Just when you think the world couldn't get more terrible, Microsoft comes in with the decision to lay off its Xbox support staff in favor of volunteer Xbox fans. What makes this doubly disgusting is that these volunteers, known as Xbox Ambassadors, used to work under these paid staff members. Only now it seems the only people they answer to this time is themselves.
Polygon reports that Microsoft has let go of 12 members of the Xbox support team, instead relying on volunteering users to provide support to customers by answering their queries. However, instead of being paid like their former bosses, these volunteers will earn reward points and get entered into competitions where they have a chance to win prizes, which doesn't sound like healthy business practice at all.
The former staff who was recently let go by Microsoft handled the Xbox Support Twitter account, with the Xbox Ambassadors being brought in to help the burden of such constant inquiries quite a while ago. They helped considerably, though now it seems as though the company, despite the Ambassadors being previously trained by the support staff, believes that the Ambassadors (along with 'a number' of highly trained customer support agents) can handle it on their own with limited rewards as thanks.
To be frank, this doesn't change anything for Xbox players apart from their inquiries will more than likely be handled by non-support staff in the future. Of course, Microsoft already has an AI assistant that takes care of most questions in the first place so it shouldn't matter really, right?
We're not too sure about that. While it doesn't change anything for players, we can't help but feel as though this has been a let-down on Microsoft's part and really damages its reputation, making its practices seem less trustworthy. One thing is for sure, unions wouldn't seem like such a bad idea right now...