Describe a Problem You had while Shopping Online or in a Store IELTS Cue Card

Describe a Problem You had while Shopping Online or in a Store IELTS Cue Card

Describe a Problem You had while Shopping Online or in a Store IELTS Cue Card


Describe a Problem You had while Shopping Online or in a Store

You should say:
When it happened?
What you bought?
What problem you had?
And explain how you felt about the experience.

NOTE – The examiner gives you one minute to plan your answerand to help you prepare for the topic, the examiner provides you with a pencil and a notepad. You’ll have to answer the questions given on the topic for one-to-two minutes

Sample Answer 1


In the modern era, we depend mainly on online shopping to save time. However, on some occasions, we do not get quality service.

Many times I have had bad experiences in online shopping, and one of them is worth mentioning.

When did it happen?

It happened last year during the Diwali Sale.

What did you buy?

I bought a water bottle that had a Bluetooth speaker inside it. The purpose of purchasing that bottle was to listen to music while going for a walk. Because whenever I go for a walk, I take my water bottle to quench my thirst.

What problem you had?

The bottle was good, with a nice shape and elegant design, and had no leakage. However, to my dismay, its speaker didn’t work.

I immediately called customer care and complained. The concerned executive told me the company would replace the bottle within seven days.

But for the next fifteen days, I didn’t receive any communication from the company side. As I was upset, I wrote a bad review of the company on the website “”.

To my joy, I got a call from the company, and an executive came with a new bottle and took the old one.

Furthermore, I got a mail from the company where they apologized for their mistake and told me to remove the review I posted.

As I got the replacement, I deleted the review posted by me on “

And explain how you felt about the experience.?

The experience was terrible because, for a bottle worth 10 dollars, the company made me run from pillar to post. However, posting a bad review worked like a charm for me.

Sample Answer 2


In the modern era, internet shopping has made inroads in our lives. However, I am not a big fan of it and always buy things from stores.

I recently bought an item from a store where I faced a problem.

When it happened? and What you bought?

Last month I went to purchase a fan from the famous Reliance store. When I finalized one fan, I realized that the fan’s cover was torn. I told the salesperson to provide me with another fan, but he convinced me there was a problem with the packing, but the fan is new and in good shape.

I got convinced and purchased the fan.

What problem you had?

However, to my dismay, when I installed the fan and started it, it did not run. Immediately I called the person concerned to replace it, but he did not heed my request.

I waited for two days, but the company did not take action. After that, I wrote a mail to the store head and explained my problem.

Immediately I got a call from the company, and an executive came with a brand new fan. After one hour, a technician visited my place and installed the new fan.

To my joy, the new fan worked like a charm.

And explain how you felt about the experience.

The experience taught me never to accept a faulty product. You should receive the product in good shape when you pay the full cost.

Moreover, in case of any problem with the product contacting the company officials is a prudent approach.

Sample Answer 3


These days shopping has become convenient because plenty of stores are at our disposal that serves quality goods.

Although my overall experience of shopping from stores is satisfactory, I had a problem with the product I bought on one occasion.

When it happened? and What you bought?

The last new year’s eve, the temperature was cold, and I thought it would be prudent to welcome the new year by staying indoors. So, I decided to enjoy the day with my family by eating the food of our choice.

Our central focus was on enjoyment, so we ordered ready-made snacks that required reheating. I went to the nearby store and purchased the snacks in large quantities.

What problem you had?

No doubt the food was tasty, but all our family members suffered from food poisoning the next day. The store owner gave us locally-made snacks instead of branded ones; moreover, the packing had no expiry date.

Due to this experience, my family started the new year on a bad note.

And explain how you felt about the experience.

The overall experience was terrible. I immediately called the store owner, but he was unwilling to accept his mistake.

After that, I complained to the food and supply department. Their team visited the store and took all ready-to-eat snacks in their custody.

After a week, the report suggested that the eatables sold were of extremely bad quality with many preservatives. The concerned department imposed a huge fine on the store owner.

From that day onward, I stay away from ready-to-eat food items.

Follow up Questions

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 Problem You had while Shopping Online or in a Store”.

1. What kind of customer service do you think is good?

I think a good customer experience pivots around multiple factors. Firstly the concerned staff members should interact with the customers with a broad smile. Secondly, the company must leave no stone unturned to provide services that are prompt and flawless.

Moreover, the claim handling process must be quick to avoid unprecedented delays.

2. What are the differences between shopping online and in-store?

There are wider differences betwixt internet shopping versus shopping from conventional stores. Firstly there is no denying this conviction that l, online shopping offers more convenience by saving our precious resources, time and energy. Moreover, you can order anytime at the click of a button from an online store which is not the case with traditional stores having fixed timings.

.The prominent advantage of retail stores is that the customer can make a prudent judgment regarding the look and size of the product, which is challenging in an online model

3. What problems do customers often have while shopping?

The first and foremost problem for the customers is the difficulty in finding desired products/goods that synchronize with their needs or taste. 

Apart from this, the lack of availability of the right products is also a pressing problem. Many shopkeepers try to sell those products in which they get huge margins and do not keep products with a low margin.

4. What do you think customers should do when there are problems with products bought online? 

The first and foremost thing is to complain to the company. And wait for the resolution. If the company doesn’t react, then the customer should file a case with the competent authority.


1. Worth mentioning

Meaning: Important enough to require a comment.

Sentence: The role of Mukesh Ambani in surging the Indian economy is worth mentioning. Under his aegis Reliance Industries has seen massive growth. Moreover, the dirt-cheap internet provided by him has led to a quantum leap in the knowledge of Indians and the number of content creators has inclined sharply.

2. From pillar to post 

Meaning: Moving from one place to another unceremoniously or fruitlessly.

Sentence: Getting approval from higher authorities for setting up a business is a daunting task because the documentation makes you run from pillar to post.

3. Work like a charm

Meaning: Be entirely successful or efficient

Sentence: Waking up early in the morning works like a charm for me because it empowers me to make productive use of my willpower which declines during the afternoon.

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