According to a report from Polygon, Microsoft would have replaced some of the Xbox support staff with some volunteers joining the Xbox Ambassador program. Yes, to deal with customers now there would be enthusiasts of the brand, who replaced twelve employees.
The Xbox Ambassadors, in fact, also deal with requests via an online chat tool and are rewarded for their efforts through the rankings, XP distribution, and participation in prize competitions. The program, as you can read on the official page, is set up as a game, with “missions” and lotteries to participate in.
Most of the Xbox Ambassadors have been trained by the same employees that the Redmond house chose to lay off and replace: before the redundancies, the regularly paid support team from Microsoft had been specifically tasked with increasing the contribution from the ambassadors, according to a source close to the company, but without imagining that this move would be turned against them.
Volunteers would be paid in points and with the chance to win prizes by participating in competitions. The fired staff answered the questions sent to the Xbox support account on Twitter.
In any case, the advantages for Microsoft are obvious, while they are less for those who actually work for free. However, before dismissing the support staff, Microsoft forced them to train the volunteers. The classic case of damage beyond mockery.
Microsoft responded to Polygon’s report by claiming that it still has a large number of skilled employees who support Xbox customers, who have been joined by volunteers. In fact, however, it did not deny what was reported.