Business English- Dealing with Complaints Step by Step Roleplay Practice


Easy and more challenging responding to complaints roleplays, including dealing with complaints by email and on the phone

Dealing with complaints step by step practice

Work your way through the roleplays below with same roles each time. The roleplays should start short and easy and get longer and more difficult as you progress through them. You can use the same topic for each roleplay or change topics, whichever you prefer.

  1. Your partner will (politely) complain about one of the things below. Apologise.
  2. Do the same, but this time replying with an apology and reason why it happened.
  3. Do the same, but replying with an apology, reason, and future action.
  4. Do the same, but as emails.
  5. Do the same, but as a telephone call.
  6. Do the same (as telephone calls), but this time also use some phrases for sounding sympathetic and showing you are listening.
  7. Do the same, but with the first phone call leaving a message on your answer machine/ voice mail.

Possible things to complain about

Bad publicity

Bad quality

Changes since the last batch

Delivered the wrong amount

Delivered the wrong thing

Documents not arrived

Equipment breaking down


Invoiced for the wrong amount

Lack of improvements

Late payment

Low English level of a member of staff

Not giving necessary information

Not replying to an email or answer machine message

Passing on complaints from someone else

Price rises

Problems with the computer system

Release of personal information

Short notice

Something missing

The wrong information


Ask about any steps above which were difficult to do, topics above which you don’t understand, etc.  

Switch roles and do all seven steps again but with a different topic or topics.

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