Aviation

Alan Joyce apologises for call wait times as glitch sees Qantas passengers pay twice

The flying kangaroo has been in hot water for long waiting times at its call centre, while many upset passengers report a glitch that appeared to have made them pay twice.

Qantas issued an apology for its extended call waiting times, which saw people wait for an hour and a half on average to talk to someone.

“I do apologise for anybody trying to get through to our call centre at the moment,” Qantas CEO Alan Joyce said at a Victorian Chamber event earlier in the week.

“But that’s because our call centre, with these changes of borders, has gone from 5,000 calls a day to 15,000 calls a day.

“And every time there’s a change, like New Zealand opening up, it spikes.”

An apology issued by Qantas said that calls were taking 50 per cent longer to resolve than pre-COVID due to the complexity of itineraries.

Many disgruntled people took to Twitter to air their frustrations.

According to News.com.au, 800 people are currently employed in Qantas call centres across the world, with 250 to 300 people working each day.

The airline plans to increase staffing by 200 per cent by June compared to 12 months ago.

It has also invested in technology to enable customers to manage bookings and use flight credits via the Qantas website or app.

The extended call centre wait times fiasco drew the attention of the Australian Services Union (ASU) who criticised Qantas for offshoring its call centre jobs and cutting in-airport customer service last year under the cover of the pandemic.

“That puts huge extra pressure on call centres and Qantas didn’t add any new call centre staff,” ASU assistant national secretary Emeline Gaske said.

“Now that we’re seeing the industry recover, and customers return to Qantas, they must repay Australian taxpayers and employ local staff.”

Only one call centre remains in Australia and it’s located in Hobart.

Alongside facing difficulties getting through to the call centre, many passengers have claimed to be “charged twice” for flights they have booked.

These passengers also took to Twitter to air their frustrations at Qantas.

“This happened to me. I was charged twice, and it took 15 business days to get my funds back, after approximately 10 hours on hold with Qantas over a week,” Ruby Halloumi wrote.

Jake MacMullin, who had a similar experience, tweeted: “I thought I’d search Twitter to see if other people have been waiting on hold for a while.”

According to the ABC, Qantas said it was aware of the problem some customers were facing.

“Unfortunately, there is a delay in releasing pre-authorised funds which we are urgently working with our banking and payment partners to resolve,” a spokesperson told the ABC.

“The pre-authorised funds are being automatically released within three to seven days.

“If customers need the funds sooner, they should contact their banks to request a payment release.”

Qantas said to a passenger who was a victim of the double payment, that it was a glitch and should be resolved within seven days.



SEE WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

One response to “Alan Joyce apologises for call wait times as glitch sees Qantas passengers pay twice”

  1. Don’t blame the opening of the borders. It has been the same before the borders were closed and the same even while the borders were closed. Pathetic!

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