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Here Come the T-Mobile Layoffs
The Check Arrives for the AT&T Deal
by Karl Bode 06:27PM Thursday Mar 22 2012 Tipped by kingofdsl See Profile
Last quarter wasn't a particularly pretty one for T-Mobile, who lost lost 526,000 net subscribers and 802,000 contract plan subscribers. Most of them were fleeing away from the specter of an AT&T acquisition, and toward Sprint in order to pick up a new iPhone. Now, not too surprisingly, the check is coming due for the botched AT&T deal, and as usual it's the lower-level employees who get to pay the check.

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T-Mobile CEO Philipp Humm sent an e-mail to employees today announcing that the company was closing seven of their twenty four call centers, a move that will eliminate 3,300 positions, some of which will be offset by hirings at the other centers. Humm goes on to note that the cuts probably aren't done yet, with additional changes to other non-support divisions to be announced sometime in May:
quote:
Looking ahead, we will also be restructuring other parts of the company. It is important to note this will not include our customer service representatives in the remaining 17 call centers, technicians in engineering or front line employees in our T-Mobile corporate-owned stores. In other parts of the organization, the majority of changes will be announced by the end of May 2012. Senior leaders are intently focused on making the best possible choices standing on the foundation of our shared T-Mobile Values.
And by "values," Humm apparently doesn't include making your low level employees pay for an awful anti-competitive deal designed by high-level executives by losing their jobs. David Beren at TMONews tells us some of the impacted employees found out via blog that they were losing their jobs, and never got this letter. Kind of a win-win for AT&T, who if they couldn't eliminate T-Mobile -- was at least able to give it a good kick to the midsection while grabbing a lot of proprietary competitive data in the process.

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brianiscool

join:2000-08-16
Miami, FL
kudos:1

End of the day

They all got their pink slips before going home. At least they didn't do it on Friday.
25139889

join:2011-10-25
Toledo, OH

Re: End of the day

and many of those jobs were probably outsourced call centers that were based in the USA. Which will just turn into a call center for another company.

lucky4now

@myfairpoint.net

Re: End of the day

said by 25139889:

many of those jobs were probably outsourced call centers that were based in the USA.

Actually, these are all direct employees of T-Mobile USA and are not outsourced..

a lot of good people losing good paying jobs with exceptional benefits and most likely with the economy they will have a difficult time finding employment that can match the pay and benefits...

Although my job is secure, i feel for those co-workers of mine who will be affected by this... it's a sad day folks..

just sayin'...

fifty nine

join:2002-09-25
Sussex, NJ
kudos:2

Re: End of the day

said by lucky4now :

a lot of good people losing good paying jobs with exceptional benefits and most likely with the economy they will have a difficult time finding employment that can match the pay and benefits...

Yeah that kinda sucks, but when you price your product as cheap as they do and don't have a large customer base? Something's gotta give.

mix

join:2002-03-19
Utica, MI

Bad, but...

Wouldn't have many more employees lost their jobs due to the redundancy of AT&T and T-Mobile combining forces? I don't see how losing 526,000 subscribers could account for closing 30% of the call centers, unless 526,000 subscribers equates to 30% of T-Mobile's customer base. The real story here is T-Mobile doesn't have a major handset like the iPhone and Deutsche Telekom has been trying to unload the unit for years. Downsizing was inevitable, profit margins (if any) are shrinking.

swintec
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Alfred, ME
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Reviews:
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Re: Bad, but...

said by mix:

I don't see how losing 526,000 subscribers could account for closing 30% of the call centers...

"526,000 net subscribers and 802,000 contract plan subscribers."
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mix

join:2002-03-19
Utica, MI

1 edit

Re: Bad, but...

It's 526,000 net, if you consider MVNO customers as part of the net. If you count just T-Mobile (I assume MVNO customers don't call T-Mobile directly for support), the loss was 580,000. Are you under the impression that prepaid subscribers, for which they added 220,000 customers in the 4th quarter don't call in for customer service? Or perhaps you don't understand what the term "net" means?

n2jtx

join:2001-01-13
Glen Head, NY
said by swintec:

"526,000 net subscribers and 802,000 contract plan subscribers."

Last Friday I joined the ranks of former T-Mobile subscribers. I was carrying both an iPhone 4S on Sprint from work and an old Motorola V360 on T-Mobile. All calls were going to the iPhone so it seemed time to cancel the T-Mobile service and save $38/month.
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Telco

join:2008-12-19
You'd think these idiots would at least ponder a spectrum sharing deal with Sprint, since they both desperately need it and could halve their costs.

mix

join:2002-03-19
Utica, MI

Re: Bad, but...

