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Written and Oral Complaints


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How to Complain in English

How to Complain in English

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  • 1.
    • When things go wrong
    • By Maria Luisa Ochoa
  • 2. Complaining If you are going to work in tourism, you will definitely need to deal with complaints. Here you will learn how to complain and how to answer a complaint both in a written and oral way . The first step in complaining is to clearly present your problem. Failure to communicate effectively often makes it difficult to resolve complaints. A clear and brief explanation of what is wrong and what you want the company to do is necessary.
  • 3.
    • General Tips
      • Try to make sure your letter is sent to the right person or department.
      • Try and keep your letter short
      • Be polite as sarcasm or rudeness will not help your cause!
      • Say what you want for your complaint to be resolved.
      • Give a reasonable timetable for action to be taken before you consider other options.
      • Keep a copy of letters you write.
      • Complaint letters need not be long. Clearly print or type your name, address and phone number. Keep a copy of all letters you send and receive. If the first letter does not bring a response, send a second.
    Written Complaints.How to complain
  • 4.
    • Letters are important for these reasons:
    • To create a written record of your complaint with the company.
    • To preserve your rights under law.
    • To make sure the business understands your side of the story.
    • To involve government agencies in the case or alert them to the firm's practices.
    • To lay the groundwork for a future legal case or defence.
    • To let the company know you are serious about pursuing the matter.
    Written Complaints
  • 5.
    • Tips for writing complaint letters
    • At the top of the letter print your name, address and phone number clearly.
    • Briefly describe the problem, and what you want done to resolve it.
    • Give a specific period of time in which a response must be received (such as 10-14 days), and indicate that you will take "further action," "seek legal advice" or take other steps if the matter is not resolved. You need not tell the party exactly what you will do.
    • Indicate if you are enclosing copies of supporting documents. (Never send originals.)
    • Keep a copy of all your letters and supporting documents.
  • 6.
    • Introduction
    • I am writing to complain about ….
    • Explaining the case/ giving details
    • My particular complaint concerns….
    • Summarizing the complaint
    • I find this totally unacceptable. …
    • Prompting some action/response
    • I would be grateful if you could give me some explanation and offer
    • some form of compensation…
    Written Complaints.How to complain. FORMULAS
  • 7.
    • Introducing
    • Thank you for your letter…
    • I was sorry to hear that . . .
    • Explaining/giving reasons
    • I have investigated your complaint in detail.
    • The probelms were due to . . .
    • Unfortuantely . . .
    • I am sure you can understand . . .
    • Apologizing
    • I can apologize for . . .
    • Please accept my sincere apologies . . .
    • Promising action
    • I can assure you that we have taken steps to ensure that these problems do not occur again.
    • We will look into this matter. . .
    How to respond to Written Complaints
  • 8.
    • There are a number of formulas used when complaining
    • in English. It's important to remember that a direct
    • complaint or criticism in English can sound rude or
    • aggressive. It's best to mention a problem in an indirect
    • manner. Here are some of the most common:
    Oral Complaints.How to complain. FORMULAS
  • 9.
    • - Angry
    •  I´m sorry to trouble you, but there seems to be a problem… //  Have you got a moment? I would like to tell you something about… //  I was wondering if you could help me. There appears to be a little difficulty . //  I'm sorry to have to say this but... //  I'm sorry to bother you, but.. . //  Maybe you forgot to... I think you might have forgotten to... //  There may have been a misunderstanding about... //  Don't get me wrong, but I think we should... //  I don´t like to complain, but . . .
      •  I want to complain… //  I demand to see the person in charge immediately… //  Are you supposed to be in charge here?...
    • +Angry
    Oral Complaints.How to complain
  • 10. Formula Example I'm sorry to have to say this but I think you have to improve your customer service. I'm sorry to bother you, but I think you need to give a solution to my problem. Maybe you forgot to give me an aisle seat. I think you might have forgotten to bring me the vegetarian meal I ordered. There may have been a misunderstanding about what I expected from your airline. Don't get me wrong, but I think you should pay more attention to the passengers´ needs.
  • 11. * INITIAL REACTION AND APOLOGY. Oh dear. I´m sorry to hear that. Certainly. Is there a problem? I´m really very sorry. *ASK FOR CLARIFICATION What exactly is the problem? * TAKE DETAILS I´ll just take some details. Could you describe. . . Let me see if I can help. I just need a few details. * OFFER EXPLANATION I´m terribly sorry, but there has been a bit of a problem. If I could just explain. . . * PROPOSED PLAN I´ll see if I can sort it out. . . I´ll tell you what I´ll do. . . This is what I´ll do . . . Why don´t you . . . How to respond to Oral Complaints
  • 12.
    • Source: