Sprint Loses 1.09 Million Customers In 3 Months

Sprint is hemorrhaging both money and customers as it searches for a way to stop the financial bleeding. The company lost $505 million in the first quarter alone, and watched helplessly as over a million of its customers defected to other wireless carriers.

“As expected, our wireless business delivered weak financial results,” Sprint Chief Executive Officer Dan Hesse said. “While the business will continue to face challenges in the short term, we are making progress in methodically attacking the sources of our performance issues.”

The Kansas City Business Journal says that of the 1.09 million departing customers, 1.07 of them were traditional “post-paid” accounts and 543,000 were prepaid users.

Ouch.

Sprint claims to be revamping its notoriously broken customer service, but is it too little too late?

Sprint Nextel loses $505M on lower revenue [Bizjournals]
(Photo: meghannmarco )

Comments

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  1. thirdbase says:

    They are sprinting towards insolvency.

  2. howie_in_az says:

    The way I would suggest is to not suck.

    Improve customer service, improve infrastructure, give discounts to long-time customers…

    I could do this whole CEO thing, swaerz!

  3. bohemian says:

    Too late. I have heard too many customer horror stories. I had to deal with Sprint as our carrier for work cellular phones a few years ago. The signal was spotty and the few attempts to get things handled with phones for work was frustrating.

    Unless something drastically changed with Sprint they are not even an option. If the other major carriers were to get to that level of inept and annoying I would just switch to Virgin pay as you go phones or something like that were your even less tied to the company.

  4. The worst coverage (in my area) and the worst customer service. Yup, 1.09 million lost customers sounds about right.

  5. WingZero987 says:

    AHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    A bunch of professional businessmen and women must be stressed out, trying to figure out, “How did we get here?”

    A) Offering lines of “credit” (phones and such) to people you knew couldn’t pay.
    B) Why did you have to do that? Oh, you treated customers like dirt and they left (simply to be treated slightly better than dirt) to another company.

    CONGRATULATIONS ON RUNNING A BUSINESS INTO THE GROUND THAT IS INFINITELY PROFITABLE. BE PROUD OF YOURSELVES.

  6. Mayor McRib says:

    The whole PTT thing has run it’s course. After that Sprint didn’t have much to offer except bad customer service and dropped calls.

  7. DeepFriar says:

    At this rate, NASCAR is going to have to go back to the Winston Cup.
    /possibly seriously

  8. nutrigm says:

    Oh crap, pretty much my entire family except me switched to sprint over the weekend!

  9. ruffedges says:

    Being that this year Sprint is the main sponsor of Nascar I think some Suits made a lot of bad business decisions. Maybe they could use an old Nascar trick – DUCT TAPE to stop the leaks.

  10. girlfromNY says:

    So does anyone think this is a good time to email Customer Service so they can lower my monthly charge…I’ve been a customer for about 6 years now…

  11. mike says:

    I think it’s only going to get worse. I think the rumor mill is that T-Mobile is thinking about buying Sprint.

  12. kmiles says:

    Hate to be the odd one out, but I’ve had Sprint for over 6 years and I’ve had a great experience with them. They screwed up with billing once, but when they fixed the error, they also bumped us on to the nights & weekends at 7pm for free. I also have service everywhere I go with the exception of some elevators in big buildings and basements without windows.

  13. @WingZero987: Amen. You wouldn’t believe what the profit margins can be if you run a telecom company properly. Really all you have to do is offer a base line of phones and pay-go plans. That’s why there are like 8 million trak-phone-esque companies popping up.

    I mean really, the infrastructure phase of cell phones is over and done with for the basic plans, thus making them pure profit as long as they own the network.

    Step one: Offer majority of americans that have no desire for a blackberry or need for 1000 text messages/month a cheap plan.

    Step two: ?????

    Step three: PROFIT!

  14. CubFan81 says:

    Add one more to that tally as we’ll be leaving when our contract is up at the end of this month. The customer service is a joke and the pricing is just beyond asinine. My only dilemma is do I want to get screwed by AT&T or T-Mobile? That and can I really save enough to get an N95.

