BEP 261 – Complaining on the Telephone 2

Welcome back to Business English Pod for today’s lesson on complaining and getting results over the phone.

Few people actually like to complain, but sometimes you just have to. There’s an old saying that “the squeaky wheel gets the grease,” which means that if you don’t complain, you won’t actually get anything resolved. So if you pay for a product or service and you’re not satisfied, it’s usually best to let the company know.

We can complain by email, but email isn’t always powerful enough. We need to use our voice to convey our ideas, emotions, and seriousness. We can complain in person, but that’s not always possible. So in many situations, we need to complain over the phone. But that’s not an easy thing to do successfully, so today we’ll look at some techniques that you can use to get results over the phone. In this lesson, we’ll cover rejecting a proposed solution, making threats, and asking for guarantees. We’ll also learn about establishing consequences and showing appreciation for a solution.

In the dialog, we will rejoin Donna and Mike. Donna works for Fuller Foods, which buys fruit from a company where Mike works as an account manager. Donna has been complaining about late deliveries and damaged produce. And Mike is trying to make her happy by looking for solutions to the problem.

Listening Questions

1. What does Donna think of Mike’s idea to talk to people in his company about the problem?
2. Why might Donna mention that she gets calls from sales reps from other companies?
3. What does Donna propose in the event that deliveries arrive late?

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