We are proud to announce our NEW community destination. Engage with resident experts and fellow entrepreneurs, and learn everything you need to start your business. Check out the new home of StartupNation Community at startupnation.mn.co

Would you dump a customer?

olegoleg subscriber Posts: 13 Bronze Level Member
Just read an interesting article about customer service:
Sprint breaks up with high-maintenance customers
On June 29, 2007, Sprint sent letters notifying some customers that their service would be canceled by the end of July due to excessive calls to customer service.
"Our records indicate that over the past year, we have received frequent calls from you regarding your billing or other general account information," the letter reads. "While we have worked to resolve your issues and questions to the best of our ability, the number of inquiries you have made to us during this time has led us to determine that we are unable to meet your current wireless needs."
"Therefore after careful consideration, the decision has been made to terminate your wireless service agreement effective July 30, 2007."
What does everyone think of this?  Have you ever "fired" a customer for any reason?  What would it take for you to have to do this?


  • ToddFToddF subscriber Posts: 3
    Well thank god they (Sprint) adopted this practice because now if I want out of a contract I`ll just call them a thousand times and they`ll drop me.
    Although I would like to add this practice overall scares the crap out me, because lets say a majority of companies follow suit. So I might not beable to buy a Ford because they don`t like me or I bother them too much, or I complain about the price? One could find themselves out in the cold very quickly.
    So now as Sprint customer not only do I have to pay a bill, if something gets messed up (sprint screws out bill up ALL the time)  I have to be very careful not to get dropped, I can`t complain about the service, etc.What`s the point, I just have to take the bill they hand me or I`m dropped, F_ _ _ that!
    Overall I think it`s pretty crappy for large corporations to adapt this. Small companies I understand because they dont have call centers etc, but these large companies...................
  • olegoleg subscriber Posts: 13 Bronze Level Member
    I personally don`t see a problem with "firing" a customer if providing a service to them is just not cost-effective.
    However in this particular case, you have to look at the root cause.  Why did these customers call the service center so much? Were they really bored and figured that chatting with a Sprint support rep is the best way to enterntain themselves?  Or was there a recurring problem with either their bills or the service?  Sprint could have identified the problem and fixed the root cause; instead they chose to ignore the actual problem and only dealt with the symptomps.  I believe this band-aid approach will hurt them in the long run.
  • MLRancourtMLRancourt subscriber Posts: 0
    Our local paper interviewed some of the customers who were dropped.  Sprint told her she had called them at least 300 times every month for six months. 
    Her response was that there was a billing error that she had been trying to resolve during that timeframe.  She knows she didn`t make 300 call in a month but thinks they counted each time she was routed to a new, unhelpful representative.  Having just spent one hour on the phone with them trying to cancel a phone we didn`t use, I can believe it.  I only spent about 15 minutes actually talking to someone.  Then I had to drag my dh out of the shower because I was "just" the wife.  For all they knew my dh was at work and it was my boyfriend!!
  • MLRancourtMLRancourt subscriber Posts: 0
    Lately it stands for "dear".  Usually does around our anniversary (31 on Aug 16).
    Hi Kim!  Followed you over here. MLRancourt2007-7-17 7:17:55
  • olegoleg subscriber Posts: 13 Bronze Level Member
    In Sprint`s defense, they have at least one good customer service policy: You can back out of any service contract within 14 days of signing, without a cancellation fee.  That policy came very handy a while back, when I signed up with them and my first monthly bill ended up about twice what I expected to pay.  Needless to say, I figured it would be easier to just cancel and go with a different provider rather than call Sprint 300 times a month!
  • olegoleg subscriber Posts: 13 Bronze Level Member
    I was only kidding about it being a good policy... on the other hand, it beats the alternative of being stuck in a contract for 2 years and having to call customer service every month to adjust your bill to what it really should be.
    The whole telecomm industry is probably the least customer-friendly industry in the US.  Cable and landline companies usually don`t make you sign a contract, but, uhm, well have you ever had to deal with Comcast service department?  It`s crap-tastic!
    Choosing a telecomm provider is akin to voting in the presidential election; at the very best you are choosing the lesser of a few evils, and you`re stuck with your choice for a number of years.
  • NuevolutionNuevolution subscriber Posts: 30 Bronze Level Member
    Oleg,I love this topic.sorry I`m a little late on responding but. YES I HAVE FIRED! NOT ONE BUT LETS SAY ABOUT 10 customers this year.See It comes down to Respect!. I know alot of you will probably disagree with me to some extent, but here is the way I look at business:If you are in the "Services Category" and you are providing your customers with a service, you expect to get paid for those services. And... Just how a customer can have a positive impact on your company, they can have a negative impact too, what I mean is you start loosing money. I charge a customer between $5.99 and 16.99 for web hosting depending on their needs. If one customer doesn`t pay on time It`s OK, but what if 30 customers don`t pay at all? Then you are no longer profitable, and not to mention customers look at you as a JOKE. If they can pay for their land-line Phone Service, office lease, car payment, and cell phone how am I different? because I`m a small business? It comes down to "how you want run your business, Look at a restaurant "No shoes, no Shirt, No Service" in my case "NO Monthly Payment`s, NO Calls" No service. After being in business for myself for almost 5 years, I`ve learned alot of things along the way one of the is "YOU HAVE TO BE TOUGH" with your customers. You need to set your standards and policies from the begining and they must abide to your rules if they want to do business with you. Like I said, I have no problem cutting off a customer if he`s going to have a negative impact on my ASSETS.
  • olegoleg subscriber Posts: 13 Bronze Level Member
    I don`t know if stopping a service for non-payment can be really considered as "firing the customer".  That seems like pretty standard procedure to me - say you own a restarurant and someone walks out on their bill; would you serve them the next time?
  • NuevolutionNuevolution subscriber Posts: 30 Bronze Level Member
    Well, If they continue doing it over, and over, and over, and avoid you, it gets to the point where they no longer respect you or don`t care to respect you. Another scenario was where a customer called me a muther F` er.. I dropped him like a bad habit...
  • nevadasculnevadascul subscriber Posts: 3 Member
    Hi all,
    A company I work for just sent a notice to a large customer that we will no longer quote orders for them.  This customer, over the last few years, has requested quotes on twenty different jobs.  These were all large quotes that took a lot of time to write up.  But, out of twenty quotes, the customer has not made a single purchase.  They simply sent the quote request to meet company policy to get three of four quotes.  Their purchasing agent knew in advance she was not going to buy from us.
Sign In or Register to comment.