  15. CubFan81 says:

    @HRHKingFriday: Step two should include an add on option for Text Messaging of $2.00 for an unlimited number. Seriously…how expensive can it really be to send that message? 1/1000 of a cent? 1/100 of one? Even still you’re making a profit and you’d get every family with teenagers begging to switch over.

  16. MBPharmD says:

    I’ve been with them for 2 years (contract’s up next month). My 24% discount from my employer is going to make it tough to leave. I get a signal everywhere, they don’t screw up my bills, so I don’t have to interact with customer service. Wife needs a new phone, though, so we’ll have to see how they handle that.

  17. Bladefist says:

    Sprint is based in KC, IE the kc business journal did the investigating. As someone who lives in Kansas City, everyone here knows, EVERYONE, that sprint has terrible reception in their home city. I mean you can be down town, with 0 bars. I switched a long time ago. The audacity…

  18. HootieMac says:

    Something strange happened to me with Sprint:

    A few months ago, my fiancee and I both got new phones and combined our plans to a family plan. That went off without a hitch- no strange fees or outrageous bills- all smooth.

    After a month, I noticed that a loyalty discount I had been receiving on my individual line was gone. Remembering a Consumerist post about simply calling and asking for a discount, I decided to give it a shot. I called them up and basically said “We combined plans hoping to save a bit of money, and it’s actually more expensive: what can you do for me?” 10 minutes on the phone left me with a $40 reduction in my bill. (And yes, the discounts have actually been applied- got my new bill earlier this week.)

    Maybe they really are getting things turned around. Maybe I’m in the lucky minority, but in 6 years, I’ve had no major problems with Sprint.

  19. evslin says:

    “As expected, our wireless business delivered weak financial results,” Sprint Chief Executive Officer Dan Hesse said. “While the business will continue to face challenges in the short term, we are making progress in methodically attacking the sources of our performance issues.”

    I’m not dead! I feel fine.

  20. HIV 2 Elway says:

    @Bladefist: Exactly, it’s sad, that was once the company to work for in town. I wonder what will happen to their campus once they are inevitably sold to someone else.

  21. SacraBos says:

    “we are making progress in methodically attacking the sources of our performance issues.”

    That would be the departing customers, wouldn’t it? Bring her about! Fire ETF’s at will!

  22. Buran says:

    @CubFan81: Get a 3G one and go AT&T. T-Mobile still doesn’t know what proper 3G is.

  23. Jesse says:

    These problems didn’t happen overnight and the solutions being put in place won’t turn Sprint around overnight either.

    Asinine moves like allowing Deutsche Telekom (T-Mobile) acquire Sprint because of the weak dollar will only create even greater synergy issues beyond Sprint & Nextel that will only lead to Sprint’s ultimate demise.

  24. Coder4Life says:

    oh man that is great.. I am glad they lost that many customers.

    They just screwed me over and over wtih Nextel and their c.s was horrible. No way I would EVER go back to that company, even if they offered a free plan.

    Just terrible.. Oh yeah and txt messaging doesn’t really work w/ Nextel. BORRRINGG..

    Your technology is way behind..

  25. Bourque77 says:

    Thanks for putting a smile on my face today sprint can diaf.

  26. Sidecutter says:

    Please chect this post over guys. The math here is way, way off.
    1.09 Million = 1,090,000 people that left. But you claim 1.07 Million, or 1,070,000 of them, where post-paid users, and 543,000 were pre-paid users.

    Now I’m no math wiz, but those numbers add up to 1,613,000 – 1.613 Million users. That’s rather a different total from the supposed total of 1.09 Million.

    Consumerist can has prufreedng plz?

  27. Sidecutter says:

    Yes, I suck and made two obvious typos in that.

  28. savvy9999 says:

    After 5+ years as a suffering Sprint customer, I moved to Verizon in December. Haven’t looked back. OMG, all our phones work, I get reception 99% of the time, and I can see my bill online. None of which happened with Sprint.

    Getting rid of Sprint was like taking a wonderful dump after a long night of eating fast food and hard drinkin’. Felt like a new person.

  29. Mistrez_Mish says:

    Wow, I’ve been a Sprint customer for the past 3 years and (*fingers crossed*) have yet to encounter any bad customer service. Maybe I’m an anomaly… Before Sprint I had Cingular and they were no less than suck-tastic asshats.

