I’ll keep this brief, as I’ve wasted time answering ‘customer service’ emails, which is always the first job of a morning.
That’s because things come in all through the night while I’m asleep, but the USA is still up, and Australia and New Zealand have already started tomorrow.
So below is the link to Episode 26 in our free thirty-part Summer Series. Italy joins WWII and Mussolini gives his most famous speech. There’s an extract, plus a link to a stirring video, for those who care to watch it and try to make out the words. Enjoy!
N.b. The previous twenty-five episodes in this series can be found on our History page, along with the ninety Summer Series articles from previous years. Scroll right down to the end to find the latest ones.
E poi, I have three contenders for ‘Customer of the Month’ to share with you. It’s the sort of thing that occupies way too much of my time, and occasionally tests my patience…
(The questions/complaints have been paraphrased, so as not to use the individuals’ own words, which are their copyright. My responses are verbatim.)
Would you help me with an answer in your reported speech exercise, which might be wrong? The rules I studied say the answer must be ‘Giulio ci chiede se avremmo viaggiato con il trono’, so the future becomes the conditional past. Is that correct?
Dear Customer 1,
Please send the URL of the exercise and I will ask someone to check for you.
This is the exercise:
Dear Customer 1,
The teacher says the exercise is correct, the reporting verb is present, so nothing changes. As if one person hears the question and turns to another to repeat it. No shift into the past necessary. The same thing happens in English.
My question was about ‘viaggiare’, and if your teacher thinks ‘viagerette’ is present tense, you need a new teacher!
I’m gonna stop using your website from now on
Dear Customer 1,
Our teacher has 20 years experience, you got a free consult, just by asking. By all means, stop wasting my time.
Regarding my ebook purchase two months ago, I was unaware of the download time limit, so when I got out my iPad to access the ebooks today, the links didn’t work. I paid for these ebooks, so what’s with the limited time to download them??
Dear Customer 2,
The time limit, which is clearly stated on every product page, and in ALL our marketing messages is in place precisely so people don’t leave it two months (sometimes years in the past) before doing their downloads. Our responsibility is to make sure people actually get what they paid for, but we can’t come around to your home, pick up your iPad, and do the download for you. Hence the limit. It requires the customer to take action. If you provide the order numbers, I can reactivate the links for an additional seven days.
I’ve got the ebooks now, but your email was incredibly rude! I wasn’t asking you to come to my house and do the download, just provide what I purchased. I certainly won’t be making further purchases from your site. Politeness isn’t hard to do.
A former customer
Dear Former Customer,
It takes a lot of time to do this type of customer service, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. 95% of people have no problems with reading information about electronic products and doing downloads. The ones that do get personal help, by return of email, which is a part-time job that I do for FREE.
Check your own tone of voice, and direct criticism of our system in the initial help request. How was that polite? In response I explained to you why the system is as it is, which takes time and was supposed ot be helpful. The fault was entirely your own, and reasonable people respond to being helped with a ‘thank you, I appreciate now that I was at fault’, or similar.
Most places will just send you a help page link when you need support, or ignore you, instead of sending personal replies. Go somewhere like that, next time.
I’m sorry but I still can’t do the downloads.
(long, detailed explanation)
Dear Customer 3,
Sounds like a simple case of you not understanding about compressed folders, the contents of which need to be extracted first. Just clicking on the downloaded item won’t work. I wrote to you:
“Both of your purchaes are big, compressed folders. When you have downloaded them, you’ll need to extract the contents and save them SOMEWHERE SAFE.”
How to extract them is covered in our FAQ. On a real, non-Apple computer, find the download folder (the file name will end with zip), right click on it, and select ‘Extract all’ from the menu.
Italian Workout A2 is attached to this email, so you can download the zipped folder without fussing with download links. It also won’t expire, so you can do it as often as you like.
When you have the .zip downloaded, follow the instructions above. Then save the contents someplace safe.
The 18-pack zipped folder is heavy, so I’m sending it as an attachment to YOUR GMAIL as you suggested.
Click the download, locate it in the downloads folder, right click on it, ‘extract all’, save the contents somewhere safe.
Hope that helps!
So, who do you reckon, for ‘Customer of the Month’? And does anyone want my job??
P.S. L’acqua di Giulia – 25% until Sunday night!
Improve your Italian reading and listening comprehension skills with our new Italian ‘easy reader’ ebook, L’acqua di Giulia, which is level B1/B2 (intermediate), and discounted 25% this week.
Join us in seventeenth-century Sicily, where thirteen-year-old Giula is just back from the market with a basket of vegetables. Things aren’t great at home, though…
Giulia aveva percorso la strada dal mercato a casa sotto il sole cocente di Palermo a mezzogiorno. C’era abituata a quel caldo soffocante. Era entrata in casa portando alcune verdure in un cesto pesante. Anche se aveva solo tredici anni, era lei a sbrigare la maggior parte delle faccende di casa, dato che sua madre lavorava e sua sorella Girolama era più piccola di quattro anni.
Aveva spalancato la porta, spingendola con il piede, aveva appoggiato il cesto sulla tavola di legno e sua sorella era arrivata a pulire le verdure con un coltello. Sua madre, che stava in cucina, le aveva detto a voce bassa: “Tuo padre non si sente bene, deve restare a letto a riposare. Non disturbarlo.”
Giulia aveva annuito e si era messa a pulire silenziosamente la cucina. Ognitanto si sentivano dei gemiti dalla stanza dove stava il malato, ma Giulia non si avvicinava. Suo padre era un uomo violento, un mascalzone che beveva e picchiava la moglie e le figlie.
- .pdf e-book (+ audio available free online)
- .mobi (Kindle-compatible) and .epub (other ebook readers) available on request at no extra charge – just add a note to the order form or email us
- 8 chapters to read and listen to
- Comprehension questions to check your understanding
- Italian/English glossary of ‘difficult’ terms for the level
- Suitable for students at intermediate level or above
- Download your Free Sample Chapter (.pdf)
When your order is ‘completed’ (normally immediately after your payment), a download link will be automatically emailed to you. It’s valid for 7 days and 3 download attempts so please save a copy of the .pdf ebook in a safe place. Other versions of the ebook, where available, cannot be downloaded but will be emailed to people who request them. There’s a space to do that on the order form – where it says Additional information, Order notes (optional). If you forget, or if you have problems downloading the .pdf, don’t worry! Email us at the address on the website and we’ll help. Also, why not check out our FAQ?
Did you read/listen to Tuesday’s FREE bulletin of ‘easy’ Italian news?