Print 26 comment(s) - last by mushi799.. on Jan 26 at 1:13 AM

Sprint says "You're Fired" to 4,000 employees

Sprint Nextel is currently struggling to maintain its subscriber base and profitability. Many see the waning popularity of the Sprint Nextel service as a side effect of poor customer service among other things.

DailyTech reported last week that Sprint was considering layoffs for some of its employees and a consolidation of executives into its Sprint headquarters in Kansas. The rumor last week was that Sprint was considering a layoff of around 2,000 employees in addition to the executive consolidation.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Sprint released its plans and intends to cut 4,000 jobs and close 8% of its stores across the country. This move will save Sprint, who is currently the number three cellular provider in the U.S., up to $800 million USD a year.

In addition to 4,000 employees losing their jobs, three of Sprint’s top executives were ousted as well. Chief Financial Officer Paul Saleh, Chief Marketing Officer Tim Kelly and president of sales and distribution Mark Angelino are stepping down.

The Wall Street Journal also reports that Senior Vice President and Controller William Arendt will step in as interim CFO. Sprint Chief Executive Dan Hesse said, “Permanent leaders will be named in conjunction with a review of overall strategy and an effort to streamline operations. I have no predetermined timeframe in filling these positions but plan to act as quickly as possible as I consider both internal and external candidates."

Rumors circulated last week that Sprint might be considering a cut back of its newly announced WiMAX service dubbed XOHM to help cut costs. Sprint did not comment on if that would still happen.

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Easy Fix...
By AntiV6 on 1/24/2008 4:35:04 PM , Rating: 2
Make your nationwide coverage and customer service better...

I switched from Sprint to AT&T and they are worlds better in every aspect, around here anyways.

RE: Easy Fix...
By FITCamaro on 1/24/2008 4:44:37 PM , Rating: 2
My family switched from Sprint to Verizon 2 years ago only due to not getting service in my parents house. Worked everywhere else.

You couldn't pay me to go back to AT&T though.

RE: Easy Fix...
By pomaikai on 1/24/2008 4:50:57 PM , Rating: 2
We switched from sprint several years ago because there coverage was horrible. We contacted them several times and they finally offered us a better phone when we called to cancel our contract. By that point we had just signed a contract with verizon and have been happy ever since. Will never go back to sprint and most customers that leave isnt because of price it is because of horrible service and coverage. Those people dont just one day decide to switch back to try it again.

RE: Easy Fix...
By FITCamaro on 1/24/2008 5:00:38 PM , Rating: 2
I used to work for Sprint back in college and did all I could for people. If we simply just didn't offer reception in their area, I told them. Had many customers call my boss to say I did a great job. Heck I was even offered a job due to my professional attitude.

One thing I definitely like about Sprint over any other company, is that when leaving a voicemail, you can hit 1 to skip all the computer BS crap and just leave your message. With everyone else you have to sit there and listen to it all before you can leave your message which is like 30 seconds long.

I'll be sticking with Verizon for now because my entire family and all our friends use it. If we all ever decided to switch, then I would go back to Sprint. I've also got no real complaints with Verizon either. We'd have stayed with Sprint though if it weren't for just not getting reception in my parents house. I could get it in concrete buildings, under buildings, in elevators, etc. Just not there.

Only my sister uses AT&T because they work out in the middle of nowhere where I never go. Her and her husband go to a lot of tiny towns though since they run an animal show that travels the country. Sprint and Verizon just don't work out there.

RE: Easy Fix...
By eye smite on 1/24/2008 5:01:49 PM , Rating: 3
I worked for the outsourcing company that handled Sprint celphone customer service and tech support and said outsourcing company is no longer in the callcenter business. Working for them for 3 years and seeing the train wreck they made of things, I can completely understand why Sprint is having the same kind of train wreck.

RE: Easy Fix...
By mushi799 on 1/26/2008 1:13:08 AM , Rating: 1
Verizon was pretty shitty for me so i switched to cingular, and when it became Att, the service got worst but it's still better than verizon in my area.

RE: Easy Fix...
By RaulF on 1/24/2008 8:59:45 PM , Rating: 2
Im currently a ATT customer, my contract is up in a few months i can't wait, leaving them like there's no tomorrow. If you think Sprint customer service is bad, well i guess you have never dealt with ATT, i loved when it was Cingular thoug.

RE: Easy Fix...
By AlexWade on 1/24/2008 10:31:18 PM , Rating: 2
AT&T customer service isn't rude, just inept. Sprint's customer service, however, is both rude and inept.

