iPhone affecting Sprint's policies

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by princealfie, Jul 9, 2007.

  1. princealfie macrumors 68030

    princealfie

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    Salt Lake City UT
    #1
    Sprint ditches customers who complain too much

    2 hours, 7 minutes ago

    Sprint Nextel Corp, which recently launched an advertising campaign to attract new customers, is disconnecting more than 1,000 subscribers for calling its customer service lines too often and making what the company called unreasonable requests.

    The No. 3 U.S. wireless provider with 53 million customers said on Monday it started sending service termination letters on June 25. Sprint said the cancellations involved 1,000 to 1,200 customers who had called the company about 40,000 times a month in total.

    "These customers were calling to a degree that we felt was excessive," said Sprint spokeswoman Roni Singleton, adding the company needed to cull its customer base to improve services.

    "In some cases they were calling customer care hundreds of times a month for a period of six to 12 months on the same issues even after we felt those issues had been resolved," she said.

    Singleton, noting that mass cancellation letters were not routine, said this call volume was 40 to 50 times more than average customer monthly calls. She would not say how often customers can call before being deemed too demanding.

    The company also declined to say what percentage of monthly service calls the 40,000 figure represented.

    Singleton said some of the cancellations involved customers who repeatedly asked for information about other people's accounts.

    Sprint waived final balances on canceled accounts and gave customers 30 days to transfer their phone numbers to other wireless providers, she said.

    "We're working very hard to improve customer service. That's our number one priority," Singleton said.

    The termination letters started going out days before Sprint kicked off a nationwide "Sprint Ahead" ad campaign on July 1. Sprint's customer growth has disappointed investors for several quarters after its marketing message was criticized as being confusing and it had network problems after its 2005 purchase of Nextel.

    Providers AT&T Inc and Verizon Wireless, a venture of Verizon Communications Inc and Vodafone Group Plc, were quick to point out differences between their policies and Sprint's, saying they very rarely cancel services.

    AT&T, the U.S. wireless service with the greatest number of subscribers, sometimes cancels or restricts services for customers for "excessive data or voice roaming on other carriers' networks," according to spokesman Mark Siegel, who said competitors had similar policies.

    Tom Pica, a spokesman for Verizon Wireless which is second to AT&T by number of customers, said his company sometimes cancels services for callers who are "extremely abusive" to its customer service representatives. But, he said, this would be handled on a case-by-case basis.

    Sprint shares were down 32 cents at $21.55 on the New York Stock Exchange early Monday afternoon.

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20070709/us_nm/sprint_dc&printer=1;_ylt=AvWWsXoqdGTONu9xUVGZFTAXIr0F

    Apparently, it seems like the iPhone is impacting Sprint very much. Just as we had expected.
     
  2. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    #2
    I'm not at all sure that this has anything to do with the iPhone... apparently this has been something that's been in process of implementation by their management for some time, perhaps all the way back since the Nextel merger. It's interesting to see how Sprint is pulling down Nextel.

    I do think that there are times when it's justifiable to do this, but they've already managed to create quite a bit of bad press...

    And one also has to ask, "Did you consider the whole option of not sucking as a viable way to improve customer satisfaction?" :p

    (Incidentally, my first two cell phones were with Sprint; I was their customer for approximately 6 or 7 years.)
     
  3. rdowns macrumors Penryn

    rdowns

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    #3
    Hoiw are you drawing a line between this and the iPhone?
    :rolleyes:
     
  4. dsnort macrumors 68000

    dsnort

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    #4
    Reading this article, I fail to see where this issue links to the iPhone.

    EDIT:As an aside, I have a few customers like this, I wish I could follow Sprints lead here!
     
  5. Sobe macrumors 68000

    Sobe

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    #5
    I don't see what it has to do with the iPhone, but having worked support, the idea of cancelling people who use it excessively sounds like a fantastic idea.
     
  6. princealfie thread starter macrumors 68030

    princealfie

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    #6
    It shows that the iPhone must be working well because ATT hasn't booted off many people from the iPhone service.

    Which suggests that perhaps Sprint phones aren't all cracked up to be?
     
  7. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    #7
    Verizon and T-Mobile don't do this either, though. Sprint/Nextel is the only one.
     
