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  1. Senior Member
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    #1

    A letter of complaint

    Could you please check my writing? This is an exemplary writing task which is part of a CAE exam.


    You recently returned from a holiday abroad. On the flight to your destination, the plane was substantially delayed with no apparent explanation and this resulted in you missing your connecting flight and having to stay a night at the airport waiting for the next connection. Your luggage was lost for almost four days and when it was returned to you, your camera was missing. Write a letter to the airline company describing how you and your holiday were affected, how you feel about the service and asking for compensation.




    Write your letter in 220-260 words in an appropriate style.

    Dear Verybad Airlines,

    I had the doubtful pleasure of being passenger 123 on the flight AB-12 from Notanactualtown to Exemplaryville. I am writing this letter of complaint expecting you to compensate for the inconvenience I experienced due to the poor quality of your service.


    First of all, the flight AB-12 was grossly delayed, with no information to be found. Because of that, I wasn't able to switch planes, and I had to spend a night at the airport waiting for the next connection. I arrived to my final destination one day later than planned, and I found out that the hotel canceled my reservation because I had not shown up. I paid upfront for the first night, but could not have stayed.

    On top of that, my luggage was lost at the airport. When it finally turned up after four days, it turned out to have been irrepairably damaged. My personal belongings were crushed, including the very bag itself. An expensive camera that was part of my luggage was lost and has not been found yet.

    I cannot believe how incredibly insignificant your lack of competence made me feel. You turned my supposed to be vacation into a nightmare because I had to sleep at an airport, find another hotel, and I was worrying about my lost luggage. I demand you to pay for the damaged items (the value of which is 700 Euro, as stated in the Property Damage Report), and I also want you to pay for the night I was unable to stay for.

    Sincerely,
    G.

    Total Word Count: 259
    Total Unique Words: 148
    Number of Sentences: 14
    Average Sentence Length: 18.5
    Number of Paragraphs: 7
    Hard Words: (11.20%)
    Lexical Density: 57.14
    Fog Index: 11.88

  2. jutfrank's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: A letter of complaint

    I mark a lot of CAE writing. This is excellent. Well done.

  3. jutfrank's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: A letter of complaint

    Quote Originally Posted by Glizdka View Post
    Dear Verybad Airlines, (Don't address letters to companies)

    I had the doubtful pleasure (I actually like the sarcasm here—I think it works) of being passenger 123 on the flight AB-12 from Notanactualtown to Exemplaryville. I am writing this letter of complaint (no need to specify the text type) expecting you to compensate for the inconvenience I experienced due to the poor quality of your service. (excellent)


    First of all, the flight AB-12 was grossly delayed (good), with no information to be found. Because of that, I wasn't able to switch planes, and I had to spend a night at the airport waiting for the next connection. I arrived to my final destination one day later than planned, and I found out that the hotel canceled (you missed an opportunity here to use past perfect...) my reservation because I had not shown up (...but effectively made up for it here). I paid upfront (nice) for the first night, but could not have stayed. (that's not quite right)

    On top of that (very good linking), my luggage was lost at the airport. When it finally turned up (very good) after four days, it turned out to have been irrepairably damaged.(excellent) My personal belongings (good) were crushed, including the very bag itself. An expensive camera that was part of my luggage was lost and has not been found yet.

    I cannot believe how incredibly insignificant your lack of competence made me feel (laying it on thick, but nice language). You turned my supposed to be vacation into a nightmare (good) because I had to sleep at an airport, find another hotel, and I was worrying about my lost luggage. I demand you to pay (not quite right) for the damaged items (good) (the value of which is 700 Euro, as stated (good) in the Property Damage Report), and I also want you to pay for the night I was unable to stay for.

    There you go. These are the things I might prioritise as evidence to justify the score I'd give. You've made some unimportant minor errors that I haven't bothered to correct but you needn't worry about that. Vocab is excellent, grammar is good, organisation is excellent, communicative achievement is very good.

    I can't give you a score but you're clearly in the range you need to be to pass.

    What score are you aiming for?
    Last edited by jutfrank; 13-May-2019 at 20:23.

  4. teechar's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: A letter of complaint

    Quote Originally Posted by Glizdka View Post
    Dear Verybad Airlines,


    I had the doubtful pleasure of being a passenger 123 on the flight AB-12 from Notanactualtown to Exemplaryville. I am writing this letter of complaint expecting you to compensate me for the inconvenience I experienced due to the poor quality of your service.


    First of all, the flight AB-12 was grossly delayed, with no information or explanation provided to passengers. be found. Because of that, I wasn't able to switch planes, make it for my connecting flight, and I had to spend a night at the airport waiting for the next connection. I arrived to at my final destination one day later than planned, and I found out that the hotel had canceled my reservation because I had not shown up. I paid upfront for the first night, but could not have stayed.


    On top of that, my luggage was lost at the airport. When it finally turned up after four days, it turned out to have been irreparably damaged. My personal belongings were crushed, including the very bag [consider using “suitcase”] itself. An expensive camera that was part of in my luggage was lost and has not been found yet.


    I cannot believe how incredibly insignificant your lack of competence made me feel. You turned my supposed-to-be vacation into a nightmare because I had to sleep at an airport, find another hotel, and I was worrying about my lost luggage all the time. I, therefore, demand that you to pay for the damaged items (the value of which is 700 Euro, as stated in the Property Damage Report included), and I also want expect you to pay for the night I was unable to stay for.


    Sincerely,
    Yours faithfully,
    G.

    I couldn't totally follow the underlined parts. Try rewriting them.

  5. Senior Member
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    #5

    Re: A letter of complaint

    I'm not aiming for any particular score. I'll be happy with whatever I get. Hopefully, it's going to be enough to be considered a C1 level user. I've got a few questions regarding your comments and corrections:

    (1) How should I open a letter of complaint if not with a "dear xxx"?
    (2) How much of a trouble I might get myself into for using sarcrasm, metaphors, and genrally non-literal language?
    (3) I followed the articleless pattern of page 123, exercise 123, route 123, passenger 123. I was considering using the definite article (the passenger 123), but definitely not the indefinite article (a passenger 123). Why should I have used the indefinite article?
    (4) Isn't "I found out that the hotel had canceled my reservation because I had not shown up" oversaturated with the past perfect?
    (5) Is "
    I paid upfront for the first night for the room I could not have stayed in" clear? The message I was trying to convey was "I paid upfront when I was booking the room, but because of the delayed flight, I had paid for something I didn't use."
    (6) Is it necessary to link the words in "supposed-to-be" with dashes because it functions as an adjective?
    (7) How can I phrase "I expect you to give me the amount of money I pre-paid for the night at the hotel"?
    (8) Isn't "yours faithfully" typically British? I am not allowed to switch between accents, and I should stick to one. My accent of choice is AmE.

  6. jutfrank's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: A letter of complaint

    1) Address it to a person, not a company.
    2) None
    3) You were correct to use no article.
    4) No
    5) No
    6) Not here. You want just supposed.
    7) There are several ways to do this. Don't ask me here.
    8) Use Yours faithfully when you haven't used the person's name. If you have, use Yours sincerely.

  7. Tarheel's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: A letter of complaint

    I would say:

    I paid for something I didn't use. I couldn't stay in the room I had paid for.

    Also, when you say"i was passenger 222 ..." you don't need an article and shouldn't use one.

    Not a professional teacher

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