Which spectrum are they going to share? I know T-mobile has some PCS spectrum that could surely help Sprint. I believe some of it is even adjacent to the Sprint G-Block that Sprint is rolling out a 5x5 LTE carrier on right now. I guess it would be pretty sweet if they combined forces, and that 5x5 LTE carrier was increased to 10x10 or more, or multiple PCS LTE carriers were introduced. T-Mobile is free to partner with Clearwire all they want, separate from Sprint.

xmarklive

@sbcglobal.net

future t mobile customer former att

t Mobile need to lower their prices more like offering free tethering ...... I like mobile better than at&t but they have very few phones and one store in my city....they need to do more to get customers like no more pink .

swintec
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Alfred, ME
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Reviews:
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Re: future t mobile customer former att

said by xmarklive :

t Mobile need to lower their prices more like offering free tethering ...... I like mobile better than at&t but they have very few phones and one store in my city....they need to do more to get customers like no more pink .

They need to do something about their coverage first. The T-Mobile "authorized retailers" up here (no corporate stores that I know of) are pathetic to watch when it comes to pushing their service.

"We have great coverage, we use the same towers as AT&T and our prices are way better as you can see!"...Gee guys, I realize they will say anything to close the sale and make the commission but selling the service with the fact that you will be roaming most of the time is pretty slimy since the user will be canned by T-Mobile shortly down the line for excessive roaming.
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ArrayList
netbus developer
Premium
join:2005-03-19
Brighton, MA

Re: future t mobile customer former att

and their data will be cut off for using only a few hundred megabytes while roaming. that policy is going to drive me away from T-Mobile before anything else does.
25139889

join:2011-10-25
Toledo, OH

Re: future t mobile customer former att

Sprint has one as well.
DarnellP

join:2004-10-12
Las Vegas, NV

Re: future t mobile customer former att

That probably would be relevant if this discussion were about Sprint.
chgo_man99

join:2010-01-01
San Jose, CA
T-Mobile's 3G+ network in Chicago area is very small and only covers city and suburbs while at&t's hspa+ covers a lot more state and nearly all interstate highways.

As far as for logo's color - magneta (its not pink) does not disturb me at all. Its like to complain about color orange from cell phone company Orange in europe that sells their service in many countries. Hey here in States at&t uses orange design in stores and their website.

CptGemini
Inside your computer
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join:2004-11-29
Corpus Christi, TX
kudos:6
said by xmarklive :

t Mobile need to lower their prices more like offering free tethering

You can tether with your phone an use it free but if you use it too much thats when you get cut off and get forced to pay.
sven_kirk3

join:2002-07-23
Lithia Springs, GA
How in the heck are they that expensive? T-Mobile has the most coverage and data for the money. Everybody else either has crazy data overages, while T-Mo throttles. Or you can spend more money elsewhere for more native coverage.
Early termination fees are stupid cheap. $200 compared to $350 from others.
BiggA

join:2005-11-23
EARTH

Re: future t mobile customer former att

It's a poor value. Around here, they have EDGE in the nearest CITY. Their coverage nationwide is atrocious, it's no wonder they aren't doing well. Apparently that AT&T roaming agreement wasn't very good, as they are having to cap off so low while roaming.

m35

@wideopenwest.com

Re: future t mobile customer former att

T-Mo strategy is to cover major cities not small cities. That is where VZW comes in, and expect to pay for the privilege.
BiggA

join:2005-11-23
EARTH

Re: future t mobile customer former att

They could at least cover all the cities in the Northeast Megaregion. I guess the people who can afford smartphones that need 3G can afford AT&T...
chgo_man99

join:2010-01-01
San Jose, CA

Re: future t mobile customer former att

If u work for mega company u can get 23% off discount on services.also if u gotten phony early enough with cheap text plan ( not all people need unlimited) and unlimited or 2gb data plan then I'll notice the monthly cost are nearly same as with tmobile today. I pay only $70 monthly plus tax. And never go over minutes any time of year I need to talk more thanks to their rollover .

If u travel or call internationally You find tmobile has little bit edge for talk and texting but AT&T has edge on int data roaming. Also I believe on both prepaid for international ld call or roaming is cheaper than postpaid (it only works for a few select countries though)
BiggA

join:2005-11-23
EARTH

Re: future t mobile customer former att

No wireless company has anything even remotely reasonable for international calling or roaming. Google Voice and Vonage for calling internationally, and local SIMs and XCOM global for roaming are the only way to no end up with a massive bill.
chgo_man99

join:2010-01-01
San Jose, CA

Re: future t mobile customer former att

said by BiggA:

No wireless company has anything even remotely reasonable for international calling or roaming. Google Voice and Vonage for calling internationally, and local SIMs and XCOM global for roaming are the only way to no end up with a massive bill.

