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Sprint to Customers: You Are Fired, Take 2

Posted by: Olga Kharif on July 06, 2007

I just talked to Sprint and got more details on why the company decided to let some of its customers go. They say that fewer than 1,000 customers got these letters that I blogged about last night. Apparently, some of these users called Sprint’s customer service lines hundreds of times each month, with issues that Sprint couldn’t resolve. These customers called Sprint’s customer care lines 42 times more often than an average Sprint customer.

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Reader Comments

Steve Harper

July 7, 2007 09:54 AM

Whether it was less than a thousand customers or one hundred thousand customers it is just plain wrong. It would seem to me that these customers are calling for specific reasons and obviously Sprint is failing in some manner to support them. I mean seriously who in their right mind would waste the time calling their cell company that many times. I doubt they are doing it for fun.

Having been a Sprint customer in the past and having issues I know for a fact that getting someone to actually address a billing or support issue is both frustrating and exhausting. I didn't call more than twice when problems weren't resolved...I simply moved my service to a company that cared to have me as a customer.

Ripple On!!!

Steve Harper


July 9, 2007 08:20 AM

My girl and I had Nextel service in Chicago prior to the merger, and it was terrible. Dropped calls, calls breaking up badly, and other similar issues. We tried brand new phones, and our calls to the support center were pretty much useless. Looks like nothing has changed after the merger. Boy am I glad we moved to Cingular, now AT&T.


July 10, 2007 11:49 AM

Working as a third party rep, it is easy to understand why this happened. There are some people that call customer service when they just drop a call to complain and to get money or free products. These people clog the phone lines going to the 3 US call centers, making it frustrating for regular customers to call for legitament problems. Just wait until they are with your carriers, now that sprint dropped them, and you have to deal with their wait times. I'm all for dropping troublesome customers.

There are people who just don't understand billing. I see it all day. Some just assume that they will buy a phone, pay 39.99 for 450 minutes and never have to deal with a bill for another 2 years.


July 10, 2007 10:41 PM

What is the issue? Sprint decided it didn't see the value in servicing these customers. What's wrong with that?

Marsha Williams

March 6, 2008 03:02 PM

Think about it this way. Your a businesss owner. Let's say a diner. And say you get about 1,000 people that come in your diner about every day. Out of those 1,000 people there are lets say 10 regulars that come in for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. And when they are there they complain about everything. "The coffee isn't strong enough, I think my fork is dirty, my food is cold." Everyday they complain about everything. The Managers and staff make sure that this customer is happy by making sure that their needs are met. I mean come on it can't be that bad since they come there everyday where they could go across town to another diner. But, the customer still insists to stay. So, the manager's do things to help their experience by giving them meals for free, making sure that their food is on their table when it first comes out EVEN though there was a order that went in before their's that have to wait. Now, lets see it from a another customers persepetive. Lets say there is about say 10 regulars that come there as well. But lets say only for lunch. They get the same thing everyday. Rarely complain. But they see the troublesome customers giving the employees a hard time. "Make me more coffee it's stale! I need a new fork this one is dirty! My food is cold I shouldn't have to eat this!" So the customer that doesn't complain at all leaves and goes to another diner. Why? Because they had to wait for service from the staff because they are bending over backward to please the troublesome customers. I who once was a small business owner. I used to make cakes (mostly wedding and birthdays). I wasn't the only cake shop in town there was another small business owner, Wal-Mart, and a grocery. So, it wasn't like there was no competition around. There was these two women (mother and daughter). They would come in my shop often to get cakes, muffins, cupcakes, cookies you name it they ordered and bought it. They would come complain to me everytime they got something from me. I as a business owner decided to tell them very nicely not to come here again. I mean they hated it so much why did they keep on coming back right?


January 28, 2009 03:00 PM

mostly to Marsha-
Of course, the customers at the diner didn't have to pay to not go to that diner. Once you sign a contract with Sprint, you HAVE to stay with them, or they hit you with a fee. What else can you do but complain, if you don't get the service you expect.

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BusinessWeek writers Peter Burrows, Cliff Edwards, Olga Kharif, Aaron Ricadela, Douglas MacMillan, and Spencer Ante dig behind the headlines to analyze what’s really happening throughout the world of technology. One of the first mainstream media tech blogs, Tech Beat covers everything from tech bellwethers like Apple, Google, and Intel and emerging new leaders such as Facebook to new technologies, trends, and controversies.



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