AT&T puts blame for T-Mobile layoffs on FCC

AT&T puts blame for T-Mobile layoffs on FCC
Yesterday, T-Mobile announced that it was closing 7 out of its 24 call centers. 3,300 workers were affected with 1,900 getting axed and the remainder being transferred to one of the 17 remaining centers. T-Mobile's competitor, AT&T, says that these layoffs did not have to happen and put the blame for the layoffs right at the feet of the FCC. Had the FCC approved its $39 billion purchase of the nation's fourth largest carrier, AT&T executive Jim Cicconi says that T-Mobile wouldn't have had to eliminate the 7 call centers.

On AT&T's Public Policy blog, Cicconi went after the FCC and said that AT&T had promised to keep those very same call centers if the merger was completed. AT&T also predicted to the FCC that T-Mobile would be laying off jobs if the feds put the kibosh on the deal. The AT&T executive said, "Rarely are a regulatory agency’s predictive judgments proven so wrong so fast. But for the government’s decision, centers now being closed would be staying open, workers now facing layoffs would have job guarantees, and communities facing turmoil would have security. Only a few months later, the truth of who was right is sadly obvious."

The bottom line is that while the FCC thought they were protecting consumers by preventing the deal from closing, 3,400 people have had their lives turned upside down by the FCC decision to block the deal. Perhaps the federal government focused too much on the forest and missed the trees.

source: AT&T via  SlashGear

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35 Comments

1. WirelessCon

Posts: 311; Member since: May 11, 2010

T-mobile fans may have been afraid of At&t taking over, but now T-mobile is struggling to remain relevant and competitive. The FCC f'd up. T-mobile got some money, but it's not enough. Will At&t try to buy them again?

2. dphins82

Posts: 16; Member since: Feb 10, 2009

Is Dan Hesse going to hire those who were laid off. After all he was the one to start the whole investigation. Are all you Sprint loyalists happy now.

9. anonex1

Posts: 4; Member since: Mar 23, 2012

Lol no he won't. As a Sprint Customer care employee for several years, the recent months have really been unprecedented in our call center. For years, we often had back to back calls, customers waiting in que to talk to a representative. That is, call volume so low, that we are often left to just sit waiting on a customer to call for sometimes upwards of 30 minutes. And that is in the middle of the day through the work week, not late at night. My particular center has hired no one since November and through people just quitting has gotten smaller and smaller. I can't imagine T-Mobile being the only one to make some cuts. The iphone hasn't done squat for Sprint. Good on on T-Mobile for not "getting it at all costs."

14. warriorbeats

Posts: 21; Member since: Mar 20, 2012

This is not true. I am also a sprint employee and have been so for a few years. There has been no shortage of calls. The main reason the call volume is lower is usually due to the time of year it is. However, this year sprint is trying to change where they are sending the majority of their calls. If a center is having a hard time staffing their center they are sending them less calls. The reason being, they dont want calls to go unanswered, due to the fact certain centers do not have the staffing available to answer all the calls. This leads to the customers waiting 20 plus minutes on hold and their calls eventually dropping. This is a main reason for less calls. I have worked in two centers so far this year and there has been no lack of calls. Another reason for less calls in certain centers is due to stats not being up to par. Sprint doesnt want to send calls to centers if they are not providing agents with great customer service. Sending less calls creates time in between calls for coaching team meetins and more training.

28. anonex1

Posts: 4; Member since: Mar 23, 2012

Its definitely true in my center. Its interesting you mention low stats. My center has under performed for a while now. Interesting to know now that the calls are just being routed elsewhere. The time in-between calls isn't leading to more coaching or meetings though. I'd be surprised if our center stayed open much longer.

31. torr310

Posts: 1646; Member since: Oct 27, 2011

sorry but maybe that means your call center will be closed soon?

32. robinrisk unregistered

We´ve had a lot of calls in these months, and we are hiring about 200 people more. So it might be just your center.

3. Droid_X_Doug

Posts: 5993; Member since: Dec 22, 2010

Interesting how AT&T is now speaking for T-Mo. AT&T seems to be obsessed with not being able to complete its vision of a duopoly.

4. medicci37

Posts: 1361; Member since: Nov 19, 2011

If the merger was approved, At&t would have laid off more than 3400 employees. As usual, At&t is full of sh*t !

