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In good time with the exception of on schedule

Exercise 85. Read this letter of complaint, and fill in the blanks with the correct verb taken from the list below.

have not arrived found was torn

have contacted received were damaged

have not had showed

have informed unpacked

Exercise 86. Below you will see parts of two letters concerned with a delay in fulfilling an order. Put the correct word or phrase in each blank. Choose from the following list. Use each item once only.

deducted matter promised delivery

further delay obliged refund

Issue passed reply




Exercise 87. Below you will see parts of four letters of complaint. Put the correct word or phrase in each blank.

a. A complaint about delay.

b. A complaint that the wrong goods were sent.

Exercises 88. Write a letter of complaint, using the following words and phrases:

Exercise 89. Complete this letter to Roots Limited (of 17 Argyl Way, Chelmsford, Essex, England ES1 6DP). Report that crate 42 contained only 400 Halex watches. It should have contained 600. Explain they are needed urgently for a special customer.

Exercise 90. Translate into English.

a. A complaint about bad packing.

Уважаемые господа,

С сожалением сообщаем Вам, что 4 из 20 ящиков, содержащих нашу партию будильников, были неправильно упакованы.

b. Complaints about quality.

Unit 9 replies to complaints language practice

1. Notice how these sentences express regret:

We are very/extremely sorry to hear that two filing cabinets of the wrong sort were sent.

We are very/ extremely sorry that you had to wait for this shipment.

We (greatly) regret very much that you did not receive the full consignment.

Make sentences similar to the above for the following causes of complaint. These complaints are from buyers, addressed to the supplier.

  1. Four cases contained the wrong goods.

  2. Our agent had to wait seven days for delivery.

  3. Damage was caused to the linings of the jackets.

  4. We think the goods are of inferior quality.

  5. We do not like the colour of the suits.

  6. Corrosion and rust have made the instruments unsaleable.

  7. The goods despatched do not correspond to the catalogue number of the goods we ordered.

  8. Your packers did not follow our instructions.

  9. Case No. 26 was breached.

  10. We are short-shipped by three cases out of our order of twenty-seven.

  11. The delay will mean that we cannot meet a delivery deadline to our customers.

  12. Inadequate packing by your packers caused the loss of five cases of whiskey.

2. Notice how you inform a customer about alternative arrangements:

We are arranging to send replacements on the M/V Sidmouth.

We have arranged to send replacements on the M/V Sidmouth.

Inform the buyer about alternative arrangements for these:

  1. Bring forward the date of the next shipment

  2. Send our agent to inspect the goods

  3. Despatch the shipping documents at once

  4. Replace the damaged goods

  5. Post the advice of despatch as soon as the ship sails

  6. Visit your head offices next July

  7. Collect the goods rejected by you

  8. Send an expert to examine the goods

  9. Offer you a discount of 10 %

  10. Despatch the delayed goods franco domicile, duty paid

  11. Ship the merchandise before the 10th December

  12. Pack the goods in accordance with your instructions

3. Explanations: Notice the use of the verb cause here:

There was a delay. (complaint) There was a dockers' strike. (explanation)

The delay was caused by a dockers' strike.

Write explanations in the same way for a customer’s complaints about the following:

  1. There was damage. There was inadequate waterproof lining.

  2. There was an error. There was confusion about reference numbers.

  3. There was a delay. There was stormy weather in the English Channel.

  4. There was a mistake. There was a false reference number in the catalogue.

  5. There was an accident. There was rough unloading at the port.

4. Notice how apologies are made:

We apologize for any inconvenience caused by the error.

We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience caused by this short-shipment.

Please accept our sincere regrets at any inconvenience caused to you by our mistake.

Write ‘apologies’ to a customer for the following complaints.

  1. Inconvenience caused by a delay of two weeks in delivery

  2. Confusion caused by a shipment including one case with the wrong goods

  3. Damage caused by the use of hooks during loading

  4. Loss caused by bad packing

  5. Inconvenience caused by the late arrival of the merchandise

  6. Delay caused by changes in shipping schedules

  7. Worry caused by the late arrival of an advice of despatch

  8. Loss caused by our failure to meet the delivery date

  9. Damage caused by heat on board ship

  10. Inconvenience caused by the discharge of the goods at the wrong port

5. Notice how you assure customers that similar mistakes will not happen in future:

We shall ensure that similar mistakes do not occur again.

We shall do everything we can to ensure that goods are despatched on time in future.

Write similar sentences of assurance to a customer for the following:

  1. Delays in shipment

  2. Damage to goods in transit

  3. Goods are packed properly

  4. Your instructions are carried out

  5. Short-shipment of goods

  6. The documents are sent in advance

  7. The reference numbers are up to date

  8. Our agents despatch goods promptly

  9. The goods are checked carefully

  10. Our forwarding agents mark the containers in accordance with your instructions

6. Notice how you express a mixture of hope and expectation:

We trust that the goods are suitable.

I trust that our representative is helpful to you.

Use the same expression for the following. Choose a suitable verb.

  1. The goods / on time

  2. Our agent / the Certificate of Insurance to you in good time

  3. The delay / no inconvenience to you

  4. The shipment / undamaged in transit

  5. The quality of the replacements / to your satisfaction

  6. Your representative / the shipping documents

  7. The packing arrangements / your instructions

  8. You / satisfied with the merchandise

  9. We / meet your demands

  10. You / our apologies for the error

Exercise 91. Insert the correct words in the appropriate spaces in the passage below.

assure franco domicile propose

carry out goodwill remedy

courteous inconvenience representative

due to prompt short-shipped

Letters of adjustment should always be (1) … , or polite. You should express regret for any (2) … caused by your mistake, and it is a good idea to (3) … the buyer that you will correct the mistake, and offer any other (4) … you think may be useful.

If the error, damage, or delay is not your company’s fault, then you should say that it is (5) … circumstances beyond your control.

When you conclude the letter you should promise to (6) … the customer’s instructions in the future. Offer the services of your (7) … who can visit the buyer and help to arrange replacements.

If the buyer asks you what you (8) … to do about delayed shipments, send a (9) … reply. If the order was (10) … you should despatch the goods which were not sent as soon as you can. It is a good idea to arrange payment (11) … which means that all costs are paid to the consignee’s warehouse. This will be accepted by the buyer as a sign of (12) … and may prevent the customer from changing his supplier.

Exercise 92. Read this extract from a letter apologizing for a delayed delivery, and choose the best words from the options in brackets.

Exercise 93. Insert the correct phrases in the appropriate spaces below.

beyond our control to your satisfaction within a few days

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