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How to complain in English!

In this class, you’ll learn how to complain in English.

Want to know how to learn better English? Well a great place to start is Learn Hot English, for lots of great English class materials, and a FREE gift, visit our homepage

No one likes to complain. But sometimes, it’s necessary. You might be in a restaurant, a hotel or an airport, and the only way to get what you want is by complaining. Just to help, here’s some useful language, and a conversation to show you the expressions in action!

Complaining in a shop

  • I’d like to make a complaint.
  • I’d like to speak to the manager, please.
  • I’ve been waiting here for twenty minutes and no one’s attended me.
  • I’d like to register a formal complaint, please.

Introducing a problem

  • This wasn’t the one I wanted.
  • I was charged $20 for this, however…
  • I’m sorry to trouble you, but there seems to be a problem with the room.
  • I ordered the fish, but you’ve brought me a steak.


I think there’s been a misunderstanding…

I don’t think I explained myself very well. What I meant to say was…

What I was trying to say was that…

Do you think you could help me with this, please?

Accepting a complaint

I’m sorry about that.

I can’t tell you how sorry we are.

I’ll deal with it immediately.

Leave it with me.

I’ll see what I can do.

Rejecting a complaint

Well, I’m afraid there’s nothing we can do about it.

I’m sorry but that’s really not our responsibility.

It clearly states in the contract that…

Expressing anger

This is unacceptable!
This is a disgrace!

I’ll be talking to your boss about this!

This is outrageous!

I’ve never been treated like this before!
Have you ever heard of the expression, “The customer is always right!”?

Now you’re going to listen to a conversation.

Patricia is staying at a luxury hotel in New York. But she’s having some problems. So she decides to make a complaint at the front desk. Listen and answer.

  1. What’s wrong with the room?
  2. What did she find in the soup?
  3. What is missing?
  4. Where does she find it?

Here are the answers:

  1. What’s wrong with the room?

She booked a room with a double bed, but she’s only got a single bed.

  1. What did she find in the soup?

She found a hair in her soup.

  1. What is missing?

Her iPad is missing.

  1. Where does she find it?

She finds it in her bag.

When you travel, there are a lot of situations that can arise that require certain vocabulary or expressions, our Travel book is full of situations that you might encounter.

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