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Will Microsoft Outsource Customer Support to External Companies?

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In the wake of Microsoft's decision to lay off nearly 1,900 employees from its Activision Blizzard and Xbox divisions, there's growing speculation about a strategic shift in customer support for ABK games. Jez Corden, the Managing Editor at Windows Central, has shed light on this development through a series of tweets.

Corden's tweets reveal that Microsoft is considering a major restructure in its customer support approach. According to his sources, the tech giant is contemplating outsourcing the majority of its internal customer support roles for ABK games to third-party companies based overseas. This move, Corden notes, marks a significant change for ABK, which was previously known for its robust in-house customer support team.

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Additionally, Corden pointed out that Microsoft has also begun dismantling several departments, notably those responsible for the distribution of Xbox games in physical retail stores. However, he emphasizes that this doesn't necessarily signal Microsoft's withdrawal from the physical gaming market.

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The restructuring appears to have wider implications across the company, as Corden reports a substantial reduction in community manager roles. This development could potentially impact the level of community engagement and support for Xbox games.

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With any buyout of a company its expected to have cuts significant cuts because why you want duplication of teams when you can have a microsoft team do it for you? Its only logical for them to downsize

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You can bet your bottom dollar that MS is gonna chop Blizz up like there's no tomorrow.

All ya'll that were yellin "MS juSt LeAvEs CoMpAnieS aLonE afTer it BuYs eM" have no clue.

Do they though?

Really though?

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3 minutes ago, Incepter said:

With any buyout of a company its expected to have cuts significant cuts because why you want duplication of teams when you can have a microsoft team do it for you? Its only logical for them to downsize

That and during the pandemic, a lot of tech based companies grew their staffing exponentially when it really wasn't necessary and now they're trimming the fat, so to speak.

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3 minutes ago, Prophet001 said:

You can bet your bottom dollar that MS is gonna chop Blizz up like there's no tomorrow.

All ya'll that were yellin "MS juSt LeAvEs CoMpAnieS aLonE afTer it BuYs eM" have no clue.

Do they though?

Really though?

I dont think they will chop Blizz up they know the games that are sustainable to make them profit you have to remember they have spent a considerable amount of money on activision blizzard. I have never thought they wouldnt make cuts but obviously the staff levels are far too high so now they have to bring them down to sustainable measures

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activision-blizzard had around 13 thousand employees.. that was LOGICAL what was going to happen.. nothing new on the front


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8 hours ago, Staff said:

This move, Corden notes, marks a significant change for ABK, which was previously known for its robust in-house customer support team.

emphasis should be on PREVIOUSLY known...

  1. the number of bugs unfixed even when reported,
  2. the multitude of bot farms, 
  3. the clueless GMs when submitting bug reports,
  4. the cold, heartless copypasta replies to actual problems.

Just a quick show of hands, how many people had the HONOR of meeting an actual customer support rather than an AI reply?
Yeah, I know it is not their fault when they are just following orders but still ... 🤷‍♂️

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12 hours ago, Harvey said:

emphasis should be on PREVIOUSLY known...

  1. the number of bugs unfixed even when reported,
  2. the multitude of bot farms, 
  3. the clueless GMs when submitting bug reports,
  4. the cold, heartless copypasta replies to actual problems.

Just a quick show of hands, how many people had the HONOR of meeting an actual customer support rather than an AI reply?
Yeah, I know it is not their fault when they are just following orders but still ... 🤷‍♂️

After three layers of replying back and the fact that my situation was a tangled wreck, yeah, I have.

I mean, if I could have PHONED a customer support rep it would have been feasible to solve in 2 hours or 2 days what took 3 weeks.

TBH i expect Actiblizz as a whole is losing support crews, but World of Warcraft probably only has 14 customer service people anyway, and we'll get to keep all of them.

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As for the retail scrapping they are probably trying to "plan a global marketing strategy" or something buzzwordy like that

Stock bump.  Purchase wallstreet upgrade with flightstones and dreaming "trim the fat" crests.

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20 hours ago, Harvey said:

emphasis should be on PREVIOUSLY known...

  1. the number of bugs unfixed even when reported,
  2. the multitude of bot farms, 
  3. the clueless GMs when submitting bug reports,
  4. the cold, heartless copypasta replies to actual problems.

Just a quick show of hands, how many people had the HONOR of meeting an actual customer support rather than an AI reply?
Yeah, I know it is not their fault when they are just following orders but still ... 🤷‍♂️

1. Not something Customer Support deal with
2. Not something Customer Support deal with
3. Not something Customer Support deal with
4. If 1 to 3 are an example of what you were contacting them on, what do you expect? 

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On 1/26/2024 at 10:30 PM, Incepter said:

With any buyout of a company its expected to have cuts significant cuts because why you want duplication of teams when you can have a microsoft team do it for you? Its only logical for them to downsize

Apparently it's more than just customer support, so no duplicate teams. There were some layoffs among other teams, including some devs from Overwatch, mainly environment artists, they also lost a lead narrative. Other games may also be affected, but probably not to this extent, at least I wasn't able to find any specific info. The issue with outsourcing customer support for game like WoW is that it requires some more complex understanding of requests specific to this game. It already seemed like customer support was being downsized long time ago, very apparent with wait times for tickets getting longer, but now it can get even worse. It will be very annoying when, for example, someone says they didn't receive some quest or reputation reward and outsourced support has no idea what is being asked, while they are only able to provide some basic information about installation troubleshooting etc.

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On 1/28/2024 at 9:59 AM, Jabberie said:

1. Not something Customer Support deal with
2. Not something Customer Support deal with
3. Not something Customer Support deal with
4. If 1 to 3 are an example of what you were contacting them on, what do you expect? 

Customer support are the bridge of communication, no?
How do the tech people deal with problems 1-3 when the customer support is reliant on an AI system that can't consolidate and relay the problems?
Everytime I report a bot, I encounter the AI system that is more intrusive than a bot message spammer. Have fun clicking on 20-30 thank you messages stuck on the top right corner of your screen, and nope, you have to click the buttons, "esc" does not work.
Everytime I get stuck in limbo, who can help me get unstuck when I can't even log in? Oh wait, I can wait a couple of hours until they autoreset locations!
Everytime that dumb launcher gets stuck on "initializing", it is not the customer support staff that helped me but instead the reddit communities that offer a solution.
Everytime there is a bug, the staff just "redirects/outsource" your problem to "Have you checked the Wowhead for answers?"
At least, thankfully, I have not had to seek them out for account problems, else I shudder at the thought of seeking assistance for any wrongfully imposed penalties.
So, if you want to stand up for them, please provide explicit examples of trustworthy/competent actual human customer support because I have not met any since years ago.
As I joked to my fellow guildies, how do you report AI bot farms and AI message spams? By reporting them to another AI (Blizzard customer support)... 🤷‍♂️

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