A brief network outage at T-Mobile US (NYSE:TMUS) last Friday provided an opportunity for CEO John Legere to highlight his hands-on management style at the "un-carrier."
Legere posted outage updates on his Twitter account.
The nature of the outage was unclear. One T-Mobile customer said on Twitter that the problem involved only voice communications, while another reported having LTE data speed issues after the outage was supposed to have been resolved. During the outage, customers were reportedly told to switch their phones to 2G to get service.
While the issue was going on, Legere tweeted to his approximately 9,000 followers, "Sorry. There is/was a network issue in a few areas. I am working on it with team. It is being resolved quickly."
About 25 minutes later, he wrote, "All should be restored now... If not then tell me. I apologize for the brief issue"
A little less than three hours after his first tweet on the outage, Legere tweeted (typos and all), "Service restored more than hour ago. We had intermittent issues in some locations.i apologize for anyinconvenience this caused to customers."
T-Mobile's "un-carrier" strategy formulated under Legere's watch, involves numerous changes to the traditional Tier 1 U.S. carrier plan, including the provision of more inexpensive, no-contract rate plans and device financing. That has won the operator fans and, more important, new subscribers, as T-Mobile racked up 1.1 million in subscriber additions during the second quarter of 2013.
Legere's decision to be a tweeting CEO further reflects T-Mobile's un-carrier strategy, much to the delight of his fans.
While numerous commenters thought it was odd that the CEO, rather than the official T-Mobile Twitter account, was keeping them apprised of outage developments last Friday, Legere's tweets drew kudos, with some respondents calling him a "great leader," and "the man." One commenter wrote that Legere is "like some kind of superhero or something," while another said, "It's great to see you taking responsibility publicly."
Legere's frank and sometimes crude comments regarding T-Mobile's competition, particularly AT&T (NYSE:T), have also helped put T-Mobile on people's radar and raised Legere's own profile.
However, T-Mobile still has work to do to catch up to AT&T. J.D. Power recently said AT&T now ranks highest in overall customer purchase experience satisfaction among Tier 1 full-service wireless carriers, and AT&T also ranks highest in wireless customer care satisfaction among full-service carriers. On the plus side for T-Mobile, MetroPCS--which T-Mobile now owns--topped the rankings in overall wireless customer care satisfaction among non-contract carriers.
With T-Mobile's Friday outage satisfactorily addressed, Legere wrapped up this past weekend with a Sunday photo tweet showing himself and his daughter riding a roller coaster at Disneyland while wearing black t-shirts with the T-Mobile logo.
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