  30. ViperBorg says:

    Hmmm… buying Nextel not turning out to be all you thought it would? Good. Burn in hell Sprint. You ruined my Nextel for eternity. I loved Nextel until you put your greedy, filthy, nasty-ass hands all over it. Go die. I hate you.

  31. huadpe says:

    @Sidecutter: Was just about to post that same point. It might be that the 500k was all prepaid, of whom 20k still had minutes left. Maybe. But I’d like a factcheck from consumerist here.

  32. timmus says:

    If only more companies went out of business that had bad customer service. I’m looking at you, “AT&T” (SBC). Oh wait, you’re a regional monopoly, never mind… carry on.

  33. MoCo says:

    Close the offshore call centers, move all customer service to the USA, and customer service will improve 1000000% overnight.

    On a separate note, whenever I call and get someone who is not in the USA, I just tell them to go to h***, then hang up and call again until I get someone in the USA. If everyone would do this, the overseas call centers would be shut down quickly.

  34. Neurotic1 says:

    ^^ I guess that can be true to a certain extent, but I’ll have to disagree that it’ll help Sprint much.

    Sprint’s woes are a manifestation of years of mismanagement that perpetuated a dysfunctional culture where the customer is regularly seen as the enemy.

    I left Spring 4 years ago after being hung up on for the 3rd time.

  35. legwork says:

    Sprint is far from perfect, but in my experience each carrier has their screw-ups. Long story, but I left Sprint after not getting anywhere with their retentions dept. I’d been getting semi-regular surcharges for going over my time. The next plan up basically guaranteed me the same total cost. New plans elsewhere were cheaper, so I jumped ship at month 26.

    Ha. A month later and I’m back with Sprint. The other company with good coverage for my areas is AT&T. I’d heard the horror stories but hadn’t ever used them. Two weeks of being jerked around was enough. Upsells, endless transfers and hangups were the norm every time I called. You’d think they’d have the smarts to treat us well until the ETF kicks in.

    Now a new sprint phone, a kick-ass plan, and their CSRs haven’t been bad. The best part is their Blackberry CSR’s are in another class. Amazingly helpful. (don’t know if that’s unique to Sprint) Yea, their website is still screwy, but I don’t fear calling these guys so I’ll live.

  36. dragonfire81 says:

    Hahahahahahaha!

    As a person who spent THIRTEEN months on the phone as a Customer Care rep at Sprint (Which is an insanely long time to be at a call center) let me just say Sprint had this coming to them.

    Their sales minded, “don’t give a crap about customer service” attitude as well as there stupid and backwards policies were enough to drive me crazy. I’ve never worked a job that left me so stressed at the end of the day.

    Sprint can go suck the big one as far as I’m concerned. I was SO HAPPY the day I finally walked out of that call center for good!

  37. warf0x0r says:

    This reminds me to cancel my service with them.

  38. midwestkel says:

    @Sidecutter: Check the article out again. It says “OF THEM.”

  39. dtmoore says:

    if the SERO plan wasn’t stupidly awesome i’d probably be on another carrier, but $30/month for 500 anytime, unlimited night and weekend and unlimited data is just too damn good.

  40. B says:

    @Sidecutter: From the article:
    “The company lost 1.09 million wireless subscribers, including 1.07 million post-paid subscribers and 543,000 traditional prepaid users. The losses were partially offset by gains of 343,000 Boost Unlimited and 183,000 wholesale and affiliate subscribers.”
    Add up the ones lost and the ones gained, and I think you get about 1.09 Mil.

  41. uberbucket says:

    My work phone is through Spint do to the Nextel deal. I wonder what our options are going to be when Sprint finally tanks.

    Not that I wouldn’t welcome the change, The network around here is so bad it’s pretty much worthless indoors…or is that how it is everywhere?

    My personal cell is with AT&T, even though Sprint offers a huge corporate discount.

  42. Dyscord says:

    As if Sprint cares about it’s customers. I work for Sprint’s Number Porting department. We’re expected to harass our customers even after they request that we don’t call them. When I confronted my supervisor about it he just said “Well Sprint pays you to make the calls, so…”

    Yeah. World class customer service my ass….

