Monday, December 17, 2007

It Isn't Always the Network

A recent report on the wireless industry by Forrester Research showed Sprint/Nextel at the bottom of consumer satisfaction ratings but Virgin Mobile at the top! Isn't that odd, Virgin uses the Sprint network, but without Sprint's superior roaming capabilities! That's a fairly clear indication that Sprint/Nextel has image problems, not coverage problems.

We agree we haven't been high on Sprint/Nextel's customer service, but they do get credit for improving their service. Your reviewer even applied for (and was accepted for) one of many the new positions they have created in that area.

Since their network works so well, what will it take to improve their image? The suits at Sprint/Nextel are scratching their heads about this very question. They have an excellent SERO program that makes them a wireless price leader, but they can't hang their hat on that. So look for something different in the near future like loyalty rewards much like the airline and car rental industries.

Our suggestion is that they change their name. A unified name would bring the separate Sprint and Nextel networks under a common roof. They could resurrect a past name like AT&T did. Names like Cingular, Worldcom, MCI, even Cellular One, would gain immediate recognition, although each carry their own baggage.

Time for a contest, guys. Let's all submit something creative: Wicked Wireless, CellPod, CellTube, Bob's Broadband... anything but Sprint/Nextel. BTW, whatever happened to the "PCS"?

Separately, Forrester rated Alltel as the number 2 network, once again reinforcing our view of their superior capabilities in most areas of cellular service.

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