Rule of diminishing replies

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The rule of diminishing replies is the idea that it is not necessary to continue all conversations until closure (that is, agreement between both parties that the conversation has concluded) is reached.

In responding to messages on the VRTS queues, frequently there are correspondents who won't give up. Either they won't take no for an answer, or they are unwilling or unable to help themselves. When it becomes clear that the issue can't be resolved to the correspondent's satisfaction, it is best to utilize diminishing replies to allow the conversation to fade away quietly. This serves two purposes. First, it can prevent escalation because it gives the correspondent nothing to argue with. Second, it conserves the time of those involved in answering VRTS queues, since it breaks the pattern of ongoing back-and-forth discussion.


Where there is a plausible legal threat, this strategy should only be used upon advice from counsel.

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