ChaCha to Drop T-Mobile in Response to “Twitter Tax”

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The mobile search startup ChaCha said it will “absolutely drop T-Mobile” from its service if the carrier moves ahead with plans to charge companies for delivering text messages to subscribers on its network.

“We prefer that T-Mobile not take this step,” ChaCha CEO Scott Jones said in a prepared statement, “but if they do, we will no longer provide our free SMS service to T-Mobile and shift the traffic to other carriers and platforms. It’s unfortunate for T-Mobile subscribers since they will miss out on ChaCha and many free services because of this short-sighted move by T-Mobile.”

T-Mobile reportedly plans to charge a toll of one-quarter of one cent to businesses for each SMS delivered to its customers. The move has sparked outrage from companies such as ChaCha, 4INFO and others, which deliver millions of text messages to users every month. I’ve pinged T-Mobile but the carrier has yet to comment.

While ChaCha appears to be the first player to state publicly that it will drop T-Mobile users from its service, others are likely to follow suit. That could force T-Mobile to abandon the plan, just as Verizon Wireless did with a similar effort two years ago.

Related content from GigaOM Pro (sub req’d): What SMS Marketers Can Learn From the Ringtone Space

Image courtesy Flickr user Leanulfean.

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