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Sprint loses 1m cell subscribers

updated 07:55 am EDT, Mon May 12, 2008

Sprint Q1 2008 Results

Sprint this morning reported its results for the first quarter of 2008 and has revealed continued severe losses in its cellular business. The carrier says its net revenue declined nine percent year-over-year to $9.3 billion and that it lost a total 1.09 million wireless customers in the most recent period. The company says the poor results were "expected" but that it's continuing to rework its strategy, including more focused advertising, cost reductions, and larger strategic decisions. Its news last week of a team-up with Clearwire for nationwide WiMAX also points to a turnaround, according to the company.

The company's total 52.8 million customers keep it in third place among US wireless carriers. AT&T and Verizon have extended their leads with significant gains in the most recent quarter and support 71 and 67 million cellphone users respectively. T-Mobile is in fourth place at 30 million customers.

The average income per user also dropped slightly to $56 and is attributed to an increasing shift by customers from calling to data use.

Sprint's struggles in recent history have been widely credited to poor customer support, though the company itself has taken steps to attract customers. The carrier was the first US provider to offer an unlimited plan with Simply Everything and has taken to developing a custom interface for its upcoming Samsung Instinct phone, which it hopes will lure customers away from the iPhone.

By Electronista Staff


  1. MiMiC

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jun 2007


    The Difference

    "int's struggles in recent history have been widely credited to poor customer support, though the company itself has taken steps to attract customers."

    The difference between attracting customers an losing them to poor customer service is huge, and perhaps the reason why they keep hemorrhaging customers.

  1. lamewing

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Aug 2004


    I agree

    I would leave Sprint in a heartbeat if my wife wasn't required to use it for work. As it is I am just a straggler as it is simply cheaper to add a phone to her service versus starting a new service.

  1. Chairman Plow

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: May 2008



    "Poor customer service" has been a mainstay of Sprint for as long as I can remember. I wouldn't go back if the service and equipment were free!

  1. SierraDragon

    Mac Elite

    Joined: Mar 2004


    Agreed, atrocious service

    I had Sprint for 7 years of atrocious, even mean, customer service. When I bought an iPhone the main reason was to get rid of Sprint, even though I had a perfectly good Trio 700P.

    As I see it Sprint deserves to lose [u]all[/u] of its customer base.

  1. driven

    Addicted to MacNN

    Joined: May 2001


    Fair & Flexible

    Getting rid of the "Fair & Flexible" plan was a horrible idea. It was the only thing Sprint had that it's competition did not. Without that plan the only differentiator is the horrible customer service, and that my friends is a reason to leave, not stay.

  1. climacs

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: Sep 2001


    horrible cust. svc

    it's been over 5 years since I ditched Sprint because of their horrible customer service. I see nothing has changed. I hope this serves as a lesson to every other big retail company out there, treating customers like c*** really does affect your bottom line.

  1. climacs

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: Sep 2001


    new strategy?

    it's continuing to rework its strategy, including more focused advertising, cost reductions, and larger strategic decisions.

    I don't see 'improving customer service' in there anywhere. Does 'more focused advertising' mean, polishing the t*** some more?

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001


    Re: new strategy

    More focused advertising means they're going to focus on the small group of people who've never heard of them before, and, as such, might be willing to sign a 2-year contract.

    Larger strategic decisions might be where they plan on addressing customer service, as they apparently need to do a large amount of work there.

  1. DamnDJ

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: Aug 2000



    I've had both Sprint and AT&T in the Denver area and for me, Sprint is the better choice. I've had them for a very long time and never had a problem. Granted I've only had to contact support a couple of times, but the service is good enough for me.

  1. Guest

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Nov 1999


    Two Words

    SIM Card - Comon Sprint, up with the times! I was with Sprint for 4 years and just switched to AT&T - imagine my surprise when I called AT&T customer service and got an American on the phone!!! WOW! I was so sick of that thick Indian accent I was ready to kick infants! Yeaaa for AT&T, POO on Sprint!!

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