ChaCha Vows To Shut Off Q&A Service To Sprint Customers In Wake Of SMS Price Hike

Now that the SMS rate hike from Sprint is official, we’re already beginning to hear from mobile content providers who see the move as damaging to their future business.

ChaCha, the Q&A service provider that’s one of the largest senders of SMS in the U.S., is vowing to completely cut off Sprint customers from receiving answers to their questions via SMS.  Since the service is free for users and completely ad-supported, the company says the new fees from Sprint are uneconomical for its business.

“Effective April 1, ChaCha is being forced to shut off service to our SMS text customers on the Sprint network due to an exorbitant fee increase from the carrier,” said Scott Jones, founder & CEO of ChaCha.  “Sprint currently charges their customers for text messaging and charges text providers like ChaCha for access to the Sprint network.”

The company goes back to the fact that other, much larger SMS senders like Facebook and Twitter are exempt from the new fee structure.  “Now Sprint has added another fee for certain text providers, making it cost prohibitive to continue our free, real-time answers service on which Sprint customers have come to rely for over three years,” he continued.  “We find it particularly unfair that other, much larger SMS text providers such as Twitter have been exempted from the Sprint SMS increase.”

ChaCha said it’s still willing to pay Sprint for access to its customers via SMS, but only if the costs become more reasonable.  You may remember how vocal ChaCha and its CEO was back when T-Mobile raised its SMS fees in October of last year.  Only time will tell if the threat of blocking all Sprint customers from the popular service will result in a new agreement being worked out between the two.