Unit 8. Reporting a Problem.

Read the focus question below and watch the videos to learn how to get a high band score. You can practice similar tasks and send your writing for correction and feedback.

Focus Question 8. Report a Missing Credit Card.

Dear Sir or Madam,


My name is Paul Antony West, and my current account number is 20321142. I am writing this letter in response to a letter you sent me last week (dated 9th March), which asked me to confirm that I have received a new credit card.


However, when I opened the envelope, although the letter was present, the credit card was missing, so I am naturally very concerned about this. It is a premier account and the new credit card, which I ordered on-line on the 1st March this year, is a platinum gold card with a credit limit of 5,000 pounds. 


Since I have now reported this problem to you, could you please let me know how you intend to resolve the question of the missing card? Naturally, I now require a replacement card, and the missing card should be cancelled immediately. 


Please reply as soon as possible as I am still anxious to receive a new card. Finally, thank you in advance for your kind cooperation.


Yours sincerely,

Mr. Paul Antony West.

Video Lessons.

Watch the video lessons to learn how to write a band 9 answer. Step 2 video is free and you can also download a free e-book. To view all videos, click here to subscribe.

Step 1.

Understanding the question

and brainstorming ideas.

Step 2.

Planning and writing

the introduction.

Step 3. 

Reviewing the introduction & planning

& writing body paragraphs.

Step 4.

Reviewing the answer & 

correcting any mistakes.

Practice Task 1.  Report Missing Stock.

Dear Mr. Green,


My name is Karl Hopkins, and as you will be aware, I have been working as the new stock-control supervisor at your hotel for the past five weeks. The reason I am writing is to report some missing stock items. Indeed, my primary role here is to itemise and account for all incoming and used stock and to order new stock. Therefore, since I commenced working at The Pelican Hotel, I have been busy conducting a comprehensive review of hotel inventory.


However, I regret to inform you that much of the stock that has not been used in the hotel has nevertheless disappeared, which consists almost exclusively of food and beverages. It seems that approximately half of all outside orders are not recorded, which leads me to believe they are being diverted.


Unfortunately, I suspect your chef and the head waiter might be responsible for this shortfall because they have their own private food delivery business that they are carrying on in tandem with their jobs at your hotel.


Finally, I am sorry to have to report this negative news, but it needs to be investigated immediately.


Yours sincerely,

Mr. Karl Hopkins. 

Practice Task 2.  Report Missing Laptop to an Airline.

Dear Sir or Madam,


My name is Dennis Hancock, and I am writing to follow up on a report of a lost laptop computer. I did report the matter to the lost luggage department (reference 34543), but hitherto, I have received no news. My flight was the Singapore to Frankfurt (flight number F612), which departed at 06.25.am and arrived in Frankfurt at 19.40.pm. My seat number was B03, which is in the first class section. Unfortunately, because I so tired at the end of the journey, I forgot to pick-up my lap-top when I got off the plane.


Perhaps if I describe the lap-top it might help: It is a silver Toshiba 15 inch screen and is inside a black and grey lap-top case. It is very important to me because all my work is saved on it, which I do not have backed up.


Finally, please tell me if there is any news of my laptop as soon as possible because I am very worried about it as it is irreplaceable.


I look forward to hearing some positive news in the very near future. Thank you for your kind attention.


Yours faithfully,

Dennis Hancock.

Practice Task 3.  Report an Accident to an Insurance Company.

Dear Sir or Madam,


My name is Carl Smith (policy number B356438) and I am writing to inform you of an accident that I had last week, which resulted in minor damage to another road-user's vehicle.


The accident happened last Friday 4th May when I stopped at the junction of Victoria Road and Manchester Road in order to turn right. Due to dazzling sunshine, I could not see properly, which resulted in me accidentally bumping into a white Renault Clio (registration number B234 SRJ).


Unfortunately, the accident caused a minor dent to the other driver's car, but there were no injuries to the other driver or other road users. In fact, although the police arrived shortly afterwards, no charges were made.


In view of the above circumstances, I believe it is necessary to indemnify the other driver for his loss as I already admitted liability. I forward some photos of the dent caused by negligence to the other driver's car.


Finally, I also enclose a full accident report to accompany this letter. Please send me details of how this might affect my future insurance premiums.


Yours faithfully,

Carl Smith.

Practice Task 4.  Report Broken-Down Air-Conditioning.

Dear Sir or Madam,


My name is Mr. Daniel Brown (employee number 23343268), and I am writing to report that my air conditioning has stopped working and needs immediate attention.


