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Talk About A Thing You Complained About Something: IELTS Cue Card

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Updated on Jun 03, 2024, 12:41

When the cue card section starts, the examiner will hand you a card with a topic and give you 1 minute to prepare. This is the 2nd part of the IELTS Speaking section. You will then speak on the topic for up to 2 minutes. 

 

It's important to remember that the IELTS Speaking test is a 1-on-1 interview with a certified IELTS examiner. The total duration of the IELTS speaking section is 11-14 minutes, divided into 3 parts.

 

One such topic is 'Talk about a thing you complained about something.' Complaints can highlight issues and inspire positive changes, making them an important aspect of communication.

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1. Talk About A Thing You Complained About Something: How to Answer?

When the cue card section starts, the examiner will hand you a card with a topic and give you one minute to prepare. You will then speak on the topic for up to two minutes.

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2. Talk About A Thing You Complained About Something: Sample Answers

Now that you know how to answer the topic, we have provided sample answers for your reference. You should also curate answers wisely according to the questions given in the cue card under the categories Introduction, Describing Your Experience/Opinion/Interest, Key Highlights, and Conclusion.

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3. Talk About A Thing You Complained About Something: Follow-Up Questions

In the IELTS Speaking test, after you finish speaking on your cue card topic, the examiner will ask you follow-up questions. These questions are meant to delve deeper into the topic and assess your ability to express ideas, opinions, and reasons clearly.

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1.

Talk About A Thing You Complained About Something: How to Answer?

When the cue card section starts, the examiner will hand you a card with a topic and give you one minute to prepare. You will then speak on the topic for up to two minutes.

 

Cue Card/Topic: Talk About A Thing You Complained About Something You should say
  • What did you complain about?
  • Who did you complain to?
  • When did it happen?
  • What was the result, and why were you satisfied?

 

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To answer these cue cards effectively, break your response into small sections: introduction, describing your experience/opinion/interest, key highlights, and conclusion.

 

Introduction

 

  • Briefly introduce the complaint you made.
  • Mention the context or situation in which the complaint arose.
  • Set the stage for your detailed explanation.

 

Describing Your Experience/Opinion/Interest

 

  • Explain why you felt the need to complain.
  • Describe your feelings and thoughts during the situation.
  • Discuss any relevant background information that adds context to your complaint.

 

Key Highlights

 

  • Outline the main points of your complaint.
  • Describe the actions you took to address the issue.
  • Explain the responses you received and any immediate outcomes.

 

Conclusion

 

  • Summarise the overall impact of your complaint.
  • Reflect on what you learned from the experience.
  • Mention any long-term changes or improvements that resulted from your complaint.

 

By organising your response this way, you will provide a clear and structured answer within the two-minute time limit.

 

Also read: IELTS Speaking Questions with Answers 2024 

 

Pace Up Your IELTS Preparation With Our Expert Masterclass!

2.

Talk About A Thing You Complained About Something: Sample Answers

Now that you know how to answer the topic, we have provided sample answers for your reference. You should also curate answers wisely according to the questions given in the cue card under the categories Introduction, Describing Your Experience/Opinion/Interest, Key Highlights, and Conclusion.

 

Sample Answer 1
Sample Answer 2
Sample Answer 3

Introduction (covers: What did you complain about?)

 

  • Last month, I complained about a delayed flight at the airport. The situation was frustrating because I had an important meeting the next morning. 
  • The delay was poorly communicated, causing confusion and inconvenience for all passengers. 
  • I felt it was necessary to address the issue to improve the experience for future travellers.

 

Describing Your Experience/Opinion/Interest (covers: Who did you complain to?, When did it happen?)

 

  • I felt very frustrated and anxious because I had planned my trip meticulously. The airline's lack of timely updates only added to my stress. 
  • I approached the airline's customer service desk to express my concerns. 
  • I believed that clear communication and timely updates could have alleviated much of the stress caused by the delay.

 

Key Highlights  (covers: Who did you complain to?)

