Qantas Frequent Flyer call centre is heading overseas
Update 6 September 2019: After Qantas CEO Alan Joyce was recently named Australia’s top CEO, news has filtered through today that over 100 call centre jobs from the Qantas Hobart call centre are being shifted overseas.
Despite a $1.3b profit announced in 2019, Qantas have continued to shift their contact centre jobs overseas to save costs with only a few jobs now remaining in Australia.
20 June 2019 Qantas has announced a host of changes to its Frequent Flyer program which have been met with a mixed response from the public.
According to the popular points hack website, there are some good and bad outcomes for frequent flyers:
- More than 1 million extra reward seats available every year making it easier to secure a flight using your points
- New partner airlines providing more opportunities to use your points including Air New Zealand, Bangkok Airways, China Airlines, Air France and KLM.
- Reduced carrier charges by as much as 50%
- Fewer points required to domestic and international destinations if you are travelling economy
- Round the World awards have immediately dropped by 6% from 140,000 to 132,400
If you are the type who prefers to save up your points and splurge on experiencing the front part of the plane you are not going to be happy with the changes.
- You’ll now need up to an extra 15% on points for premium cabins on domestic and international reward seats
- If you are planning on using your points for an upgrade you’ll be spending up to an extra 9% on points
- Round the world tickets have jumped 19% for premium economy, 14% for business and 8% in first class.
Unfortunately, one thing it didn’t announce any changes on was a shift to its call centre locations.
In fact, over the past few years, Qantas has continued to shun the local call centre industry with their call centre jobs progressively been moved to overseas locations including the Philippines, Auckland, South Africa and Malaysia.
Qantas’s only Australian based call centre is in Hobart which at its peak, was employing around 300 staff on the back of some government handouts. This is now down to skeleton staff numbers of around 110 and it primarily services Qantas’s premium customers.
General enquiries are typically handled in New Zealand, with overflow calls and calls from Europe handled in South Africa.
Live chat is handed from the Philippines.
There are also a couple of spin-off Qantas centres such as Qantas Insurance and Qantas Wines which are Australian based (Gosford NSW).
The Australian Services Union (ASU) is reporting that Qantas will be shifting their Melbourne-based Frequent Flyer program to Manila and New Zealand in an effort to save costs.
In a press release, the ASU claims that over 100 call centre workers in Melbourne will be losing their jobs by June this year.
Qantas benefits and profits hugely from its reputation on safety and service.
“The ASU believes that Qantas has an obligation to invest some of those profits back into Australian jobs rather than continuing to off-shore critical functions and services”.
A Qantas spokesman confirmed the move that they have recently changed their outsourced provider with global call centre outsourcer TeleTech recently securing the Qantas Frequent Flyer call centre work. Whilst not addressing the job losses in Melbourne, the Qantas spokesman confirmed that whilst “the majority of calls in Australia to Qantas or Qantas Frequent Flyer are answered in Australia or New Zealand, some other tasks – including emails and some back-office functions – are performed offshore through their outsourcing partners.
The ASU is encouraging people to fight back through the following means:
- Make a comment on the Qantas Facebook page
- Tweet using the @qantas handle.
- If youre a frequent flyer or Qantas customer send them some feedback about this bad decision by filling out the online customer feedback form here.
With the high cost of Australian labour, organisations continue to explore the benefits of sending their call centre overseas but not all is as it seems as we’ve covered in previous articles.
- Read: Why do Australian jobs go offshore?
- Learn: Why Australian call centres are going offshore
- Download: Free Guides on call centre outsourcing