My employment with your company commenced on 1st February 2019, and I started living at my current address a week later (8th February). My apartment address is as follows: Flat 12, Apartment Building 4, Cherry Tree Apartments, 101 Main Road, Newcastle.


As regards the air-conditioning system: When we moved into the apartment a few months ago, it was working perfectly fine, but as the weather has gotten warmer, we have noticed that sometimes, the temperature fluctuates. Now that it has broken down completely, it is quite urgent that it is repaired because the weather is now very hot. Indeed, my wife has just had a new baby, which makes it very uncomfortable for her to stay in the apartment during the hot weather without air-conditioning.


Given the aforementioned circumstances, I would appreciate it if you could send the engineers to repair the system without delay. Thank you in advance for your kind cooperation.


Yours faithfully,

Mr. Daniel Brown.

Practice Test 5.  Letter of Complaint.

 Vocabulary · a recalled product: a defective product that is taken off the market ·malfunctions: failures in operation · faulty: defective · apology: an admission of error or discourtesy accompanied by an expression of regret e.g. public apology · annoyance: Being bothered by something or someone e.g. She expressed annoyance at the slow service ·dissatisfaction: a feeling of unhappiness or disapproval, e.g. She expressed her dissatisfaction with the service Letters of Complaint Useful Phrases and Vocabulary · satisfaction: a happy or pleased feeling because of something that you did or something that happened to you ·attitude: the way you think and feel about someone or something · quality: how good or bad something is · to portray: to describe (someone or something) in a particular way ·incompetence: lack of the ability to do something well · to attend to: to give needed help or attention to (someone or something) · severe: very bad, serious, or unpleasant · to compensate: to give money or something else of value to (someone) in return for something ·to demand: to require (something) · hazardous: dangerous · a lawn mower: a machine used for cutting the grass on lawns · assembly: the act of connecting together the parts of something (such as a machine) · to chuckle: to laugh in a quiet way · a welded edge: to join pieces of metal together by heating the edges until they begin to melt and then pressing them together · a coupler: something combined with something else · to misuse: to use (something) incorrectly · hassle: to bother or annoy (someone) constantly or repeatedly

Common Expressions.

Opening a letter of complaint.

Introducing your complaint.

- I am writing this letter to protest about the plan to ...

- I am writing this letter to express my disappointment in relation to the proposal to ...

- I am sorry to have to inform you of the following unfortunate situation:  Last week when I visited your ...

- I am writing to express my unhappiness about your decision / plans to ...

- I am writing to make clear / to lodge my displeasure (show my irritation / frustration)  at your plans to ...

- I am sorry to have to complain in relation to the following unfortunate situation, which occurred at your ...

- I am writing in connection with an unfortunate experience I had when I visited your store / business etc...

- I am writing this letter to bring to your attention my disapproval of  your decision / proposal to ...

- I am writing this letter to complain about an incident that happened on (date) at (time) at (place)

- I am writing this letter to express my dissatisfaction with the poor service I experienced when I ...

- I am writing in connection with ...


Developing your complaint.

- The reasons for my complaint / objections are three-fold: First of all, ... Also, ... In addition, ...

- Unfortunately, I found the standard of professionalism and workmanship to fall well below what I had come to consider to be an acceptable level in regard to ...

- I am very disappointed with the poor standard(s) of service / workmanship / professionalism I encountered when I visited your ...

- Something that I feel particularly aggrieved about is that ...

- Another source of real dissatisfaction is that ...

- This was not what I had expected.  In fact, it is quite the opposite; 

- Although, according to your staff, I should have got / the product should have / the service should have included, in fact it fell short of this expectation...

- Notwithstanding the fact that I was assured by your sales assistant / employee that ...

- On using your service / product, I was quite surprised to discover that, despite being assured by your company employees that it would work perfectly, when I got it home, in fact the product failed to ...




Asking the recipient to take action:

- I sincerely hope that you will take my complaint seriously

- I trust you will take appropriate action to remedy this situation in the immediate future so that we can put this unfortunate incident / event(s) behind us.

- I am fully confident that we can overcome this unfortunate situation and come to a mutually agreeable resolution.  I trust it would not be inconvenient for you to now act to redress this problem by ...

- I would be sincerely grateful if you could ...

- I hope you will give your immediate attention to this matter...

- I fully anticipate that you will take remedial steps to resolve this matter to our mutual satisfaction.  I therefore expect you to ...

- In view of these circumstances, I trust you will see that it would be unfair if I were not given some kind of compensation for my loss / inconvenience ... Therefore, it only seems fair that you provide me with ...

- As a valued customer, I fully expect that you will provide me with ...


- In order to satisfactorily address my grievance, I feel that what would be fair (what would suit me best) would be if you were to ...