Unit 1. Letters of Complaint

 

Additional Practice Tests. 

 

Below, you will find additional practice test questions for making requests. Try to write some letters yourself and try to get them corrected by an IELTS teacher, or you can use the essay marking and correction service.


Focus Question 3. Request a Letter of Reference.



Dear Mr. Perry,

 

I hope you are well. My name is John Ball. I hope you can remember me from the class of 2018. I was in your A level class that year and was fortunate enough to get an 'A'. 

 

Anyway, the reason I'm writing to you is because I need a reference from a former teacher in relation to a degree course that I want to study at the University of Southampton.

 

The details of the course are as follows: The degree is a four-year Bachelor of Arts, which is a sandwich course, so the second year will be practical experience studying abroad. It's really important for me to take this course because it's the only university that offers modules in relation to rock formations in Argentina, which is where I would choose to study abroad.

 

Naturally, your reference will be crucial in determining whether I get onto the course, so perhaps you could make reference to the extensive field-work I did while I was studying geography at A-level. Any other positive points would also be appreciated.

 

Finally, I'd like to thank you in advance and look forward to receiving a favourable reference. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you need any information.

 

Yours sincerely,

John Ball.


Practice Task 1. Request Time-off Work.



Dear Mr Ellis,

 

My name is Alan Bell, and I have worked in the financial services research department for four years now. I am writing because I need to request some time off work.

 

Hitherto, I have never missed a of work for any reason whatsoever. However, I now need to request eight weeks leave from my work duties starting on the first of next month because I have to look after my ageing mother, who is recovering from dual-hip surgery. According to the official employment rules and regulations handbook, it is necessary to acquire formal consent from my immediate supervisor to take time off. Therefore, I hope you will grant me the time off, which I urgently need to take care of my mother, who is totally incapacitated due to the surgery.

 

As regards my work while I am away: Because Dennis Brown has been working as my assistant researcher for the past eighteen months, he is very familiar with my research, so I am confident in his abilities to cover for any meetings. As regards the research itself, I can work from home and send any reports by email.

 

Finally, I hope you can agree to my request, and I thank you in advance.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Mr. Alan Bell.


Practice Task 2.  Request Information from a Furniture Shop.



Dear Sir,

 

My name is Mr. Alan Bell, and I recently moved into a new apartment, so I am looking for some new furniture.

 

Regarding the location of my new apartment; it is on the third floor of Daisy Heights Apartment Complex, which is about two miles distance from your store. Since I moved in yesterday, I am desperate need of some essential furnishings. First of all, I need a new fridge-freezer, a cooker and a new washer-drier. All my appliances need to run from 220 voltage, which is standard in my apartment building. In addition, I need 3 new double beds, a new sofa for the lounge, and a modern coffee table.

 

Naturally, it would be better if you could send more specific details of what you have to offer; in particular, I would appreciate it if you could indicate the precise cost of all items and how soon you could deliver. Please provide me with some discounted offers by sending me an email to bell989@hotmail.com. 

 

Thank you for considering my request. I look forward to hearing from you.

 

Yours faithfully,

Mr. Alan Bell.


Practice Task 3. Studying Abroad.



Dear Mr. and Mrs. Smith,

 

My name is Pedro Herrera, and I am writing to you because you will be my host family during my visit to England for the month of July this coming summer.

 

In fact, I have a few questions for you, but let me please start by telling you a little about myself. I will be 22 years old in June, and although I was born in Paris, I was raised and have lived in Madrid all my life. I speak French and Spanish fluently whereas my English is not so good. In my free-time, I enjoy cooking, sightseeing, and visiting historical buildings.

 

Regarding my stay: I hope you do not mind if I request some information from you. First of all, could you provide me with a short list of the best historical buildings to visit in Brighton? Also, could you recommend a good cooking school in Brighton where I could learn to cook traditional English recipes?

 

Regarding my arrival: I am scheduled to arrive at Gatwick Airport at about seven in the morning on July 1st, so could you pick me up? If not, it isn’t a problem as I can always take a taxi.

 

Finally, I am really looking forward to my stay with you in Brighton, and I hope you hear from you soon.

 

Yours sincerely,

Mr. Pedro Herrera. 


Practice Task 4.  A Museum Exhibition.



Dear Sir or Madam,

 

My name is Julian Burke, and I am writing as the organiser of a college trip for 20 students to your museum. In fact, Bolton College has authorised me to contact you concerning our annual cultural visit, which will focus on ancient Egyptian artefacts from the first century. We intend to visit your museum on Friday 8th July, so I wanted to request some information in advance.

 

To begin with, it would be really helpful if you could provide us with some detailed information about the artefacts you have on display so that we could do some research in preparation of our visit. Moreover, since we will be spending the entire day at your museum, could you advise me of the refreshments you have available? Furthermore, would you mind confirming the opening and closing times of the museum?

 

Finally, I would appreciate it if you could tell me whether students are entitled to a discount. In the meantime, I look forward to hearing from you.

 

Your faithfully,

 

Mr. Julian Burke.


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 ...  


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