T-Mobile, Sprint Together? Just Say No…Now

26 Comments

[qi:004] Merrill Lynch analysts suggest that because of a strong euro and looming price wars, Deutsche Telekom might make a bid for beleaguered Sprint and add it to its T-Mobile USA unit. In theory it may seems like a wonderful idea. In reality, if this deal happens, then it is going to be worse than a Las Vegas wedding after a night-long binge! The combined company will operate four different kind of networks — iDen, CDMA, WiMAX and GSM. Did these analysts forget that the iDEN-CDMA integration has been one of the major reasons for Sprint-Nextel’s troubles?

26 Comments

la

Apparently Venus is an idiot and doesn’t know what they’re talking about. As an employee at one of these 3rd party companies, I do care. As an agent for almost 7 years, I have survived the merger between sprint nextel (I was original to nextel who was a great company to work for) The problem is Sprint, it was promised that sprint would adopt the customer service policies of nextel, unfortunately that never happened. We are now required to take calls with no time in between to memo the account, if we go over 680 seconds we are written up, even if your are with a large corporate account with 3000 phones and you need to change 100 of the plans. We are not provided the option to click on a button and request a change to these numbers please — we have to manually change each one seperately, which can take up to 3 minutes per rate plan change. after the third write up your fired. We have recently become required to try and sell you a phone on every call, if you don’t accept this then we are required to try and upsell some other product or service, even if your past due on your invoice and it’s obvious that your customer doesn’t need or require it or even afford it. We are finally allowed to contact customers back to make sure they are happy and all issues are resolved, however; more often then not they place a freeze on our outbound calls and then our customers think were incompitant and lied to them. In reality were told to set up a call back for the customer for the best time to reach them, but when it actually comes down to it, it’s almost impossiable to actually get the chance. I have to gain supervisor approval for ANY CREDITS weather it is to deny or approve the adjustment I cannot say yes or no to a customer without approval. Nextel always had the policy that if a customer wanted a credit for a stupid late payment fee (which we all know is a bogus fee anyway) then just credit the $3.00 instead of arguing with someone for an hour on the phone about how it’s a valid charge, and valid charges aren’t waivable. I don’t want to say we all care because as i said before i’ve been there for a long time (for a call center) and I know ther are some complete idiots out there, but most of the agents I work with are great and are willing to go that extra mile for the customer, Sprint is forcing us to conform and transfer to another department…. If we transfer you then, Sprint is not allowed to place a survey to that customer. At this time when a customer answers NO to a 3 question survey they receive within 48 hours of there last contact with us, we are fired. So do I take the time and assist the you because youve just been transferred over and over and your account is so screwed up, but no one can help, or do I follow trend and transfer you so I can keep from getting written up for high call times — or because of your frustration you might say NO on the survey about me and then again get written up. A girl I work with had what we call one of these CSAT survey calls, to one of her customers, who accidentally pressed the wrong button and answered NO, but her comment afterwards was OPPPPs I ment to press the YES option sorry can you fix that. She was told that no one can go back and this survey would still count against her and continue to be vulnerable to additional disiplinary action. So please I assure you, if Sprint had adopted Nextels customer service policies, we would not have lost a record number of customers this past 1/4……….MASSIVE AMOUNTS.

Venus

Apparently Frank is an idiot that doesn’t know what he is talking about. Sprint’s problem is all the 3rd party companies that put a front and act as concerned employees and they are not, but that’s off of the subject. Sprint and Verizon have the best network. I would be upset if Tmobile and Sprint merger becuase all the networks would get confusing. It’s just now making phones that can actually do both iden and cdma. I have not idea what would happen if you through gsm in the mix unless its to get rid of one of the networks eventually or making it really confusing and keep it all!

FRANK

Sprint is destroying by its employees. Mainly, all the meddle management from area-manager to all the sales people. I am a sub-dealer in Southeast Texas and found out most of the Sprint Rep. will play golf four days a week and work only Thursday ( half day), it’s a fact! Only way you will save the company by firing all these moron management people of Sprint.

T-Bone

I see a Vodafone play. Vodaphone has made it no secret that they want to own a U.S. wireless play out right. Easy to spin off the Verizon stakes, take advantage of the Euro vs. USD, become a true global player like T-Mobile, who by the way has over 120 million subs.

brandon

You do realize GSM/UMTS is cheaper to run than CDMA/IDEN/WIMAX! Here is my theories on what will happeb with this merger
For one, they will probably AX Wimax and Spin Nextel back off into a seperate cellphone carrier!

