My colleague Marguerite Reardon's piece on Sprint sending out severance letters to customers who call their customer service lines too often doesn't surprise me.
Just to bring you up to speed, the letters read:
"Our records indicate that over the past year, we have received frequent calls from you regarding your billing or other general account information," the letter reads. "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 has led us to determine that we are unable to meet your current wireless needs."
Sprint, or Nextel, or SprintNextel, how much more dumb can you get?
Two years after the merger of Nextel, you've subsumed the Nextel brand in your marketing. Yet still, your newspaper ads distinguish between Sprint stores and stores "with Nextel products."
You keep going after magic potions of services, like WiMAX, but you overlook VoIP in that mix.
You shed your local calling services by spinning them off. Now known as Embarq, these local calling services could have been the anchor of your service bundle in the local markets you serviced.
Your legacy Sprint and Nextel billing systems are still not completely integrated. Once again, two years on after the merger.
And now this.
Let me get this straight. You lost 220,000 monthly paying subscribers in 1Q of this year, your churn rate is a pretty bad 2.7%.
Those numbers tell me that when it comes to customers, you are shedding like a Siberian Husky in an Arizona summer.
I know something about this shedding. When my service contract runs out with Sprint, or Nextel, or SprintNextel, I'm so outta here.
And you have the gall to spit in the face of current customers who might just need a little bit extra help? All who approved this policy should be kicked out.
I could partly justify surcharges for quicker call center answering, but sheesh, I'm speechless.
But maybe you, the readers, are not.