  43. mayrc87 says:

    My contract was up in February with sprint, and since I had no problems decide to renew my contract and get 2 new phones with the discount. Sprint wants to charge me for the whole price for the phones NOW 3 months later, I can’t find anybody even at executive customer service that will help me. I did a chargeback on my credit card but know that they will charge me later for it. And on top of everything I can’t get a good signal in my house anymore.

  44. thekicker says:

    @uberbucket: Agreed. SERO is an awesome deal. Additionally, I actually like Sprint. I have unlimited data, 500 minutes, 500 txt, and insurance for $40/mo.

    I don’t ever use their Customer Service because I can do everything through their web portal. Hell, I just bought a new Mogul Smartphone and was able to switch the ESN right on the web page — no human interaction required! I’ll be sad if/when Sprint dies.

    Does their call quality suck that bad? Maybe because I have in an urban area (Pittsburgh), I get better signals. I’ve never had an issue.

  45. vdragonmpc says:

    How bad does Sprint suck? They used to have a discount plan through USAA for members.

    That was canceled and information went out that USAA only wishes to partner with reputable companies that provide a good return to members. Suddenly the Sprint cellular plan was gone. They never really said it in writing but you had to know.

    I still dont know why USAA deals with FLEET but what can you do?

  46. Orv says:

    @sohmc: I’m not sure buying Sprint would make sense for T-Mobile. While T-Mobile does desperately need to improve their worst-in-the-nation coverage area, Sprint’s phones use CDMA, which is incompatible with T-Mobile’s GSM service.

  47. celticgina says:

    I just renewed with Sprint. They actually do have some CS centers in the USA, and when you speak to them, you will do ok.

    FWIW, I have had other companies, and they all suck.

    I’ve learned that if you say the word cancel, you get immediately routed to the retention dept and they are in the US. They are also the ones best able to solve big problems, so I only pull that trigger when I absolutely HAVE to!

  48. gregr209 says:

    I actually ended up having a good experience over the weekend with Sprint. I do think their customer service is improving. It is a slow process. Hopefully it isn’t to late.

  49. dorianh49 says:

    I’ve been with Sprint for the last 3.5 years. The first 2.5 years (started a new contract after about 1.5 years)were riddled with billing mistakes, CSR’s who said that they corrected the issues, only to see the same mistake in the next bill. It was frustrating for quite awhile, and the customer service levels were dissapointing, to say the least. Finally, though, the glitches were fixed and normalcy resumed (or started) for the last year or so.

    I had my first taste of executive customer service earlier this year (thanks to Consumerist), and was duly impressed. Regular customer service has noticably improved, as well. Still, with my existing contract ending at the end of this month, I was all set to jump ship and go with AT&T. Sprint would have to offer a killer deal (and AT&T would have to completely drop the ball with their offer) to keep me. But, that’s exactly what happened.

    I now have 3 lines with 1700 anytime minutes & nights and weekends starting at 7:00pm, 2 lines of which have unlimited internet access, 500 txtmsgs each, 1 of which is used as a phone-as-modem, all for just under $100/mo. including taxes and fees. AT&T’s offer for a similar package (800 rollover minutes) was over $180/mo.

  50. Buran says:

    @CubFan81: Hard of hearing people like me would love that too. $20/mo is a ripoff for something that some people depend on.

  51. canuckistani says:

    my sprint SERO plan is amazing, got the smartphone that runs software I need it to run as opposed to a fancypants one that doesnt (take that iphone! lol)..and overall customer service has been great..i once had a CSR tell me that the way that I was using my unlmited data as a modem for my laptop was too obvious, and went through step by step how to make it seam less obvious!

  52. Jaysyn was banned for: http://consumerist.com/5032912/the-subprime-meltdown-will-be-nothing-compared-to-the-prime-meltdown#c7042646 says:

    @MoCo:

    I doubt that because they’d probably have “great metrics” if you did that.

  53. Mr_Human says:

    @dtmoore: Ditto. $30 bux for 500mins, free txt, unl web/email, free nights and weekends. I just can’t leave that behind. I actually hope they stay in business.

  54. cmac says:

    @dorianh49:
    I went through the exact same process. My entire family is on AT&T, so I wanted to switch. I took my Sprint bill to AT&T, asked them to simply match what I had with Sprint, and AT&T said they couldn’t get even halfway.

