Does Sprint plan on competing in 2014?

by: William Neilson JrMarch 24, 2014

Sprint Logo-w600

Susan Law Cain/Shutterstock

According to Fitch Ratings, Sprint’s financial profile will continue being weak through at least 2014, as their customers continue waiting for network investments. Sprint continues struggling with losses that totaled $1.62 billion in the fourth quarter amid declining revenue. More than 80 percent of Sprint’s annual revenue comes from its wireless business. Fitch Ratings gave one bright area for Sprint going forward. In 2014, Sprint plans significant cost-reduction efforts that could drive $2 billion in savings.

Sprint now seems to be implementing these cost-reduction strategies by cutting a significant chunk of their staff dedicated to repairing and refurbishing phones. A total of 55 slower-performing stores will be shut down across the country within the next few months.

In order to achieve “greater efficiencies,” Sprint cut about 200 workers at the Sprint call center in Overland Park. Additionally, call centers in Sacramento, Calif., Elmsford, N.Y. and Orlando, Florida will be closing, which eliminates about two-thirds of the call-center work force. By last count, Sprint is cutting roughly a total of 1,550 customer service jobs. Sprint seems to be under the impression that by slashing jobs around the country will somehow make their company run more smoothly and with increased efficiency.

“Those reductions come as the result of greater efficiencies that we’ve achieved through simpler pricing plans and improved customer service,” said Sprint spokeswoman Melinda Tiemeyer.

Improved customer service? Last time I checked, I found Sprint at the bottom of the Consumer Report rankings.

“Also, our technology is improving,” Tiemeyer said.

As evidence of the improving technology, a recent Denver Post report shows how tired current Sprint customers are with their monthly $10 LTE data fee for non-existent LTE service that was promised to them by Sprint over a year ago. Many subscribers have taken to Sprint’s own online forums to voice displeasure about the lack of LTE in Denver.

“I have been hearing for well over a year now that ‘it’s coming’ but I’m tired of excuses and having a smartphone with less capability than a flip phone,” user Steph547291 wrote in January on the company’s community message board. “I am absolutely livid about the runaround and increasing plan costs with such a poor network.”

The poor service quality has been reflected in recent reports by independent network evaluator RootMetrics, which ranked Sprint last in Denver and Colorado in two separate reports released over the past few months. To make matters worse, Sprint tacks on a premium data fee of $10 a month for all smartphone owners, a charge it says is needed to “deliver a superior wireless experience.”

Not to worry though as Sprint says it will consider waiving the $10 LTE data fee for subscribers without any actual LTE on a case-by-case basis, though phone owners must call customer service to initiate the review.

  • ᕙ(⇀‸↼‶)ᕗ

    I remember that premium data fee they’ve been charging for a few years now. Back in 2011 I was promised wimax would be coming shortly to my city. I was a noob back then and didn’t realize the in store reps don’t know squat. Wimax never came since LTE became the new standard. I continued getting charged that premium data fee but all I had was their terrible 3G network. Left them for Verizon in 2013. Now it’s 2014 and my city still has no Sprint LTE. So glad I left them.

    • Jamison Shaw

      The premium data fee has absolutely nothing to do with LTE or wimax. It is a fee that was charged to all smartphone devices that require more than the usual amount of data. Pity you left to Verizon when Sprint is just now launching 800 mhz nationwide. Should provide anyone with an iPhone 5s, 5c, or triband device, superior coverage both inside and in rural environments.

      • Taylor Long

        Lets be clear. This started out as a fee for 4G. But when Sprint’s network started to go to hell Sprint decided to change what they said the fee was for.

      • ᕙ(⇀‸↼‶)ᕗ

        LOL. You’re delusional.

        Yup a late response on my part. Took a break from disqus for a while.

        • Taylor Long

          Look out everyone! We’ve got a Sprint Troll on our hands!

  • Peerpressure

    I have a few coworkers who had sprint when they switched to smartphones. Even the 3G coverage was so bad in our area (100,000+ city), that they couldn’t use their phones. They called the BBB and filed a complaint, and Sprint let them get out of their contract, no ETF.

  • Aki I.

    i was a customer for over 8 years. closer to 10 i think. Paid my early termination fee and left in 2012 for tmobile. the rep didnt even ask why i was leaving or anything. some off those jobs need to go because the people are useless.

  • thearch1tect

    I’ve been a sprint customer for nearly 10 years now and I’ve been on the verge of leaving them many times but keep holding out hope that they’d get their ish together by now. The Softbank buyout has given me some new hope. Living in the DFW area my speeds aren’t too bad and I get LTE in most areas, granted its not blazing fast or anything. We have 6 lines and pay about 240 total for unlimited data so kind of hard to beat that.

    • Jamison Shaw

      I have three lines and pay about 62 a person. I have done comparisons on every single carrier, even the famous #uncarrier that is supposed to have the lowest rates. Right, only the lowest rates if you get a POS phone or pay full price for one. Otherwise, they tack on an additional 20+ a month which would make my bill about 90 bucks. Currently I pay 62 per phone with 3 lines and a 20% employer discount.

  • Replicant Jason Booth

    It’s amazing how they have the spectrum to be the best but don’t have the capital to invest… LTE data speeds under ten megs are nothing to right home about. Being connected to LTE half the time in a LTE area one mile from the tower is maddeningly frustrating. My T mobile nexus 7 just kills in network performance… It’s uber reliable.

    • Jamison Shaw

      You have no idea what you’re talking about. Sprint has more capital than you would believe. Sprint is spending another 8 billion on network upgrades this year, and NV 1.0 is expected to be completed by mid 2014. 800 mhz is being launched, and spark is starting to show up. Tmobile is reliable where you are, but don’t move. Because if you do you’ll loose service. Where T-Mobile stands, it will not get much further without low frequency spectrum. Also, what in the world do you need more than 10mbps?

  • gamerscul9870

    Thank god I didn’t choose these guys. Tmobile is the definition of power, spit mobile promised new towers in some areas but still no towers there. Verizon is right about them, but not anyone else’s coverage even themselves, and gayt&t is the same shit like them, greedy and unworthy.

  • PhonecardMike

    I offer prepaid to over 800 stores in the US and since Sprint bought Boost and Virgin, they have ruined the brand and aggravate customers. They have limited the stores that can offer their product and cut discounts to the point that customers are having to pay a premium if they can find a store. They are terrible.

  • Willie D

    I’ve been trying to get that fee waived since 2010, if I was given back credit since then, I’d have well over $500 by now. Sprint refuses to give any waivers

  • taylor long

    For everyone that wants to leave Sprint just file a report with the BBB and Sprint will let you out of your contract with in a matter of day.

    Here is a blog post all about it: