I’m sure that most of you at least once bought something that was the wrong size or colour, it didn’t fit properly or you’ve simply changed your mind. Sometimes, the service was not as you expected. What did you do? Did you have to take an item back to a shop? Here are some useful expressions for asking a refund in English.
Asking for a Refund in English
When you purchase an item in a shop or contract someone for their services (engage someone to do some work) you expect that everything will work out well and the product you buy will work and the service you contract for will be delivered satisfactorily. However, it is not always like this.
There are legal definitions that cover your rights in relation to refunds so I am not trying to challenge those rights (I do not dispute people’s rights to a legal refund). What I am covering are the different English words and phrases you may need to use when asking for a refund in English.
Don't keep this to yourself, tell the world!
We usually start off in a very pleasant mood hoping the request (when we ask) for a refund will be easy and simple. This first request is usually recommended to be polite (well mannered)
Could I please have a refund/full refund.
In most situations such a request will be met with a favourable response (agreed).
If you feel that a polite simple request may be ignored you might either plead
for (ask with tears in your eyes) or beg for (almost down on your knees) your refund. However, when such requests are refused (denied) you may need to “up the anti” (become a little more forceful).
You can then demand (a little stronger than polite) a refund with words such as
I want my money refunded immediately
If this also fails then you may need to go legal (threaten to refer the matter to your solicitor/lawyer). This usually gets a response as companies may not wish to get involved in a legal battle which could ultimately end up in court (in front of a judge).
In this situation someone may need to go as far as to send a solicitor’s letter where a solicitor (your legal representative) will write on your behalf to the individual or company involved requesting an immediate refund or the matter will be taken further (this could mean trying to get a court appearance to make a claim for the loss).
The easiest way to avoid all of this is: insist on a receipt when you purchase a product or service, ask about their refund policy before handing over (making any payment) any money.
Other ways you can request a refund in English:
– I feel you should, at the very least, refund the sum of €50 I paid for … (strong)
– I insist that you refund my money at once (strong)
– I must insist on a full refund immediately (strong)
– I’d like a refund
– I want to have my money back
Enjoy your shopping experience!
Making Complaints in English
How to complain about something in English:
- I want to complain about … (starting a complaint)
- I’d like to make a complaint
- Something needs to be done about this … (emphasising your discontent)
- I’m sorry, it’s just not good enough
- I’m really not happy about this …
- I’m running out of patience
- It’s a disgrace
- That’s just not acceptable
- I shall expect a reduction
How to reply to a complaint in English:
- I do understand why you’re unhappy about this (sympathising with a complaint)
- I’m very sorry to hear that
- I’m sorry to hear there’s a problem
- I’ll see what I can do (agreeing to act)
- I’ll do everything I can to sort this out
- I’ll sort it out immediately
- That’s really beyond my control, I’m afraid (declining to act)
- There’s really nothing I can do about it
- I must apologise