My company ABC is a vendor for another company XYZ (so ABC is a client of XYZ). XYZ also has another vendor company DEF. I needed some help from an employee at DEF for a project were both mutually working on for XYZ.

Problem is the person from DEF was not very helpful. They did not get me all the information I needed to solve some issues I was having with their software.

How can I tell my contacts at XYZ (our mutual client company) that this person at DEF was "not helpful" and that they should help me find another person at DEF who might be able to help?

My email to them currently looks like "do you know of a technical contact at DEF who could help. I already brought this to Hanley, but he was not helpful". I am basically looking for a nicer and more professional way to say those last few words.

1 Answer 1


The problem in this situation is that as another vendor, you don't have any leverage to apply to DEF. The only one who does is XYZ, who are the ones paying both of you.

And in the end, if DEF is impacting on your timeframes due to a lack of support, then don't feel bad about escalating that back to XYZ. But rather than attack the person, be clear on the nature of the information you are missing and let XYZ raise it and DEF sort out the recalcitrant vendor representative.

So I would put it something more like:

Dear XYZ person,

We are needing information 123 to proceed. DEF is responsible for 123, but our inquiries to DEF have not provided all the information that we need.

Can you please follow up with DEF to provide 123 so that project timeframes are not impacted?

Kind regards,


This way you are pushing the need for the information back to the source being DEF, and that by not having it then the project may be adversely impacted. You do not need to mention names, they already know who they are dealing with at DEF, and DEF knows who they sent.

Keep it nice and professional, and let those with authority over your vendor rep sort them out :)

  • 2
    I would add that you should be doubly sure that you are right before throwing vendor DEF under the bus. They will retaliate and you will look foolish if it turns out that it is your error.
    – Eric
    May 15, 2018 at 4:26
  • @Eric Hence my advice to not have a go at the individual :)
    – Jane S
    May 15, 2018 at 8:24
  • 1
    Indeed, but the OP would still look foolish if the response to the above note from DEF was "Please refer to the attached email sent to OP on January 5 where this is clearly explained. Please advise OP on the proper use of email so project timelines are not impacted."
    – Eric
    May 15, 2018 at 11:55

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