Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Bad experience with a cruise

You have taken a cruise and have been disappointed with the experience. Write a letter to the cruise provider and specify
- what went wrong
- how did you feel about it
- what do you want to be done about it.

This task was taken from actual experience. I received full refund after this letter :)

Dear Sir/Madam,

My name is Soandso and I am writing to bring your attention to an unsatisfactory experience we had with Christmas Cruises on December 25, 2010.

First, contrary to that was in the advertisement, the boat was old and homely. It was cold inside from the beginning, but when a hundred passengers boarded, the windows became misted due to poor ventilation, which made it impossible to enjoy the views of the Sydney Harbour.

Second, even though we were provided with a "private table", there were so many private tables that we were literally sitting elbow to elbow with other passengers. The cheap, unsteady tables were put so close to each other that we became barricaded and had to ask other people to stand up and let us pass to get the food or to use the washroom. This all provided us with the feeling of growing embarrassment incompatible with enjoying the cruise and the Christmas spirit.

In the circumstances, we do not feel that is unreasonable to expect a full refund of the money paid to you following the misrepresentation of what Christmas Cruises were offering. We expect, therefore, a refund of the full $200.

Faithfully yours,

199 words
Expected IELTS Band - 7.5

Thursday, July 10, 2008

IELTS Essay: Are ads making us to buy more?

Today, the high sales of popular consumer goods reflect the power of advertising and not the real needs of the society in which they are sold.
To what extent do you agree or disagree?

This task was taken from the book Cambridge IELTS 6 Student's Book with answers: Examination papers from University of Cambridge ESOL Examinations (IELTS Practice Tests) by Cambridge ESOL.

Nowadays millions of companies produce billions of products and the role of advertising is quite obvious. Ads help consumers to find the goods or services of their needs. However, do our needs grow equally fast as the number of products? Some market analysts insist modern commercials are not merely matchmakers of a product and a consumer, but actively interfere with buyer’s desires, developing artificial needs.

Undoubtedly, advertisement guides people through the market, serves those who do not have time to learn differences between goods. These products are probably the same, but loyalty to a particular brand, formed by a commercial helps make a choice. When a person buys one mobile phone out of 50 models, he thinks he made his choice himself. But that was a commercial who told him about the features of this phone.

Nevertheless, ads not only inform us about new goods, but force people to want them. This can be even useful, for example for someone who suffers from back pains and without commercials he would never imagine there are new mattresses which could ease their pains.

Unfortunately, promoters now operate our minds more aggressively. Commercials no longer promote products, but lifestyles. They told us to purchase things just because they are fashionable or up to date with the image of successful person. And we buy new cars, gadgets and clothes in order to match this image and not because old ones are no longer usable.

Personally I think that high sales of popular commodities are the result of new promotional technologies. The best illustration of that is that everyone now is concerned mostly about how a new mobile phone will reflect his personality, a new shirt – his image, or will a new car make colleagues feel jealous.

292 words
Expected IELTS Band – 7

Thursday, June 26, 2008

IELTS Letter: Some problems at work

You recently took a part-time job working for a local company. After a few weeks you realised there were some problems with the job.
Write a letter to the manager of the company. In your letter
- explain why you took the job
- describe the problems that you experienced
- suggest what could be done about them.

This task was taken from the book Insight into IELTS Extra, with Answers: The Cambridge IELTS Course Workbook (Cambridge Books for Cambridge Exams) by Vanessa Jakeman, Clare McDowell

Dear Mr. Thompson,

I am a part-time call-centre operator at your company, started working about 4 weeks ago. I am writing to indicate the problem I encountered during my work.

Actually, I decided to took the position of a telesales specialist because consider myself able to develop a career in sales due to my skill of establishing good contact with people and make them trust me. However, I realised there are some obstacles on a way to success.

The problems started 3 weeks ago then the system administrator updated my software. At the time of a call I was querying a customer for his personal data then suddenly my computer reloaded and this person’s profile was lost. This situation repeated in the future for several times. I asked the system administrator to solve this problem, but he told me this is solely my fault and my computer skills are below required to use this program.

I am assured the complete situation makes company profits lower. I believe that software managing specialist could fix the problem if the initiative would be taken by a senior manager of your rank.

Sincerely yours,
Anna Frank

192 words
Expected IELTS Band - 7

Monday, June 23, 2008

IELTS letter: Damaged suitcase

You travelled by long distance bus recently and your suitcase was damaged.
Write a letter to the bus company. In your letter
- inform the bus company of when and to where you travelled
- describe your suitcase and what happened to it
- explain why the company should pay for a new suitcase

This task was taken from the book IELTS on Track: Test Practice General Training.

