Aviation

Nearly 19,000 sign petition to cut Qantas’ call wait times

A Change.org petition has been floating around the internet which has seen nearly 19,000 people sign a petition that demands better customer response from Qantas.

The petition had only 463 signatures as of 29 March, however, as of 20 April, it has more than 18,700.

This follows reports of long waiting times by disgruntled passengers who have had to wait on hold for hours with Qantas’ customer support line.

According to the petition, the average wait time on hold to Qantas is 5 hours and 36 minutes, which is based on a random sample, conducted by the petition’s founder Ingrid Miller, of 50 people who had complained on social media about Qantas’ customer service.

The petition argues that “Qantas is exploiting COVID as a guise to prioritise poor customer service and capitalise on creating further disadvantage for regional Australia.

“Far and wide, people are losing their hard-earned money. All the while, Qantas continues to hide behind COVID as an excuse to cut jobs and do people out of their cash.”

Some of the requests from the petition include Qantas hiring more people to man both its phone lines and its social media and improve the functionality of its website to avoid customers requesting additional assistance altogether.

This follows the Qantas CEO, Alan Joyce, apologising for the long call wait times earlier this month at a Victorian Chamber event.

“I do apologise for anybody trying to get through to our call centre at the moment,”  Joyce said.

“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.”

According to Australian Aviation, Qantas claims to have hired 750 staff to rectify the issue.

However, the call wait times may not have decreased as the recent holiday season saw the airports take in high volumes of passengers.

Miller highlighted some of the shortcomings of Qantas’ website, where it fails to offer the functions that people most often require, causing the customer to experience “repetitive error messages”, which leads them onto the phone lines.

“Qantas needs people to fly on their airline in order to get the business going again during and post-COVID,” Miller added.

“If Qantas wants this to happen, then they have to start treating customers like they actually want them to fly.”

Australian Aviation reported that a recent Melbourne-based supporter of the petition said, “Qantas should be ashamed, [I] can’t book on website as they [there] are so many errors so [I] am forced to call. On hold for 2.5 hours and hung up on!”

“Not to mention my flight they cancelled last year and no sign of credits, I’m too scared to call because of the stress it will cause. Without customers, there is no Qantas!”



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One response to “Nearly 19,000 sign petition to cut Qantas’ call wait times”

  1. Given so many of these calls I’m sure are about schedule changes which can easily and quickly be serviced by an experienced agent, I’m sure that commission cut to Qantas is reaping it’s rewards.

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