At&t has app similar to funcion in google voice, in that it relays your calls through a gateway number. It requires no prepaid funds just directly bills your CC and u don't have to have a smartphone with AT&T wireless service for this, u can use Verizon, T-Mobile, Sprint, etc. Rates are similar with few exceptions where Skype is a lot cheaper to use (like calling abroad on wi-fi back to States).

At&t sells global data allowances. They are small and little pricey. U may feel 50mb is nothing, but lets u use phone abroad for few days on light use. I was able to check many emails and mobile websites, submit a few pics with no overages. Ur only required to keep it for one billing cycle.

I used this feature while I was in Canada and roaming on Rogers and Telus. Often data use report on website updated within 24h but some did not come until few days later. It came fast from Telus but kinda slow from Rogers which doesn't surprise me. For instant accurate data tracking I used data transfer counter inside settings in my iphone. I used Skype for unlimited calls over wi-fi. And for heavier data usage like maps, wi-fi too - Toronto has mesh city-wide wi-fi network and on almost every shop corner a free wifi from Bell.

Of course outside wi-fi range, nothing beats getting local SIM or XCOM when u travel through many countries.
BiggA

join:2005-11-23
EARTH

Re: future t mobile customer former att

That's an app. If they can offer it on an app, why not on their regular plans? Greed maybe?

Domestic data is $10/GB. Global data is $20,000/GB, and even with the absurd plans, is $1000/GB. That's absolutely insane. There is no reason is should cost any more than domestic data. Charge me $10/GB per country I roam in or a flat rate of $.05/MB, $.01/text, and $.10/min plus local termination with free roaming in Canada and Mexico, and I'll be quite happy to use their international service.

What is even more insane is that in about a month and a half, I will be traveling to Barrow, AK, which has no terrestrial communications with the outside world, no 3G, is about 4500 miles from where my account is located, and is about 55,000 signal miles from home (satellite). There, I will be roaming for FREE on a company that competes head to head with AT&T in much of Alaska. Yet, if I go to Montreal, which is 370 miles from "home" and surely connected to the US with at least 10gbps fiber and has HSPA+ on both sides of the border, if I used my AT&T phone, I would be charged $2/minute and $20,000/GB to roam on a carrier that AT&T doesn't compete with. Oh, but roaming on arch-rival Verizon in New Hampshire (ex Unicel GSM) is free.

Quite frankly, if roaming was $1/minute in Barrow, I wouldn't think it that ridiculous, since there just isn't good connectivity up there. However, paying ANYTHING for roaming in Montreal is absolute insanity.

The liability of having a massive bill is too high. Here, at $10/GB, there's not much liability. OMG, $10 of overage for a GB of data. Why can I buy an iPad SIM and tether off of that and get 5GB for $35CAD, but, ignoring currency differences, since they are minimal, even with AT&T's plans, that same amount of data would cost me $5,000? That makes NO SENSE.

If I start traveling internationally a lot, I will have to seriously think about getting an unlocked iPhone. The iPad looks like a better deal though, as Apple has forced carriers to have prepaid plans at reasonable prices, often much more so than prepaid phone SIMs. Throw it in my backpack, and I'll have my own hotspot. For countries where it's not possible to buy a local SIM, than XCOM global will be the way to go.

Until AT&T makes their international plan reasonable, I will be pulling my SIM when traveling outside the US so that those greedy bastards don't rip me off. Same for cruise ships, which I'm pretty sure are 100% hopeless for any kind of connectivity unless you're in a foreign port and can grab a local SIM.
chgo_man99

join:2010-01-01
San Jose, CA

3 edits

Re: future t mobile customer former att

They provide add-on to regular plans for discounted calling but u still have to pay more for rates than with their app. Even their prepaid virtual card for international calls has higher rates than their own app. My guess is, to push more smart-phones for sale. Greed? Of course for greed, they are business to make money.

No carrier in the world has reasonable international plans! It's not just AT&T. Period. Uk t-mobile charges more for data roaming that either verizon or AT&T. You'll find discounted roaming inside eu from European provider but outside its insane.

Market will pay what it bears. U cite "heavy" use, domestic like use abroad. That's wrong comparison. For light use they are fine and at much better rate than pay as u go no matter how ironic u find it given it is still truly overpriced. There is no strong regulatory body for international roaming nor there is competition there. Your domestic carrier charges u what foreign carrier charges them in roaming agreements. Plus they surely add their own rate to rates already charged by foreign carrier.
BiggA

join:2005-11-23
EARTH

Re: future t mobile customer former att

They should work to get rates down, and how is there not competition? All four carriers do global roaming, and yet none of them have worked to get rates out of the stratosphere. There is no technical reason that international roaming should cost much of anything, yet it is absolutely insane.

