Topic outline

    • Introduction


      • Single class period


      Activity Two: Making a complaint

      Homework Task:

      Useful Links:


      You might find you need to make a complaint to a business.  It might be about a poor service or a faulty product, or you might have complained already and had no response. A problem can’t be fixed if no one knows it exists.  There are certain steps that can be taken when making a complaint.  In this lesson, students will learn when, and how, to make a complaint to a business both in person and in writing.

      • Step-By-Step Instructions

        Activity One:  Review of Lesson Seven Homework Task

        1.  Ask the class to brainstorm the types of things they found were covered by multi-trip/annual travel insurance (e.g. flight cancellation in the event of illness, loss or damage of baggage during trip, medical expenses while away etc).

        2.  Invite a selection of students to present their 160-character text message to Lucy. 

        Activity Two:  Making a complaint role play

        1.  Explain to the class you might find you need to make a complaint. Ask students to call out five reasons why people might complain to a business.  Record student responses on the white/blackboard.  They may mention some of the following: 

        • The product they bought is faulty
        • A product or service did not fit the description
        • A product is not of the quality expected
        • You complained already and didn’t get a response
        • You paid for something but didn’t receive it
        • They have a complaint about customer service or the way they were treated

        2.  Ask students ‘What would you do if you had a complaint?’  Record student feedback on the white/blackboard.

        3.  Divide the class into small groups.

        4.  Distribute one scenario from Student Worksheet: Role play scenarios to each group.

        5.  Invite each group to allocate the following roles to four members of their group: shop manager, shop assistant, person complaining, and friend/family member accompanying person complaining.  If there are more than four people in any group the remaining people could take on tasks such as: director, script writer, time-keeper etc.

        6.  Invite each group to prepare and then perform a short role play based on their scenario for the rest of the class.

        7.  At the end of each role play ask the class to consider the following question:

        Did the characters in the role play take the correct steps for making a complaint?  If yes, give examples.  If no, why do you think this was the case?

        What do you think happens next?

        8.  Explain that the steps for making a complaint need to be considered on a case-by-case basis but there are strategies which often work. 

        9.  Conclude by sharing information from Teacher Resource Sheet: Making a complaint.

        • Homework Task

          Distribute one copy of Student Worksheet: Letter of complaint to each student.

          Read through the worksheet and ensure all students understand the terminology and task.

          Invite students to write a letter of complaint to a retailer about an MP3 player which has been repaired once, but has developed the same fault a second time. 

          Depending on your class you may decide to take-up and correct these letters once completed.