    I simply assume that I’m going to get crappy customer service regardless the carrier and stick with the cheapest service. Sprint has yet to disappoint.

  55. dkush21 says:

    Maybe the Ceo will be out of a job soon. Too bad….

  56. iambeaker says:

    It is just not Sprint service that is broken, but the way they treat their employees. During my one year tenure, I broke my wrist after a nasty fall trying to patch a leaky roof, only to lay there for an hour until a customer offered to drive me to the hospital. The reason why our employees did not want to drive me to the hospital… The store manager told them to worry about the phones first, then the computers.

  57. GinoHalonian says:

    @CubFan81:
    I have to say that’ll I’ll be doing the same. I’ve used three different
    lines of communication to get something done about not being able to get a
    signal in our house (hardly makes sense to have a wireless phone and you
    have to go out into the street to use it). Nothing has been done. Just
    counting down the days to when I can switch to another long painful
    contract.

  58. brandiniman says:

    I’ve never had any problems with Sprint here in Richmond, VA. It’s coverage rivals Verizon, prices easily win, and their three Simply Everything levels make it easy to own a Blackberry. In fact, since I started my plan I’ve never purchased a phone from Sprint with rebates. I had a Samsung A920 and now have a BB 8830 and want the curve when it arrives. I had visited a store and they said since I changed my plan in September they couldn’t help out but to dial *2 and they should be able to do something. So I called up, explained my situation and got the phone with all but the $100 new subscriber rebate. Even in March when I changed to my Simply everything plan it only took 5 minutes, and this call with hold time took 12.

  59. Dyscord says:

    Heh. Sprint doesn’t care about it’s customers or anything of the sort. As an NPC agent (Number porting), I’m responsible for calling customers to let them know if something is wrong with their porting request. Plenty of times, I’ve read in the notes that the customer has requested not to be called. Well when monthly report comes in, my supervisor can’t understand why my “worked cases” are higher than my “calls made”.

    I told him that plenty of times, the customer has requested that we don’t call them back until they get the information/their phone. And since we’re supposed to call every 2 hours, you can see how annoying that will get.

    The exchange went something like this.

    Supervisor: You should be calling for EVERY case. Every one.

    Me: But they said they didn’t want to be called.

    Sup: Did they give you a time frame.

    Me: They said they’d call us first.

    Sup: Well, unless they give you a specific time frame, you should call them. Tell them that unless they give us the info, we’ll keep calling them

    Me:Hmm…What about if they haven’t gotten their phone because they just ordered them today?

    Sup: You should still call them.

    Me: Wouldn’t that just succeed in making them mad though?

    Sup: Well Sprint pays you to make the calls, so you should make them.

    There you have it. We’re expected to harass the customer until they provide us with the info or whatnot, even if they tell us not to call, just to make our numbers look good. How’s that for customer service hmm?

  60. post_break says:

    They are about to loose me. I have had the worst customer service. I had a girl text messaging while authorizing a check payment (not the first time, mostly happens with men). I have had one sided conversations where grumbles were all I got in return to my please and thank you’s for making payments. Not to mention the countless times my bill has been screwed up.

    I cant wait until november so I can stop paying these bastards and move on to tmobile or some other GSM carrier.

    I will never go back to sprint, I will never suggest anyone to use sprint, and when my contract is up Im going to smash my phone on the sidewalk outside the sprint store (sarcasm on the last bit).

  61. kadath217 says:

    I am proud to be one of those 1.09 million :)

    The thing is, Sprint’s coverage is really good where I live – better than some of the competitors. So I went with an MVNO that uses Sprint’s network. I still get the same coverage, but I never have to deal with Sprint’s billing or customer service again.

  62. LoganTwedt says:

    Coming out of Lurk Mode to express my extreme happiness at this stat – I’m one of those 1.09M to leave Sprint. I bought an iPhone a little while ago, unlocked it, put it on T-Mobile. Never been happier with a phone/carrier and I’ve had Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile over the past 8 or 9 years. Here’s hoping for Sprint to keep marching down the road to ruin!

  63. @CubFan81: I hear the reasoning for that is they pay for storage space on networks for texts and other data. I call BS on that, you know how much 1 text is? Fractions of a kb!

