Qantas may still call Australia home, but calls to the Qantas Frequent Flyer Service Centre will soon be answered by staff in the Philippines. More than 100 Australian jobs will be lost when Qantas shuts its Melbourne-based call centre later this year.
The Frequent Flyer Service Centre handles calls relating to the use of Qantas points, Qantas Club memberships and other frequent flyer-related enquiries.
Qantas has already closed most of its other Australian call centres, with Hobart now the sole survivor. Many calls are already answered in New Zealand, where Qantas recently expanded its Auckland call centre. According to one source, Qantas also currently operates a call centre in South Africa.
The airline has come under fire over the past year for the extraordinarily long call centre wait times endured by customers. Some members hope that Qantas will take advantage of the cheaper labour costs in the Philippines to hire more staff and address the long waiting times.
However, many members believe this is a step too far. They are particularly concerned that the move will result in a reduction in quality customer service. Some members also believe the move is damaging to Qantas’ brand as an Australian airline. Virgin Australia, Jetstar and Tigerair already operate call centres in the Philippines, so Qantas’ Australian-based call centres had been a key point of difference.
Calls relating to flight reservations will continue to be answered by staff in either Hobart or New Zealand – at least for now.
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