Flo-Joe for Cambridge English Exams

Cambridge English: Proficiency

Check out students' answers to Flo-Joe's CPE Writing tasks with a teacher's feedback

Writing Class: Letter of Complaint

Task Type: Letter of Complaint

You recently took a self-catering holiday in a luxury apartment, but the standard of the accommodation was very poor. The holiday company that you booked with have offered you some vouchers as compensation, but you have decided you would prefer a cash refund instead. Write a letter to the company outlining the problems you experienced with the accommodation and the action you want them to take.

Write the letter to the company (around 280 - 320 words).

Makeover: Ilona

Read Ilona's answer to this question below. Try correcting the piece of writing yourself first: use the marking codes to think about what might be wrong (or what's good) about the piece of work. Then when you're ready, click the green buttons in the text for our feedback.

Dear Sir or Madam

I am writing to complain about the bad WW standard of accommodation during my last holiday. I booked this self-catering holiday last year in WW your travel agency. When I returned from my two-week travel WW last week, I immediately visited the agency to complain about my bad WW experiences.

Had I known that the accomodation would be so poor, I would have booked from the beginning a full-service holiday. Gd What I expected was a luxury apartment with a small oven. Not only was the room dirty and full of bugs, but the shower was broken and unusable. To make matters even worse, Gd there was no oven as I ordered it. PE Never before have I seen such a bad service at a self-catering holiday. You can imagine my anger when I had to eat out, smelling like a ... Not surprisingly, I booked another room, though without oven but clean PE and with a working shower. Therefore this room cost a lot more than the other one and I had to go out eating. WF

My purpose in visiting the agency was to ask for compensation. The young lady who served me offered some vouchers as compensation. She advised me to take my time with the answer. I have decided to ask your company for a cash refund. Would a refund /\ about 500 euros be too much to expect? I would like to ask you to have a look on my enclosed accounts. Seeing how much money I had to invest additionally will help you to decide what to do about the whole matter.

At the very least, I would like you to inform me of the action you will take with regard to my extra invested money. PE Unless adequate action is taken, I shall have no other option but to publish this letter in the local newspaper. Gd


This is a really good attempt at the question. You give a detailed description of what went wrong on the holiday and you firmly - but politely - state what compensation you want and what you will do if this is not forthcoming!
This letter shows excellent grammatical control and although there are a few language errors (mainly due to word choice or slightly awkward phraseology) there is nothing too serious. So, well done, Ilona.

Marking Code

/\ Word(s) missing

- Omit word

C Capitalization

Gd Good

O Organisation

P Punctuation

PE Poorly expressed

R Register/Formality

SS Sentence Structure

S Spelling

T Tip

WF Wrong form

WO Word order

WT Wrong tense

WW Wrong word