Dear Sir or Madam,

I am writing to require a compensation for the property damage, taken place at the time of the travelling by the bus of your company.

I travelled from Washington, D.C. to Boston by the bus #301 on February 21, 2007. Before the trip I passed my luggage to the driver, who helped me to place my suitcase in the luggage compartment of the bus. After arrival the driver opened this back compartment and the first thing I saw was that my new and brand-name suitcase was smashed under the pressure of the weight of the other’s luggage.

My suitcase was quite firm and very beautiful in its red colour and modern design. However it obviously hasn’t been designed to resist such a weight on it. I am very depressed because I can not use anymore my broken suitcase, its handle was bended and two wheels out of 4 were detached.

Since damage stated above was caused by the careless actions of your employee, I would like to require a compensation of $200, which was the original price of my suitcase. Please, deliver a cheque to the address, written above.

Faithfully yours,
Anna Frank

197 words
Expected IELTS Band - 6.5-7

Sunday, June 15, 2008

IELTS Letter: Bad service at a shop

You recently had your computer fixed at the local computer store however you are not pleased with the service you received.
Write a letter to the store manager. In the letter
- describe the situation
- explain why you are dissatisfied
- say what you want the manager to do
Write at least 150 words.
You do NOT need to write your own address.
Begin your letter as follows:
Dear Sir or Madam,

This task was taken from the Scott's English Success web-site.

Dear Sir or Madam,
I am writing to express my dissatisfaction with the service I received at your establishment.

Actually, the computer I have bought at your store on the late January was quite good, however after just half a year things got wrong. Some programs were getting frozen frequently. When I took my computer to your specialist and tried to explain the problem to the technician Michaels, he refused to take my computer into service because the problem did not appear that time. I was trying to convince him to spend more time to identify the reason it is getting stuck, but he was rude and impatient explaining this is the end of his shift. On the next day another technician listened to me carefully and fixed my computer in 10 minutes.

I suppose your employee Michaels is not suitable for his position because of his unprofessionalism. I suggest you to employ someone more skilled and with better personality in order not to cause your customers to loose their time like me.

Faithfully yours,
Anna Frank

177 words
Expected IELTS Band - 6-6.5

Saturday, June 14, 2008

IELTS Letter: Homestay in a New Zealand family

You are going to visit New Zealand for an 'English and Homestay' program. You have just received details of your homestay host family.
Write your first letter to the family. In your letter
- introduce yourself
- ask the family some questions to get information that is important to you
- tell the family about your arrival date and time.

This task was taken from the book IELTS on Track: Test Practice General Training.

Dear Mr Jones,

I have just received details of my future homestay at your family and writing to introduce myself and ask for some further information.

My name is Anna Frank, I am 21 and live with my family in Lyon, France, which is my hometown. My native language is French and I am looking forward to improving my English during the trip to New Zealand.

I would be grateful if you could provide more information about your family and its lifestyle. To begin with, I would like to ask you about your usual diet. It is very important to me since I am a vegetarian. Secondly, I would like to learn more about your family’s day routines, like games you used to play together, in order to get familiar with these activities while I am here. This could help me to participate in all your routines like a relative.

I am very eager to meet you in person! By the way, I have already bought the plane ticket and would be happy if you could meet me at the airport because this will be my first time abroad. I will arrive on September 13, at 10 am, Wellington time.

I am looking forward to hearing from you soon.

Sincerely yours,
Anna Frank.

213 words
Expected IELTS Band - 7

Friday, June 6, 2008

IELTS Letter: Unable to attend a course

You are employed full-time and also doing a part time evening course. You are not able to continue the course.
Write a letter to the course lecturer. In the letter
- explain why you cannot continue the course
- describe the situation
- say what you will be doing
Write at least 150 words.
You do NOT need to write your own address.
Begin your letter as follows:
Dear …………….,

This task was taken from the
Scott's English Success web-site.

Dear Dr. Jones,

I am writing to inform you that I no longer have a possibility to attend your evening lectures on treating emergencies.

As I told you earlier, I received a position of a nurse at the Thompson Hospital. My shift ends at 5 pm and since I have got a lot of overtime job recently, I found myself unable to be on time at your lectures, which start at 5.30 pm. This disappoints me a lot since I value and respect your course and your experience.

I would be grateful if you could consider letting me to study your course myself. Because of my job is closely related to the accidents treatment, I feel able to learn every point of the course in practice. In addition, I have already read almost every book you recommended as the supplementary reading for your lectures.

I hope to get your approval on this matter soon. I am looking forward to receiving your response.

Sincerely yours,
Anna Frank

166 words
Expected IELTS Band - 6-6.5