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We can offer either our Luxury double room at £11B per night, nr rmv Bffld«iW3 double at £85, All our rooms have private bathrooms, television, tea- and coffee making facilities, and other features designed to make your stay as comfortable as possible.
Furthermore, we are able to offer you a special 10% weekend discount on these rates. The total for the three doubles will therefore be £469 for the Standard rooms or £621 for the Luxury room6.
I would be grateful if you could confirm your reservation as soon as possible and tell us which type of room you would prefer. We accept all major credit cards or. If you prefer, you can secure your reservation by sending a 25% deposit.
1 look forward to hearing from you. Yours sincerely
Peter Barnes Reservations
Now write a similar letter in answer to the enquiry in 2b or 2c. Use the updated information from 7 Listening and follow this structure:
Paragraph 1: Thank the enquirer for their letter Paragraph 2: Explain the basic room rate
Paragraph 3: Explain details of any discount you are able to offer Paragraph 4: Ask for confirmation Paragraph 5: Closing remark
9 Activity 1 Work in pairs. Complete columns 1 and 2 of this chart by looking at
today's newspaper. Together, complete columns 3 and 4. You will need to set buying and selling rates for each currency, and decide whether you are going to charge commission.
I 2 3 4
2 Take turns to be A and B. A
You work in the exchange office of a large hotel. Using the rates you have just set, answer the questions of the tourists who come to your office to change money.
You are a tourist. Choose one of the currencies and decide how much you have. Go round the class, visiting other students' exchange offices and trying to get the best rate. Act out the conversation.
Can you tell me the exchange rate for...? I'd like to change these... How many... will I get for... ? Does that include commission?
In groups discuss these questions:
a Have you ever been given a tip?
b What is the biggest tip you have given?
c Which employees in a hotel might expect to receive a tip?
Read these extracts about tipping taken from guidebooks to Australia, the United States, and the United Kingdom. Complete the chart which follows with details of how much to tip.
Tipping has never been ihe custom in Australia and many are loath to have il stan. Hotels and restaurants do not add service charges but it is a widely accepted practice to tip a waiter 10-12% for good service, although many Australians consider Usul'ncient to leave only S3 or $4. Il is not necessary to tip a hotel doorman lor carry ing suitcases into the lobby, but porters could be given S1 a bag.
Room Service and housemaids are not tipped except for special service. Taxi drivers do not expect a tip, but you may want to leave any small change. Guides, tour bus drivers, and chauffeurs don't expect tipseither. though they are grateful if someone in the group takes up a collection for them. No tipping is necessary in beauty salons or for theater ushers.
Source: Fodor's Australia and New Zealand
Time California and the entire west coast are in the Pacific Standard Time zone, eight hours behind Greenwich Mean Time and three hours behind Eastern Standard Time.
Tipping In restaurants, waiters and waitresses, as well as bartenders, expect a 15% tip; so do taxi drivers and hairdressers. Porters should be tipped 50c to $1 per bag, and parking valets should be given $1. It's nice to leave a few dollars on your pillow for the hotel maid; lavatory attendants will appreciate whatever change you have.
Tourist Offices See 'Information and Money,' earlier in this chapter, as well as specific city chapters later in this guide.
This Is as difficult for the locals as it Is for visitors. There are no hard and fast rules.
Airport/railway porters: 50p a bag is
welcome. There are now red-uniformed Skycaps at airports with a fixed £5 fee. Hotels; often add a service charge, but porters would expect about 50p a bag going to your room.
Restaurants: almost always include a service charge. Even if the credit card form Is left blank next to tips, do not pay again. If not included, a 10% tip is normal, preferably in cash.
Taxis: 10% is normal. Hairdressers: 10% is normal.
Do not feel obliged to tip unless service has been cheerful and efficient.
mrce: Frommer's California
Source: Thomas Cook Traveller's Lor,
________________ USA_______ UK_________ Australia
other _______ ____________ _______
3 In small groups prepare and write a similar paragraph for a guidebook to your country (or a country which you have visited and know well).