 

  • At the customer service desk, I explained the inconvenience caused by the lack of information. 
  • I emphasised the need for better communication and regular updates for passengers. The staff listened patiently and assured me they would give my feedback to the relevant department. 
  • They also offered a meal voucher as compensation, which was a nice gesture.

 

Conclusion (covers: What was the result, and why were you satisfied?)

 

  • My complaint made me realise the importance of effective communication in reducing passenger stress. 
  • The airline's response was encouraging, and I hope they implement better communication strategies in the future. 
  • This experience taught me that voicing concerns can lead to positive changes.
  • Overall, I felt more satisfied knowing that my feedback might help improve services for other travellers.
3.

Talk About A Thing You Complained About Something: Follow-Up Questions

In the IELTS Speaking test, after you finish speaking on your cue card topic, the examiner will ask you follow-up questions. These questions are meant to delve deeper into the topic and assess your ability to express ideas, opinions, and reasons clearly. 

 

Expect to answer questions that require you to explain, describe, and justify your thoughts in more detail.

 

Follow-Up Question 1

Question 1: How did you feel after making the complaint?

 

Answer 1: After making the complaint, I felt relieved and hopeful that my concerns would be addressed. It was a cathartic experience to voice my frustrations and seek a resolution. I also felt empowered knowing that I had taken proactive steps to address the issue.

 

Answer 2: Making the complaint left me feeling frustrated and uncertain about whether it would lead to any meaningful change. While I appreciated the opportunity to express my concerns, I couldn't help but feel sceptical about the effectiveness of the complaint process.

Follow-Up Question 2

Question 2: Do you think complaining is effective in resolving issues?

 

Answer 1: Yes, I believe complaining can be effective in resolving issues, especially when done constructively. By voicing our concerns, we bring attention to areas that require improvement and prompt action from relevant authorities. Complaints serve as a catalyst for positive change and help maintain standards of quality and service.

 

Answer 2: In some cases, complaining may not always lead to immediate solutions. However, it still plays a vital role in highlighting systemic issues and holding accountable those responsible for addressing them. While the outcome may vary, the act of complaining demonstrates a commitment to seeking redressal and advocating for better standards.

Follow-Up Question 3

Question 3: How do you think companies should respond to customer complaints?

 

Answer 1: Companies should respond to customer complaints promptly and empathetically. They should acknowledge the validity of the complaint and take proactive steps to address the issue. Transparent communication and timely resolution are key to rebuilding trust and maintaining customer satisfaction.

 

Answer 2: I believe companies should view customer complaints as opportunities for improvement rather than as inconveniences. They should listen attentively to customer feedback, apologise for any inconvenience caused, and take concrete actions to rectify the situation. By demonstrating accountability and a commitment to customer satisfaction, companies can turn complaints into opportunities for positive change.

Follow-Up Question 4

Question 4: Have you ever received a satisfactory response to a complaint?

 

Answer 1: Yes, I have received satisfactory responses to complaints on several occasions. In one instance, after lodging a complaint about a faulty product, the company promptly replaced it with a new one. Their proactive response and willingness to rectify the issue restored my faith in their brand.

 

Answer 2: Unfortunately, there have been instances where my complaints were not adequately addressed, leaving me feeling frustrated and dissatisfied. Despite raising valid concerns, the responses received were dismissive or lacked concrete solutions, leading to a sense of disappointment and disillusionment.

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FAQs

Q. What is an IELTS Cue Card?

Ans. An IELTS Cue Card is a prompt given during the Speaking test, requiring you to speak on a specific topic for up to two minutes. It aims to assess your ability to express ideas, opinions, and experiences coherently and fluently within a given time frame.

Q. How should I organise my answer for the Cue Card topic?

Ans. To organise your answer effectively, divide it into sections: Introduction, Description, Key Points, and Conclusion. Begin by introducing the topic briefly, then delve into your experiences or opinions, highlight key points, and conclude by summarising your main ideas.

Q. How much time do I have to prepare for the Cue Card topic?

Ans. You have one minute to prepare after receiving the Cue Card before you begin speaking. During this time, you can brainstorm ideas, jot down key points, and plan the structure of your response. Use this preparation time wisely to ensure a well-structured and coherent answer during your speaking.