Re: They ought to teach this in schools.
I work on the "apology is not a solution" basis.
Saying "Sorry" doesn't fix it. Tell me why it happened, what you've been doing to stop it happening before, and what you're going to do to stop it happening in the future.
Because if the answer is: "We pressed the wrong button in Word, we've never imagined it could be a problem for a multi-national company to use Word mail-merge and not check the 'double-sided' option on our major print runs, and we'll slap the wrists of the intern involved but the next run will probably be done by a different guy anyway", then I have absolutely no interest in retaining your services.
Rail companies do this all the time. Don't apologise for it being late. Stop it being late. Even if that means it still gets there at 8:08 and waits for 15 minutes before leaving, but at least we *know* that because you just re-time the route accordingly and tell us what to expect.
You wanna convince me... do a full post-mortem, publicise the results (with suitable redaction), highlight the weaknesses you *had* and then post the plan and timeline to fix those weaknesses *and others of the same type* that you can imagine now you've sat and thought about it. Then I might accept the apology attached to that document.