Written and Oral Complaints


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How to Complain in English

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Written and Oral Complaints

  1. 1. <ul><li>When things go wrong </li></ul><ul><li>COMPLAINING </li></ul><ul><li>By Maria Luisa Ochoa </li></ul>
  2. 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. 3. <ul><li>General Tips </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Try to make sure your letter is sent to the right person or department. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Try and keep your letter short </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Be polite as sarcasm or rudeness will not help your cause! </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Say what you want for your complaint to be resolved. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Give a reasonable timetable for action to be taken before you consider other options. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Keep a copy of letters you write. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>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. </li></ul></ul>Written Complaints.How to complain
  4. 4. <ul><li>Letters are important for these reasons: </li></ul><ul><li>To create a written record of your complaint with the company. </li></ul><ul><li>To preserve your rights under law. </li></ul><ul><li>To make sure the business understands your side of the story. </li></ul><ul><li>To involve government agencies in the case or alert them to the firm's practices. </li></ul><ul><li>To lay the groundwork for a future legal case or defence. </li></ul><ul><li>To let the company know you are serious about pursuing the matter. </li></ul>Written Complaints
  5. 5. <ul><li>Tips for writing complaint letters </li></ul><ul><li>At the top of the letter print your name, address and phone number clearly. </li></ul><ul><li>Briefly describe the problem, and what you want done to resolve it. </li></ul><ul><li>Give a specific period of time in which a response must be received (such as 10-14 days), and indicate that you will take &quot;further action,&quot; &quot;seek legal advice&quot; or take other steps if the matter is not resolved. You need not tell the party exactly what you will do. </li></ul><ul><li>Indicate if you are enclosing copies of supporting documents. (Never send originals.) </li></ul><ul><li>Keep a copy of all your letters and supporting documents. </li></ul>
  6. 6. <ul><li>Introduction </li></ul><ul><li>I am writing to complain about …. </li></ul><ul><li>Explaining the case/ giving details </li></ul><ul><li>My particular complaint concerns…. </li></ul><ul><li>Summarizing the complaint </li></ul><ul><li>I find this totally unacceptable. … </li></ul><ul><li>Prompting some action/response </li></ul><ul><li>I would be grateful if you could give me some explanation and offer </li></ul><ul><li>some form of compensation… </li></ul>Written Complaints.How to complain. FORMULAS
  7. 7. <ul><li>Introducing </li></ul><ul><li>Thank you for your letter… </li></ul><ul><li>I was sorry to hear that . . . </li></ul><ul><li>Explaining/giving reasons </li></ul><ul><li>I have investigated your complaint in detail. </li></ul><ul><li>The probelms were due to . . . </li></ul><ul><li>Unfortuantely . . . </li></ul><ul><li>I am sure you can understand . . . </li></ul><ul><li>Apologizing </li></ul><ul><li>I can apologize for . . . </li></ul><ul><li>Please accept my sincere apologies . . . </li></ul><ul><li>Promising action </li></ul><ul><li>I can assure you that we have taken steps to ensure that these problems do not occur again. </li></ul><ul><li>We will look into this matter. . . </li></ul>How to respond to Written Complaints
  8. 8. <ul><li>There are a number of formulas used when complaining </li></ul><ul><li>in English. It's important to remember that a direct </li></ul><ul><li>complaint or criticism in English can sound rude or </li></ul><ul><li>aggressive. It's best to mention a problem in an indirect </li></ul><ul><li>manner. Here are some of the most common: </li></ul>Oral Complaints.How to complain. FORMULAS
  9. 9. <ul><li>- Angry </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> 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 . . . </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><ul><li> I want to complain… //  I demand to see the person in charge immediately… //  Are you supposed to be in charge here?... </li></ul></ul><ul><li>+Angry </li></ul>Oral Complaints.How to complain
  10. 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. 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. 12. <ul><li>Source: </li></ul><ul><li>http://esl.about.com/library/grammar/blgr_complaints.htm </li></ul>