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Capýtulo 7:

 Commercial calls. Llamadas comerciales en inglés

Nota: Para visualizar el vídeo que acompaña este capítulo, haz clic en el siguiente enlace http://www.mailxmail.com/curso-telephoning-ingles-telefono-negocios/commercial-calls-llamadas-comerciales-ingles

7.1. Orders

When placing an order, remember to have all the information ready.  This includes the catalogue number, the amount of the product you want to buy, and the price per item.  If you would like to first get the amount of money your order would cost, plus shipping and handling (the cost of sending the item) and any insurance, then you can ask for an estimate. 

See these phrases below:

- I’d like to place an order for 70 units please.

- Do you have the catalogue number?

- How much does shipping and handling cost?

- Can I get an estimate?

- What does an estimate include?

- Do you give discounts on large orders?

- When will my order arrive?

- Do you ship door-to-door?

Activity 1.

Fill in the dialogue below with these phrases.


A:  Morning, I’d like to__________________ 

      400 copies of Shakespeare.

B:   Of course, what is the    


A:   fgt567.

B:   That’s f______________?

A:   That’s right. Can I get______________that?

B:   Certainly. I can have that ready for you by

       the end of the day.

A:   And what does the__________________?

B:   It includes the merchandise,

       ____________, plus any taxes and


A:   ______________door-to-door?

B:   Yes we do.

A:   When can I expect ___________to arrive?

B:   ____________are usually ten working days.

A:   Can I pay by________________?

Activity 2

Listen to the questions and respond by following these instructions. [Audiotrack 20: Escucha el audio en el vídeo de arriba] 

Say you want to place an order for desk units.

Order 70 units.

Say the catalogue number ( ytr2346)

Verify the catalogue number.

Give the price (150€ each)

Ask about delivery times.

Ask about paying by credit card.

End the call.


7.2. Solving Problems.

There are so many things that can go wrong in business.  Perhaps you’re running late to a meeting, the delivery hasn’t arrived yet and the client is waiting, your computer system has crashed or your flight is delayed. 

Have a look at the way we talk about fixing these problems in English.

Read these dialogues, what is the problem?

these phrases below:

A: Hello Agent Deliveries, how may I help?

B: Hello, I’m trying to find out what has happened to a package I sent, it hasn’t arrived yet.

A: Do you have the reference number?

B: Yes it’s ogh567.

A: Ok, yes here it is, it’s currently being shipped to Los Angeles, it should arrive within a couple of days.

B: Ok thanks


A: Hello, Mrs. Sharp’s office?

B: Hello, this is Nigel Cox, I’m calling to let you know that I have had some problems with my rental car, so 

   I won’t make it on time for the meeting this afternoon.

A: Ok, I’ll let Mrs. Sharp know, would you like to reschedule?

B: Yes please, I’ll be in town at 5pm. Can we make it then?

A: I’ll just check her schedule, one moment... yes that’ll be fine.

B: Ok, thanks

A: Bye.


A: I’m at the conference room, and I’ve been waiting half an hour, did you remember we had a meeting scheduled this week?

B: Oh no! I’m so sorry, there was a problem down at the factory and I had to just on a plane as soon as possible. My secretary should have cancelled all my meetings.

A: I guess she missed one.

Problem dialogue 1: The package hasn’t arrived yet. / Problem dialogue 2: Running late for a meeting due to car trouble. / Problem dialogue 3: The secretary forgot to cancel the meeting.

Language tip

Match the problem with the action.

1. Problem: My computer shut down and I couldn’t save my work.

2. Problem: The invoice hasn’t been paid yet.

3. Problem: John is late for a meeting.

4. Problem: The shipment hasn’t arrived.

5. Problem: The Internet connection isn’t working properly.

6. Problem: An important member of staff hasn’t arrived at the meeting.

7. Problem: The phone line has a really bad connection.

8. Problem: The flight has been cancelled.

a. Action: I’ll call the office and let them know you won’t make it.

b. Action: Jane’ll call and ask what happened with the invoice.

c. Action: I’ll send someone over from IT to look at your computer.

d. Action: John’ll have to call to say he’ll be late.

e. Action: I’ll call you straight back.

f. Action: I’ll call the delivery company to see what happened.

g. Action: I’ll call our Internet provider to try to see what the problem is.

h. Action: Tom’ll call Ken to find out why he’s not at the meeting.

Answer here:

Answer here

Activity 2.

You are working at Arrowline courier company. Follow the instructions.

1. Answer the phone:

2. Ask for a reference number:

3. Double-check the number:

4. Promise to check the status on the item:

5. Promise to check flight times:

6. Promise to call straight back:

7. Say goodbye:

Your turn

[Audiotrack 21:Escucha el audio en el vídeo de arriba]


7.3. Complaints  

Good complaining is all about getting the results that you need and the justification that you deserve.  For companies on the other hand, handling complaints can be a very delicate situation.  Giving away too many freebies is bad for business, but a company that fails to satisfy the customer is also bad news, as this could lead to a lack of future business.


Techniques for making a complaint.

  • Be concise.
  • State clearly what happened eg. The shipment was late.
  • Give details. eg. We expected it yesterday and it hasn’t arrived.
  • Say what you want. eg. We need it as soon as possible.
  • Be reasonable, if you ask for an outlandish discount, chances are it will be refused, but if you ask for, say, 10% discount on the next shipment, the company cannot refuse you.


Language Tip

Use present simple verbs in the past, as these describe a single event.

Look at these examples:

  • Our package was late.
  • It broke the first time I used it.
  • I made a reservation
  • I paid double what this was worth.


Techniques for handling complaints

  • Show that you’re listening eg. “ I see”
  • Show you understand eg. “ I understand”
  • Ask a question to clarify the problem eg. “Do you have the invoice number for that?”
  • Restate the problem eg. “ So the invoice you sent was never paid?”
  • Apologizeeg. “ I’m so sorry for the mistake.”
  • Offer action eg. “ Let me see what I can do for you”
  • Explain action eg. I’ll call accounts and see what has happened.
  • Follow up the call (a few days later) eg. “ We spoke on Wednesday and I just wanted to check that the problem has been sorted.”

Activity 1.

Fill in these sentences with the correct word from the box below.

fit          was     paid       broke    called    came     sent       expected                 ordered

1. I……………… an order three weeks ago and the goods haven’t arrived.

2. The pen………………. the first time I used it.

3. I………………. last week and no one has got back to me.

4. I’m not sure you……………. the right replacement part.

5. I………………….. twenty three boxes and received only twenty.

6. Your customer service representative………… very unhelpful.

7. I …………….a lot of money to get the device fixed, and it is still faulty.

8. I ……………………better service from your company.

9. The new part didn’t……….. in the machine.

10. My car………………….. back with a long scratch down the side.


Your turn

[Audiotrack 22:Escucha el audio en el vídeo de arriba]

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