back to article Sprint axes 4,000 jobs, closes 125 stores

US mobile phone provider Sprint Nextel said today it will slash around 4,000 jobs and close about eight per cent of its stores, in an attempt to claw back costs in the face of a haemorrhaging customer base. The firm admitted in a statement that it has been hit by an inability to attract new subscribers to its service. Sprint - …

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Customer Service problems? No kidding!

Had Sprint some years back - got tired of going into stores & being ignored & calling 1-800 & pressing 100 buttons & waiting 30 minutes MINimum.

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That's what happens...

Any chance this has anything to do with dumping customers for calling support too much?

http://gizmodo.com/gadgets/ouch/sprint-dumps-needy-customers-275374.php

I have experienced their lousy support first hand. I called about a billing issue and they sent me to a store. The folks at the store said they don't deal with billing issues and they don't know whey people keep getting sent to the stores for that. And they wonder why they have customers calling back numerous times to try to get things sorted out?

I have to say this is not really that surprising. I wonder how long it will take before corporations understand that if they don't take care of their customers someone else will.

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@Any chance

<<Any chance this has anything to do with dumping customers for calling support too much?>>

No - it more has to do with having sucky service and a can't do attitude. I had them for 6 years and the service went from good to ok to downright piss-ant poor. I have Verizon now - it is amazing to be able complete a phone call without multiple dropped calls. (I live where many of the telecom company headquarters are located in the US - so I should have good service.)

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Time for Google to flash some cash?

This could make a nice acquisition for Google. They're not short of a bob or two, and with Sprint's stock likely to plummet further, Google could snag a bargain.

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Die Sprint, Die!

Poor coverage outside major metropolitan areas, dodgy signal, unfriendly customer service... what's not to like?

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Dead Vulture

Blow me...

Good to see that shite customer service eventually nips these companies in the butt. Unfortunately all the customers probably were forced to switch to Verizon and AT&T, which are also piss-poor.

Anyone care to start a phone company that doesn't treat customers like human waste? There might be a market for it.

Dead bird icon cause I feel like killing something.

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Anonymous Coward

Sprint can DIAF!!!

Sadly I signed up with Sprint 1 year, 4 months and 3 days ago.

I have 7 months and 27 days to go before I can ditch these incompetent stooges.

Their GD phone does not work at my house or in my office.

I get fast busy signals all the time indicating network congestion.

My bill was SO screwed up SO many times that I have spent about 48 hours total on the phone trying to get their idiot non-support to fix it.

It got to the point that I would use a speaker phone and just set it next to the dinner table to work on fixing THEIR billing issue.

NEVER USE SPRINT!!!!!!!!!

A tin can and a string works better and if you have a problem with a tin can and a string ask a cat to fix it.

The cat will do a better job of customer support!

Short their stock and enjoy the ride!

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Anonymous Coward

Poor customer service is an understatement

On Sep 3, 2007 in the morning I called to report a poor coverage area with my data card.

In order to get to tech support to make the report I had to:

-- go through 6 reps, many of whom could not open up my account and just transferred me to someone equally incompetent

-- ask for the cancellation department and complain to them; this rep finally got me connected.

The whole process took one hour.

There is something seriously screwed up in Sprint corporate minds when they think that putting a customer through such an ordeal to make a simple report is customer service.

More recently, I signed requested that I gain a discount on my bill because of my membership in a credit union. The confirmation email came to me, and included my account number, phone number, name of the credit union, and of course my valid email address. The problem: there was also another email address in the TO field. The Fraud Dept and Corporate Security got involved (at my insistence) and claimed that there is no problem, that the employee had just "made up" the domain name and user id so that he could get the form submitted. The form required an email address.

Problems:

1. Why is an employee putting in an address other than the customer's?

2. The Fraud Dept and Security person said that because the person "made up" the userid and domain name, that they were bogus. Right. The domain exists and is hosted. In Sprint's short-minded thinking anything they make up must be bogus, even in cyber world. This is the kind of non-thinking that gets Sprint the poor comments they deserve about customer service.

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Unhappy

Nextel purchase was the downturn...

I've had Sprint for 8 years and for most of the area's I work in coverage is really good. Only when I went down to Alabama for a one week consultation job did I find I had no service anywhere...

Customer service was decent and when I broke a phone I could go in the store and hand them the bad phone and walk out with a brand new one, no questions asked since I had Warranty service on my plan. If I missed a payment one month then I just had to make it up the next month no problem.

