IELTS Speaking Practice Test 22 – Topic : An Unsatisfactory Purchase

IELTS Speaking Practice Test 22 - Topic: An Unsatisfactory Purchase
IELTS Speaking Practice Test 22 - Topic: An Unsatisfactory Purchase

Topic: An Unsatisfactory Purchase

Audio for IELTS Speaking Practice Test 22

Speaking Part 2

      Cue Card

Describe an item that you bought that you were dissatisfied with.

You should say :

  •  what the item was
  •  when and where you bought it
  •  why you were not happy with this product and explain what you did after you found that it was unsatisfactory.

Well, I enjoy drinking coffee very much. Unfortunately, I do not always have very hot water. Three months ago I decided to do something about it. I went to the Fu Cheng Men market to buy a water heater. I chose the most convenient one: a little pad on which you place your cup and it is supposed to heat the liquid inside. It was being sold for a very’ reasonable price, and I only had to bargain for a short time.

I brought it home, but then forgot about it for about one month. One day I wanted to have some hot coffee and remembered the water heater I had bought. So I went and found it and plugged it in. However, when I placed the cup on the pad, it heated the coffee very poorly. In fact, it didn’t even make the coffee warm. I was very angry, so I threw it away. Now I have to use a stove to boil the water first. I’m sure next time I decide to buy such a product as a water heater. I will look in a more reliable place and probably try to get a trusted brand. I will also have to write a note to remind myself of my purchase so that I can discover problems earlier, and thus have time to exchange it.

 Speaking Part 3

Shopping in China

Are the services in big stores and small ones the same?

Of course not. In big stores there are often plenty of attendants to help you with your choice; whereas in small stores, you are left to yourself. Also, if you do not go to a reliable store, you sometimes cannot exchange your purchase if you find fault with it.

 What services should shops provide?

They should have people there who are familiar with the store and its products to help you find what you need. Some shops should provide snack bars in case you get hungry or thirsty while shopping. I also think it would be helpful if stores had a delivery service, so if you were busy, you would not have to do the shopping yourself. Maybe some shops could provide discounts to frequent customers.

 Which do you think is more important in a shop, service or the quality of the goods?

The quality of goods. I think the quality is most important because if there are no services, people can take care of themselves. Services are simply a luxury, an extra, and pretty much unnecessary. But if the products are not of good quality, then they will not meet the needs of the customer. This, in the end, may make the customer search for another shop.

 What are the advantages and disadvantages of supermarkets?

One advantage is that you can find everything you need in the same store. Another is, that you can find several brands of the same product, and then make a better selection. I do think, however, that the disadvantages slightly outweigh the advantages. For one, a supermarket can be noisy and large, confusing to the new shoppers. Also, prices tend to be higher in big supermarkets.

 How can supermarkets attract more customers or retain customers?

Well, I would say by making sure there are plenty of different options for each product, different varieties and prices, maybe also advertising sales. Of course if they did that they would need to have more sales, so that people feel this supermarket is better than the others. The supermarket should be clean and well kept, and employees should be reliable. Those at the check-out counters should know the product, and also know how to use the machines well so that they do not hold up the customers.


 What are the advantages and disadvantages of machine-made and hand-made goods?

I have recently discovered the superiority of hand-made products, especially in clothing. When something is personally made, it has a special feel, and the quality is much finer. Machines do not have eyes to catch the defects. However, when it comes to hand-made products, the production process may not be sanitary or those making the product may not be fully reliable in making it correctly.

 Do people prefer machine-made or hand-made products?

I would say nowadays people prefer the machine-made products. I think I may be one of the odd ones out when it comes to wanting hand-tailored clothing. But it really depends on the products. Maybe those people who have a little more money can afford to choose things made by hand which have been made correctly and in a clean and satisfactory environment.

 What handmade products do you think will still be popular in the future?

In my opinion, it would be clothes and some decorations. There are some things that require the classic feeling of quality and uniqueness. Machines often take the creativity out of an object. When something is hand-carved, or hand-sewn, it makes you feel as though this product is special, and is worth more.

 How do you feel about food additives which are in the food you buy?

The only good point I know of to food additives is that they make the food look or taste better. Other than that, I have to say they make me afraid to cat certain foods. I won’t buy foods that I know have a lot of preservatives or MSG. I think these harmful chemicals used in food production should be made illegal. I mean, thousands of years ago, man survived, and even enjoyed his food without these damaging additives.

 What rights do you think consumers have?

Hmm, slightly difficult question. The right of choice maybe. If I go into a supermarket, do I have a choice between food loaded with preservatives and that naturally grown with organic fertilizers and nothing added? No, I do not, and I think the right of choice should be provided to consumers. If I were to be able to choose between products with too high a sugar content and those with natural healthy sugar, I would feel much more satisfied.

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Written By

Nafia Zuhana is an experienced content writer and IELTS Trainer. Currently, she is guiding students who are appearing for IELTS General and Academic exams through With an 8.5 score herself, she trains and provides test takers with strategies, tips, and nuances on how to crack the IELTS Exam. She holds a degree in Master of Arts – Creative Writing, Oxford Brookes University, UK. She has worked with The Hindu for over a year as an English language trainer.

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