TOEIC lesson 17: Online Bookstore

Directions

In this lesson, your tutor will help you go over a type-5 question from TOEIC speaking test. Your tutor will read the question to you, and you have 60 seconds to answer on your own.

Test Question

Directions: In this part of the test, you will presented with a problem and asked to propose a solution. You will have 30 seconds to prepare. Then you will have 60 seconds to speak.

Question 10

In your response, be sure to:

  • show that you recognize the problem, and
  • propose a way of deal with the problem

(Tutor: read the text to the student. The question is not presented to the student in the actual test)

Hello. This is Matt Damon. Two days ago, I ordered 3 books on your website with the next-day delivery, which guaranteed my books would be delivered to my house by the following day. I paid extra for the special delivery because I wanted those books before I leave the country in two days. As stated on your website, if the order is placed before 1 p.m., you should have received the order on the same day and have shipped the books by yesterday at the latest. Today is already Friday, and I haven’t received my books yet. Please let me know what happened. You can contact me on my cell phone at (123) 456-7890.

Brainstorm

How did you do? Use the following pointers as a guideline to refine your answer.

  1. Make note of the key facts
    • Who is calling? Matt Damon, a customer
    • Why is he calling? He did not receive his books.
    • What is he asking for? He wants to know why the books are so late when he even paid extra for special delivery.
  2. Come up with a solution
    • Say who you are: Hello, Mr. Damon. This is XXX calling from Amazon.com.
    • Say why you are calling: I am calling regarding your voice message.
    • Repeat the problem: You placed an order for 3 books from our website two days ago with the next-day delivery, but you have not received your books yet.
  3. Repeat the request: You would like to know what happened to your order.
  4. Propose a solution:
    • I looked up your order record and details, and I don’t know why you did not receive your books the next day.
    • I am very sorry for the delivery problem.
    • It is not very common at all for us to have complaints about our deliveries.
    • I placed the same order with the next-day delivery so you can have the books by tomorrow before you leave the country.
    • You will get a refund of $10 delivery charge as Amazon credit.
  5. Wrap up: If you have any further questions, you can reach me at (000) 000-0000.

Sample Answer

Reading great sample answers is one way to improve. Go over the sample answer with your tutor. Ask questions if you have any.

Sample Answer

Hello Mr. Damon. This is XXX calling you from Amazon.com. I am calling regarding your voice message. You placed an order for 3 books from our website two days ago with the next-day delivery, which means you were supposed to receive your books the next day on Thursday, but you didn’t get your package yet. First of all, I am very sorry for the delivery problem. I looked up your order record and details, and I don’t know why you did not receive your order the next day. There must have been some confusion in the delivery system. It is not very common at all for us to have complaints about our deliveries. Anyways, I placed the same order with the next-day delivery so you can have the books by tomorrow before you leave the country, and you will also get a refund of $10 delivery charge as Amazon credit. Once again, I apologize for the inconvenience. If you have any further questions, you can reach me at (000) 000-0000. Thank you.

Further Study

Got more time? Here is a list of common vocab words related to the text you studied today. Go over each one with your tutor.

Additional Expressions

delay (v) later than planned, scheduled, or required
e.g. The doctor wants to delay surgery for a few weeks.
next-day delivery (n) expedited delivery
e.g. Next-day delivery is popular at Christmastime.
guarantee (v) make a usually written promise that whatever you are selling, doing, etc., is what you say it is
e.g.The washer is guaranteed against defects for one year. 
place an order (idiom) submit an order
e.g. My secretary placed an order for a new computer.
complaint (n) a statement that you are unhappy or not satisfied with something
e.g. The company has a system to handle customer complaints.
confusion (n)  a situation in which people are unable to understand something clearly
e.g. There is a great deal of confusion about how the system works.
inconvenience (n) trouble or problems
e.g. I hope this delay doesn’t cause you any inconvenience.
(store) credit (n) If you buy something on credit, you take it and promise to pay for it later.
e.g. Back then, stores allowed their customers to buy food on credit.
refund (v/n) money returned to a payer
e.g. If you are not completely satisfied, we will refund the purchase price.
reimburse (v) pay back for some expense incurred; refund
e.g. We will reimburse your travel expenses.
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