Update: The video has now been taken off of YouTube, and so we have removed the dead link from this post.
Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure this afternoon tweeted from his "Listening Tour" — which in all likelihood will come to a sudden stop — asking what we presume are "normal people" weighing in on the competition.
And like most normal people who engage in normal conversations every day, things were said in private that never should have been made public. Certainly not as promotional material, anyway.
"I'm gonna tell you a carrier name, and I want you to basically tell me what comes to your mind. T-Mobile. When I say 'T-Mobile' to you ... just a couple of words."
"Oh, my God. The first couple of words that came into my head was ... 'ghetto,' " the unnamed woman tells Claure, as he nods in agreement.
The anonymous woman continues: "That sounds, like, terrible."
Yes. Yes it does. Worse is Claure's agreement, and choice to pass this on as something that should be representative of Sprint's thinking.
Another tweet contained a video that was far less tone-deaf. But clicking through the YouTube channel, you'll find more from the sit-down.
Less terrible answers given: "Like the lame little sister," "Really terrible customer service" and "Doesn't work." When given the option to pick and choose which statements from customers to use, these are what you'd expect. That first one? Not so much.
A couple hours after the original tweets went out, when the videos started to kick up some dust, Claure tweeted again, saying that it was "Maybe not the best choice of words by the customer."
We're sharing real comments from real customers. Maybe not the best choice of words by the customer. Not meant to offend anyone.— MarceloClaure (@marceloclaure) April 13, 2016
At this point, it's a second step in the wrong direction by trying to pin any wrongdoing on the customer in the video. Having a customer say this is one thing, but the real issue here is that Claure, the CEO of the company, agreed with her and Sprint as a whole decided this was something it wanted to be representative of how the company thinks. Bad decision all around.
Claure later apologized (again) and said the video would be taken down. The YouTube link to the video is now dead, but the others — with less offensive content — still remain.
My job is to listen to consumers. Our point was to share customer views. Bad judgment on our part. Apologies. Taking the video down.— MarceloClaure (@marceloclaure) April 13, 2016