We all come across everyday situations that require us to speak in an authoritative tone to get our point across with officials. It could be any situation, for instance, when you think there is a dispute in your electricity bill. This is just one instance, there are many situations in our daily life where we have to show our disapproval to someone and we strive to express our point of view without offending the person. Today, in our English learning session we will see ways on how you can bring up a dispute politely and get your point across.
Useful tips to politely solve a dispute
You have been away from your home for about a six months living in a rented apartment as your work required you to move to a different city. Now you are back home and you see a huge electricity bill. You are tensed as you haven’t used electricity for the last six months. Now, it’s time to visit the electricity office in your area and raise an issue. You are stressed on how you will explain the non-usage and settle the bill. The first tip is to acknowledge the other party’s opinion and then put your points across. Let us look at a conversation.
Situational conversation – example
You: Hello Sir, I have been guided to you for a dispute in my electricity bill.
Officer: Yes, can I have a copy of your bill.
You: Here, these are the bills of the last few months.
Officer: Ok, so your arrear is Rs, 5000 and if you don’t pay now, the electricity will be disconnected.
You: Yes sir, I know but the dispute is that I was not residing here for the last six months as I had been sent to Delhi on deputation.
Officer: This is generated based on estimated readings of your past usage. Our guys will do the actual meter reading and if there is any difference we will credit back in your account. For now, you have to make the payment or else your line will be disconnected.
You: I’m sorry but I disagree with you. You cannot disconnect my line over estimated readings. Can you try and look into possible solutions.
Officer: This is the procedure we follow. Now, if you could please make at least half of your payment, I will try to speed fast the procedure. I assure, you will get back the refund soon.
You: Ok, still I would want you to look into the matter asap.
This is how you can be polite and make your point. While making a dispute you could use sentences, such as, “I see what you’re saying but…” or “That’s a valid point, but…”. Don’t go loud and yell negative sentences. You will be spoiling your case and it’s a government agency you are talking to, they deal with customers every minute and may not care about your case.
The way you frame sentences and communicate will help a lot in easing a difficult situation, like a dispute. Improve your spoken English and express disagreements such that the solution turns in your favor.
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-By Chander Madan
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