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Sprint to Eliminate 800 Call Center Jobs, Says They Aren't Needed

August 29, 2013

Things have been a bit turbulent at Sprint (News - Alert), and the shake-up is continuing. This week, the wireless provider announced that it will cut around 800 customer service jobs nationwide. The move is apparently the first major one in a reorganization that began in July, when a majority of the company was purchased by the Japanese telecommunications company SoftBank Corporation.

So is the company sacrificing customer service in order to get costs under control? Not according to Sprint, which says it has seen a decline in the number of calls to customer support centers and call centers, though customer satisfaction is up. (An enviable position for Sprint, if it’s true. More on that later.) Nearly 300 of the job cuts will come from Texas-based facilities in Fort Worth, Irving and Temple.

The cuts are "organizational adjustments being made to meet the changing needs of our business," Sprint spokeswoman Jennifer Schuler told Bloomberg (News - Alert) recently. Schuler said Sprint plans to keep its total headcount steady at around 40,000. "Sprint continues to hire new employees into positions that support our corporate strategy," she said.

With regard to lower need for customer support staff, this is a position echoed by Sprint CEO Dan Hesse (News - Alert) on the company’s second quarter earnings conference call.

"I'm also pleased to announce that once again we continued to set new performance records in our customer care operations," said Hesse. "Credits to customer accounts for our postpaid base reached an all-time lowest level and are now down 87 percent from our highest levels in early 2008. Additionally, calls to care per postpaid customer have been reduced by half as we had our best second quarter ever."

Of course, what Hesse fails to mention is that Sprint also has fewer subscribers than it used to…not such good news. According to Fierce Wireless, Sprint lost 2.034 million wireless customers in the second quarter, at least half of them resulting from Sprint’s shut-down of the Nextel iDEN network on June 30.




Edited by Alisen Downey

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