Here is an example dialogue of a customer complaint at a computer shop. At the end there is a vocabulary section with explanations of each of the underlined words in the text plus other helpful words used when making a complaint about a product or service.
Dialogue between a clerk and a client complaining about computer problem that was bought in a store
Store Clerk: Good morning, how can I help you?
Customer: Hi, I’d like to make a complaint about a defective laptop I bought here last month.
Store Clerk: Do you have your store receipt with you?
Customer: Yes, I do. Here you go.
Store Clerk: There’s a one-year store warranty on this computer. We’ll be able to take a look at it today at no charge to you. If we can’t find the problem. We will exchange it for a new one.
Customer Thank you. I’d appreciate that.
Store clerk: What seems to be the problem?
Customer: I think it’s overheating.It gets so hot whenever I use it.
Store Clerk: That is strange for such a new computer. Perhaps there’s something wrong with the cooling fan. Could I take a look?
Customer: Sure, here it is.
Store clerk: Everything looks ok on the outside.Could I ask a few questions?
Customer: Yes, of course.
Store clerk: How long to you use it for before it overheats?
Customer: It usually feels very hot after one or two hours.
Store clerk: When it overheats, do you notice any loss of function? Does Windows run slower?
Customer: I have noticed that the touchpad becomes less sensitive to my touch, actually.
Store Clerk: What do you usually do on the laptop?
Customer: I use it to check my emails and write articles for my blog.
Store clerk: That shouldn’t cause it to overheat. The internal fan should be able to handle that.
Customer: Can you tell me what’s wrong with it then?
Store clerk: There could be something wrong with one of the components. Perhaps the battery, or the hard drive. Let me have a look.
Store clerk: I’ve just finished running hardware diagnostics on the laptop. Everything looks fine. The good news is that the memory processor, BIOS, mainboard, and battery are all working properly. There doesn’t seem to be any damage or defects with any of the hardware.
Customer: So, what could the problem be?
Store clerk: That depends. Is the area where you use the laptop exposed to direct sunlight or heat?
Customer: Not at all. I use it in the bedroom at night.
Store clerk: Do you sit on the bed when using the laptop?
Customer: Yes, It’s usually on top of the covers on my lap. Why?
Store clerk: That’s probably why it’s overheating. The covers prevent the ventilation system from working properly. The cloth blocks the bottom and side vents.
Customer: That makes sense. So, if I don’t use the laptop on my bed, will it be ok?
Store clerk: It should be perfectly fine. Just remember wherever you use it to allow air flow freely through those vents.
Customer: Thank you, I will.
Retail Store Complaints Vocabulary
A written promise, from the maker of a product or the shop where you bought it, to either fix or replace a product within a period of time if there is a problem with it.
- My new fridge broke, but I have a 1-year warranty on it, so the shop will take it back.
A written document you get when you buy something that shows the detail of what you bought on it.
- I need to bring these shoes back to the shop. Where’s the receipt?
Broken or not working properly.
- When you have a defective condom, you may end up a parent.
To swap one thing for another thing. Normally of equal value.
- I would like to exchange 100 US dollars for Euro’s, please.
A store’s rules about how you can or cannot bring a product back to the shop if you don’t like it, or it there’s something wrong with it after you have bought it.
- What’s your store’s return policy for electronics?
To get the money you paid for a product back if you bring it back to the shop where you bought it.
- I would like a refund, please. This pizza was already half eaten when I opened the box.
I promise given to you by the store, after returning a product, to get something in their shop of the same value as the product you returned.
- I have a store credit of $50 with Myers because I took that blue dress back last week.
More for you:
How to Complain: in a Restaurant, on the Phone, by Letter, in a Shop, in a Relationship
English Vocabulary For Information Technology Professionals and Software Engineers
Polite Expressions in English: Words, Phrases and Questions to be Kind
10 Idioms About Technology
Computer Vocabulary from Dialogue
Individual parts that make up a computer. For example a hard disk, display, battery.
- I like to build computers using components from old PCs my friends give me.
The front square area of a laptop which you use as a mouse but with your fingertips.
- My touchpad hasn’t worked properly since I spilled water on it.
To allow fresh air into an area, such as a room, building or computer case.
- A bathroom needs lots of ventilation and sunlight to reduce bacteria.
To examine something (or someone) to find the cause of problems (or illnesses).
- Doctor, I think we should run some more diagnostics on the patient in room 203.
Tools, wiring, and physical (solid) parts of a machine.
- I need to go to the hardware shop to buy screws.
A small piece of hardware in a computer that saves information for short periods of time which the computer needs to use to complete actions.
- I would like to buy a new memory processor for my laptop.
The basic input/output system (BIOS) which starts a computer’s full system after turning it on – It’s what starts Windows for you after pressing the on-switch.
- The BIOS also allows computer components to talk to each other.
The large, often green, board with all the main wiring for a computer to work. Most other components are connected to this board.
- My laptop’s fan broke down, and then my mainboard melted.
The holes in a laptop, building, etc. that allow air in and out for proper ventilation.
- It’s important to keep your PC vents clean and unblocked.