Thursday, April 4, 2024
IELTS Cue-cardIELTS Speaking

[Band 8.5] Describe a problem you had while shopping online or in a store IELTS Cue-Card

In Describe a problem you had while shopping online or in a store Cue Card, you should say:

1. When did the problem happen?

2. What did you buy online or in a store?

3. What problem you had?

4. Explain how you felt about the shopping experience?

Describe a problem you had while shopping online or in a store IELTS Speaking Cue-Card
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Here’s the first sample answer to Describe a problem you had while shopping online or in a store IELTS Speaking Cue Card:


I love everything the shopping mall stands for – the people, the children, the workers, and the vibrant atmosphere. But as it said, no one can judge a book by its cover, I would like to speak on my experience riddled with problems at one of the stores in the shopping mall.

When did the problem happen?

Last week’s retail shopping was the worst I’ve ever experienced. I won’t ever return to that store since it was that horrible.

In a store, I’m usually the boy who maintains his composure. I am aware that there are other customers, all of whom are rushing through the store, and that carts may collide, merchandise may be out of stock, queues at the register may be lengthy, and customer service may be subpar sometimes. But for one store, to which I had given several chances, Sunday was the final straw.

What did you buy online or in a store?

Over the past several years, I have occasionally tried to shop at this particular store purely out of convenience and because it is in a shopping centre with other stores that I frequently visit. This time, the store seems to have no management that is visible when there’s a problem, a question, or a long queue.

It took me a half-hour on my most recent visit to buy a pair of socks for my younger brother.

What problem you had?

But no one cared. In that store, not a single employee raised a hand to assist a coworker who was struggling to manage the line at the register or to demonstrate concern for the appalling quality of their customer service.

Employees at this shop are either outright rude or appear uninformed and disinterested. They move so slowly that you begin to doubt whether they have ever received any training in work ethics or customer service.

They simply don’t make any effort to assist you and don’t even appear to be concerned about themselves or their jobs.

Explain how you felt about the shopping experience?

I normally like shopping. I am not usually rushed or in a bad mood when I go shopping. But this store has given me a headache and the need to yell on more than one occasion.

Working hard, making an effort to stick to a budget, and then having to pay for a poor shopping experience made me so angry.

Concluding the Cue Card

So now I’ve come to the conclusion that it will be worth it to drive 20-25 minutes to another store and avoid problems rather than continue to patronise this terrible business.



Due to sizing concerns, I typically avoid purchasing apparel or shoes online. The sizes of various businesses vary, and occasionally a large size for one business is a tiny size for another. The experience that I am going to share with you today is a testament to why I feel shopping for clothes online is a big problem.

My colleague just got Wrangler Jeans from Flipkart, and the online cost was almost half that of the Wrangler retail store. So, I also made the decision to purchase a similar kind of Jeans online. The Jeans were also available on Amazon’s online store, but they were charging a premium, so I chose Flipkart instead.

I have a lot of enthusiasm about the Jeans. In fact, I was bragging to my friends about the fantastic discount I found online. I was, however, rather let down when I opened the box. On first look, the Jeans looked ok. But as I touched the fabric, it was of extremely poor quality. Actually, it was a duplicate product. A well-known company, in my opinion, could never sell such a pathetic quality.

As a result, I called Flipkart’s customer service line and explained the situation. They instructed me to email the grievance with shopping order details. I got their reply within hours and they gave me two options right away. I could either purchase something else for the same amount or they could refund the money in my bank account.

I was pleased with how they handled my concern. However, I wasted both my time and effort to complete the process. The entire process would have been hassle-free if I had simply gone to a store and purchased the Jeans.



Following are the probable set of IELTS Speaking Part-3 follow-up questions for Describe a problem you had while shopping online or in a store cue card:

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

Even if your product is excellent if your customer service is poor—unhelpful, unreliable, or simply difficult to reach—people will find out about it, and you’ll lose business as a result.

So, I think building strong relationships with your clients is the secret to providing excellent customer service. The consumer will have a favourable experience if you thank them and encourage a helpful, friendly, and happy environment. A satisfied client is more likely to make repeat visits and spend more money.

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

Shopping online and shopping via store are two sides of the same thread. On the one side, Prior to making a purchase, customers may actually see the products they are purchasing while shopping in a physical store. While this is not the case when customers shop online, and occasionally the item they acquire may be completely different from the one they saw in the advertisement.

That being said, Online purchasing is more practical because it requires less time and effort. It can also be done 24/7 sitting in the comfort of your home.

3) What problems do customers often have while shopping?

Customers typically have trouble finding items and products that suit their tastes or demands. For instance, a person might not always be able to find the appropriate size for a piece of clothing they want.

Other than that, Consumers frequently believe they are not receiving adequate value for the cost of the things they have purchased. This could be a result of subpar quality, decreased durability, adulteration, inadequate packaging, etc.

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

Nowadays big online retailers are becoming consumer friendly. In case you’ve problems with the product, all you need to do is file a return or replacement request on the website. The product will be replaced or the money will be refunded in a matter of days only.



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I hope it gives you some realistic idea on how to carry a conversation around Describe a problem you had while shopping online or in a store IELTS Cue card topic. However, it is strongly advised not to reproduce the same answer during the exam. You should rather reformulate and personalize your answer.

If you still need any help, don’t be shy to comment below.



Rajit K.

Rajit is the co-founder and an active blogger at 'CIC Talks'. He is best known for his rich expertise in IELTS & Canadian Immigration. Feel free to connect with him on Instagram & Twitter.

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