Cue Card # 181: A review you read about a product or service

IELTS Cue Card/ Candidate Task Card # 181

Describe a review you read about a product or service.

You should say:

  • where you read the review
  • what the product or service was
  • what information the review gave about the product or service

and explain what you did as a result of reading this review.

[You will have to talk about the topic for one to two minutes. You have one minute to think about what you are going to say. You can make some notes to help you if you wish.]

Model Answer 1:

In this era of the internet and eCommerce, online shopping has become mainstream. The COVID-19 pandemic and restrictions on movement due to this, also has made online shopping widespread even in rural areas where online shopping was unheard of in the past. With popular eCommerce stores – both local and international, product and service reviews have become hugely popular, and they allow people to be informed about a product or service and help decide whether to buy a product or opt for a service. It saves them from future frustrations and makes them informed purchasers. I, too, rely on online reviews of a product and service, and here I will share one such review that I read.

I read this review of a product (it was actually reviews made by at least five hundred people, but I read only around 30 reviews or so) on a popular eCommerce website that sells different electronic items and household appliances. I went to this website and after looking at different microwave ovens from different brands and models, I decided to buy one that was on discount and had some latest features. However, when I looked at just a couple of reviews and the overall rating of the product (just 2 out of 5), I dug deeper into the reviews made by others who actually claimed to have purchased and used the product.

I learned from the reviews that the product looks shiny and sleek but the performance is below satisfactory. Some even complained that they did not get a warranty from the seller even after having a valid warranty. It was quite alarming. One particular review mentioned that just after using the microwave oven for a couple of weeks, it malfunctioned. She sarcastically wrote that “if you need a showpiece rather than a real and functional microwave oven, this product is for you!”.

As a result of reading these reviews, I immediately decided not to buy this product. Online reviews which are written by real consumers are a life-saver. Such reviews are always helpful while deciding to buy something. In my case, it helped me avoid buying a low-quality product. I waited a couple of days and then ordered a microwave oven made by a renowned brand even though it cost me more.

Model Answer 2:

Whenever I decide to purchase something online, opt for a service, plan to visit a place or book a hotel or flight, I read reviews made by people who have prior experience or tips to share about these products or services. For this topic, I would share a recent experience when I relied on reviews made by real people that helped me decide to book a hotel in Bangkok, Thailand.

Before making a trip, I like to book the hotels and to learn details about those hotels, I always rely on people’s reviews. So about a year ago, when I had to visit Thailand for a couple of days, I looked at – an online service that allows people to book hotels and flights, and I got a number of options to choose from. I went through at least 5 to 6 hotels that I short-listed based on my preference and budget. Then I read as many reviews as possible before deciding on and finalising a hotel for my stay.

I was surprised how many reviewers favoured a rather cheap hotel that was conveniently located and had great food. After reading through a lengthy review made by a person who recently stayed at that hotel, I decided to book that hotel. The review made by this person outlined that the rooms in this hotel are comparatively larger, cleaner, have better views, and that the staff members are friendly and they have great food. He also shared at least 30 photos that he took during his stay with his review.

After reading these reviews, particularly the review that included many pictures and personal experiences of this person who recently stay at that hotel, I decided to book a room at that hotel. I booked it for three days, and I was glad that I read the reviews and stayed at that hotel. It offered really excellent amenities and a great room, they even gave me a room update on my second day, and I paid a comparatively lower price for a great service.

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