  64. stacy75 says:

    My Sprint gets better coverage in Houston than most of my friend’s phones (on other carriers)… It used to be outrageously expensive but I just switched to the $99 for unlimited everything and couldn’t be happier. All my info is online, I pay online, etc etc. I’ve really never had a bad customer service issue…
    Maybe I am living in an alternate universe! That’s OK, it’s pretty nice here.

  65. the_wiggle says:

    @sohmc: omg. plz no. tmobile is infinitely worse than Sprint. rather go without any cell at all then go with those thieving incompetent lying rat bastards.

  66. lol_wut says:

    Friend of mine has Sprint and swears by them. Never has a problem with his bill or his phone. And for the most part he doesn’t sound like he’s talking through a tin can.

    On the other hand, I’ve had Verizon for several years. I wasn’t a fan of Verizon back when my father got them – I was a Cingular employee in the corporate office – but he had a decent enough plan and only used the phone when he needed it.

    After parting ways with Cingular and trying other carriers and options, I finally went with Verizon. I’ve had no problems with them so far, other than a handset issue that was more a manufacturer problem than anything. Damn phone never worked when I needed it. [By the way, it was a Samsung SCH-U540]

  67. kcrusher says:

    payback’s a bitch, ain’t it, sprint!

    HA! next time maybe you’ll pay attention to what your customers have to say…

  68. ramthor says:

    Mr_Human at 04:43 PM
    “@dtmoore: Ditto. $30 bux for 500mins, free txt, unl web/email, free nights and weekends.”

    Same here. I’ve never had a contract, or a dropped call, in six years with Sprint. I buy last generation handsets on ebay for almost nothing vs orig cost. Happy so far.

  69. slowenuff says:

    Wondering who might want to buy sprint? Comcast does. Comcast tried their luck with a joint venture with sprint in the pivot product. And Sprint , intel and comcast are all in cohoots working on wimax.

  70. asuteke says:

    Seems like everytime I’m up for renewal and check prices on plans and phones from pretty much every carrier Sprint always comes out to be pretty expensive when you take into account phone and plans together. It seems they really only have concentrated on the business market, leaving the consumer market to everyone else.

  71. uberbucket says:

    Sprint’s teaming up with Clearwire for some WiMax shenanigans, or at least trying to. I hope not. I get my internet through Clearwire and hate to think what Sprint’s influence might have on the company.

  72. nikalseyn says:

    I am retired and one of my three military kids has Sprint. Lord, what a joke when it comes to customer service. Rude, non-english speaking, total arse@#@. It was like talking to you shoe. One answer from one dingbat, a different one from another. Local store personnel who basically told me to go to hell, they were busy trying to sell phones and services; and just plain frustration. I hope they go bankrupt, I am so pissed at them. And, funny thing, when my son signed with them, I thought their product was great for three months. But then—

  73. thejynxed says:

    I worked as a CS/Sales Rep in an EDS call center in a small central PA town. Get this: Every CS rep handled both Sprint AND AT&T calls. The dirty: We were to do our best to keep people from canceling. This included allowing them to “cancel” but only after having them swap from one provider to the other. Both companies took a percentage of each “sale” in this manner (70-30, with the company switched to getting the 70). If they wanted to not use either one, we promised them a rate cut of 5 cents per minute (this was back in the days of 25 cent per minute calls), so they paid only 20 cents per minute during peak hours. We also waived various “fees” for providing this service for them. This often was enough to keep the people enrolled. We constantly had to upsell cell service, internet services, etc.

    It made me feel so dirty, I only stayed for two weeks. I just stopped going. I really felt what went on in there passed very far into that gray-black area of ethics that I try not to go into. But when I first took the job, it was because the starting pay was far above what was normally offered in the area. Oh, and hang-ups are SOP if they feel they can’t get what they want out of you. They just have to hit a key on their keyboard and the auto-dialers and whatnot will kick you right off and route in a new caller. Oh, and if you asked to be taken off the calling list? Guess what. We just put you on the list for the other divisions and the other company.

    When you call customer service for either company (Sprint or AT&T), don’t just blindly assume that the reps you are speaking with are actually employed for either one, if they are US-based. They could be a temp working for BOTH due to their contract with companies like EDS.

