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UA to Close Customer Service Call Centers


Mildred

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Looks like you will need to write a letter or email to get customer service on United Airlines starting April.

 

http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/chi-wed-brf1-united-call-center-feb11,0,7058622.story

 

WHY?!

 

I would MUCH PREFER to deal with UA agents in HNL and ORD instead of the ICC.

 

So they now want you to write emails regarding customer service issues, but they now have REOPENED call center in USA to deal with reservation and ticketing instead of having the Indian folks who would ask you "would you like to fly out from Tampa instead of Ft. Lauderdale? ...." when you try to resolve a schedule change issue. Which scenario you prefer?

 

Email communcations have been proven far more effective in getting results at least in AA's case. So this development actually is good thing, imo.

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but they now have REOPENED call center in USA to deal with reservation and ticketing instead of having the Indian folks who would ask you "would you like to fly out from Tampa instead of Ft. Lauderdale? ...." when you try to resolve a schedule change issue. Which scenario you prefer?

Not so sure of that. From the Tribune article:

While other airlines are closing overseas call centers in response to customer complaints, United will continue to use offshore vendors to handle reservations and other passenger issues, Urbanski said.

Seems that the following is happening.

 

1) Policy is changed on how CS issues are communicated to UA (no more phone call acceptance).

2) Indian staff currently doing that are let go/non-contracted.

3) Email correspondence will be handled by UA staff in ORD and HNL.

4) Reservations will continue to be handled in exactly the same way as before - with offshore staffing.

 

Read that article carefully and see if you agree with my assessment.

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Seems that the following is happening.

 

1) Policy is changed on how CS issues are communicated to UA (no more phone call acceptance).

2) Indian staff currently doing that are let go/non-contracted.

3) Email correspondence will be handled by UA staff in ORD and HNL.

4) Reservations will continue to be handled in exactly the same way as before - with offshore staffing.

 

Read that article carefully and see if you agree with my assessment.

I agree with this reading.
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United PR

 

 

Join Date: Nov 2008

Location: Chicago, IL

Programs: United Public Relations

Posts: 36 Some UA ICC changes - some Customer Relations functions coming back to ORD/HNL

 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

I thought you all would be interested to know that we will be bringing certain Customer Relations positions from India back to the U.S. We believe this will provide the right level of focus this function requires, and I know many of you rely on these employees for travel support. We will fill 165 positions in Chicago and Hawaii with employees who today handle mostly reservations, and in April will begin handling both reservations and customer relations. This move also enables us to preserve 165 jobs for our employees.

 

We recognize that those of you who email or write to us are more satisfied with our responses than via phone. Beginning in April, you may continue to email or write us when you want to discuss your travel experiences, while reservations and other “how to” support will still be available by phone. For those of you who are 1K and GS, virtually nothing will change with regards to the support you receive and how you communicate with United.

 

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Last edited by FlyinHawaiian; Feb 10, 09 at 5:37 pm. Reason: clarified title

 

My interpretation is, 1) LCC will no longer handle any email responses. 2) With the beefed up employee levels, eventually the low-level UA flyers will have greater chance to have HNL based agents April onward.

 

UA finally realize ICC does not really save them money but it aggrevates far too many customers than any saving would have brought them.

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I thought you all would be interested to know that we will be bringing certain Customer Relations positions from India back to the U.S. We believe this will provide the right level of focus this function requires, and I know many of you rely on these employees for travel support. We will fill 165 positions in Chicago and Hawaii with employees who today handle mostly reservations, and in April will begin handling both reservations and customer relations. This move also enables us to preserve 165 jobs for our employees.

 

Let's try this again and deconstruct that underlined/bolded sentence.

 

1) Positions are being created in ORD and HNL

2) Positions will be staffed with EXISTING employees who are now doing reservations.

3) In April, those current res agents will be doing res and CS.

 

Now, how do we go from step 1 to step 2: The 165 existing employees will go from res to CS. So who does the res work? You guessed it - the overseas call centers that will still be in operation.

 

How do we go from step 2 to step 3: Those same agents will now add res work to their CS duties. No new hires - just moving the deck chairs.

 

So, those 165 people who are now mostly doing res work will, come April, be doing both res and CS work. CS may improve, but if they are working CS, then they aren't doing res - and thus, who will do it?? There still needs to have a certain number of phone agents working res, and if you take those 165 away from ORD and HNL res work, who's left to pick up the slack? Yep, those overseas reps we all love so much.

 

Yes, the press releases are worded to try to give the impression that this is a net positive, both for customers and employees. But note that even this release only states about preserving employees, not increasing them. Zero sum - only so many hours of work from those 165. UA is just shifting their duties and making it sound all peachy keen.

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Now, how do we go from step 1 to step 2: The 165 existing employees will go from res to CS. So who does the res work? You guessed it - the overseas call centers that will still be in operation.

 

How do we go from step 2 to step 3: Those same agents will now add res work to their CS duties. No new hires - just moving the deck chairs.

I wonder if that might be just a tad too cynical? The story does say this:-
The new force of U.S.-based workers responsible for dealing with passengers will consist of United employees and new hires, the majority of whom will be based in Chicago, said Rich Delaney, president of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, District 141, United's largest union.
If there were going to be no new hires, I would expect the IAM to be the last source to suggest the contrary.
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I wonder if that might be just a tad too cynical?

Why of course....we are talking about Untied...the poster child for effective labor relations (now that Lorenzo and Nyrop are long gone).

If there were going to be no new hires, I would expect the IAM to be the last source to suggest the contrary.

Concur. I did not go back once again to the Tribune story, but was working from the nho post only. That Trib story does reference new hires. However, I believe that new hires will be a very small slice of this number, perhaps only filling in natural attrition. If it was any type of firm numbers of new hires, the union would trumpet that. Rather, I see a focus of highlighting on keeping employees already onboard. Just my reading of the tea leaves.

 

In any case, the overseas call centers won't be going away.

 

Hey, I like it....a thread where we can put our brains together to figure out the English language. And maybe those new agents will be trained to answer "Can I make that 10am flight from Miami to Chicago? I'm supposed to be docking at....."

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