The Customer Service Survey

T-Mobile's Future

by Peter Leppik on Fri, 2012-03-23 16:05

T-Mobile is in the news today for announcing that it plans to reduce its customer service operation by 1,900 people over the next several months.

This is a company which, several years ago, was near the top of our customer service survey rankings. Over the past year our National Customer Service Survey data shows T-Mobile getting considerably worse, while the company has faced the misfire of its AT&T merger, a declining subscriber base, and the continued lack of the iPhone.

Unfortunately, T-Mobile seems to be stuck. It needs to invest heavily across the board in order to be competitive with the other three national carriers. But the resources to do that just aren't there.

I've heard some speculation in the industry that perhaps another foreign carrier could buy T-Mobile as a way to enter the U.S. market. Since T-Mobile USA is already owned by Deutsche Telecom, this would not be a case of an American company being bought by a foreign company. Nevertheless, it doesn't take much to imagine the political problems with, say, China Telecom trying to acquire a major U.S. phone company.

So it's hard to see where T-Mobile goes from here. The current vicious cycle of declining customer base and reduced service levels will not end well.

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