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Making a Complaint

In the Store

Shop Assistant: What can I do for you, sir?

Mr M: I have chosen this CD-player. I’d like to take it.

S A: That’s really good choice, sir. This multifunctional model is the newest

one, it provides a beautiful sound and has a three-way equalizer, which can

change music mode from Rock to Pop and Jazz.

Mr M: It’s very interesting. Could you demonstrate it, please?

Susan: Certainly, Look, everything seems to be working fine. Have you decided to

buy it?

Mr M: Yes, I will buy it.

Susan: How would you like to pay?

Mr M: In cash. It costs 199 pounds, doesn’t it? And how long is the guarantee?

Susan: Two years. Here is the guarantee and your receipt. Keep them in case you

need to exchange this player or get a refund.

Mr M: All right. I sure will.


Customer: Good afternoon. I’d like to speak to the manager.

Manager: I’m the manager, sir. How can I help you?

Customer: Well, it’s this tape-recorder. It doesn’t work at all.

Manager: Hmm… Did you buy it here?

Customer: What? Of course, I did. Look, I put a disk in, turn it on and nothing


Manager: May I see your receipt?

Customer: Receipt? Oh… I don’t have one.

Manager: You must have got a receipt when you bought it.

Customer: I probably did, but I must have thrown it away.

Manager: Well, if so … Do you have any other proof of purchase – the guarantee,

for example?

Customer: No, it must have been in the box. I threw it away too.

Manager: That’s too bad. You should have kept it. We need to know the exact

date of purchase.

Customer: Oh! I only bought it yesterday. And I paid by credit card. I have my

copy here.

Manager: All right then. Did you test the tape-recorder in the store?

Customer: No, I didn’t. It was in the original box. I expected it to work. It wasn’t a

cheap tape-recorder, it’s a good brand.

Manager: You should have tested it.

Customer: Come on. Don’t tell me what I should have done. Give me my money

back or give me another tape-recorder!

Manager: There’s no need to get impatient, sir. Let me have a look at your tape-

recorder. Hmm… You see this little switch on the back?

Customer: Yes.

Manager: It’s on AC and it should be on DC. You really should have read the


Customer: Oh, excuse me then. I should have been more attentive.


V. Have the consumer rights been violated in the following situations? Which of them would be considered fraud? Explain your answer.

a) A salesperson says the HI-FI sound system you are looking at is the best brand made. After you buy it, you find it rated in a consumer magazine as second best;

b) The label in a shirt says the colours will not fade. After washing it, you find that instead of bright red shirt you now have a pale pink one;

c) Suppose that the first time you wash a new wool sweater it shrinks so much that that it no longer fits you. You washed the sweater in hot water, but you notice that the label in the sweater says to use cold water;

d) The person who sells an electric mixer says it is completely washable. Before using it, you put it in a sink filled with water to wash it. The first time you try to use the mixer, there is a flash and it catches fire. When you return the mixer to the shop, the salesperson tells you that she did not mean the mixer could be put in water. She refuses to give you either a refund or an exchange.


VI. Translate the dialogue into English:

- Що бажаєте, пані?

- Я б хотіла купити цей тостер. Чи не могли б Ви його перевірити?

- Звичайно. Подивіться, все гаразд. Будете брати? Як будете платити?

- Готівкою. Він коштує 130 гривень, чи не так? А який гарантійний термін?

- 2 роки. Ось гарантійний талон і квитанція про покупку. Зберігайте їх на випадок, якщо виникне необхідність обміняти чи повернути тостер.


VII. Read the information about how to develope buying skills:

You can become a wise consumer if you develop the following buying skills:

1. Compare price, quality, and service of one product to those of another product.

2. Examine a product before buying to be certain the quality of it will satisfy your needs.

3. Consider the business’s reputation. If you buy from a business with a good reputation, you can usually rely on its salespeople to help you make wise selections, as they know the uses and the quality of the goods being offered for sale.

4. Know brand names – names given to products or services intended to distinguish them from other similar or competitive products or services.

5. Choose from the variety of stores.

6. Take your time to visit more stores, give yourself a chance to look for a product you really want and need. It usually results in saving your money.

7. Buy at the right time. A good shopper knows that prices are lowest at predictable times like seasonal sales, etc.

8. Don’t be impulsive to avoid buying unwanted goods.

9. Take a pocket calculator with you when you go shopping.


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