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Kurs: -- English - Business English

Modul: Complaints - Žalbe

Autor: prof. Gordana Matorkić

Naziv jedinice: Replies to Complaints

Materijali vezani uz ovu lekciju:

- Test replies to complaints
- Replies to Complaints (PDF dokument)

It is generally known that patience is a necessary thing in handling complaints. Sometimes, as a seller, you may think that the complaint is ungrounded, but you should first make sure that you have good and reliable grounds on which to repudiate the claim. A seller should treat all complaints as serious matters because a customer is entitled to know how the mistake will be remedied: what he is to do with the wrong consignment or the damaged goods he received or when he will receive a replacement.

If the complaint is justified the seller should immediately apologise to the buyer and suggest a solution. If the buyer offers to keep the goods, the seller usually accepts it and agrees to a price reduction. The amount of the reduction depends on how bad the mistake is and usually this is the best solution for the seller, even if there is a consequent loss.

The seller should also give a brief explanation on how the mistake will be remedied, because that is what the buyer is interested in. In doing so, the seller should never blame his staff, for this can make the whole company look irresponsible.

This is what he should do:

  • acknowledge the letter of a complaint:
    • We refer to your letter of 15 May in which you say that the goods ordered have not yet arrived.
    • We refer to your letter of 15 May in which you say that the goods are defective.
  • state the cause of the problem:
    • This delay was caused by the flood in the warehouse.
    • This was caused by an oversight on our part/circumstances beyond our control.
    • We have looked into the matter and found that it was due to the mistake in the export department.
  • reassure the customer:
    • We can assure you that such mistakes will not happen again.
  • state action taken to solve the problem:
    • The right goods have been dispatched to you and you should receive them by next week.
    • If you would keep the goods we would offer you a 20% discount on our list price.
  • apologise:
    • We apologise for the inconvenience.




Dear Mr Jones,
Your order No 5334 for crystal glasses
We thank you for your letter of 15 May in which you informed us that some boxes contained inferior number of glasses.
We have looked into the matter and found out this was caused by an oversight on our part. We can assure you that such mistakes will not happen again.
We have already dispatched additional number of glasses.
We apologise for the inconvenience you were caused by this mistake.
Yours sincerely




 Nouns (imenice): Verbs (glagoli):
reply - odgovor
handling - rukovanje, upravljanje
ground - osnova
claim - potraživanje, tvrdnja, zahtev
replacement - zamena
investigation - istraga
solution - rešenje
price reduction - smanjenje cene
amount - iznos
loss - gubitak
advantage - korist, prednost
expense - trošak
inconvenience - neprijatnost
value - vrednost
error - greška
incurring - izlaganje
staff - osoblje, zaposleni, radna snaga
strike - štrajk
flood - poplava
warehouse - skladište, magacin
oversight - greška, omaška, previd
circumstance - okolnost
dispatch -  otprema
department - odeljenje
discount - popust
list price - cenovnik
proposal – predlog
exercise - vežbati
repudiate - odbaciti
investigate - istražiti
be entitled to - imati pravo na
remedy - popraviti
repair - popraviti
depend on - zavisiti
blame - kriviti
restore - ponovo dobiti, vratiti
acknowledge - potvrditi, dati na znanje da je pismo primljeno
look into - istražiti
reassure - razuveriti, ponovo uveriti
assure - uveriti
solve - rešiti
 Adjectives and adverbs
(pridevi i prilozi): 
 Prepositions and conjunctions
(predlozi i veznici):
ungrounded - neosnovan
reliable - pouzdan
thoroughly - temeljno
mere - puki
justified - opravdan
substantial - značajan
consequent - koji dolazi kao posledica
advisable - preporučljivo
sole - jedini
due to - zbog, zahvaljujući
on our part - sa naše strane
beyond our control - izvan naše kontrole
regarding-  u pogledu,što se tiče
incorrect – netačan




 Nouns (imenice): Verbs (glagoli):
reply – answer, response
handling – management, running, treatment, approach
ground – base
claim – demand, application, request
replacement – replacing, renewal, substitution
investigation – inquiry, research, review, search, survey, analysis
solution – answer, resolution, key, solving
price reduction – discount, deduction
amount – total, whole, mass, sum
loss – losing, waste, disappearance
advantage – benefit, asset
expense – cost, charge, expenditure, payment, spending, output
inconvenience – trouble, difficulty, bother, upset, fuss, disadvantage, disturbance, disruption
value – importance, use, benefit, worth, profit, advantage
error – mistake, fault, flaw
staff – workers, employees, personnel, workforce
strike – industrial action, mutiny, revolt, work stoppage
flood – deluge
warehouse – store, depot, storehouse, repository, depository, stockroom
oversight – mistake, error, slip, misunderstanding
circumstance – situation, condition
dispatch – sending, transmission, forwarding, communication, consignment
department – section, sector, branch
discount – price reduction, deduction
list price – price list
proposal – suggestion, recommendation
exercise – employ, practice, train, work out
repudiate – reject, deny, disclaim
investigate – examine, study, research, consider, go into, explore
be entitled to – eligible
remedy – reform, fix, correct, solve, cure, treat, heal
repair – mend, fix, recover, restore, heal, renew, patch
depend on –depend upon, devolve on, hinge on, hinge upon, turn on, ride
blame – accuse, denounce, indict, impeach
restore –revive, build up, strengthen, bring back, refresh
acknowledge – greet, address, notice, recognize, salute
look into – investigate, check into
reassure – encourage, comfort, bolster, hearten, cheer up
assure – convince, encourage, persuade, satisfy, comfort, prove to, reassure
solve – figure out, puzzle out, answer, work out, resolve
 Adjectives and adverbs
(pridevi i prilozi): 
 Prepositions and conjunctions
(predlozi i veznici):
reliable – dependable, trustworthy, honest, responsible
thoroughly – carefully, completely, fully, comprehensively
mere – simple, merely, just, common
justified – acceptable, reasonable, understandable, justifiable
substantial – significant, considerable, large, important
consequent – following, resulting, subsequent, successive
advisable – recommended, appropriate, suitable, proper
sole – only, one, single, individual, alone
due to – because of  
beyond our control – out of hand
regarding– in respect of; on the subject of, concerning
incorrect – false, wrong, mistaken, flawed, faulty, unfitting, inaccurate, untrue, improper



 Nouns (imenice): Verbs (glagoli):

reply - question, request

handling -mismanagement

claim - denial

investigation - ignorance

solution - problem

price reduction - increase

loss - profit

advantage - disadvantage, disapproval

expense - asset

inconvenience - convenience

value - detriment

error - accuracy, correctness, perfection

incurring - forfeit, lose, discouragement

flood - drought

oversight - achievement, success, advantage

dispatch -  delay, retention

discount - increase

exercise - ignore, relax

repudiate - accept, allow, approve

investigate - forget, ignore, neglect

remedy - damage, worsen, injure

repair - break, damage

blame - praise, compliment

restore - damage, destroy

acknowledge - deny, disagree

look into - ignore

reassure -discourage, upset

assure - discourage, distress

solve - complicate, confuse, deter, destroy, neglect

 Adjectives and adverbs
(pridevi i prilozi): 
 Prepositions and conjunctions
(predlozi i veznici):

ungrounded - justified, proven

reliable - unreliable, inadequate

thoroughly - incompletely, partially

mere - indefinite, enormous, large

justified - unjustified, ungrounded

substantial - insignificant, meaningless

consequent -beginning

advisable - inadvisable, improper

sole - common, ordinary

incorrect – accurate, correct, precise


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