Part of the issue is a regulatory body, but even the EU is weak in this regard. They set the limit at $1/MB, which is still totally insane. I think they should have set it at $.05/MB (ignoring $-Euro exchange, since when you're talking about such large numbers, it's almost irrelevant).

Maybe some MVNO should come along and do it, and do it right, and cater to that user base, and force the real carriers to get with the program.

It's interesting that Apple allowed them to do that. Apple seems to be losing it's backbone. It seems the equivalent to the $30 price point with no contract is what they are doing.

That's a very interesting article, I saw something recently about how US companies are losing $6bn of revenue on international roaming because it is so insanely expensive that most people don't use it.

I'm surprised this type of thing hasn't been addressed either by the FCC or by state AGs, since it can create serious bill shock situations. I'd like to see it be the law that they can't charge more than 5x the rate that they do in the US, so it would be $.05/MB or $50/GB for international, etc. It's a little harder with text, since it's unlimited, so it's really hard to figure out what the cost of a text actually is.

What is also interesting is that AT&T got rid of it's $65/mo unlimited international data plan, and now they have no caps on overages.

Overages, should in general, be capped at 150% of the base monthly rate. AOL did it back in the day, if you were on the hourly plan, they'd stop charging around the $37 mark, since it was 1.5x unlimited. The same should be true, by law, for the wireless providers, since they have not been honest in self-regulation in this area. So international data overages would be capped at $100, domestic voice minutes under $150, and domestic text overages at $30/line or $45/plan. The very idea that Verizon had the audacity to send someone a $10,000 bill for text overages is just insane and despicable.
chgo_man99

join:2010-01-01
San Jose, CA

Re: future t mobile customer former att

Did u ready my previous article? it states theory why international roaming is insanely expensive. One of the reasons being u don't know on whom you roamed when you come back, usually no choice to who roam on, no regulation at all between countries, and fact that they make more on cashing users mistakes than probably the plan you proposed. Will this ever change? I dunno. Voice domestic roaming changed in the US but it was within US boundaries and because people move and use mobile frequently outside home.

As for international roaming, its interesting that Canadians have little bit more generous roaming voice/text plans to the US, including unlimited texting than what we Americans have. We pay the same rate for texting whether we talk or travel to Canada, Mexico or Europe.

If you check rates for Wind mobile in Canada, they have unlimited US texting and calling for $10. They also have for $8 unlimited texting to the world.

Their US or global roaming rates for data are still insanely expensive though and even at worse deal than what at&t offers. For instance the best u can get with Wind is $0.5/Mb. Its same under at&t global add-on $25 for 50Mb. When you go higher it drops to 0.25/Mb.

Its interesting international authorities (especially US) have more time to bust petty criminals on marijuana on which no one ever dies from overdose. But they totally overlook $100,000 bills travel citizens when returning to the U.S.
BiggA

join:2005-11-23
EARTH

Re: future t mobile customer former att

Yes, I read it. The customer shouldn't have to control what roaming partner they are on. It should all be handled by the carrier, but not at stratospheric rates.

The thing is, once people realize how expensive they are, they won't use them. That's not good for carrier revenue. If they offered reasonable rates, or a plan that was more money for home rate use abroad, that would be a legitimate, sustainable revenue stream.

All it takes is one company to break the status quo. Maybe a company like T-Mobile will want to do it to differentiate themselves from Verizon and AT&T, and that will break the logjam. My suspicion is that it will come with a plan that's $10-$20/mo more than the regular plan with a 2-year contract, but either have very low international rates or international extended home type of service. It would be a great way to boost ARPU, and very low risk/cost if the roaming agreements are set up the right way.

We can get a Canada plan on AT&T that covers voice and text, but it doesn't cover data. Canada should just be regular roaming, the US and Canada are even on the same phone system.

Interestingly enough, Sprint MVNO Ting is $.15/min and $.50/MB when in Canada, which while still outrageous, is at least out of the stratosphere. I don't know if they are operating through a Sprint roaming agreement, or if they have their own. It's a little difference, since they are CDMA, and run on CDMA up there. Texting is also free in Canada for them, so that would be a way to avoid costs.

