New Qantas call centre in Fiji

Must...Fly!

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Loving the casual racism floating around this thread over my Sunday coffee… just tread carefully people just because you aren’t Australian doesn’t mean you can’t do a good job if trained correctly, despite all your previous ‘experiences’ that may lead you to stereotype and presume otherwise…
I don't think anyone here is stereotyping based on race or nationality. Simple fact is the call centres are based overseas and managed horribly by Qantas. Given the training, some of these staff would probably be excellent. Some are just terrible at their jobs and plainly do not care. Which is less a reflection on them and more a reflection on the poor hiring practices of the contractor and Qantas for not doing anything about the pathetic service people are paying for.
 

Guvner

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Not sure why anyone feels the need to defend the lazy and vacuous allegations of racism being directed at this community. The poster has been offered the opportunity to enlighten and educate us all but is yet to respond. I suggest we move on until the evidence is presented and those of us who may have exhibited such alleged traits have an opportunity to reflect and take accountability for our comments. The poster making the allegations should do the same.
 

jakeseven7

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Care to quote the posts in this thread which lead you to make that tenuous assessment?

Nope, fact that you’ve asked is a statement in itself reflecting on your own opinion which is yours entirely to make. Anyway have made the point. Won’t post anymore on this, it’s up to individuals to assess what they think is appropriate or not.
 

MrJetset

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I have never had an issue dealing with MindPearl making complex Aadvantage reservations.

I've had more of an issue since the Premium Call Centre closed. And yes, you may get an agent saying 'Welcome to QF Premium' but the team of dedicated agents who only answered WP and above has long gone.

Ability to service customers is based on training. Simple. They are at the mercy of their systems and queues. QF decide how much they will budget which in turn decides how many hours staff are rostered on. If the issue is wait time then blame QF, not the call centre. If the issue is 'comprehension' then blame training.

The individual call centre are hardly ever to blame. They are simply doing their job in the very defined confines of their role.
 

Mattg

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Just out of interest, how do you 'rate' each of Fijians (bearing in mind many may be originally of Indian ethnicity), Filipinos, Indians (in India)and South Africans in terms of you understanding their English easily, and separately,how they respond to your queries? (The latter may merely see all working off a preprogrammed script though).

Perhaps give each call centre a rating out of 10. This would be important feedback.

I'm not going to do this and I would say that I've never had any issues "comprehending" any staff at a Qantas call centre.

The problem I have is when I have a basic request and the operator hasn't been trained properly so has no idea what to do or just makes up incorrect information. This is not usually the individual's fault.

As others have already made clear, the issue is not the nationality of the staff. I never said it was. The issue is the lack of investment by Qantas in training, hiring enough staff, and frankly, that Qantas management doesn't seem to care about customer service.
 

Melburnian1

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I'm not going to do this and I would say that I've never had any issues "comprehending" any staff at a Qantas call centre.

The problem I have is when I have a basic request and the operator hasn't been trained properly so has no idea what to do or just makes up incorrect information. This is not usually the individual's fault.

As others have already made clear, the issue is not the nationality of the staff. I never said it was. The issue is the lack of investment by Qantas in training, hiring enough staff, and frankly, that Qantas management doesn't seem to care about customer service.

So does Qantas (if employing directly, or through a contractor overseas) invest the same amount in training - time, not $ - here and overseas?
 
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Melburnian1

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I hope that QF will invest in hiring and training more staff at its own call centres in Hobart and Auckland instead.

Why?

While you make a good point re training, there is a labour shortage in Australia. ScoMo says he wants the Liberal/Nationals Federal Government to aim for achieving an unemployment rate of three per cent, a new, ambitious target for our nation even though the ABS regards an 'employed' person as having a low bar in number of hours worked. (There's also 'underemployment': a different subject).

Call centre jobs are seemingly not overly popular with Australians. Many appear to regard this type of work as 'beneath them'.

A quick check on the Seek website (which not every employer/employment agency uses - some go through competitors, or try to directly hire) - showed a claimed 4298 vacancies for 'call centre' in Melbourne, 4731 in Sydney, 2094 in Brisbane, 1298 in Perth, 728 in Adelaide and 94 in small Hobart. The true level of vacancies must be higher, although these figures cover a wide gamut of sectors.

What is the percentage of staff turnover per annum at Australian-domiciled call centres including at QF's? How do you know it's not high?

High salary rates and allowances, plus if on-site not WFH, the cost of office space make call centres uneconomical here compared with (say) Fiji, India, Malaysia or Philippines.

We have a responsibility to locate some jobs overseas (provided it's not 'slavery') if we can't fill positions here, given that others deserve over time, if they're dedicated, to enjoy something similar to the material living standards we enjoy in Oz.

Call centres are also highly variable in Australia: some are excellent, but others are the other extreme. No difference with overseas-domiciled ones.
 

Lynda2475

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The issue is the lack of investment by Qantas in training, hiring enough staff, and frankly, that Qantas management doesn't seem to care about customer service.