48-hour release p. 71, system by which
rooms have to be claimed or sold 48
hours (two days) before allocation p. 71, amount given for a
particular purpose (hence Allocation
availability chart p. 71. chart which indicates the number of rooms that can be sold for a particular period
bill p. 67. piece of paper which shows how much money you owe for goods and services; (US) a money note
calculate p. 158 (tapescript). find an answer by using numbers
cash p. 68. money in the form of coins and notes
check out p. 68, pay your bill and leave a hotel
check something through p. 158
(tapescript), examine something written
to see if it is correct cheque p. 68. special piece of paper
which you fill in to authorize a bank to
pay from your account comes to p. 67, equals (usually for
money amounts) commission p. 66. money that you get
for selling something (usually a
percentage) credit card p. 68. small plastic card that
allows you to get goods or services
without using money currency p. 73, money that a particular
country uses deposit p. 69, sum of money which is the
first payment for something, with the
rest of the money to be paid later
discount p. 71, reduction in the usual
price of something (usually a percentage) exchange rate p. 73, value of the
money of one country compared to that
of another expiry date p. 69, end of a period when
you can use something Free Sale Agents p. 71, people or
organizations which sell rooms on behalf
of a hotel, but without the need to check
if rooms are available imprint p. 69, mark made by pressing an
object on a surface (e.g. the writing on a
credit card when pressed on paper) key card p. 158 (tapescript). card given
to a guest when they are given their key,
when checking in negotiates p. 71. arranges by discussing
with another person or group receipt p. 68. piece of paper that is given
to show you have paid for something room rate p. 65, fixed amount at which
a room in a hotel is charged sales outlet p. 69. any department in a
hotel which sells things to guests (e.g.
service charge p. 68. amount (usually a percentage) added to - for example - a restaurant bill to reward the waiters/waitresses for their work
traveller's cheque p. 68, a cheque that you can change into foreign money when you are travelling abroad
voucher p. 69, a piece of paper exchanged for goods or services
Dealing with complaints
Speaking 1 In groups, discuss how you would handle the following people
complaining in your hotel:
a A drunk customer in the hotel restaurant complaining loudly about the slow service.
b A guest who can't speak your language very well, complaining about
the size of his/her room (you think), c An exrremely rude and angry guest complaining about his/her bill
when checking out. d A dinner guest, who is part of a large and important wedding party,
complaining about the quality of the food, e An elderly gentleman complaining about how many stairs he has to
walk up to get to his room, f A foreign visitor to your country complaining about the weather.
Compare your opinions with other groups.
2 Write down three or four similar descriptions of complaints. Pass them to another group to discuss how they would handle them. See if you agree.
2 Reading 1 Before you read the article which follows, discuss this question: How do
you think a computer could help to train waiters to cope with people who complain?
2 Read the article and answer the questions which follow.
oes your computer make rude remarks lo you'' While manufacturers struggle lo make their machines more user-friendly. Richard Margetts. a catering lecturer at Granville College, in Yorkshire, has developed a program that positively encourages ihe computer to be nasiy towards its operator.
The software, called Custom, has been funded by the employment department's learning technologies unit, and is designed to help hotel and catering trainees lo cope with customers' complaints. Such complaints can make or break a business.
The idea for the program grew out of an unpleasant evening Mr Margetts and his wife had at a hotel. In a scene that could have come from Faulty Towers. Ihe BBC television comedy series, the couple were left standing in the hotel lobby while ihe receptionist continued making n personal telephone call.
During Ihe meal they were ignored by the waiter and had to order their drinks at the bar and cany ihcm back to the table. The couple complained lo the manager who sympathised bin mid 11 was difficult to train staff in customer care.
'Britons are very complacent about complaints." says Mr Margetts. who used to run his own restaurant. "Good service is not seen as being very important."
Hence the computer-based training package. The first part analyses how complaints arise. The complaints included those from the few customers who go to u restaurant determined to make a fuss, perhaps in the hope of a free meal.
Mr Margelts says: "Within the program we have included ways of spotting those complaints, and those that can arise because of a bad experience somebody has had even before entering the restaurant.
'The program will also identify the complaints that can occasionally arise merely from customer boredom. Somebody may have decided he cannot stand his dining companion, for example, and lakes his tinhappincss out on the foot! or the unfortunate waiter "
The waiters assemble a customer profile. 'How am I dressed - thahhy. average or immaculate?" the computer asks. 'Is my accent local or non-local? Do I speak perfect English or might I he a
touri.it? Am I dlunc ui with u
group? Is it a mixed-sex group? What is my age bracket? How much alcohol do I seem to have drunk?"
The computer then suggests successful ways of tackling the customer.
Mr Margetts says: 'The idea is that the trainee sees that personal attributes such as accent or dress are a weak indicator of how a customer will respond during a complaint, whereas aliunde and alcohol arc much stronger."
