Thu, Oct 28, 2004
650 Jobs Sent To India
Airlines, in an effort to conserve funds on its way out of Chapter
11, is firing reservation phone operators because their jobs are
going overseas -- to India.
In a letter to its reservation employees, United executives said
the move will "help make United more responsive to customers
seeking competitive fares in an industry being pressured by record
fuel prices, increased competition and lower yields," according to
the Rocky Mountain News in Denver (CO).
The outsourcing will allow United to close its call center in
Bloomington (IN), which employs 83 people. United says the move
will also allow it to cut back on the staff at its other call
centers around the country.
"Having this work performed by strategic suppliers is one way we
can reduce costs and provide quality customer service," United
spokeswoman Jean Medina told the Rocky Mountain News.
But critics of the move say it could mean a drop in the quality
of customer service.
It is a bad idea," said Mike Boyd, an airline consultant based
in Evergreen (CO). "The challenge you have with this is you are
turning your sales function to people who have no vested interest
in whether you fly on United or get on a duck and take off. If
someone calls up and says, 'I need to get to Flint, Michigan,' a
trained United employee will say, 'Well, I can get you to Detroit
or Lansing.' What the person in New Delhi or Mumbai is going to say
is, 'We don't fly there.'"
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