ChaCha Threatens to Dump T-Mobile

9:10 PM -- ChaCha Search Inc. is giving T-Mobile US Inc. an ultimatum: You "Twitter tax" us, we walk.

The SMS search company says that T-Mobile informed the industry it will introduce the Twitter tax, fees for delivering text messages to subscribers, beginning on Oct. 1, at which time ChaCha CEO Scott Jones says it will absolutely drop T-Mobile from its service. The carrier is reportedly planning to charge $0.0025 for each SMS a company delivers to its customers instead of the typical flat monthly fee.

“T-Mobile is a carrier that doesn’t understand the realities of content businesses including Facebook, Twitter, ESPN, and ChaCha," Jones wrote in a prepared statement.

The sixth largest SMS search provider, ChaCha has 15 million monthly unique users asking questions via SMS. Delivering its 2 million responses each day under the new tax would cost a sizeable amount, especially since 12 percent of its traffic comes from T-Mobile.

Jones noted that T-Mobile already gets profits from its customers, aggregators, and publishers, and now it's just getting greedy. Verizon Wireless considered a similar charge in 2008, but ultimately dropped it after outrage like this.

“We prefer that T-Mobile not take this step, 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," Jones concluded. "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.”

— Sarah Reedy, Senior Reporter, Light Reading Mobile

sarahthomas1011 12/5/2012 | 4:23:26 PM
re: ChaCha Threatens to Dump T-Mobile

4Info is speaking out against the charges too. I'm sure we'll see more angry companies threatening to jump ship if they have a significant SMS business.

Stevery 12/5/2012 | 4:23:18 PM
re: ChaCha Threatens to Dump T-Mobile

anything called "ChaCha" isn't exactly terrifying.


BTW, headline should be something like:

ChaCha and T-mobile are done with their Tango


ChaCha to T-Mobile: Get ready to Rumba!

Don't let it happen again or I'm docking your pay.

Pete Baldwin 12/5/2012 | 4:23:18 PM
re: ChaCha Threatens to Dump T-Mobile

Well, that's good, because a threat from anything called "ChaCha" isn't exactly terrifying.

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