Listen to a story about a huge problem I had when I tried to pay my cell phone bill!
You’ll also learn how to say amounts of money, and when to use “dollar” instead of “dollars.”
Welcome to the English Teacher Melanie Podcast, a podcast for intermediate to advanced English learners who want to improve their English listening and speaking skills!
Each episode includes a story and a pronunciation tip. In the story, I use core vocabulary, the most common words in English, to tell a real world story. The pronunciation tip will help you understand natural spoken English.
You’ll hear the story twice. The first time, the story is a little slower than normal. It sounds funny because I used editing software to change the speed of the story and make it slower. After the pronunciation tip, you’ll hear the story again, but at a regular speed.
When I got back from my trip to New Zealand, I had a huge cell phone bill. I knew that was going to happen, but I still didn’t understand some of the charges on my bill. I called my cell phone service provider to question some of the charges. I spoke to a customer service representative who was very patient and helpful. I had some of the charges removed, but my phone bill was still $190!
I gave the representative my credit card number to pay my bill over the phone. Unfortunately, her computer froze while she was processing my payment. She had to restart her computer & process the payment again. When she was finished, she said that my credit card had been charged TWICE, but that she was going to refund one of the payments. I hung up the phone believing that this minor problem would be quickly taken care of.
Three days later, when I checked my credit card account online, I discovered that there were THREE payments of $190 each on my account to the phone company, and NONE of the payments had been refunded! That was a $380 overcharge and it pushed my credit card up to its limit. This meant that I couldn’t use my credit card until the refunds were processed to my account.
I spent the rest of the day on the phone, going back and forth between the phone company and the credit card company trying to clear up this problem. It was a real pain in the butt. The credit card company did not see any refunds waiting to be credited to my account. The phone company said there was nothing they could do because their records showed that the money had already been refunded.
I finally found someone at the credit card company who was very sympathetic. He credited $380 to my account. It would take a while before the entire situation was cleared up, but at least I could use my credit card.
Listen: Denied a Credit Card | Episode 22
NOTE: Cell phones and mobile phones are the same thing. They are small phones that you can carry around with you. Cell phone is used in American English, while mobile phone is used in British English. A smartphone is a type of cell phone. The Apple iPhone and the Samsung Galaxy are examples of smartphones.
Listen to some sentences from the story:
That was a $380 overcharge.
He credited $380 to my account.
The amount of money was exactly the same in those sentences, but I said them differently.
That was a $380 overcharge.
He credited $380 to my account.
First, even though the dollar sign is written BEFORE the number, dollar or dollars is said AFTER the number.
Second, did you hear the reduced form of and in the number? When Canadians and Americans say numbers in the hundreds, we usually add an and after the first number: 380 [three hundred and eighty].
Now, let’s talk about what was different in those sentences.
In the first sentence, the dollar amount came BEFORE the noun. It described the overcharge. In this form, dollar is singular. Listen again:
That was a $380 [three hundred and eighty dollar] overcharge
In the second sentence, the dollar amount was in the regular plural form:
He credited $380 [three hundred and eighty dollars] to my account.
LISTEN TO MORE LESSONS HERE!
Thank you :)
How to say thanks i don`t no .way ? i get free again thanks
Thank you so much!
HI. ms. Melanie your website is amazing and much helpful to us. I really enjoyed ur podcast with a such a lovely voice.you made my day. hopefully you wont changed and tired about it. thanks again looking forward for your next podcast maybe about your boyfriend just kidding lol. take care
Hello Melanie! That problem with cell phone bills is unfortunately one of the most usual that occurs in Brazilian cell phone companies.
:) Thanks, Melanie, you’re too kind, I really appreciate it since I would like to benefit as many people as possible from that list, not only me (I’m learning English too), it was created recently and not many folks know about it. Also I decided to use a description section to feature nice sites like yours (except for extremely popular like duoLingo), starting from you, it’s not a big deal still small support is better than not at all. Best wishes.
The podcast is very useful. However, it is a quite long time I don’t see any new podcast. Hope to see your new podcast soon.
Thanks a lot!
Very helpful, Melanie. I loved it. Thank you for suggesting them to me.
its very helpfull for me :)
Cineas Basile says
It’s now I understand this lesson.
a bunch of thanks teacher Melanie.
Can we replace the word ‘to’ with ‘from’?
For example : …. to newzeland
Become. …. from newzeland
Thanks for the answer
If you replace ‘to’ with ‘from,’ the sentence will have a different meaning.
Do you have an example sentence?
Thank you so much for your great job.
Sajide Keram says
how we understand the sentence of/ it was real pain in the butt/ ?
The expression a pain in the butt (also: a pain in the ass or a pain in the neck) means “someone or something that causes trouble or makes you feel annoyed or angry” (Merriam-Webster Learner’s Dictionary), or “something very annoying” (Macmillan online dictionary).