RE: Easy Fix...
By AlexWade on 1/24/2008 10:29:58 PM , Rating: 2
In different areas, different carriers are better. Except Sprint and now Nextel which is universally bad everywhere. Nextel was good, past tense. Where I live, BellSouth er Cingular er AT&T is excellent. I live in Eastern NC and I never have any problems with service, ever. No dropped calls, no calls not coming in, no problems. However, different areas and my service stinks. My advice is always ask around. Then go with the lowest price of the best service in your area. Preferably one with the global, and therefore by default better, GSM. (Yes, yes, CDMA is technically superior, but in real world practice neither is, so go with the rest of the world to make life easier on everybody.)

By rudy on 1/24/2008 7:22:46 PM , Rating: 2
Ya you lose customers due to poor customer service, so your solutions is to fire more of the workforce and close more stores the latter definitely are part of CS the former maybe. Some people just don't get it /sigh.

RE: haha
By ice456789 on 1/25/2008 12:15:26 AM , Rating: 2
As a former manager of the customer service department in a call center, I can tell you that when they acquired Nextel and adopted their customer service ideas, all customer service was negatively affected. Stores had lines in them an hour long just to get phones checked out. Our customer service reps routinely had over 200 calls in queue. That means that basically 50 people were taking calls, those calls average about 8 minutes. If you called in during the busy time (pretty much all the time), your wait would be measured in hours not minutes. That negatively affects customer service.

Also, half our calls would be fixing mistakes made by previous reps. Sprint puts such pressure on their reps to sell products that many of them do what is called 'slamming'. That is adding a feature to your phone without telling you, or without really explaining the costs. Too many times people would call in with a problem with their phone and a month later they would be getting charged for a new Vision data plan. The only problem... they didn't know what the vision plan is, they never asked for it, they're just being charged for it. I had people who had been slammed a year ago calling in to get a year's worth of slammed charges removed from multi-line accounts. I would always tell my reps to give the customer the benefit of the doubt, but they hate giving credits even if the charges were incorrect.

Ask my why they hate giving credits.....

Because part of your rating is based on how much credit you give your customers. If you're giving a lot of credit, it hurts your rating and therefor hurts your paycheck and chance for promotion. It doesn't matter if the credit is deserved or not, it just matters how much you give. How can you have good customer service if your reps aren't allowed to fix billing issues for customers without hurting their own pocketbook?

RE: haha
By FITCamaro on 1/25/2008 12:25:49 AM , Rating: 4
I'll definitely agree on the "slamming". Especially at Sprint stores. I had to fix so many f*ck ups those guys made it wasn't even funny. They cared about selling phones, that was it. Screwing up the bill was someone else's problem to them.

I worked as a rep in a Best Buy, Circuit City, and Radio Shack. The guys I knew always tried to make sure it was correct. Because if the phone got returned due to you making a mistake and the customer returning it from not wanting to deal with it, you lost the commission. At a Sprint store, you sell so many phones you don't care. At the one around me, customers didn't even bother going there unless they had to because the reps there wouldn't even help you unless you were a new activation (and thus they made a commission off you).

RE: haha
By JohnDoe007 on 1/25/2008 10:40:38 AM , Rating: 3
Right On Ice456789! I too work at Sprint and I must say that customer service is completely out the window. To often are given misleading information or flat out lies to pass on to our customers. Lies such as ‘there is cell site going up in your area to improve coverage,” “circuits ordered for a new site in your area, which means service will improve” the ever famous quote for newbees “its your phone, take it to the service center.” The thousands of customers that are out there will know exactly that what I am saying is the truth, heck even the employees who here know this to be true as well. Its no secret Sprint has suffered tremendously since their acquisition of the Nextel brand; the service was a complete joke and was only good for the “Walkie Talkie” feature via their IDEN network or low network traffic via cell service. I personally don’t use Sprint or Nextel except for the free phones they give us, I like T-Mobile because their customer service is fantastic and their network is far more reliable. I always lose signal in certain areas but its always in the same areas, never have I been on the cell and dropped a call as you most certainly will with Sprint but especially more with Nextel. The fixes are simple for Sprint/Nextel and removing useless executives and CEOs is a GREAT start, the Customer Service issue will require them to reanalyze their Service Level Agreements and to reassess how their employees are paid in regards to the “slamming” of a customer and or giving credit to customers where it is merited, and not penalize its employees for doing the right thing. It’s the small things that count to a customer and if they want to attract and keep existing customers then they will have to adapt to the consumers concerns, otherwise they will continue to show no loyalty to the Brand. Sincerely, A LOYAL BUT HIGHLY CONCERNED EMPLOYEE.

