Sunday, January 20, 2008

Sprint: A Good Service Experience?

After blogging about the "shortcomings" of the customer experience being a Sprint (S) subscriber, something really different happened. I had a great experience...

After a recent ice storm both my cell and internet reception was affected. Usually when this happens, I begin to cry because I know what is in store for me. A static filled call to a foreign land with someone who cannot speak or understand the language I speak and seems ill-equipped to handle the problem I have (or any problem that involves me explaining it in English).

Imagine my surprise when I placed the call and the person who answered the phone had a southern accent. I was filled with a joy I had not experienced since the merger between Sprint and Nextel. The person on the phone was pleasant and helpful..

After a transfer to another department and the angst ridden wait on hold as I pondered the astronomical odds of yet another rep that spoke my language, I began to leap for joy as the voice on the phone said as clear as day, "can I help you?".

I explained my problem and they deduced it was a problem with the tower in my area and said they would send a crew to fix it. An hour later it was..

New CEO Dan Hesse has said his first priority is fixing the customer service issues plaguing the company.... so far so good from where I sit, finally.

With both Verizon (VZ) and AT&T (T) still adding customers, this is step one in any turnaround for the company. Last quarter Sprint lost 683,000 "post-paid" subscribers which are the most valuable customers. They have long-term contracts and pay bills each month. This was about three times the 250,000 that the Street estimated they would lose. These losses are especially damaging because those customers probably signed on to one or two year contracts with AT&T and Verizon Wireless and are gone for a while.

While the stock got hammered Friday, was anyone really surprised at those results? Sprint has bee rolling downhill for over a year now. The good news at least for shareholders is that they at least seem to be fixing their largest problem..

Disclosure ("none" means no position): None

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