6. warriorbeats

Posts: 21; Member since: Mar 20, 2012

And this claim is based on?

10. roscuthiii

Posts: 2383; Member since: Jul 18, 2010

History. Look up the history of mergers when the larger company has to remove redundancies, streamline processes, etc. Take AT&T's own reasons for trying to buy T-Mobile into account. They weren't looking for customers which they told the DOJ & FCC. They weren't even looking for much infrastructure. They just wanted spectrum. They were going to sell off customers to other local carriers. That means no need for all the call centers after the merger. That equals jobs lost. They were only going to keep the towers that benefited them. The rest would be sold/leased. That means the staff required to maintain those towers would be unnecessary. That equals more jobs lost. Supervisors and managers? Many would be redundant. More jobs lost. AT&T would have been under contract not to lay off any employees for a set period of time. After that contract expired, AT&T was going to scrap a lot more of T-Mobile (and some of their own personnel too) than T-Mobile can afford to lay off.

17. warriorbeats

Posts: 21; Member since: Mar 20, 2012

However, the only reason they were going to give away subscribers is because they were going to be required to. Also if at&t was stating that they wouldnt shut down any centers and cause employees to lose their jobs ass part of their agreement with the FCC to purchase Tmobile, Im pretty sure the FCC would hold them to their agreement.

18. roscuthiii

Posts: 2383; Member since: Jul 18, 2010

Required to or not, the end result is the same nonetheless. Of course AT&T would honor their agreements. At least as much as they are contractually bound. Do you not understand what a contractual obligation is? Once that contact expires however, they are beholden to no terms other than their own. The contract most likely would have been for one year, no more than three. After that, pink slips. Ever hear the term, "it's just business,"? That's exactly the case here. AT&T would owe there fractions of a percent per quarter to their shareholders. It really is just that simple. They are a business and would cut unnecessary operating expenses as soon as available. Those unnecessary expenses would basically come from T-Mobile. You can't cut a pie in half and give three people equal slices. Someone gets left out.

19. warriorbeats

Posts: 21; Member since: Mar 20, 2012

Everything argued here is invalid, were not talking about 3 years down the road. Im not about to sit here and claim i can see the future? who knows i might even lose my job by then.

20. roscuthiii

Posts: 2383; Member since: Jul 18, 2010

Since AT&T did not merge with T-Mobile you also cannot claim to know the present. You must also believe in alternate history fiction. AT&T can claim anything they want after the fact. They could claim they were going to hire 30,000 more with a 30% pay raise for all. And really, stop reading into only what you want to see. 3 years was an outside projection. 1 year would be far closer to the mark and if the merger had happened months ago the clock would be ticking down right now. But again... none of this matters. It didn't happen. It's hypothetical. The only thing to go on is history. Do yourself a favor and pick up reference material on large corporate mergers. If you lost your job in the imminent future it would probably be due to your maturity level. Or lack thereof.

24. snowgator

Posts: 3621; Member since: Jan 19, 2011

I am completely in roscuthiii's corner on this. AT&T would have promised the stars, skies, moon, and the Heavens to get that spectrum. Keep call centers open? Sure. Promise not to cut service reps even in cities where T-Mobile and AT&T stores set across the street? You got it. Pave the nations interstates with gold? It is on the list of things to do. But, major corporations plan 3 - 5 years to the future. There is no way AT&T buying T-Mobile would have been a job creator. None. Again to argue a point roscuthiii made extremely well: Show me the merger that resulted in a net gain in jobs. I am not anti-big buisness, nor was I totally against this merger. I prefered T-Mobile being bought by another entity that would have kept it a fourth carrier, but would have rather seen AT&T buy it then it go under. But AT&T is spinning this to their advantage right now. By bringing this up after the fact, they must be building a good P.R. case for the next time they go after a huge spectrum purchase. "Now, FCC, do NOT mess with us this time, like you did when you cost all those poor T-Mobile workers their jobs....."

11. gameday78

Posts: 48; Member since: Mar 17, 2012

doubt it, they would have need 100's of special reps for account transfers and merger of all the accounts.

25. snowgator

Posts: 3621; Member since: Jan 19, 2011

Yep, that would have been a good 6 months to a year more work for some reps. Then AT&T would have let them go once the transfers were completed.

