Blog Post

Sprint to Cut 8,000 Jobs

spr_hor_k_rToday, troubled Sprint Nextel (s S) said it would eliminate 8,000 jobs, freeze salaries and cut its 401(k) match in an effort to save $1.2 billion. Sprint currently has 56,000 employees; only 850 of the job cuts will be voluntary, and layoffs should be completed by March 31. “Our commitment to quality will not change,” said Sprint CEO Dan Hesse in the news release announcing the cuts.

Please. The commitment may not change, but the ability to deliver it will. Sprint, already a loser in the customer service battle, can’t cut 14 percent of its work force and expect that such layoffs won’t affect quality. Unless the affected employees are enjoying three-martini lunches and pushing paper around, or Sprint has somehow managed to replace the jobs those employees did by robots, that many people are going to be missed.

These are hard times, and taking actions to save a company by cutting costs shouldn’t be sugarcoated. Yes, Sprint needs to eliminate workers to get its costs in line, but no one is going to believe that those 8,000 employees were just so much dead weight. Sprint will report earnings on Feb. 19.

16 Responses to “Sprint to Cut 8,000 Jobs”

  1. These are hard times, and taking actions to save a company by cutting costs shouldn’t be sugarcoated. Yes, Sprint needs to eliminate workers to get its costs in line, but no one is going to believe that those 8,000 employees were just so much dead weight.

  2. 5 years @ Sprint

    I’ve worked for Sprint for five years and the moral of the company continues to decline.

    We’ve had layoffs every year that I’ve been there so I’m certainly not surprised that this is going on now, however I must ask the question, how many of those 8000 are upper management?

    I love the Sprint network and the devices (even though we passed on the iPhone & 1st Google device) but the mismanagement of this company from the top is pathetic.

    I watched Hesse on the conference call on Monday and all I could do was shake my head.

    8000 jobs gone, this is the second year I won’t receive a raise, 401k being slashed and the way the bonuses are being handled are a joke.

    I wonder if Hesse or any of his henchmen are giving up their bonuses or taking slashes in their multimillion dollar salaries.

    Probably not, it is much easier to get rid of thousands of peoples jobs.

    Good job Dan

  3. James I happen to work for a vendor company of sprint. We used to be nextel now we do all back office support for sprint. I happened to be one of the top five agents my center last month of eight hundred people that work for sprint. WE ARE THE ONES that clean up cares mess. Maybe if your agents on the front line didnt lie so much 3 millon dollars of credit would not be given out by one center a month and these job cuts of vendor centers woudl not have happened. I belive the center i work at will have cuts. We handle sevral billing cases and are running low now that we have worked trough of all of cares mess. Mostly the mess was created from what sprint has out sourced to india! Is that where jobs will stay?

  4. Too bad Hesse brushed Android aside last year. I’d still be more interested in a Sprint Android phone than the Pre.

    It’s also interesting that Sprint’s PR agents are whining on the blog. The “Sorry to read the sarcasm in the post” killed me. I’m sorry Sprint can’t handle information delivered in an etertaining way.

  5. I have been a customer for more than nine years .
    Sprint coverage is either YES or No. It either five bars or none.
    Where they have coverage , it beats the verizon and ATT by a mile.

    Regarding customer service, I noticed the changes. Now the service is offered by someone whose native language seems to be spanish. The service representatives look energetic , but lack the knowledge. Last week I called the support for AIRAVE ( SPrint Femtocell) related question. The person didn’t know AIRAVE.
    Sprint needs smart people at support. Hopefully these cuts will help them save money to be spent on training programs for the support executives.

  6. @James – If Sprint has the best service, best network, and lowest pricing then why is it losing so many customers? Has to be the handsets. I’ll admit ATT’s customer service is subpar and their 3G network is poor. So how do you explain their sub growth? Has to be the handsets (iphone). The Palm Pre will make probably make or break Sprint. I believe people view handsets as an affordable luxury they will have for 2 years and will spend $300 or so for a good handset.

  7. Stacey Higginbotham

    James, it’s good to hear about the strides Sprint is making in customer service, and that cuts won’t come primarily in customer support. Let me offer up a more recent link though to back my assertion — it covers the third quarter numbers. http://gigaom.com/2008/11/07/sprint-loses-customers-but-gets-a-reprieve-on-debt/

    As for post, my intent was not to be sarcastic, but to point out that people are the cornerstone of any organization and cutting them will have an effect on the product the organization delivers. Thanks for clarifying where the cuts will be made.

  8. James Fisher

    James Fisher from Sprint here. Sorry to read the sarcasm in the post, because there’s more to the story. How can we maintain quality — and yes it is quality — customer care with a job cut of this size? While some internal support functions at Sprint will see significant cuts, our Sprint customer care organization will see very few. We do plan to reduce the use of some outside vendor call centers in 2009 — but that is because we are receiving fewer calls to care and those operators are not needed. All last year we worked to fix the problems that caused people to call us: we have a Simply Everything billing plan that eliminates surprises in your bill; we have a Ready Now program in stores in which we set up your phone for you and teach you how to use it before you leave the store; we have a simplifed online customer care system; we follow up with customers by phone shortly after they start service to confirm everything is ok. So fewer and fewer people are calling us. And as for the “link” you included, it’s to a story from last July — eons ago in Internet time. Since then, we have received the highest ranking for the last two quarters from Pali Research in its outside test of customer care quality. We’ve also gotten kudos on our network improvements from J.D. Power and most recently we won Gizmodo’s 3G data test. Yes, when we will lose 8,000 employees we’ll do less — less HR programs, less real estate management, maybe even less communication — but we’re not going to sacrifice the great improvements we’ve made in serving our customers.