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Ridiculous Complaints – Free Training Game

Duration: 30 - 60 minutes

Intended for:

This is a great training game to use when you want to test participants ability to respond to complaints from customers and deal with their queries in an effective way. It also adds a bit of fun to a session and will rejuvenate a lagging group.

This free activity can be completed as a written exercise or vocally. You may even decide to create a role play scenario to add a bit more realism to the practice.

Training course contents:

A two page description of the training game, ‘Ridiculous Complaints’ can be downloaded from the link at the bottom of this page, or you can follow the notes below.

Simply provide the participants with the list of ridiculous complaints (available as a free download from the link at the bottom of this page) and ask them to come up with the best response possible by way of feedback.

You can place participants into groups or ask them to work alone. Once they have spent some time working on their response to the complaints, ask them to feedback to the whole group.

This activity can be completed as a written exercise or vocally. You may even decide to create a role play scenario to add a bit more realism to the practice. It is wise to split the questions up between the groups, as otherwise the activity can take too much time.


Ridiculous Complaints
The following are real complaints from research carried out by Thomas Cook and ABTA.

1. A tourist at a top African game lodge overlooking a waterhole, who spotted a visibly aroused elephant, complained that the sight of this rampant beast ruined his honeymoon by making him feel “inadequate”.

2. A woman threatened to call police after claiming that she’d been locked in by staff. When in fact, she had mistaken the “do not disturb” sign on the back of the door as a warning to remain in the room.

3. “The beach was too sandy.”

4. A guest at a Novotel in Australia complained his soup was too thick and strong. He was inadvertently slurping the gravy at the time.

5. “Topless sunbathing on the beach should be banned. The holiday was ruined as my husband spent all day looking at other women.”

6. “We bought ‘Ray-Ban’ sunglasses for five euros (£3.50) from a street trader, only to find out they were fake.”

7. “No-one told us there would be fish in the sea. The children were startled.”

8. “It took us nine hours to fly home from Jamaica to England it only took the Americans three hours to get home.”

9. “My fiancé and I booked a twin-bedded room but we were placed in a double-bedded room. We now hold you responsible for the fact that I find myself pregnant. This would not have happened if you had put us in the room that we booked.”

10. “I compared the size of our one-bedroom apartment to our friends’ three-bedroom apartment and ours was significantly smaller.”

11. “The brochure stated: ‘No hairdressers at the accommodation’. We’re trainee hairdressers – will we be OK staying here?”

12. “There are too many Spanish people. The receptionist speaks Spanish. The food is Spanish. Too many foreigners.”

13. “We found the sand was not like the sand in the brochure. Your brochure shows the sand as yellow but it was white.”

14. “We had to queue outside with no air conditioning.”

15. “It is your duty as a tour operator to advise us of noisy or unruly guests before we travel.”

16. “I was bitten by a mosquito – no-one said they could bite.”

17. “I think it should be explained in the brochure that the local store does not sell proper biscuits like custard creams or ginger nuts.”

18. “It’s lazy of the local shopkeepers to close in the afternoons. I often needed to buy things during ‘siesta’ time – this should be banned.”

19. “On my holiday to Goa in India, I was disgusted to find that almost every restaurant served curry. I don’t like spicy food at all.”

20. “We booked an excursion to a water park but no-one told us we had to bring our swimming costumes and towels.”


Use this training game to test participants ability to deal with complaint situations, no matter how bizarre!

Ridiculous Complaints – Free Training Game


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