    P.S. – EDS sucks. Worst employer ever. Downright evil to their low-level employees. I am surprised they didn’t make it to the worst companies in the USA competition. Those bungholes were so evil, they disabled the drinking fountains between break times.

  74. mmmmna says:

    I only have experience with TracFone (over US Cellular towers), AT&T and VerizonWireless. I’m ok with what I have used, no complaints.

    When I shopped for new service and related phone, Sprin-tel was atrocious: a BASIC, klunker looking, featureless phone was $65 at Sprin-tel when a better phone was free elsewhere; also, my area has relatively poor coverage. Then, add in the idea that I’d be unable to transport the phone to a new carrier – that was also a bit tough to swallow. iDEN? I-dunno.

    I guess the availability to get push-to-talk on other carriers was all it took to open the floodgates.

  75. geoffhazel says:

    I work for a competitor to Sprint and the buzz was all about them offering the “all you can eat” plan to stave off disaster. They did it, and the competition followed. I guess it wasn’t the silver bullet they hoped it would be.

  76. IndyJaws says:

    Count 4 more phones leaving Sprint. I’ve been a customer for 11 years and have had enough. Not only does the customer service suck, the calling plans are terrible. Once the 3G JesusPhone is released in June, my wife and I will grab one (and hope the rumors of a $200 AT&T subsidy is true) and pick up a couple of other phones for the kids.

  77. dragonfire81 says:

    Not all call centers are outsourced, but a great many are, including departments that really shouldn’t be.

    In my experience, Sprint had a huge “sales are king” attitude. It was all about making sales. No providing service or helping customers, just making sales, no matter what.

  78. coold8 says:

    Ouch, Sprint, I am one of the few happy customers, who would swear by your service. Thanks, and hope you get this turned around!

  79. jamar0303 says:

    If it’s not Sprint and their crap customer service it’s AT&T and their billing shenanigans, or Verizon and their premium text crap or T-Mobile and their abysmal coverage. Haven’t heard anything bad about Virgin but their phones are all crappy, and apparently Helio’s got customer service as bad as Sprint’s. Moving to LA in June, where does that leave me?

  80. dewsipper says:

    Ok… just opened my sprint bill this morning, and just who can tell me why this part of the bill is funny….

    Fair and Flex Family Plan 550
    Anytime Minutes Included $0.00
    America Roaming Included $0.00
    2 Way SMS Blocking – CDMA SOC 2 Way SMS Blocking $0.00
    Unlimited Nights&Weekends-7pm $0.00
    1 SMS Text Messages @ $ 20/msg $0.20

    …which is just yet another reason to leave sprint as soon as my contract is up…

  81. milk says:

    I’ve had a cell phone with Sprint and never had to talk with customer service. The phone I got a couple years ago was really crappy (Samsung’s fault), so my local Sprint store keeps replacing it when it fails without hassle. I also get a 25% discount because I work for UT. It’s just peachy for me.

  82. milk says:

    @me and the sysop: I’ve had it for seven years I meant to say.

  83. darkryd says:

    Another funny note is that Sprint just opened the new “Sprint Center” Arena in downtown Kansas City. They didn’t put up any signs that bear the Sprint logo, though.

    AT&T, however made sure to put a giant lighted sign on their downtown building, that looms right over the new arena…

  84. first2letters says:

    Apparently Dan Hesse’s “Pretty awesome, huh?” message in those $99.99-for-everything commercials isn’t sticking — has anyone emailed dan@spring.com to alert him about this?

    Oh, wait — I’ll save you the trouble (note the curiously noncommittal customer assurance that begins paragraph two):

    “Thank you for taking the time to write to me. There are a lot of exciting changes going on here at Sprint. To really revolutionize wireless as we know it, we need your input. It’s so important that we hear from the people out there who are using our phones every day so we can provide the best service.

    “I would like to take the time to read your email carefully and respond. In the meantime, don’t hesitate to check out the details of our new Simply Everything plan at http://www.sprint.com/everything. A representative from my office will be contacting you in about a week.

