Qantas: We need more staff, not overseas call centres
The ASU is calling on Qantas to immediately provide more on the ground support to address the current blowout in call wait times, including the re-opening of on-Airport support desks which were closed during COVID and greater staffing numbers in the Hobart Contact Centre.
We know that the current situation is extremely disappointing for our members who are desperate to help but instead have to direct passengers to hours of on-hold music due to the closure of on-airport services. We are also aware of ongoing reports of vile abuse towards our members at Airports and the Qantas Contact Centre.
On 13 April 2021, we wrote to members saying, “We are really concerned that Qantas’ new way of working after the closure of the Sales Desk is just not ready and just won’t work in reality. We are worried about long call wait times to the call centre, and that frontline staff are going to be left dealing with unhappy customers and unrealistic workloads. Despite our concerns, Qantas say they will still close the Sales Desk. They are leaving it to you to find a way to make it work!”
One year on, and now we’re seeing the inevitable play out. The answer is more staff on the ground in Australia, not more overseas call centres or an updated version of the app.
Airport ‘Sales Desks’ provided more than an airfare to your next destination. They also played a crucial role in ensuring support was available when you needed it (not after 6 hours on hold). It ensured immediate support for ticketing issues or last-minute purchases, support during disruptions, including delays and flight cancellations, support for vulnerable travellers and support for interline travel.
Despite pushing passengers to resolve their own issues over the phone, Qantas has not hired any additional staff in the Hobart Contact Centre. The Hobart Contact Centre is flooded with overflow calls from overseas contact centres. It is currently not able to fulfil its primary objective of servicing premium customers in a reasonable amount of time. The plan to ring-fence calls to Hobart for Premium members is just not working, and we need more staff in Hobart to ensure the rest of our customers are not left waiting hours on the phone to speak to someone.
We call on Qantas to reverse its decision to close this vital on-airport service. Not only is it the right decision, but it’s good for passengers, good for workers, and good for the company.
Your safety is paramount. We remind members that you should report any instances of customer aggression to your supervisor and via Intelex.
Pass this bulletin to your colleagues who aren’t in the union. They can join at http://www.asu.asn.au/ASUJOIN.