A little over a year ago, Sprint fell under some scrutiny for ditching a number of customers. These subscribers still had time left on their contracts, but Sprint thought it best for the two to part ways. This caused a bit of anger at first, but then Sprint dropped the bomb on us, that these were really problem customers. As in, they would call customer service almost once a day. This was under former CEO Gary Forsee. Now, under CEO Dan Hesse, Sprint is up to the same old thing. Those 776,000 customers they lost in the second quarter? Some of them were intentional. Actually, a New York Times report has that number at 901,000. Yet Hesse isn’t sweating it. In fact, he even planned it:
“We did it knowingly,” he said. “We are interested in quality, not quantity…
“We are not in a position to deliver sustained revenue growth, but we believe we have a good plan in place.”
So what is this plan? Clearly, the Clearwire WiMAX merger, which AT&T is trying to block, plays a part in this. What else do they have, though? How can they separate themselves from the giants that are AT&T and Verizon? Further, how can they protect themselves from the snowballing T-Mobile?
“It’s fine to say you are getting rid of undesirable customers, but that means you have to make significant growth someplace else to make up for it,” said Walter Piecyk, an analyst at Pali Research who covers wireless companies. “It’s a company in perpetual decline.”
So is Hesse pulling out all the stops? Or is he simply trying to sugar-coat the true severity of Sprint’s situation?