PEPSI Customer Service (PDF)
PEPSI Picture Slides (PDF)

A: Good morning. I work for We’re offering a limited time deal for our most loyal customers: a trip to Hawaii for one week, everything included, for just $199!
B: That sounds too good to be true. What’s the catch?
A: There are no strings attached. This offer is the best bang for you buck and it won’t break the bank. It’s a no-brainer.
B: I’ve been around the block. There’s no such thing as a free lunch. There’s always a catch. It’s a rule in this world: give and take, quid pro quo. I take everything with a grain of salt.


What’s the catch? (e) – used to ask about the hidden disadvantage, drawback, or problem when something sounds too good to be true. Synonym: What’s the angle? What’s your angle?
No strings attached (e)(s) – no hidden conditions, without a catch, unconditionally.
Bang for one’s buck (i)(s) – to get the highest return on investment (ROI), a better value for the money spent, a good cost-to-benefit ratio. Bang in this case means excitement.
To break the bank (i) – to cost too much, too expensive, to use up all one’s money (gambling).
A no-brainer (s)(n) – an easy decision, conclusion, something that doesn’t need thinking.
To have been around (the block) (i) – to have had a lot of life experience.
There’s no such thing as a free lunch (TNSTAAFL)(p) – there’s nothing free in the world, if something is too good to be true, there’s always a catch.
Give and take (e) | Quid pro quo (e)(latin) – you help me, I help you.
To take something with a grain of salt (i) – to see something with scepticism, to not believe everything or to doubt the truth.

A: What’s wrong? You seem upset.
B: I’m bummed. I need to blow off some steam. I was talking to a customer on the phone today and right off the bat she started yelling. It was like talking to a brick wall.
A: What happened exactly?
B: Well, she couldn’t understand why she had to pay extra for going over her data limit. She just snapped at me, she was completely out of her mind.
A: Did you give her a piece of your mind? She sounds nuts.
B: She was a real pain in the ass, and really snooty as well. I wanted to tell her off but I’m a professional. I’m not wet behind the ears. I had to explain to her that it wasn’t my call, and that I was just a cog in a well-oiled machine. She ended up giving in and she will have to pay her fees. I was so stressed out after the call.


Bummed (s)(adj) | to bum someone out (pv)(s) – annoyed, upset, or disappointed.
A bum (s)(n) – a lazy, useless, or homeless person.
To blow off some steam (i) – to get rid of extra energy or angry emotions.
To do something right off the bat (i) – immediately, at the very beginning, in a hurry.
Like talking to a brick wall (i) – to speak to someone who doesn’t listen, or is really stubborn or stupid.
To snap at someone (pv)(s) – to suddenly get angry or shout at someone.
To be out of one’s mind (i) – to be crazy, insane. Synonym: nuts (s)(adj)
A pain in the ass (i)(s) – an annoying, irritating or frustrating person.
Snooty (s)(adj) – someone who feels above others. Synonym: snotty, snobbish, condescending.
To give a piece of one’s mind (i) – to speak angrily to someone about something.
To tell someone off (pv)(s) – to scold, to attack someone verbally.
To be wet behind one’s ears (i) – young, immature, and/or inexperienced. Synonyms: to be green.
Something is (not) one’s call (i) – it’s not one’s decision.
A cog in a/the machine (i) – a small, insignificant member of a larger organization or system.
A welloiled machine (i)(n) – a system that operates in a proper and successful way.
To end up (pv) – finally, to become eventually, to turn out to be, to turn out.
To give in (pv) – to surrender, to yield, to stop fighting, to finally agree to something after first refusing.
To be stressed out (pv) – to be really stressed (strong feelings of worry or anxiety).

A: Can I pick your brain? I have to do a presentation on company with great customer service, but I don’t have any ideas.
B: How about Zappos? They really go the extra mile. Just my two cents.
A: Oh yeah! I heard about that. They go out of their way to help you with anything, even if it’s not related to their business.
B: Exactly! You can really count on them. They will bend over backwards for you.
A: Many companies just do everything by the book. Companies say customer service is important but actions speak louder than words. Unlike other companies, Zappos actually walks the talk.


To pick someone’s brain (i) – to ask someone’s advice about a subject that the person has expertise in.
To go the extra mile (i) – to do more or work harder than what is expected.
Just my two cents (e) – in my (humble/honest) opinion.
To go out of one’s way (i) | To bend over backwards (i) – to make an extra effort and inconvenience yourself to help someone.
To count on someone (pv) – to rely on someone, to depend on someone, to trust them to do something.
To do something by the book (i) – to do something exactly as the rules tell you, strictly by the rules.
Actions speak louder than words (p) – more effective to act than to talk about it.
To walk the talk (i) – to do what you say you will do.

PEPSI Discussion Questions 

  1. When something sounds too good to be true, do you usually think about what the catch is? Do you believe that there are no strings attached?
  2. Which travel destinations give you the biggest bang for you buck? Have you been there?
  3. Are you a suspicious person? Do you usually take things with a grain of salt (for example when reading the news)?
  4. How do you blow off some steam?
  5. Have you met someone who you liked or didn’t like right off the bat? Why did you like/dislike them?
  6. What are some triggers that cause you to snap at people?
  7. Have you given anyone in a customer service role a piece of your mind?
  8. Do you often feel like a cog in a machine?
  9. How do you think you will end up in 5 years? 10 years? In 20 years?
  10. Have you been stressed out recently? Why? Tell me about the most stressful moment in your life. How do you manage your stress?
  11. If you could pick someone’s brain, who’s brain would you pick? Why?
  12. At work, do you often go the extra mile? Do you know anyone who always does?
  13. Who can you count on? If you’re in an accident (or some other bad situation) at 3am in the morning, who would you call besides your family?
  14. Does your boss or previous boss do things by the book? Do you think a manager should do things by the book?