Asking for services

1. Vicky works at a small marketing agency in Florida, US. There is a problem with the office photocopier, so she phones a local office supplies company. Listen and answer the questions.

a   Is the photocopier still under guarantee?

     Yes, it has two years left on its guarantee.

b   When did Kelta & Co buy it?


c   What exactly is wrong with the photocopier?


d   Has Vicky tried to fix it herself?


e   When is she told someone can come to fix it?


f   What time does she finally agree?



b   One year ago.

c   The paper’s jammed.

d   Yes, but she couldn’t manage to fix it.

e   Late afternoon.

 Between ten thirty and twelve.

2. Tick how you would describe the attitude of the assistant Vicky speaks to.







3. How satisfied is Vicky with the service she receives. Tick your answer.

very satisfied

quite satisfied

not very satisfied

very dissatisfied

Answer & Transcript

quite satisfied (Someone will come that morning so she doesn’t have to wait too long. Her tone of voice indicates disappointment, and she says if that’s the best you can do which suggests she had hoped someone could come right away.)


(Vickey and assistant = American)

Assistant:     Hello, Johnson’s Office Solutions. Can I help you?

Vicky:     Oh, hello. This is Vicky, from Kelta & Co. We’ve got a problem with our photocopier.

Assistant:     I see. Did you purchase it from us?

Vicky:     Yes, we did.

Assistant:     And is it still under warranty?

Vicky:     We got a three-year extended warranty. It’s only a year old.

Assistant:     OK. And what seems to be the trouble?

Vicky:     The paper’s jammed and we can’t fix it.

Assistant:     Right. Did you look in the manual?

Vicky:     Yes. I’ve had a go, but I still can’t fix it.

Assistant:     All right. I’ll have a look and see what we can do. Hmm … we can’t get anyone there until late afternoon, I’m afraid.

Vicky:     I’m sorry, but that’s no good at all. We’re very busy here and we need this fixing immediately.

Assistant:     Hmm. Well, I can see if … Oh, yes. It looks like we might be able to get someone to you this morning.

Vicky:     OK. What time will they be here?

Assistant:     I can’t say exactly. Any time between 10.30 and 12. Is that OK for you?

Vicky:     Well, I suppose so. If that’s the best you can do. At least it’s this morning.

A hard sell

1. Stuart Hawthorne is a salesman in Adelaide, Australia. He’s visiting Melanie Clark, a potential customer at a large insurance company. Listen and answer the questions.

a   What do you think Stuart is trying to sell?


b   Tick how you would describe Stuart’s manner.

      friendly and flexible

      rude and aggressive

      confident and relaxed

      direct and rather pushy

c   Tick how you think Melanie feels.

     offended            pressurized

     amused              impressed


a   Stuart is trying to sell a service agreement giving coverage for computers in case they go wrong.

b   direct and rather pushy


2. Now listen again and write your answers to these questions.

 What are the benefits of the Gold Plan?


 How many computers will be covered by the plan?


 What extra incentive does Stuart offer?


Answer & Transcript

a   The benefits are it offers 24-hours cover and free antivirus protection.

b   Over 30 (all the computers in the company).

c   A five percent discount for an immediate agreement.


(Stuart and Melanie = Australian)

Stuart:     So, do we have a deal?

Melanie:     Well, the price is much higher than last year.

Stuart:     But that includes all the extras I told you about … and the free upgrade to our Gold Plan. Remember, that gives you 24-hour cover, and free antivirus protection.

Melanie:     Yes, but …

Stuart:     Don’t you see that this service agreement means all the workstations here will be covered all day, every day. That’s over thirty computers.

Melanie:     Yes, but they are very reliable anyway, mostly.

Stuart:     But it only takes one problem to cause a disaster.

Melanie:     Yes, I see what you mean, I suppose.

Stuart:     You won’t find more comprehensive coverage for less. Or better service.

Melanie:     It’s just I don’t know if we can afford it.

Stuart:     Are you sure that you can afford not to take out this cover? … Look, I’ll tell you what I’ll do. If you agree now, I’ll give you a five percent discount. How’s that? Don’t you agree that that’s a great deal?

Melanie:     Five percent?

Stuart:     That’s right. I can’t do any better than that. Now, what do you say?

Melanie:     Hmm. Well … I’ll need some time to think this over.

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