  1. If they CHOOSE to NOT dump either CDMA or GSM! They may offer both networks! Possibly change the GSM network into Local only plans or Home network plans (no national) and if you want national you would have to get a CDMA Phone!

  2. They may keep the networks seperate but start carrying these new CDMA/GSM integrated phones! Having these integrated phones, will insure that if you CANNOT Get a CDMA signal, it will bounce on GSM or vice versa, or let you choose which (CDMA/GSM) to bounce off of base on what gets you better signal and were.

  3. These will pick the bigger of the 2 networks and phase out the smaller one, merging everyone over (like they did in cingulars take over of ATT), Hostilly force everyone onto the CINGULAR NETWORK!

The possibilites are endless. My guess

ctmobile

Brandon you are some what right about how T-Mobile can logically do the merger. When I heard rumors of the merger months ago I admit I was a little worried and confused on how they were going to do it. GSM, UMA (UMA allows your phone to work off of WiFi), CDMA, WiMAx, IDEN, and UMTS all under the same roof? That is a lot of networks. But if we can offer a GSM/CDMA phone that would help out a lot. However, I think you might have it backwards on which Network would roam Statewide. I believe they’ll allow the GSM to be free roaming and CDMA to be local. This is because it cost less to roam on a GSM network then a CDMA. That is why T-Mobile and AT&T does not charge roaming. I can see us keeping GSM/UMA and CDMA (Possible WiMax) but having the Nextel IDEN seperate and keep that running through Boost mobile. Make the whole network it’s on Prepaid company and brake away from it under the umbrella of T-Mobile. If we did that that would make much more since and decrease a lot of headache. I couldn’t figure out how they would merge but that actually sounds reasonable, and of course the financial part is already sound because of the US dollar. The only question now is will the government allow a Germany base company to purchase a US cellular company…

Colin

Granted Sprint has some problems but there is no way in hell I will move over to GSM. I have not yet come across a GSM phone with the clarity of a Sprint or Verizon phone. Also T-mobile’s coverage sucks, service drops all over long island and Jersey. I do admit they have sexy phones but I use phones phone not admire them.

I think Sprint and Alltel will merge. They need to focus on one technology and a marriage with T-mobile would be another headache in addition to the many now.

Randy Cooper

As long as T-Mobile is the survivor then I’m all for it. They have great phones, great technology and super customer service. The Hotspot@Home technology is awesome (still want the Blackberry but will continue to use my Nokia 6860 for now). T-Mobile is such a great company! I’d hate to see them go!

jeff

My apologies to neurojava for the inappropriate comment about Indian call center. What I mean to and should have said was “outsourced” call center.

Raymond Padilla

GM: I hope you’re write. I’ve been a satisfied Sprint customer for more than a decade (love that SERO). I’m also intrigued with the possibilities of WiMax. However, the company is poorly run, had no identity, and isn’t very focused.

Om: I was initially thinking that the purchase would make sense for T-Mobile just for WiMax. It could then sell the CDMA portion of the business to Metro PCS. Didn’t Metro PCS try to expand by propsing to merge with Leap?

GM

If you want to make some money, buy Sprint while it is low. It will climb. Sprint will get it together and Surprise you all.

mjgraves

Aw, hell! Say it isn’t so. I really like T-Mobile. They’re the first cell carrier in memory that could even spell customer service.

Rick

Nascar would have to change the name again. The T-Mobile Cup. Ugh.

Om Malik

@ Bashar,

Thanks for reminding me of the UMTS, fifth “network” technology they are pushing.

@Raymond,

the technical and customer issues are a massive headache. I think it makes absolute sense for Sprint to figure out a game plan: grow its CDMA business. And focus on 4G.

Wayne

Technology and market wise is makes some sense. it may look good financially on the surface. But, the merger of Nextel and Sprint has and continues to be a problem both technically and business wise. Now let’s add the merger of T-Mobile to the equation…

I hope Deutsche Telekom’s analysts are smarter than Merrill Lynch’s analysts.

Raymond Padilla

Despite the technical and customer service issues, wouldn’t this still be a steal for T-Mobile given the pathetic value of the USD? If anything, would it be able to sell off Sprint’s parts and keep the things that would benefit its network in the long run?

Mark Mercado

Please nooo! I owned a Nextel/Sprint Authorized Dealer in Arizona and had to close 4 months after the merger because of such high competition for corporate stores and horrible products. Now I have T-Mobile w/ a 8320 Blackberry and love them, they have great customer service, unlike Sprints horrible CS.

jeff

Beyond the technical problems you’ve mentioned, I can’t think of two companies I like dealing with less. Marry them and add an Indian call center, and voila, you’ll have telecom hell.

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