RE: haha
By ice456789 on 1/25/2008 4:14:47 PM , Rating: 3
When I decided to leave Sprint I broke all the rules. In other words, I did what was right, what was ethical, and what was in the best interests of Sprint AND the customers. I threw out all the scripting, I put zero pressure on my guys to sell, and I removed ANY pressure on giving credits. I decided to leave about 2 weeks before I actually gave notice, so for about a month any customers who were lucky enough to get my team on the phone got something they couldn't get anywhere else at Sprint... AMAZING CUSTOMER SERVICE. Our average customer satisfaction score went up about 40%. It's so simple, if they want to fix their customer service problem instead of paying IBM to consult them and institute tons of guidelines, just let the reps do their jobs. Sure, you might not sell as much but at the same time you are not paying millions to IBM to fix your image.

By JosefTor on 1/24/2008 6:24:24 PM , Rating: 4
I used to love sprint back when they had exclusive agreements with Best Buy, had the newest phones on the market, and descent customer service.

Now they get all the good phones late which is really hampering to me, they have lousy customer service (even their retention department went downhill as I don't get nearly the same deals as I used to), and coverage sucks. They haven't worked in 2 out of 4 places I have lived and barely work in the remaining two. I can see if I live in the middle of nowhere but San Diego, CA? Saratoga Springs, NY? Long Island, NY? These places should be covered better. I should not have to leave my house to make phone calls.

RE: Downhill
By ice456789 on 1/24/2008 11:59:33 PM , Rating: 2
Having worked in the retentions department of sprint, I can tell you that the reason your offers are getting worse is because you are accepting more of them. The computer basically tells the reps what you're eligible to get based on how much profit you bring the company. If you've spoken to retentions enough to know they're going downhill, you probably aren't making much profit for Sprint.

Good for you by the way! Everyone should know that if you simply call Sprint and use the words "I want to cancel" you will be transferred to the retentions department and offered many wonderful things like cheap plans, free phones, etc. Even if you're in the middle of a contract!

By KingGheedora on 1/24/2008 5:01:27 PM , Rating: 5
The whole Donald Trump "You're fired" reference is really lame.

RE: Trump
By T4RTER S4UCE on 1/24/08, Rating: -1
By iFX on 1/24/2008 9:00:48 PM , Rating: 2
I've been with Sprint since 2003. I have yet to have a reason to call customer service. My service always works, my bill is always correct. What more could I want from them?

RE: ???
By ice456789 on 1/25/2008 12:18:24 AM , Rating: 2
You should buy a lottery ticket. You are clearly a very lucky person.

I hope this continues
By ChoadNamath on 1/24/2008 6:49:06 PM , Rating: 3
Any bad news for Sprint is good news for people sick of hearing those loud and annoying push-to-talk conversations.

Not surprising...
By ksuWildcat on 1/24/2008 4:43:56 PM , Rating: 2
This really isn't surprising. I know several people who work for Sprint in KC, and all of them are saying the same thing. Sprint is really struggling, and the merger with Nextel hampered the progress of existing projects.

It will be interesting to see if Sprint can stop the hemorrhaging later this year. They have lost a significant percentage of their customer base and continue to do so with other companies like T-Mobile and the like offering better service.

This is really going to hurt the local economy, at least for a while.

Sprint rocks
By VisionxOrb on 1/24/2008 5:15:32 PM , Rating: 2
I switched to sprint because of coverage and price. No one else could compete with the SERO plans and sprint has digital roaming contracts with verizon so I get to use sprint and verizons network since sprint wont charge for roaming as long as more than half your minutes used are on the sprint network.

On top of that verizon was always messing up my bill

By sapiens74 on 1/24/2008 5:37:51 PM , Rating: 2
That is wasn't 10,000 layoffs

We have a national corporate account with them and it's taken 9 months for them to resolve a screwup in billing

$19,000 screwup I might add, and this is with their highest national reps and billing working on the issue......

By phaxmohdem on 1/24/2008 6:17:21 PM , Rating: 2
Sprints Data Plan kicks ass.

If they could get a few phones people actually want to buy that can take advantage of that kick ass data service, I think they'd be onto something.

Motorola Q + PDANet + Laptop = One happy dude here :D

By ChristopherO on 1/24/2008 6:39:23 PM , Rating: 2
This is a Nextel acquisition problem. They bought the other company but never bothered integrating them.

They should have migrated their push-to-talk to CDMA and unplugged the iDen network ASAP. Instead of a single robust CDMA network using their entire spectrum, they have two incomplete networks fracturing their frequency licenses. All it does is hurt coverage and slow down the introduction of future services. They could have bought each Nextel customer a new CDMA phone and probably saved more money than they lost in the last three years.

"This is from the It's a science website." -- Rush Limbaugh

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