July 16, 2007
Sprint Is My New Hero:
Complaining Customers Told Goodbye
You know you’ve thought of doing this. And maybe you’ve even done it
once or twice. But Sprint has taken it to a whole new level.
Customers complain? Customers are gone!
And not just a few. More than 1,000. This is so cool. My clients are in
so much trouble.
Sprint announced last week that it has told as many as 1,200 customers
to take a hike because the malcontents complain too much. Not only that.
They are constantly asking for help.
"These customers were calling to a degree that we felt was excessive,"
said Sprint spokeswoman Roni Singleton. “In some cases they were calling
customer care hundreds of times a month for a period of six to 12 months
on the same issues even after we felt those issues had been resolved."
The bright shining stars of this bunch were even calling to ask for
account information about other Sprint customers.
Hey! I, D.F. Krause, am a Sprint customer. Come to think of it, just
last week in my column I referred to my Sprint Ultraslim Phone as “lame”
in comparison to the iPhone.
didn’t mean anything by it! I was just talking about public perception!
Please . . . let me stay!
Perhaps a sign hangs on the wall at Sprint that reads: “This would be a
great business if it wasn’t for the customers.” Perhaps that sign hangs
at your office too. Perhaps it should.
You always talk about how customer service is so important. How the
customer is always right. How you can never go too far to please a
Ha! You don’t mean it! Of course you can go too far to please a
customer. The ones who pay too little and expect too much? The ones who
constantly change their order, change their expectations and demand your
attention far beyond what you expected to have to give?
Offing customers rules. Doing it to more than 1,000 at once? You,
Sprint, are my hero. It almost makes it worth it when I call you with a
question and some guy who is obviously in India and can barely speak
English claims his name is Neil.
Not that I’m complaining, you understand. Neil is the bomb.
would love to have so many customers that I could tell 1,000 of them to
get lost just because they irritate me. But every company has a worst
customer somewhere. It is a statistical certainty. Many companies are
reluctant to part ways with any customer at all, because money is money
and margins are tight.
someone sits down and explains how much money they are actually costing
you, you can’t argue. But still . . .
Sprint may have set a new standard with this move. Maybe every other big
company will follow suit. Maybe the small ones will be next. Maybe my
any of my clients are reading this, cowering in their boots and
thinking, “He wouldn’t!”, well. Wouldn’t I? Do you pay your bills on
time? Do you compliment my people for a job well done? Do you leave me
alone when I’ve just had enough of you?
Shape up! D.F. Krause doesn’t take any grief from clients. From now on,
it’s my way or the highway. And if you don’t like it . . . hey. Where
are you going?
This worked great for Sprint!
Well, this idea obviously needs a little more refining. In the meantime,
a client is calling to request a seventh revision. On it!
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