Microsoft lays off Xbox Support staff, uses volunteers instead

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Xbox Ambassadors and an AI chat bot asked to take up the slack.

Microsoft has allegedly laid off most of the staff behind its Xbox Support initiative, instead opting to use unpaid volunteers to assist customers.

A report by Polygon suggests that approximately 12 Xbox Support staff members have lost their jobs, replaced by unpaid Xbox Ambassadors. The report continues to allege that some Xbox Ambassadors have been trained by a small team of Xbox Support staff who have retained their jobs.

Polygon points to the Xbox Support account, which used to reply to dozens of tweets directly each day before 18 May. After this date, the account largely retweets messages from the Xbox Ambassadors Twitter account.

The Xbox Ambassador program rewards “passionate and knowledgeable Xbox fans who strengthen the Xbox community,” a page on Xbox reads. “As a member of the program, you’ll share useful information, help fellow gamers, and unlock exclusive rewards and recognition.” Rewards include items from “controllers to games, Ambassador-branded merchandise, and more.”

An AI chat bot welcomes those who visit the Xbox Support website.

When asked for comment by Polygon, a Microsoft representative responded, “We continue to have a number of highly-trained customer support agents, plus community ambassadors, available to help customers with their needs.”

We’ll have more on the status of Xbox Support staff members as more information comes to light.