I would add to that not always providing the same tools/systems needed to offshore staff vs onshore and moreover failing to provide adequate self serve ability via website which is also driving calls that could easily be avoided if website had ability to support more transaction types.
 

Lynda2475

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So I woke up early this morning because needed to add 2 BA UK domestic flights to an existing one world booking.

Did the right thing and called the standard FF number and was answered by Fiji straight away, although polite the agent told me there were zero reward flights in any class on the day I wanted to fly, and only Y revenue seats were available.

I knew this wasnt true as I could see Y reward seats online myself and MadRooster had kindly given me the reward J availablity on that day. When I asked her to check again given there were 12+ flights that day and I could see Y rewards on all of them, I was told she had refreshed and there was nothing available for her to book unless I wanted to buy a "commercial fare". She then said that since I i could see seats she couldnt I should book them as a separate reward ticket myself (which would have cost more 40k points and more taxes than if added to my oneworld) or alternatively could call back every few days as seats may open up if other people didnt pay on time or cacnelled their bookings etc!

She seemed sympathetic and was apologetic when I said that wasnt what I wanted but looks like the system access Fiji (and South Africa) have is different from what the local aussie/nz staff have. I know my employer gives our offshore IT teams lesser system rights than on-shore, and often offshore call centre providers write their own software using APIs provided and so I do wonder if there is something wrong with the way their systems are querying QF (and oneworld partener) systems?

I then immeditaley called the premium number from the other thread, again straight through to lovely local who was not only able to see the availablity that MadRooster told me about, but able to book it immediately and even happy to compare if there would be a difference in taxes if I flew into LCY vs LHR.

Funny how the local team had no trouble seeing reward seats on multiple flights the same day.
 
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albatross710

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Did the right thing and called the standard FF number and was answered by Fiji straight away, although polite the agent told me there were zero reward flights in any class on the day I wanted to fly, and only Y revenue seats were available.

..........

Funny how the local team had no trouble seeing reward seats on multiple flights the same day.
The offshore operator would be getting the view that is allowed by their login permissions. Again this is going to be a decision made onshore by Qantas as to what fares and information the call centre people can see.
 

Mattg

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The offshore operator would be getting the view that is allowed by their login permissions. Again this is going to be a decision made onshore by Qantas as to what fares and information the call centre people can see.

I've definitely come across this as well with the offshore call centres. They say there is no award availability, even though there is.

It can't be user error every single time. Is Qantas deliberately not giving them access to award inventory? If so:
  1. That's deplorable, and
  2. If you say when calling up that you want to make or change an international award booking, you shouldn't be routed to one of those call centres.
 

Lynda2475

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The offshore operator would be getting the view that is allowed by their login permissions

Yes but in combination with the application they are using.

I have experience with how offshore call centre engagements work, having managed a tender and then the project implementation to migrate an onshore centre to one in the Philippines with a different vendor albeit in a different industry.

In that project the call centre operator (not Mind Pearl but a competitor) had to build the interface for their call centre staff to use. They were given access to APIs from our company but had to develop the queries to be able to access account data, search for data and send transactions. So their application was different to the onshore team, but in theory should have been able to see the same data.

It therefore can come down to whether their BAs and developers have understood the API and use cases and don't have something in their queries that are preventing some results from being returned.

Again this is going to be a decision made onshore by Qantas as to what fares and information the call centre people can see.

It is possible, but why is it in Qantas's interest to stop call centre from being able to see flights that customers can see online?
 

MrJetset

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AA have the same issue, though conversely it's the offshore call centres that can see more partner availability than the US ones (and it's not just POS)!
 

RichardMEL

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Personally I do not care where the call centre is(including Australia), or who the agent is. It's all about training for mine and having the tools to do the job (and proper training is one of those tools).

There's also a degree of experience here. I mean we've all had those agents who clearly have a lot of experience and know exactly what to do, how and were.. and you know they've been doing this for a long time (and when you get one they're like gold :) ).

Bringing a new centre on line obviously that means experience has to build, but experience can be bad if the training and tools are bad (eg: as above "no award space"). It's not their fault if that is what they are seeing - either due to asystem issue, or a training issue in terms of what they're searching for/how and interpreting those results.

So are these experiences getting through to those responsible in management to actually see there are issues that need to be addressed?
 

Lynda2475

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We used to call that testing.

Which then comes down to quality of said testing. If it was done clearly didn't do enough wrt reward availability on one world; and probably didn't leverage knowledgeable premium onshore staff to do any UAT.

Qantas has much blame here for not investing properly in its on shore teams and online platform, but if they are as @albatross710 was implying deliberately preventing offshore call centres from being able to see and ticket paid or reward inventory which should be available to customers well then that is a breach of consumer law.

Experience tells me it will be a combination of poor training and offshore team using a different system to onshore, which obviously has bugs.
 
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Guvner

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Qantas has much blame here for not investing properly in its on shore teams and online platform, but if they are as you are implying deliberately preventing offshore call centres from being able to ticket paid or reward inventory which should be available to customers well then that is a breach of conusmer law.
I haven’t implied that. Maybe you have the wrong poster?
 
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