As a Sprint customer, I find the news that Sprint lost $29.5 billion last quarter... well... incredibly easy to believe. Also incredibly satisfying.
And I'm especially heartened to read that the company is acknowledging that it's losing money not because of market trends or writedowns related to its acquisition of Nextel, but because it's, um, losing customers at an astounding rate -- 700,000 customers who had annual contracts left in the last three months of 2007 alone. That's impressive.
I wonder if it has anything to do with the unimaginably atrocious customer service. Apparently, being complete assholes every time you interact with the people who pay you for the privilege of using your service does turn people off -- even if the customer service page on your corporate web site advises us that "Sprint wants you to enjoy the best customer experience."
Like many others, I have a Sprint tale of woe. Two years ago, someone hacked into my account and added three lines (including one for a phone number in northern Indiana -- ick!) and ran up about $800 in calls in a month. After weeks of my begging and pleading, Sprint kind of figured out that those lines and those calls weren't mine -- must have been tough since that's about what I spend on cell service in two years. But they were still going to make me pay half of the fraudulent charges.
It took several more emails and calls to work it out; each time I contacted them, they grudgingly agreed to knock off a hundred dollars or so until the balance came out to zero. Actually, because of their convoluted way of doing the math, I wound up with a credit of something like $7.32, which was great, but somehow made me hate them even more.
It's amusing that the CEO blames some of the company's struggles on the "brand" lacking "relevance and a clear message." I think the message that Sprint pretty much hates its customers comes through loud and clear.
Oh, and, yes, I'm still a customer. I get a monthly discount through my employer. What a sucker!