Sprint is cutting 800 customer service jobs

08/27/2013 8:57 PM

08/27/2013 8:57 PM

Sprint Corp. is cutting about 800 customer-service jobs following the June 30 shutdown of its aged Nextel network.

Most of the employees were notified last week, spokeswoman Melinda Tiemeyer said Tuesday. Others will be told next month. None of the cuts came in the Kansas City area.

Customer complaints have decreased, and satisfaction levels have climbed, requiring fewer positions, Sprint said. There are also fewer users to serve.

Sprint lost 1.3 million subscribers when it shut down the Nextel network it had gained in the 2005 merger with Nextel Communications. The shutdown was part of a broad network upgrade to new technology.

Sprint had 53.6 million subscribers at the end of June, its lowest total since the fall of 2011.

The firings are “organizational adjustments being made to meet the changing needs of our business,” said Jennifer Schuler, a spokeswoman for Overland Park-based Sprint.

About a third of the workers — 284 employees — are based in the Texas cities of Fort Worth, Irving and Temple, according to a letter to the state’s workforce commission.

Sprint plans to keep its total workforce steady around 40,000, Schuler said.

“Sprint continues to hire new employees into positions that support our corporate strategy,” she said.

The company has been trimming its customer service workforce for several years as improving wireless service cut down the volume of calls from customers. It still operates more than two dozen call centers.

Last month, Tokyo-based SoftBank Corp. acquired 78 percent of Sprint in a $21.6 billion transaction. It has added to its share holdings recently with plans to boost its ownership to about 80 percent of Sprint.

Tiemeyer said the job cuts were unrelated to the SoftBank transaction.

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