What are complaints?
Complaints are expressions of “displeasure or annoyance” in response to an action that is seen by the speaker as unfavorable. Suppose you want to complain about the pizza you have just ordered because it’s too salty, what are the expressions needed to express and respond to complaints?
Here are expressions you can use when complaining:
- I have a complaint to make. …
- Sorry to bother you but…
- I’m sorry to say this but…
- I’m afraid I’ve got a complaint about…
- I’m afraid there is a slight problem with…
- Excuse me but there is a problem about…
- I want to complain about…
- I’m angry about…
|I have a complaint to make.||Your pizza is just too salty.|
|I’m sorry to say this but||Your food is inedible.|
|1. I’m afraid I’ve got a complaint about your child. He’s too noisy.
2. I’m afraid there is a slight problem with the service in this hotel.
3. Excuse me but you are standing on my foot.
4. I want to complain about the noise you are making.
5. I’m angry about the way you treat me.
Responding to complaints
Positive response to complaints
- I’m so sorry, but this will never occur / happen again.
- I’m sorry, we promise never to make the same mistake again.
- I’m really sorry; we’ll do our utmost/best not to do the same mistake again.
Negative response to complaints
- Sorry there is nothing we can do about it.
- I’m afraid, there isn’t much we can do about it.
- We are sorry but the food is just alright.
Things to remember about complaints
When expressing a complaint in English, it helps to be polite. Although “I’m angry about your pizza. It’s too salty” is one possible way of expressing a complaint, it is considered too rude and you’d better use more polite expressions if you want to get what you want!