest "Propriety". The Owner or Proprietor of a restaurant, store or service can be said to have an excellent sense of propriety toward his customers.

Example from Websters: "If Madison felt the same annoyance with the dissenters, his prim sense of political propriety forbade him from stooping to personal attacks. —Jack N. Rakove, Original Meanings … 1996"

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I would say the seller has been very generous

1. showing a readiness to give more of something, especially money, than is strictly necessary or expected.


You would thank them for their generosity

1. the quality of being kind and generous.


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  • Google is not a citable reference. – tchrist Aug 11 '15 at 11:08
  • @tchrist it demonstrably is – Avon Aug 11 '15 at 11:33
  • To the contrary: it absolutely is not. Different people see different things at different times. “Google” is not a citation. The requirement that you have to say where the definition you are quoting is from is not suspended by invoking the name of Google. – tchrist Aug 11 '15 at 11:37
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    There are directions on our Meta about this issues. So even though I do not concede the point, let us propose that you are actually right despite all that. In that case you have effectively added nothing of your own, reducing ELU to a Let Me Google That For You site. That makes this either a non-answer or a very low quality one. – tchrist Aug 11 '15 at 11:47
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    The cited Meta posting that says Google is not a citation stands as policy absent a dissenting opinion to the contrary. If you believe the policy to be in error, please post your own answer there and let the community decide on its merits. Meanwhile, this current posting remains at variance with that policy, and so should be improved or deleted. – tchrist Aug 11 '15 at 13:37

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