Technically speaking, there is no reason why there should even be the concept of international roaming. Certain places, like Barrow, AK, or islands in the pacific that have no land-based connectivity would just have an extra charge on them. Everything should be one, flat rate to call or text anywhere. Why is it that I can pull gigabytes of data from Australia for free, yet AT&T can't manage to do free roaming in Europe?

Don't even get me going on Cruise ships, they are insane too. At least in that environment, you don't really need data, so you can just put the phone in airplane mode, use your GMRS radios, and be all set.
chgo_man99

join:2010-01-01
San Jose, CA

3 edits
said by BiggA:

The iPad looks like a better deal though, as Apple has forced carriers to have prepaid plans at reasonable prices, often much more so than prepaid phone SIMs. Throw it in my backpack, and I'll have my own hotspot. For countries where it's not possible to buy a local SIM, than XCOM global will be the way to go.

Until AT&T makes their international plan reasonable, I will be pulling my SIM when traveling outside the US so that those greedy bastards don't rip me off. Same for cruise ships, which I'm pretty sure are 100% hopeless for any kind of connectivity unless you're in a foreign port and can grab a local SIM.

As long as Ipad allows hotspot functionality ... I guess... Do all tablets allow?

Its not true Apple has forced all carriers. Maybe in the US. But not in Poland ( :P)

»www.t-mobile.pl/pl/indywidualni/···owy_ipad

3 year contract for 500PLN for 110 a month. There are no prepaid plans there. 1 PLN = 0.319 USD. Thats like initial fee $160 and monthly fee $35. Thats expensive for Poland, considering the minimum wage in Poland is $450 a month, with average $1400. Average monthly rent for 1 bedroom apartment in Warsaw is half of that average!

lucky4now

@myfairpoint.net
call them, get yourself on a 5GB data plan and it's included free...

TMoTetherHD7

@tmodns.net
I get free tethering with T-Mo on my HTC HD7 since the WP7 Mango update. I'm finally starting to use up some of that 5g unlimited data I've been paying for. I'm posting this from my tethered laptop.
chgo_man99

join:2010-01-01
San Jose, CA
interesting article

»www.againstmonopoly.org/index.ph···00004233

FFH5
Premium
join:2002-03-03
Tavistock NJ
kudos:5

Lose over a 1/2 million customers and you get job cuts

Just a fact of life. When a company loses that many customers, there WILL be job cuts. And just based on how many low level employees there are as compared to execs, they will suffer the most job cuts by far. Do I think the CEO and the strategic planning staff should also be let go? Yes. But even for them this was mostly out of their control. Deutche Telekom execs in Germany were making the calls. And the shrinking of TMO in the US may even help them dump TMO, which is what they want anyway.
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chamberc
Premium
join:2008-08-05
Irving, TX

Re: Lose over a 1/2 million customers and you get job cuts

said by FFH5:

Just a fact of life. When a company loses that many customers, there WILL be job cuts. And just based on how many low level employees there are as compared to execs, they will suffer the most job cuts by far. Do I think the CEO and the strategic planning staff should also be let go? Yes. But even for them this was mostly out of their control. Deutche Telekom execs in Germany were making the calls. And the shrinking of TMO in the US may even help them dump TMO, which is what they want anyway.

And I guess you want the janitor to run the business when the leadership is gone? Right, now there's a bright idea.
rahvin112

join:2002-05-24
Sandy, UT
DT wanted to toss T-Mobile because they didn't have the spectrum assets or cash to do a 4G upgrade. With the failed ATT deal (which IMO DT always bet would be killed) they got the spectrum and enough cash to pay for the LTE upgrade and a solid roaming agreement with ATT at the cost of half a million customers. It was a smoking good deal on their side. I haven't read the last 10Q but I wouldn't be surprised if DT management has changed their mind about T-mobile now that they have the assets they need to compete.

If DT still intends to get rid of T-Mobile they'll likely wait till after the major LTE build-outs are complete in 2014 at which point someone might be in a position to gobble them up. The problem is that the only real candidate was Sprint (they are the only one the government would allow to buy) and with the iPhone deal they don't have the cash to do it anymore. We'll have to wait and see, I imagine once the old nextel network is gone next year and if the iPhone deal works out in their favor they might have the assets to take T-mobile and reduce the US market to 3 major carriers. But that will only be true of DT management decides to do it, after all the ATT breakup assets fixed many of T-mobiles problems.

As an aside, I'd argue DT management knew the ATT deal would never go through and that's why the breakup fees included spectrum and enough cash to cover their LTE build-out. Either way DT came out ahead.

ouch

@tmodns.net

ouch

Janitor may very well do a better job if not the same, for 1/30 the price.

giguchan

join:2011-03-26

dont fire the TMobile girl

She waay Hawt...