Does Sprint plan on competing in 2014?

March 24, 2014
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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.

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