In the second part of the program, the computer becomes less than friendly The trainee takes part in role-play simulations in which the computet acts like a complaining customer.
The computer can be programmed to be angry, rude, reasonable, or rambling. The trainee's task is to recognize the warning signs and calm the situation.
At the end of a session, trainees arc told how many attempts il has taken to reach the correct response. The results arc saved for the course tuiiir ii> read
But although the program uses graphics and text to good effect, it ...iii.h i jet convey complex factors such as the custtoiuct 'a tu'uw uf voice, body posture, or facial expression. Future versions may use video pictures and sound for greater realism
However. Mr Margetts says there arc no plans to incorporate a robot arm that grabs the user by the lapels.
nasty = unkind
make or break = cause either success or complete failure
make a fuss = cause a lot of problems with no real reason
shabby = dressed in old, untidy clothes
immaculate = perfect, very neat
rambling = talking in a long, unorganized way
Source: The Times
a What is Mr Margetts's job?
b Who is the software program going to help?
c What two things did Mr and Mrs Margetts complain about?
d What was the manager's response?
e The article mentions three causes of complaints which are nothing to do with the quality of service or food. What are they?
f What questions does the computer ask in order to construct a customer profile?
g Which factors decide how a customer will react during a complaint? h During the role play, what must the trainee try to do? i What does the program not do yet?
Do you think this form of training is effective? Give reasons.
Listen to this conversation between a guest and a receptionist.
a Make a list of the things the guest is complaining about, b What does she want to do? c What is the outcome?
Now listen to the second conversation. What is the outcome this rime?
Listen to both conversations again. In what ways does the receptionist behave differently in the second conversation? What does she offer to do?
4 Language study Present Perfect Passive
Look at these examples from the conversations, where something needed to be done but wasn't:
► The hath hasn V been cleaned
> The sheets haven't been changed.
1 Match up these nouns and verbs and make similar sentences.
1 bed 4 bin a dust d vacuum
2 carpet 5 shelves b make e empty
3 Boor 6 wash-basin c clean f sweep
The bed hasn't been made.
2 Look at this picture of a hotel at the start of the summer season. It is in very bad condition. Discuss what hasn't been done. Look at the garden, the walls, the paintwork, and so on.
These verbs may help:
cut mend repair fix replaster weed paint tile Should have (done)
Look at these examples from the conversation.
► They should have cleaned it.
► You should have complained earlier.
1 Use the same examples char were used in the Present Perfect Passive language study to make similar sentences:
They should have made the bed.
2 Develop each of these statements with a should have sentence. Example:
This room is filthy!
You should have cleaned it.
a This room is filthy,
b Why didn't you tell us?
c Why did that old lady carry her heavy suitcase herself?
d You're going to be late for work,
e I didn't know it was going to rain.
f The hotel turned out to be worse than the one we stayed in last year,
g I missed the last bus and had to walk home,
h We've been robbed!
Responding to complaints
Look at this example of responding to a complaint.
Complaint Apology Action
► This room is filthy! I'm terribly sorry. I'll send someone up to
clean it immediately.
Now respond to the following complaints in a similar way.
a This soup's disgusting!
b I'm sorry to trouble you, but I don't seem ro have any towels.
c It's really noisy. Can't you do something about it?
d The central heating's not working.
e Look. Our sheets haven't been changed.
f Sorry, but I ordered tea, not coffee.
g I can't seem to get the shower to work.
When a speaker wants to emphasize an adjective or make it stronger (especially during an emotional exchange such as complaining and apologizing), it is common to use an intensifying adverb, e.g. I'm extremely sorry.' However, not all combinations of adverb and adjective are possible.
Which adjectives can be used with which adverbs? Tick (/) the
# ^ -3$
f / W & <f
Can you work out any rule?
Complete the following sentences with an appropriate adverb/adjective combination from the ones above.
a I'm--------------------- that I didn't make any international phone calls
from my room.
b We were_____________ with the hotel, considering that so many
people had recommended it to us.
c The standard of the food was terrible. It was____________
d The swimming-pool obviously hadn't been cleaned for ages. It was
e I'm_____________ that it's so noisy. Unfortunately, it's unavoidable
because we're having essential repairs done,
slightest thing goes wrong.