5. tedkord

Posts: 17312; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

No, he isn't. Because this press release from AT&T is total bs. No large corporate merger in the history of business has not resulted in job reductions. Ever. Some if these jobs might have been saved (some, not all. No way AT&T would have kept its full call staff and T-Mo's too.), but other redundencies would have also been eliminated. And, they would have all been low level jobs - CS, phone sales, repair techs, etc...

12. gameday78

Posts: 48; Member since: Mar 17, 2012

when Cingular merged with ATT they in my area never cut any jobs... If anything we have added more jobs since then. We had two stores in my area for att and one cingular store in 2004 by 2005 we had opened another store.

21. dha_george

Posts: 54; Member since: Jan 27, 2010

same in my market too

26. snowgator

Posts: 3621; Member since: Jan 19, 2011

I am very happy for your area. But I am willing to wager a nice shiney new quarter that if you look at the number of employees that got paychecks from Cingular and the old AT&T combined, and compare that with the number of employees the new AT&T had about three years later, it was less. Now, AT&T may have grown since that time, but that would be after they absorbed the entire cost of the merger. Mergers hurt the lower pay scaled workers and mid-level administrators the most, and usually within a short amount of time. It is just common sense- most of these lost jobs are duplicated within the new company.

30. roscuthiii

Posts: 2383; Member since: Jul 18, 2010

Cingular was a smaller company with cash buying a larger company, which is why they kept the AT&T name after the purchase. Name recognition. If AT&T and T-Mobile had merged do you think the resulting company would have been called T-Mobile? Think of it this way in the AT&T/Cingular case: You have a 2-bedroom house. You have disposable income so you buy a 4-bedroom house. Yes, you keep all your current assets plus eventually add more. Now, think of it as just the opposite in the case of AT&T/T-Mobile: You had a furnished 4-bedroom but are now buying a 2 bedroom. Looks like someone will be having a yard sale.

7. Droid_X_Doug

Posts: 5993; Member since: Dec 22, 2010

If a bird sh*ts on you as you are walking outside, send an e-mail about it to the PR folks at AT&T. They will blame it on the FCC putting the kibosh on AT&T acquiring T-Mo.

8. bigmel314

Posts: 6; Member since: Jan 11, 2009

Blame T- Mobile parent company Deutsche Telecom. Thats who decided to stop investing money here. They are the German version of AT&T. Thats the issue.

15. DOGIEFRESH

Posts: 316; Member since: Jul 15, 2009

There's no blame on DT since they where clear from the very begining to leave the US market, the blame is on many fools like you and the Sprint greedy CEO who thought a posible buy out from AT&T will hurt the competition, but here are the results TMO got 4 bilions richer and they slowly will phase out no matter what

35. bigmel314

Posts: 6; Member since: Jan 11, 2009

oh you where finished? Well allow me to retort. I was against the merger first and foremost, also no none asked dt to buy voice stream and then post minimal money into their network for years. They ran a poor business here. So that is the ultimate blame.. Fin

13. PAPINYC

Posts: 2315; Member since: Jul 30, 2011

While you're at it, blame Obama or Bush. Truth is that, these corporations need a scape-goat for their desire to cut "overhead" and blaming someone is always better than saying, "hey, we want mo' money in our pockets."

16. vvelez5

Posts: 623; Member since: Jan 29, 2011

Shows you that even though you feel government is helping you, in the long run it will hurt you. Let the market work itself out and do not have government involvement in it. I'm sure all Tmobile consumers and worker are very happy about the job losses.

22. Jeradiah3

Posts: 1149; Member since: Feb 11, 2010

This all started when Sprint was complaining about a matter that had nothing to do with them!! NOW Tmobile has to eliminate 7 call centers when it should have accepted the deal with AT&T without Sprint and the FCC dipping their noses in it. We all know that Sprint has made dumb decisions over the years and this is no exception. This is the beginning of the end of Tmobile and hopefully AT&T will attempt to buy them again. Sprint didnt want to merge with them when they had the chance and now that Tmobile is doing to be in the Red................Sprint isnt that far off!! Im sorry, but I have NO sympathy for Sprint and dont care if they go under or not. I'll tell you this, AT&T would welcome T-mobile, in a merger, heart beat........Verizon would kick Sprint to the curb if it need to merge in order to survive

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