Last week we reported on the rumor that Verizon Wireless had or was about to cut a number of retail jobs, driven to cut costs and streamline operations because of intense competition in the cellular provider market. Today, Verizon has confirmed that it has cut a number of "Operations Specialists" and "Experience Specialists" jobs as part of a restructuring. These two positions are to be combined into the post of "Retail Support Specialist," which covers several aspects within Verizon's retail stores including store operations, customer experience, merchandising and cash management. At this juncture it is not clear how many positions have been laid off as Verizon Wireless did not state the number. However, Tim Dubnau, a union representative, estimated a not very clear "hundreds or thousands" of jobs have been lost Verizon Wireless currently employs 162,000 employees in the United States and has said that thousands of job cuts is "an exaggeration." Individuals who have lost their jobs are able to apply for new positions at Verizon. It is possible that Dubnau's estimate excludes those positions that will be shortly filled.
The reason for the job cuts is because of a very competitive environment. Verizon Wireless remains America's largest network by subscriber numbers, followed in order by AT&T, T-Mobile US and Sprint, and has tried to distance itself from the squabbles of the smaller carriers, especially T-Mobile US and Sprint. Instead, Verizon has pursued a "quality customer" business model, which is to keep and retain those customers it sees as being loyal to the company. These customers are those who understand, appreciate and value Verizon's network coverage and are happy to (continue to) pay Verizon's charges. Verizon's wider business has suffered from industrial action earlier in the year, which is seen to have delayed the deployment and maintenance of its fixed line broadband customers. Verizon has also pushed ahead with new technological network developments, but there have been stories that the operator is struggling from a lack of available spectrum.
Still, this must be a difficult and unsettling time for those people impacted by Verizon's restructuring. Recently, America's second largest carrier, AT&T, reduced its headcount by approximately 500 so it appears that T-Mobile US' "Uncarrier" movement has deeper ramifications than offering customers relatively inexpensive unlimited plans.