Describe a bad service you received in a restaurant/shop IELTS Cue Card

Describe a bad service you received in a restaurant/shop IELTS Cue Card

Describe a bad service you received in a restaurant/shop IELTS Cue Card


Describe a bad service you received in a restaurant/shop
You should say:

  • When and where it happened
  • What happened
  • How it was solved
  • And explain how you felt about the experience

Sample 1


Although I have received bad service umpteen times, one instance is worth mentioning.

When and where it happened 

It happened last month when I went to a nearby general store to buy essentials for my father, who had to catch a flight to Toronto the next day.

What happened 

When I reached the shop, there was a huge rush. Since I had an urgency, I asked the concerned person to deliver my order on priority. Firstly, he should have paid more attention to my request. However, when I persisted, he told me to collect all the items for which I provided him a list, and he charged in advance for the same.

I returned to my home and was busy with my mother packing. In the evening I went to the shop again to collect my order. To my dismay, the order was not ready, and the concerned person told me to come the next day. Upon hearing that, I was in absolute disarray, and I had no option but to shout at the concerned person.

How was it solved?

As getting the delivery was important for me, I straightway went to the shop owner and narrated to him my ordeal. He listened to me patiently and confirmed that the order would reach my place in the next hour. And to my joy, the shop owner fulfilled his promise, and I got the home delivery of my order.

Explain how you felt about the experience.

I felt terrible because when you pay for a product or service, the vendor must deliver on time. And such kinds of things bring a lot of stress in our lives.

Sample 2

There is no denying this conviction that good services always leave a good impact on the customers.

However, inadequate services leave a terrible impact on the customer, and today I would like to talk about a bad service that I received from a local restaurant in my vicinity that was a renowned one.

Last year I went to a birthday party, my friend’s birthday. To prevent the last-minute disappointment, we booked the table in advance.

However, to our dismay, the management was oblivious to the situation, and it turned out to be a toxic situation for us as they said that they had not updated our booking, so we sat down at the table after 30 minutes.

After that, we ordered lentil curry and some pops; however, the food was terrifying. Also, the waiter mixed the order with other tables, and we were appalled by this erratic behavior of the waiter.

Immediately, we rushed to the manager and told him about the inadequate services that we received, and he also gave us a curt reply.

However, later on, he apologized and said that the waiter was in training and he said that he would give us a coupon that we could use later on. He also changed our order without extra charges, so this was the service that I got lately.

Sample 3

Well, I have received bad service on many occasions in my life. I want to discuss the terrible service I received at a restaurant.

I remember that my friend organized a party in a restaurant named Lalit Restaurant, near my residence. A friend told me that the restaurant is excellent and many facilities are available, like the worldwide food they serve there.

And when my friend and I went to the restaurant that time, we saw the restaurant. The restaurant looked excellent, and Italian marble was used in the restaurant. They used some paintings on the walls, which helped to enhance our mental skills and made us energetic.

After we checked the menu prices of all the dishes, they were costly. That time, my friends and I were shocked and got goosebumps.

After that, when we ordered some food, the waiter gave us 10 minutes to wait, and the cook did not prepare the food in time. Our order came after one hour.

Apart from this, the test was banal as there were no spices inside except salt. We lost our patience after such a service from the restaurant.

When we complained to the manager regarding food that time, he apologized and re-ordered our food at the same value.

All in all, that was a terrible experience I had in a restaurant.


Here are some examples of follow-up questions that the examiner might ask during your speaking part 3 related to the cue card “Describe a bad service you received in a restaurant/shop”.

1. How do most people respond to bad services?

Most people get upset with the bad service because everyone expects the product and service to be good after making the payment. First, people reach out for the product or service provided politely, and if their request needs to be entertained properly, they post bad reviews of the company on online platforms, and some consumers go to the extent of filing a court case.

 2. Do you think services are better now than in the past? 

In this modern era, the services are better than in the past. The main reason for this is increased consumer awareness, and apart from this, the technology is there to provide unabated support to the company to provide top-class services.

3. What kind of services are bad services? 

A service in which there is an unprecedented delay and the job done is different from the customer’s expectations is treated as bad service. Moreover, if the product again develops a fault after service, that is also termed as bad service.

4. Why do some people remain silent when receiving bad services? 

Some people remain silent because they do not have the time to raise a complaint or do not know the procedure.

5. Who should be responsible for inadequate services?

The organization that provides the services is responsible for inadequate services because when you charge for something, you must provide the total worth.

All company employees who deal with services, including the management and the owners, are responsible for inadequate services.

6. What would you do as a boss to prevent inadequate services?

To ensure adequate services, I will take many steps. Firstly, It is worthwhile to follow checklists because considering all points while providing services is a prudent approach, and the checklists help maintain that. I will implement checklists for all processes in my organization.

Secondly, I will design a system to keep a proper check on my clients and monitor whether my employees are giving their best or not.

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