Sprint Expels Subscribers Over Heavy DA Usage

This is very strange (from the WSJ [sub req’d]); Sprint is terminating heavy directory assistance users:

The country’s third-largest wireless provider, with more than 53 million subscribers, has sent letters to about 1,000 subscribers terminating their contracts, according to Roni Singleton, a company spokeswoman.

“The number of inquiries you have made to us … has led us to determine that we are unable to meet your current wireless needs,” the letter, dated June 29, states.

The terminated subscribers called an average of 25 times a month, a rate 40 times higher than average customers, Ms. Singleton said.

Sprint charges $1.25 per directory assistance call. Thus these are revenue-generating customers. But beyond this, it suggests an opportunity to create a free, ad-supported DA model. AT&T has 1-800-YellowPages, Verizon is in the process of building one, and of course Jingle, Google and Microsoft all have free DA services.

Indeed, conventional directory assistance will lose more and more ground over time to these ad-supported models. Time for Sprint to get ahead of the curve.


I stand corrected. I was late when I read the WSJ story and I obviously didn’t read it correctly. It’s not DA; it’s *2 customer service. It wouldn’t make any sense to expel DA callers, which is what I said. But it does make sense, though perhaps misguided, to cut people who call customer service all the time — that’s just a cost center (in their mind) for Sprint.


3 Responses to “Sprint Expels Subscribers Over Heavy DA Usage”

  1. Gunnar Says:

    The way I read the WSJ story they are talking about customer service calls not DA calls.

  2. mark mccormack Says:

    It is customer service for sure. All wireless carriers have issues but can you imagine the state of mind of a person that calls customer service 25 Times per month. No insight here, but i’ll bet these arent the high end users!

  3. Larry Says:

    It seems fairly reasonable to me. If the customers call customer service 25-30 times per month, there’s no way that Sprint can make them happy. So, Sprint says “hey, you’re not happy with us. why don’t you go elsewhere?” They probably handled it poorly but they had to send written notification or they would have been sued.

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