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Transcript: Making excuses — Dialogue
Listen now to a telephone conversation between Moira Sharpe, a key account manager, and Paul Hilton, a customer. Moira is explaining why a promised delivery did not arrive on time. Listen in particular to the different phrases that Moira uses to apologize — and make a list of them. Afterwards, we’ll practise them.
Paul: Rainbow printersDruckereiPrinters, Paul Hilton speaking.
Moira: Hello, Mr Hilton. This is Moira Sharpe from Green’s office suppliesBürobedarfOffice Supplies. I’m phoning to to apologize for sth.sich für etw. entschuldigenapologize for the difficulties we caused you. I’m really sorry for the late delivery of the materials for your copiers.
Paul: Ah, yes. That did cause us a bit of a problem. We had two or three large printing orders that we had to delay and one order that we had to ask a competitorMitbewerber(in), Konkurrent(in)competitor to help us with.
Moira: I’m really sorry about that.
Paul: Well, we had to apologize to our customers and offer them a ten per cent discount for the late delivery.
Moira: I do understand your situation. Perhaps I could explain what happened.
Paul: go aheadleg(en Sie) losGo ahead.
Moira: Our main supplier of printing inkDruckertinteprinting ink had a problem. Their production lineProduktionsanlageproduction line broke down and proved trickyschwierigtricky to get started again. This meant they had a backlogRückstandbacklog of work to to catch up with sth.etw. aufholencatch up with. And we couldn’t get the ink from another supplier in timerechtzeitigin time either. daherhenceHence the delay.
Paul: Look, I don’t want to be rudeunhöflichrude but that was your problem — not mine. Mine was the late delivery of my order.
Moira: I totally agree. We do apologize for all the inconvenienceUnannehmlichkeit(en)inconvenience. We really value you as a customer. For that reason, we would like to offer some compensation. Firstly, we would like to give you a 20 per cent discountPreisnachlassdiscount on the order. And secondly, we’ve agreed with our printing ink supplier to provide you with free ink to the value of the late delivery when you next order from us.
Paul: Hmm, apologyEntschuldigungapology accepted. And we to appreciate sth.etw. zu schätzen wissenappreciate the compensationEntschädigungcompensation. I’ll let our management know what we’ve agreed.
Moira has kept her key account by the sound of it — but at some cost. Without the discount and free ink supplies, Paul wouldn’t have been happy. But Moira’s apologies and excuses also helped to support the relationship. Did you make of list of the key phrases that Moira used? Let’s practise them now. I’ll tell you what to say. You speak in the pause. Then you will hear Moira again. Good. We’ll begin.
Say you’re phoning to apologize for the difficulties you caused.
→ I’m phoning to apologize for the difficulties we caused you.
Say that you’re really sorry for the late delivery.
→ I’m really sorry for the late delivery.
Say that you understand their situation.
→ I do understand your situation.
Offer to explain what happened.
→ Perhaps I could explain what happened.
Apologize for the inconvenience.
→ We do apologize for all the inconvenience.
Well done! These are all useful phrases for when you have to make excuses and apologize. Learn any that you did not know and keep them in mind to use when things go wrong.