I read online last night that Sprint PCS just "fired" something like 1000 of it's customers for being too big a pain in the axx. When I heard this I had to ask my girlfriend, who doubles as my assistant, if I had gotten any letters from Sprint!
After thinking about it for a bit, I could actually see Sprint's point of view. I still think that it's a dumb idea, but I do see where they are coming from and have to admit, I've fired a couple of customers before myself. From what I understand, these customers were the worst of the worst with an average of calling in to customer service as many as 40 times in one month.
The thing that I think is ironic about it though was the thought of why didn't these folks switch to a different carrier if they were so unhappy. Believe me, I can understand being unhappy with Sprint. Last month was the first time in 6 months that they got my bill right. I would guess that I averaged 5 or 6 calls a month to customer service during the past 6 months, but all of my calls were made to correct errors that Sprint had made.
It also seems to me that Sprint could have gotten rid of these 1000 people a lot easier with a lot less negative press if they had done it during one of the calls that these people had made to them. I know for one, I would have jumped ship if I hadn't been under contract to them. All they would have had to do was to offer me the same deal that they imposed upon these 1000 people and I would have gladly taken it.
So, what lessons can we learn from Sprint's actions here? First, if you value your relationship with your cell phone carrier, don't call them too often! Secondly, I think that you can take a page out of their book in that some customers simply aren't worth the time and effort that they take. Your time is better spent on higher margin, more cooperative customers. Lastly, that while it might be alright to "fire" a customer, that it does matter how you do so.