Sprint to Lay Off 8000 by March 31st | webOS Nation
 
 

Sprint to Lay Off 8000 by March 31st 11

by Jennifer Chappell Mon, 26 Jan 2009 11:34 am EST

Oh my, WMExperts is reporting that Sprint has just announced that they are going to save $1.2 Billion in labor costs. Sadly, the money saved will be at the expense of people's jobs. And not just a few hundred jobs either. Nope, Sprint plans to eliminate approximately 8,000 positions. According to the press release, the positions to be eliminated will impact all levels of the company, and the impact on geographical locations will vary.

From the press release:

"Labor reductions are always the most difficult action to take, but many companies are finding it necessary in this environment," said Sprint CEO Dan Hesse. "We continue to improve the customer experience and these improvements are reflected in much higher levels of satisfaction in customer surveys and in independent performance tests. Our commitment to quality will not change."

Sprint notes in the press release that they've seen a notable reduction in calls per subscriber to customer care and increased customer satisfaction resulting from customer service improvements. Well, that's good to know because I've read countless complaints about Sprint's customer service in the TreoCentral forums over the years.

We know that Sprint is to be the carrier for the Palm Pre. Hmmm, everybody has been wondering if Sprint was the right network to go with, and now we see this. Some people are happy about that and some aren't.

I just read an article this morning over at Bloomberg.com entitled "Palm Investor Bets Money-Losing Sprint Is Perfect Pre Partner". Vivek Shankar talks about 53-year-old retiree Kevn McNiff, who plans to buy a Palm Pre. McNiff likes that the Pre is media friendly and that it has a keyboard. However, McNiff isn't happy that the Pre is going to be on Sprint. McNiff, like many others, is worried about switching to Sprint because of it losses and big, fat $20 billion debt. I'm sure McNiff would be even more concerned upon hearing about Sprint's announcement this morning of its plans to cut 8,000 jobs by March 31st.

Of course Roger McNamee of Elevation Partners feels that Sprint is an ideal partner because of it high-speed network. Plus Sprint doesn't have a huge phone like the iPhone that is exclusive to AT&T in the states.

From the Bloomberg article:

“Sprint has gone three years without a ‘hero’ phone in the smart-phone business,” McNamee said in an interview this month in Menlo Park, California. “From our point of view, this is the perfect carrier to work with.”

So, what do you think? Is Sprint the right network to go with? Goodness knows that Sprint needs the Pre.  Maybe just as badly as Palm needed the Pre.

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11 Comments

Can we stop pretending that Sprint is the only comapny with bad customer service? They have been approving from what I have seen. Hesse is a great addition to the company. Pairing down and becoming a smaller company is the right course for Sprint to be competitive in the future. Sprint is not going out of business! So naysayers, go spread your doom elsewhere.

Can we stop pretending that Sprint is the only comapny with bad customer service? They have been approving from what I have seen. Hesse is a great addition to the company. Pairing down and becoming a smaller company is the right course for Sprint to be competitive in the future. Sprint is not going out of business! So naysayers, go spread your doom elsewhere.

As a very long time Sprint customer, I can say that their service HAS gotten a lot better over the last couple of years (not that it was ever THAT much worse than all the others, they all were difficult IMO). The Reps seem more informed and, most importantly, they are more willing to admit they don't always know everything and to pass you up the line to somebody who does.

For a while, they had outsourced service calls to Asia call centers and that was really rough. Always had to get transfered to someone who could actually speak English. IF they are still sending calls overseas, it has not happend to me in a long time. Hope that with these layoffs they don't go back to that situation, it was pretty bad.

Other than the rare billing stuff, i'm not sure why people have a need to call sprint? That's the last place i look if i need help doing something with my phone. I head to a forum.

I've heard both bad and good about Sprint's customer service. I've never been a Sprint customer so can't really say personally.

I'll go to Sprint and get an account in order to get a Palm Pre if Palm doesn't offer an unlocked GSM version.

Why are we acting like this is a bad thing? Sure, it's bad for the people getting laid off, but for Sprint, this could be very good. They'll be saving a lot of money, and I'll guarantee they're not laying off their high speed, low drag employees. These are the ones that may be causing the bad customer service or the ones that aren't making their sales quota.

If you get them out of the picture, customers have a better chance of dealing with those that provide great customer service and sales knowledge. Customers are more likely to leave having a better experience and are likely to stay with Sprint.

Just because Sprint is laying people does not mean anything is wrong with the company itself. In the mist of the economy taking a turn for the worst, all companies are taking precautions to stay afloat. Just the other day, there was news that Microsoft is laying off 5,000 of its workforce. It does suck for the people that are getting laid off, but it is a neccessity for companies such as Sprint to do this. On a different note, Sprint needs to sit back and take notice of the economy. Maybe provide the current customers and prospective customers a more competitive rate for service. Afterall, that's what people want. People ultimately looks at the bottomline (They can careless about the customer service). For example, reduce the Simply Everything Plan from $99.99 to $69.99. That might not be a drastic drop in price, but that will draw more cutstomers to Sprint from other carriers (a rough estimate I would have to guess - around 50,000 and that's being conservative) and even withing the company itself (people that don't have the Simply Everything Plan).

I feel like everyone dumps on Sprint these days just out of habit. I've been with Sprint for almost ten years now, and I've never really loved or hated them -- they're just fine. And to be honest, lately whenever someone is having a problem with not having service somewhere or other, it's always someone with Verizon or AT&T -- never me.

I spent about 10 years with Verizon (in fact, they weren't Verizon when I first subscribed). At the start of my service, they had phenomenal customer service and the best coverage of anyone. Over the years, their prices went way up, every additional service cost money and then more money, and their customer service dropped way off. After dumping well more than $1000 on service in my last year, and never having a decent signal in my apartment, I switched to Sprint.
The cost is much better (SERO), I always have a signal, and I'm very satisfied with my phone (Centro) and service, day to day. Transferring my number and my wife's number onto Sprint was a small nightmare. It's the only time I've dealt with any of their customer service reps, and it took 1-2 hours on the phone with them for each number. And my number took 2 days to successfully transfer. Why that wasn't a painless, automated process, I don't understand.
Moral: All cell companies suck, they just suck in slightly different ways.

When people get desperate they tend to work harder. If you were Palm would you want to align yourself with a company that didn't need your new phone to be a success or with a company that needs it?

One thing is for certain, if anything were to happen to Sprint, Palm will not be bringing the Pre to AT&T. It would most likely go to Verizon or T-Mobile. AT&T is in too deep with Apple. If AT&T were to bring in the Pre, Apple would cancel their contract and move to another carrier. The Pre was designed to draw the iPhone users. Most business users goes for Blackberry. Verizon has the Storm, but the Pre wouldn't affect their sales. Now, T-Mobile has G1, which is similar to the iPhone, so most likely they wouldn't take on the Pre. Whatever the case, I want the Pre and I will go with any company that carries it, and so will anyone else in this forum.