T-Mobile/Sprint Say They'll Start Customer Experience Centers Employing Thousands
T-Mobile and Sprint jointly announced post-merger plans to build five so-called “customer experience centers,” each with an average of 1,000 employees. With some other service expansions, they say these new centers could add 5,600 new jobs by 2021.
They also say that by 2024, the merged company will have 7,500 more customer care professionals than the stand-alone companies would have without a merger.
The announcement of the customer centers comes shortly before the chief executives of T-Mobile and Sprint are scheduled to appear before Congressional committees to defend the merger. The marketing going on now is mainly centered on selling Washington lawmakers, opinion-makers and regulators.
“With these five new centers, we’re going to give even more customers across the U.S. the rock star treatment they deserve!” said T-Mobile CEO John Legere in a statement. If the merger is approved, he will lead the merged companies.
The new centers are designed to provide better customer service, which might explain why each one is planned to have so many employees.
T-Mobile announced its new Team of Experts (TEX) customer service plan last summer, emphasizing personal assistance to solve consumer problems, “There are no robots or automated phone menus. No getting bounced around from department to department,” it promised. “No shouting ‘representative.’ You now have your own entourage at T-Mobile dedicated to you and your happiness.”
The $26 billion merger, first announced last April, has already won the approval of a national security panel. It awaits approvals from the Department of Justice and the Federal Communications Commission.
T-Mobile and Sprint executives are scheduled to appear before the House Energy and Commerce Committee and House Judiciary Committee in February.
The companies need to plead their case a little harder now that Democrats control the House of Representatives. Though Congress has no say in merger approvals, the hearings, proposed shortly after the Democrats took power, could sway public opinion. Previously, the Energy and Commerce Committee hadn’t held a hearing on a merger in eight years.
T-Mobile and Sprint say the new customer center will be built in Overland, Kansas, currently Sprint’s headquarters city that will become a secondary hub if the merger is approved. Four other sites will be announced later.
The estimates of job gains might need some explaining. According to CNBC, last June, Legere told a Congressional committee that the merger would add jobs overall but said that 3,295 retail jobs would be lost by 2024.
The Communication Workers of America last year said the merger will cost 28,000 employees. It urged attorneys general in all 50 states to investigate. A report from NERA Economic Consulting, done for T-Mobile, says over three years, the merger would add 24,000 jobs over three years.
In its service center announcement, the company seems to be emphasizing its worthiness as an employer at least as much as its devotion to service.
It said, in a press release, that the new employees “will be able to experience the things that have earned T-Mobile recognition as a best place to work on numerous lists year over year. They will be eligible to receive benefits and opportunities such as significant management preparation experience, career development paths and college tuition reimbursement.”
Otherwise, T-Mobile has pledged to spend to expand service into rural areas and says its 5G service coming next year will be better than the rollouts just beginning from Verizon and AT&T.
But detractors say allowing the T-Mobile and Sprint hook-up will take away two hungry competitors to Verizon and AT&T and create a company almost just as big, and with no reason to aggressively keep its prices low.
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January 31, 2019 at 04:35PM