Divide into pairs, A and B. Choose one of these areas of complaint (or
invpnr vmir nwnV
You are the receptionist. You want to calm the guest down. Your tactics are a) to get the guest to say exactly what the problem is; b) to 'buy' time; and c) to offer something that is acceptable and possible.
You are the guest. You are extremely angry. Think about a) what exactly is wrong; b) what you expected; and c) what you want to happen.
Now act out the conversation.
7 Reading 1 Look at this advertisement for The Country Village Hotel.
a What facilities does it offer?
b What type of guest would be attracted to the hotel?
The Country Village Hotel
----------------------- Rural... Romantic ... Relaxing ---------------------
❖ Enjoy the peace and quiet of The Country Village Hotel, set in beautiful countryside but only 30 miles from London.
❖ Relax in our luxurious pool, with pool-side bar.
❖ Dine in our romantic restaurant.
•> A short bus-ride from the delightful town centre of Buckingham.
❖ We'll look after you.
❖ Phone us now for a reservation on 0790 36143.
a Who is the letter from?
b What is the writer complaining about?
c Was there anything positive?
d What action does the writer want the hotel to take?
e What is the tone of the letter?
f Underline expressions used to complain. Compare them with the spoken expressions in 4 Language study.
You are the manager of The Country Village Hotel, and you must reply to the unhappy guests. You don't want to make excuses but you know there were reasons why the things promised in the advertisement did not happen. Here are your notes:
(auditor it lniAt b-u/y^ titot aj" ytw)
Write a letter to one of the guests apologizing for the difficulties they had, and explaining the reasons. If you want to, you can offer some compensation.
Follow this structure:
Paragraph I: Thank writer for letter. Make general apology. Paragraph 2: Make specific apology and give explanation/reasons for
each complaint. Paragraph 3: Offer some compensation (if you want). Paragraph 4: Repeat general apology and make closing remarks.
Here are some expressions which may be useful:
Thank you for... I was sorry to hear... I would like to explain ... I can assure you ...
As a sign of our concern, we would like to offer... I hope... Please accept...
You are going to listen to a woman talking about a disastrous time she had when she stayed in a hotel.
Before you listen, think about these questions:
a Have you, or has anyone you know, ever had a disastrous stay in a
hotel? What went wrong? b What could go wrong in these areas?
front desk/checking in the guest's room in the restaurant checking out/the bill
Now listen 10 the woman speaking. What things went wrong during her stay?
Listen again. Are these statements true (T) or false (F)?
a □ The woman had seen an advertisement for the hotel in a shop window.
b □ The couple went to the hotel to celebrate a birthday, c □ The man at the front desk had probably been arguing, d □ They were given the key to room 1()(>. e □ The woman complained about the size of the bathroom, f □ They didn't complain in the restaurant.
g □ They didn't sleep very well because they heard a screaming noise.
h □ They quite enjoyed the breakfast.
i □ They went to another hotel after checking out.
j □ The murder took place in room 107.
Divide into rwo groups, A and B. In your groups, prepare lor the role play by reading your instructions. Group A, your instructions are on page 143. Group B, your instructions are on page 148.
2 Feedback discussion:
a How well did the waiters cope with the pressure? b Can you work out any general strategies for dealing with 'difficult' guests?
c Has the experience changed your ideas about a waiter's job in any way?
Read the summary of answers to a hotel feedback questionnaire:
a Do you think the manager will be pleased with the results?
b In which areas of the hotel service were the results most disappointing?
In small groups, discuss what can be done to improve the hotel service, a What changes can be made?
b How will you approach the different members of staff involved? Compare your opinions with other groups.
A Question of Service
(All liguias are %) y-
1 II you stayed between Monday and Friday, were you met by the
Hotel Lobby Manager? 5
2 Did Ihe Lobby Manager explain the facilities and services that the
hotel had to olfer? 2
3 Were you asked about your check-oul requirements when you booked In? 60
4 Did you teel that you received a
warm welcome to the hotel? 20
5 It you received a message while you were in the hotel, did you receive It within 10 minutes ot
holno able to receive It? 15
6 Were you addressed by name in
the reception/lobby? 2
7 Were you addressed by name In
Ihe restaurant? 10
8 II you received a morning call,
was It on time? 70
9 Were you addressed by name
when receiving your morning call? 65
10 Were you ottered a choice ol
our restaurant? 35
11 Were you offered a choice ol
80 0 0 30 30
23 As a result of the service and hospitality that you have received, would you choose to stay in this hotel again?