KANSAS CITY, Mo. Sprint Nextel Corp. (S) isn't apologizing for its decision to ax customers it determined were calling customer service too often.
The nation's third-largest wireless provider sent letters to about 1,000 subscribers June 29, saying the company's records showed they had made frequent calls for help with questions about billing and other account information.
"While we have worked to resolve your issues and questions to the best of our ability, the number of inquiries you have made to us during this time had led us to determine that we are unable to meet your current wireless needs," the letters said.
The customers were told their service agreements were being terminated, they wouldn't owe anything on their final bill, and the company would waive early termination fees. They also were told to switch to another wireless provider by July 30 if they want to keep their phone number.
In debate on the Internet, Sprint's move has attracted criticism that the company is penalizing consumers for trying to get what they paid for, or that the frequent calls are more a reflection of poor customer service by Sprint itself.
But Sprint officials said Monday this isn't a case of someone being flagged by a computer program, and that an internal review lasting six months to a year focused on the types of problems the callers had and what information they were seeking.
"These accounts have been researched very carefully," Sprint spokeswoman Roni Singleton said. "We feel strongly that the decisions we made, we stand by them. These decisions weren't made lightly."
Singleton said the targeted subscribers each made an average of 40 to 50 calls a month to customer service. She wouldn't say how that compared with the overall number of calls logged by the customer service department in a given month.
Interesting to note here is the very last sentence. Isnt it curious that the companys spokeswoman would not divulge aggregate numbers regarding how many calls the Customer Service Department handles monthly? Are they concerned that the public will take notice of how many problems their policies and procedures are causing consumers? Perhaps they are not interested in sharing with the country that poor customer service may be one of the primary reasons for the volume of traffic they receive by phone.
Before any dead-brains post here that I was one of the fired, understand that I am not a subscriber to ANY wireless service. I do, however, work for one of the worlds largest telecoms/data/FIOS/wireless providers. To my knowledge, we have NEVER fired a customer unless he/she wrote us a slew of bad checks or threatened a rep personally over the phone.
I am sure some will post rebuttals, stating that the company has a right to protect its business interestsfollow a business modelblah blah blah. That may be true, but the observing public also has a right to indict, try, and execute Sprint as a business option based on its decisions. That, my fellow ROR dedicated users, is the consequence of any business going out of its way to fire paying customers. If Sprint is truly looking to lose customers (and subsequent revenue), it needs not go to the extreme it did in this instance. It can allow public judgment of its business practices to assist with thatstarting right here.