Free English Lessons

Listening Lesson – Getting a Refund

by Oli Redman on 11 September, 2014 , No comments

What do you do if you want to take something back to a shop? In this free English listening lesson, you can hear a woman trying to get a refund for something she has bought, and learn useful phrases for shopping and talking about problems with things you have bought.

Man: Hello, can I help you?

Woman: Yes, I’d like to return this fan.

Man: Okay, may I ask1 why you’re returning it?

Woman: It’s too big, so I don’t have anywhere to put it.

Man: So there’s nothing wrong with it at all2?

Woman: No, it’s just not right for me.

Man: And do you have the receipt on you3?

Woman: Yes… Just a minute… It should4 be in my bag… Oh no… I think I’ve forgotten it! I must have left it at home.

Man: Okay, so I can still give you a refund, but it’ll be in vouchers5.

Woman: Can’t you bend the rules6 a little? I promise I bought it here.

Man: I’m sure you did, but I’m afraid we need the receipt to do a cash or card refund.

Woman: If I come back another day with the receipt, can I get the refund then?

Man: You can get a refund within two weeks of your purchase.

Woman: And can I give you the fan back now? I don’t want to drag7 it home and then here again.

Man: Sorry, we’ve got nowhere to put it. You can bring it back another day and get a refund, or take the vouchers today.

Woman: Fine. I’ll take the vouchers, then. Do they have an expiry date8?

Man: No, you can use them any time. Here are your vouchers, and your refund receipt.

Woman: Alright, thanks then.

Man: Thank you, bye bye!

  1. May I ask + question is a polite form, common in service situations, for example in shops. It is not common in everyday conversation.
  2. Adding at all at the end of a question is another polite form, which does not add any meaning to the sentence. Again, it is more common between strangers.
  3. On you = with you right now. For example, in your pocket or in your bag.
  4. Should here expresses a high level probability. You could also say: “I’m almost sure I put it in my bag.
  5. Vouchers are something like money, but which can only be used in one shop, or to buy certain things.
  6. Bend the rules = make an exception, don’t follow the rules in this one case.
  7. Drag = take/carry, but with the added idea here that the fan is heavy and/or difficult to carry.
  8. Expiry date = a date after which they cannot be used.

Which form is NOT possible?

  1. Can/May/Will I help you?
  2. May/Must/Could I ask what’s wrong with it?
  3. It will/should/would be in my bag—I’m sure I remember putting it in there.
  4. I will/must/might have left it at home.
  5. You can/are able to/might use them at any time.

Match the statements to their replies

6. Can you make an exception? a. You have to use it within two weeks
7. It’s just not for me. b. I’m sorry, my manager wouldn’t be happy if I did
8. I don’t want to drag it all the way into town c. I thought I did, but I can’t find them…
9. Does this voucher expire? d. So there’s nothing actually wrong with it?
10. Do you have the plans on you? e. Come on—it’s not that heavy!
  1. Will I… is not possible. Can and may can both be used to ask permission (as in this question).
  2. Must I… is not possible. Again, the question is asking permission. May and could are both ok.
  3. It would… is not possible. It should… means I’m almost certain, and It will… means I’m 100% certain.
  4. I will… is not possible. I must have… means I’m sure I did. I might have… means it’s possible I did.
  5. You might… is not really possible. Technically, we can use might to give permission, but it’s so formal and old-fashioned that it doesn’t sound correct.
  6. b
  7. d
  8. e
  9. a
  10. c
Oli RedmanListening Lesson – Getting a Refund