Cue Card Sample

Service which was not good and you complained about - Cue Card # 632

IELTS Speaking Part 2: IELTS Cue Card/ Candidate Task Card.

Describe your experience of a service which was not good and you complained about. 

You should say:

  • what service it was
  • who provided this service
  • why you needed it

and explain what was done after you complained about it.

[You will have to talk about the topic for one to two minutes. You have one minute to think about what you are going to say. You can make some notes to help you if you wish.]

Model Answer 1:

I really appreciate the time you have given me to brainstorm and talk about a service which was not up to my expectations and for which I complained.

Well, I am never really much of a complaining person even at a time when my minimum expectation is not met. But, this is life, and the reality is we do care about how we are treated, especially when we pay for a service. Anyway, during the last fall, I was celebrating my friend’s birthday at a nearby restaurant of my choice. I was told that the restaurant had some of the best grilled fish in the town, and I happened to just love grilled fish. After cutting the cake and wishing our birthday boy, we were finally ready to eat the foods, which we had asked the restaurant manager to arrange at least a week ago.

Our food arrived as per the schedule, and we started to think of eating them one bite at a time slowly, slowly to offer ourselves the “ultimate taste” of a grilled fish except, of course, that some of us stopped immediately after taking the first bite. What might have caused such abrupt interruption, we wondered? Well, in no time, it was revealed that some of the fish had some foul smell coming out of them. I was quite stunned after learning about the embarrassing news because, after all, it was me who convinced my friends to come to the restaurant.

I rushed to the restaurant manager immediately and complained to him about the food. The manager begged for some time to learn what might have actually transpired in the kitchen. The manager came back in a few minutes and tried to explain to me that the kitchen staffs were not aware of any foul smell and that the fish that we ordered were just fine with their natural flavour after the grill. But, I wasn’t exactly in the mood then to allow him any space for manoeuvring the situation that had embarrassed me and my friend (the birthday boy) big time. I even threatened to sue the restaurant for causing us such embarrassment.

It was then the restaurant manager felt compelled to come to a respectable settlement to save their faces. According to the settlement agreement, the restaurant had to serve us “sirloin beef steak” at half of its original price with free soft drinks for all 15 people. I was glad that the settlement worked for both parties without causing any major disconcert between us.

Sample Answer 2:

I am really glad that you have allowed me to talk about this topic. In fact, being able to talk about my negative experience with a service provider in my hometown would shed some of the distress I have had felt for the last few weeks. It is a fairly recent experience and I thank you once again for letting me talk about it.

Two months ago I contacted a local AC repair service provider, called 'Mr Fixer' as my air conditioner malfunctioned. It was making a loud noise, and the cooling system was inadequate.

I found this agency online and they had a wide range of services. As soon as I called them, they assured me that a technician, who is an expert, would contact me and provide me with the required service at my home. After I gave more details about the problems, they instructed me to pay $40 upfront as a service charge.

I paid the amount online the very next hour, but unfortunately, the technician did not call me within the next 48 hours. When I contacted the agency again, someone called me an hour later but did not come to my home as promised. The next day, he showed up and took an hour to fix the issue with the AC. He demanded an additional $15 as his transportation cost which I paid with dismay.

Shockingly, the AC was not properly fixed and it started making the noise the very next day. The cooling system was working as expected but the noise was even louder this time. I called the service provider and had to call back several times to find the person who booked my service request - the first sign of terrible customer service.

I explained to him everything and told him why I was complaining. Initially, he did not cooperate with me and asked me to talk to the technician instead. When I explained that I would rather go to the Consumer Rights Protection Agency and lodge a written complaint, he revealed that the technicians were not their permanent employees and that the agency couldn't do anything about it.

I was utterly frustrated with the experience and vowed never to take their service again. Instead of taking legal actions, I wrote some negative reviews about the company in different online forums and many people responded to the reviews. Someone from the company called me a week ago and told me that if I delete all those negative reviews, they might refund my $70! That was another sign that the whole agency was unreliable and nefarious.


Model Answer 3:

First, I would like to express my gratitude for the opportunity that I have been given to talk about this issue. Well, the service I experienced that was not up to par was at a local restaurant where I had booked a table for a special celebration dinner. The restaurant, known for its fine dining experience, was usually quite reliable, which is why I chose it for the occasion. However, on this particular evening, the service fell short of expectations.

The restaurant, known as "La Belle Cuisine," was renowned for its exquisite French cuisine and elegant ambience. I had made the reservation a week in advance for my parents' wedding anniversary celebration. As it was a special occasion, I wanted everything to be perfect, from the food to the service.

Unfortunately, upon arriving at the restaurant, we were greeted with disorganization and delay. Despite having a reservation, we were made to wait for nearly 30 minutes before being seated. The staff seemed overwhelmed and inattentive, and it took another significant amount of time for our orders to be taken.

To make matters worse, when our food finally arrived, it was not cooked as per our specifications, and some dishes were even served cold. The waitstaff seemed indifferent to our complaints, offering minimal apologies and making no effort to rectify the situation.

Feeling frustrated and disappointed, I decided to speak to the manager about our experience. I expressed our concerns politely but firmly, highlighting the issues we had encountered throughout the evening. The manager listened attentively and apologized sincerely for the subpar service. To compensate for the inconvenience, the manager offered us complimentary desserts and promised to address the issues with the staff to ensure a better dining experience in the future. While the gesture was appreciated, it did not entirely make up for the disappointment we had experienced.

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