Sprint To Lay Off 2,000 Customer Service Employees

Sprint’s recent promotions, including “iPhone for Life” and the promise to cut customers’ bills from other carriers in half have helped the fourth-place carrier, gaining it 500,000 new postpaid subscribers even accounting for customers who have left. The company is responding to the good news by laying off 2,000 customer service representatives in centers across the country, and directing customers to use the self-service app instead.

The Kansas City Star reports that the total layoffs constitute at least 2,500 jobs, and have hit the corporate jobs in fields like network and marketing. However, the bulk of the cutbacks are lower-paying, front-line customer service jobs in each of the company’s centers across the country. In addition to its Kansas headquarters, Sprint has call centers in New Mexico, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and Colorado.

Some of the centers cut back on the total number of employees, while others are closing. The centers in Blountville, TN and Rio Rancho, NM will close.

How will Sprint manage with more customers and less customer service? The company plans to use outsourced call centers, though they didn’t specify whether those will be outside of the country or simply centers taking calls for Sprint on a contract basis. They will also encourage smartphone customers to use the Sprint Zone app for basic tasks like bill inquiries, payments, and time left on a phone lease.

After this round of layoffs, Sprint plans to cut back on severance payments. The company has historically offered two weeks’ pay for every year of work with the company and an additional $1,000 payment, and will cut that back to one week per year of service and no extra payment.

Sprint job cuts reach 2,500, mostly in customer care centers [Kansas City Star]
Sprint’s losses shrink on cost cuts, subscriber gains [Reuters]