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"go to the dogs" = become worse and/or decrease in quality

"Don't shop there! Their business is going to the dogs, and when I tried to return a faulty radio, they refused my request."

"blow one's top" = get very angry suddenly

"I almost blew my top when the store said they wouldn't give me my money back."

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[ Quiz Script | Text Completion ]

Store Returns
1. Pre-Listening Exercises
2. Listening Exercises
3. Vocabulary
4. Post-Listening Exercises
5. Online Investigations

Level:Topic: Type:Speakers:Length:
difficultshoppingconversationtwo men01:51

1. Pre-Listening Exercises [Top]

What are some reasons why you would return merchandise to a store? What return policies do stores have in your area?

HELPFUL TIP: If you want to return an item to a store, be sure to have your receipt. Depending on the store's return policy, you might be refunded for the purchase price, or you might receive store credit.

What could be the problem with the shirts?

2. Listening Exercises [Top]
Listen to the conversation by pressing the "Play Audio" button and answer the questions. Press the "Final Score" button to check your quiz.

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[ Other Audio Option: Play Window Media ]

1. What is the man trying to return to the store?
A. a dress shirt
B. a sweatshirt
C. a sweater

2. What is one reason why the man wants to return the item?
A. It is the wrong size.
B. The fabric is coming apart.
C. It is stained.

3. What does the store clerk NOT offer to do for the man?
A. return his money
B. exchange the item
C. give him store credit

4. What reason is NOT mentioned why the sales clerk can't help the customer with his request?
A. The customer didn't follow the instructions for using the item.
B. The item was on clearance.
C. The man no longer has the store receipt.

5. How does the conversation end?
A. The store clerk eventually gives the customer a refund.
B. The customer is able to exchange the item.
C. The customer leaves the store without the item.

Score =
Correct answers:

Listen to the conversation again as you read the Quiz Script.

III. Vocabulary Activities [Top]
Review the key vocabulary from the conversation: [ Why do these? ]

III. Post-Listening Exercises [Top]
Create your own conversations involving returns, refunds, and exchanges. Use some of these words to prepare your ideas: stained, cracked, chipped, damaged, broken, and torn. Then, use infinitives (e.g., It needs to be fixed) or gerunds (e.g., It needs repairing) to suggest solutions.

V. Online Investigations - [ What's This? ] [Top]

Imagine that you want to buy a computer from two online retailers. Two examples could be and; however, before you make your purchase, you want to check the return policies for each company in case their is a problem with the computer, and you need to return it. Choose two companies (which could include the ones mentioned above or your own choice) and use the Internet to find out specific information about their return policies. Do they accept returns for any reason or only if the product is defective? Within what time period do you have have to return an item? Who covers return shipping costs?

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