Sprint to slash 800 customer service jobs nationwide

Sprint (NYSE:S) said it will cut around 800 customer service jobs nationwide in the first major reorganization of the company since SoftBank took over control of the carrier in July. Sprint said the cuts are being made primarily because it has been receiving fewer calls to customer care.

The cuts are "organizational adjustments being made to meet the changing needs of our business," Sprint spokeswoman Jennifer Schuler told Bloomberg. Around 284 employees are being cut from call centers in the Texas cities of Fort Worth, Irving and Temple, according to Schuler.

Reports began emerging last week in local news outlets in Texas that the firings were coming, and Sprint began notifying affected employees last week. At the time Sprint did not disclose how many total employees would be cut.

Schuler said Sprint plans to keep its total headcount steady at around 40,000. "Sprint continues to hire new employees into positions that support our corporate strategy," she said.

Sprint argues that customer satisfaction is up and call volumes are down, meaning it needs less customer call center workers. "I'm also pleased to announce that once again we continued to set new performance records in our customer care operations," CEO Dan Hesse said on Sprint's second-quarter earnings conference call, according to a Seeking Alpha transcript. "Credits to customer accounts for our postpaid base reached an all-time lowest level and are now down 87 percent from our highest levels in early 2008. Additionally, calls to care per postpaid customer have been reduced by half as we had our best second quarter ever."

However, Sprint also now has fewer customers now that its Nextel iDEN network has been shut down, which could be a factor in the cuts. Sprint lost 2.034 million wireless customers in the second quarter, with 1.3 million of them coming from the Nextel platform. The iDEN network was turned off on June 30. 

For more:
- see this Bloomberg article
- see this Temple Daily Telegram article
- see this KWTX article

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Correction, Aug. 27, 2013: This article incorrectly stated the number of Sprint call center jobs that will be cut in Texas. It is 284, not 384.

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