  8. apb3 macrumors regular

    apb3

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    #8
    ...and hoping the full weight of the UCMJ is not brought to bear on me, I have a few "superior" (or posterior as the case may be) officers like this.

    Back in the good ole days you could just frag them... ahhh today's army.;)


    ...at least no one is shooting at me anymore.
     
  9. cgray24 macrumors member

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    Texas
    #9
    Actually I see it more of a move to get rid of unreasonable customers to focus on better customer services all around. Theres no telling how many millions they spend trying to satisfy the joe blows who think they can have anything they ask for.

    I like it, more companies should do this. The people they are canceling are probably the same exact ones who call 911 because their burger didn't have onions when going through the drive through.

    Hope they dont come to AT&T now that I have an iphone, I just left Sprint
     
  10. wongulous macrumors 6502a

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    #10
    Having worked as their customer care, I can tell you that the iPhone has almost NOTHING to do with this, and I doubt any of these NUTBAG customers are doing this because of the iPhone.

    What a dumb thread. Wasteland please.
     
  11. Sobe macrumors 68000

    Sobe

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    #11
    every call costs money.

    If you have people calling 20-30 times a day they could be losing a lot of money to a small number of people.

    In addition, it would be denying good service to people who had more legitimate issues.
     
  12. nbs2 macrumors 68030

    nbs2

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    #12
    How long before some blog picks this up and suggests it as Sprint's "termination fee avoidance plan"? After all, if a Rev B iPhone comes out in 6-8 months, you could start now and get Sprint to drop you for free.

    On a related thought - It's kind of sad that they don't have to pay you $175 to terminate your contract.
     
  13. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    #13
    Now that would be entertaining. I recommend calling on a daily basis and asking if they have the iPhone yet. :)
     
  14. diamond.g macrumors 603

    diamond.g

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    #14
    This story was picked up over the weekend from Sprintusers.com. I am a member there as well (since I was also a Sprint customer). Basically Sprint will drop you if more than 50% of your minutes are used for Roaming (supposedly they did that to 200 Military Troops) or if you call CS more than 15 times a month. One of the users got booted due to Sprints own stupidity, Sprint kept overcharging her and she had to call every month since January to get it fixed. Well when ever Sprint transfers you it counts as another call. So in her case, and I am sure others, it has appeared that she made way more calls than she really did. If anyone here used to be a Sprint customer and has had to call CS about pretty much anything, they probably have been transferred once or even twice.

    It was kinda crappy... Sprintusers post. :mad:
     
  15. marksman macrumors 603

    marksman

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    Jun 4, 2007
    #15
    Good for Sprint.

    People always want to complain about Customer Service, but the reality is a tiny percentage of customers use up almost all the customer service resources for most companies. That means the normal customers end up with crappy experiences for the most part.

    I commend them on kicking those people to the curb. They were abusing the system.
     
  16. boss1 macrumors 6502a

    boss1

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    #16
    1st. How does this article and iPhone relate? I think I missed that somewhere.
    2nd. It's unfortunate that there are good people/that are getting the boot from a carrier in their effort to stop doing business with customers they deemed as customers they cannot help. I know a business may choose whether or not it wants to do business with another entity/person or not BUT i think this should be looked into. Giving a customer the boot because they roam too much? Or causing a customer grief because they fail to provide the service they agreed to provide? You know, a contract has terms which both parties are obligated to meet. Not just the consumer.

    3rd. I have worked in customer service in the past for more than one company. I know that for the most part there are what I refer to as one timers. Customers who call CS because they have a problem and then it gets solved over that one call. The on the other side of the spectrum you have what I refer to as 'crazy ******** ****'s' who you can expect to call almost everyday. These people have multple issues that go way beyond anything that could be resolved through a CS phone call. I feel really bad for the people who got classified into this category and got their service cancelled but I do understand the need to weed out bad apples.

    Seriously, it starts to become a real problem, and I've seen this with my own eyes, when your CS employees leave work eveyday frustrated, depressed, eventually quit their jobs because of daily amounts of verbal abuse they have to deal with from horrible customers.
     
  17. DiamondMac macrumors 68040

    DiamondMac

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    #17
    Though technically you may be right, this is going to be a terrible PR move and I have yet to ever meet a satisfied Sprint Customer so this just spells more trouble for them.
     

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