When Sprint bought Nextel and they merged, everything went into the crapper. They canned the Sprint customer support people and kept the Nextel Billing and Support people. Suddenly, over night even, you would get Nextel Customer Support who knew nothing of the Sprint network or system and not able to help you at all with anything. They also dumped their billing department and took to using the Nextel department. Tons of billing issues the first couple of months as they tried to merge the systems and no there is no leeway. If your payment isnt in by the due date, your phone is turned off at 7am that day. Yet takes forever to get them to turn it back on even if you pay by credit card. Forget trying to get it turned back on at a store, takes upwards of 2 days that way.

You break a phone now, going to the store they hand you an envelope and you have to mail your phone in and wait for a refurbished phone thats usually still screwed up. A couple had worn out power outlets so the cables just rolled around and you never really got a good charge on them. But you are still out a phone for a week while you wait for them to receive your phone and send you a replacement. But you still pay for your service even though you dont have a phone.

And they discovered that they can not make the Nextel and Sprint phones work on the same network so they will eternally be running two different networks. Thats got to drive costs up needlessly.

Its a work phone so I am stuck with it. I use to like Sprint, but now loathe them after the Nextel merger.

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Sean has it exactly right

I was a customer for 6.5 years, never had a problem with the phone not working or the people in customer service... once Nextel came onboad, the store was useless and the phones stopped working in my house and the chaps on the phone were downright rude.

Once, I went into the store to try to get a new handset, after 6 years of being a customer, they wouldn't discount one, but new customers could sign up for a 2-year contract and get a discount. I asked how come I couldn't sign up for a new contract and get the same deal- the guy flat out told me that I was screwed, since I was already under contract with them, so I had no bargaining power.

I just waited 5 months until my contract was up and told them to get F'd.

Screw Sprint, right in the ear! They made their bed, now they can sleep in it!

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Pirate

They would NOT be missed!

Sprint bastards. I received my bill which said, Thank-you for your payment. You have been charged a fee for delinquent payment. I am sure this must be a mistake. I can see the payment was properly credited on the bill so why the late fee? Sprint had a nasty habit of setting my payment date for Monday. So, what's wrong with that you ask?

Well, if the payment is due on Monday, the payment must be (quote)posted(/quote) the day before. I thought it was. I paid the bill electronically by EFT on Friday. That's not good enough. No payments are posted on Saturday or Sunday, so it must be posted by Friday. But, I scheduled the EFT to be completed on Friday. The money was transfered immediately to Sprint by 7am Friday morning. I was told, (quote)Payments need several days to post(/quote). So, this would require me to make my EFT request to be completed by no later than Wednesday. I would have to pay Monday's payment due date by the previous Tuesday.

For a payment date of Monday, they wanted me to make an EFT a week ahead of time on the previous Tuesday. And, although the payment was clearly received and posted to my monthly statement, it was not posted soon enough so it incurred a late fee of a little over a dollar.

I fought them. I made several phone calls in protest. I opened a Federal investigation into the late fee and made them answer for their billing practices. They called me in response to my protests and said they still would not refund my late fee. I made sure that Sprint's expenses was 50x that of the late fee they charged me, but after all the phone calls and all the letters I sent, they still would not budge and would not give me my dollar back no matter what it cost them.

At the end of my contract, I switched to T-Mobile. I hope that Sprint dies a quick but painful death.

What did we learn?

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Yeah, they suck....

Sprint customer. Have a family plan & data add-on, so that the forfeit fee to cancel isn't much more than my monthly bill anyway. Service actually isn't too bad - *customer* service is horrible though?

Question - who is better though? Any way to avoid jumping out of the frying pan & into the fire?

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re: Who is better?

Who is better than Sprint? Anybody, really. I went with T-Mobile. Here's a typical experience I've had with them. I called customer service to ask about International roaming charges. During my conversation, the service rep says, Wait a minute - (unrelated to my original question) We have lowered the price of the Total Internet Package which you are currently paying for by ten dollars. Let me lower your bill right now for you. And... she did. I'm still under my original two year contract with them.

(gasp)

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Verizon is actually amazing right now

Among other carriers I've used, I gave up on Sprint years ago, and for the same reasons people seem to be complaining about them now - crappy customer service and poor signal penetration. They were also slapped with lawsuits over deceptive billing practices, etc. (I think I qualified for a 25 dollar "award" from one of the successful class-actions)

Anyway - Verizon service these days is amazing, I feel like I'm being treated like a king, to be honest. They're a little more expensive than the competition but given the infamously crappy service in the cellphone market I am more than willing to pay a couple bucks more a month to get reliable signal and good customer service.

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