    “Thanks again,
    Dan Hesse
    CEO Sprint”

  85. first2letters says:

    dan@sprint.com, I know…

  86. Breach says:

    My fiance has to call Sprint every time she gets a bill to have it fixed, their CS is really, really abysmal, Im not surprised. When her contract is up she plans to jump that sinking ship, looks like their other customers are doing the same.

  87. dorkins says:

    Just waiting for June to jump ship, too, now that our employer discount is gone.

    Their CSRs – some were nice, but they kept extending our contract without our knowing it, then claiming they told us about it.

    Verizon is just way overpriced.

  88. ShockTerminal says:

    Happy Sprint user here.
    Now lets just get some new Phones.

  89. skeleem_skalarm says:

    I’ve been with Sprint for about four years, and I never had a problem until recently. This past December 24, my old cellphone broke. I was going out of town for an extended period starting Christmas day, and I needed a phone. I was eligible for a new phone anyway, so I bought a nice phone with the understanding I would get a $50 rebate. I checked the rebate status online a couple of weeks after sending it in and read that I wasn’t getting it because I’d not done everything properly to get the rebate. I wrote to Sprint to see what the problem was. When I didn’t hear from them within 72 hours (that’s the amount of time they have to answer, according to their auto-reply), I emailed them again, letting them know it had been 144+ hours since I’d received the auto-reply, and I was upset. I told them I did everything required to get the rebate (I’m an old hand – been at it for 30+ years), and if they didn’t send it I’d cancel my service as soon as I had a valid reason, as would my friends and family. I think the clincher, though, was when I said I’d notify consumerist.com. I received an email one day after the auto-reply to that one, stating that my rebate was bypassing the normal route and the check was being expidited. Hooray for consumerist.com!

  90. samson says:

    I actulay like my nextel phone before it became sprint

  91. Controverzy2261 says:

    Let me tell you a little story, I once worked for a company in a retail store that had the avg reps stay at 3-4yrs on avg..

    Things were great no charge backs ect… Then came along a guy who theology was to break the bank. As Store Manager he allowed Reps to start making 70-100K a year, but to make that money alone, from store traffic you have to start opening accounts at will and add what you like when you like.. All to his Approval..

    I objected to this method and was cast as an outsider even after my years of tenture there..

    I like most have a family and didn’t want to make waves. I vote with my feet.. But I can tell you this I have seen Abusive and prbly Criminal Activity at this one store.

    Its not hard to see, corporate security must be a joke in that company. It goes unpunished, or there waiting for the big one CNN or something about this crapolah.

    Now I will give them some credit they removed while I was there 1 person for doing transactions while no customers at his station but hey he made over 150K in his short stay of 1.4yrs.. 1 guy made that much about in 9months there in that retail store.

    All off of screwing The American Public, it take some real balls to open accounts all day and add stuff and make 30% off your bill’s customers pay.

    999999999 for Social Security number, $125 deposit.. Cancel your old line churn to the high heavens. Or 0000000000 TAX ID Number a few times gets someone a 50 line no deposit account. They took the phones and sold them for $50 each in town.. Store Manger shrugs and says I didn’t see anything like this.

    Top it off they give them a boeing discount you know 25% off plan and bill for kicks in the store managers name b/c like I said he benifits from it and is in on it.

    Now this is where it gets even more funny for that company these people give him a trip to Hawaii this year.

    He didn’t earn it the people above him gave him the alternate spot alrdy. Talk about an organization that doesn’t have a clue on even whats going on.

    Glad to be gone, belive me when I tell you the people who left arent all nextel 100’s are b/c of this one store for sure. Now a protge is doing this across town of his..

    Follow the money Get a Clue people.

  92. sr2726 says:

    I worked for Nextel for several years and had respect and passion for that company. I know the technology was on it’s way out and we needed to move to CDMA by building a network or having someone like Sprint merge with us. Well….maybe Sprint has the right network for the future but how bad can you screw up a merger??? Why would you not keep some systems/programs in place that Nextel was successful with?? Sprint Management….arrogant idiots that have no idea what they are doing and really know how to f things up.

    If any of my Nextel brothers and sisters are reading this, they know exactly what I’m talking about. No surprise how many cutomers they have lost!!

  93. ElsaNatta says:

    weird. sprint is the ONLY carrier I’ve never had issues with.