How to complain

Something's gone wrong: annoying colleagues, noisy neighbors, poor service. Do you want to complain? Come this Sunday at 12-00 and discuss "how to complain" expertly and get a positive effect of it.


Say your name,
Is the customer always right?

Watch and discuss Video 1


1. Do you think complaining relieves stress?
2. Would you complain if someone were talking loudly into his cellphone on the train? Why/not? Would your answer change if it were a woman using the phone?
3. What do people in general often complain about? Please explain.
4. Do you have any friends who are constant complainers? Please explain.
5. What do you imagine it's like to work in a busy customer help centre?
6. What information should you include in a letter of complaint?
7. Which businesses do you think have the worst customer service?
8. Would you complain to your boss about regularly receiving too much work? Why/not?

Watch and discuss Video 2

Activity 1 - Complaining roleplay

There are two complaining role-plays so each student has a go at being the customer and the worker. Encourage students to use as much language from the previous handout as possible.

Fisrt situation
Student A: You are staying in a 5 star hotel, there is a famous rock band staying in the room next door, it is 3am and they are having a wild party, throwing televisions out the window and keeping you awake. You have an important business meeting at 9am.
Student B: You are the receptionist in a 5 star hotel, it is 3am a guest has come to complain about noise, there is a famous rock group staying in the hotel, they have paid €1million to have a party in their room. The hotel is full.

Second situation
Student A: You are checking out of your hotel. When the receptionist gives you the bill it is very high, you have been charged for 2 bottles of don perignon Champagne from the mini bar and 2 “adult” movies on the TV, you didn’t drink any champagne and you didn’t watch the movies.
Student B: You are a hotel receptionist, student A is coming to complain about his / her bill.

More details about this activity

Watch and discuss Video 3

Watch and discuss Video 4


1. Please define good customer service. Can you provide examples of good customer service from any past experiences?
2. Think of a time when you made a complaint. Tell your clubmates the story:
• Where were you?
• Why did you complain?
• How did you complain?
• What was the result?

3. How aware are you of your rights as a consumer?
4. Writing "letters of complaint" is a favourite homework task for students. How often have you written one in real life? Do businesses in your society take them seriously?
5. What's the one thing you would like to complain about English club right now?

 Useful videos 



 Movie dialogues


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