SoftBank Corp. stepped into Sprint’s corporate office, acquiring a controlling share in an acquisition completed last month. Employees shared murmurs of concern if anything would change. Further worries stemmed when word released that many stockholders jumped the transferring ship upon the completion of the acquisition. Now, pondering news has turned to extremely bad news; already a couple of hundred out of 800 customer service agents have been pink-slipped.
The reason behind the sudden and perplexing release of so many employees? Jennifer Schuler, Sprint’s spokeswoman stated that customer complaints are down, and satisfaction rates are higher, resulting in fewer positions of need. These “changing needs” of Sprint falls into the responsibility of the hundreds employees being released from their positions. About 284 Sprint, customer service employees work in Fort Worth, Irving and Temple, Texas. These positions, per Sprint, will be eliminated in the coming weeks.
A further look into the stunning release of low to middle class paid employees is demanded. It appears once SoftBank acquired Sprint, the Nextel network was shut down resulting in a loss of 1 million subscribers. Sadly, as many employees pack up their boxes and face a downed economy, Schuler reported that Sprint will continue to hire employees that fit their future plans. Previously, Sprint had shut down about 29 call centers, a move CEO Dan Hesse had hailed as a positive step in the right direction. What isn’t positive is the reality 800 employees will have to face as the fall enters and bills continue to pile up.
Sprint, on average pays their customer service employees $10 to $13 an hour for handling customer calls. No word has been received publicly from exiting employees, but time can only predict the anger and disappointment will soon be heard. Corporate changes were rumored with the SoftBank acquisition, and Sprint shares as of this afternoon dropped about 1.6-percent. These steps may have further cemented the idea for Sprint to continue the process of elimination.
This move creates question if customer service jobs will be sent overseas. In 2012 Bank of America eliminated 30,000 customer support agents and moved the positions overseas. The move caused outrage from employees and consumers alike. There was a $45 billion federal bailout granted to Bank of America from taxpayers and unknown are the funds used for the overseas transition. The positions moved were in high-demand and resulted in thousands of employees facing unemployment. This now drives a spotlight over to Sprint, if positions will suddenly start opening overseas.
Business decisions are incredibly hard to make, Hesse and Schuler both stated how complicated it is to finalize changes. The words, while kind, hit extremely hard to the 800 affected employees. Many of the employees, as mentioned were notified last week of the changes and sadly many more found out during the media releases. SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son is known as a powerhouse maverick in Japan. He is looking to shake up the industry in the United States, the same way he did so in Japan. It seems the vision is narrowing to focus on more corporate aspects of Sprint, than the stabilized personal end of wireless. Sprint has also stated more cuts may come but on a much smaller scale.