Sprint to Charge for WAP Browsing (Updated Again)

Multiple Sprint employees have confirmed to PhoneNews.com that, effective tomorrow, Sprint will charge customers $1 per day to browse some web site web sites outside of the Vision home page portal. Below is the memo direct from Sprint:

Accessing Third Party Websites Customers will be charged $1.00 per day for accessing some websites from their phone that are not part of the Vision home page.

“Customers: All Vision and Power Vision customers

Effective 1/22/07, customers will be charged $1.00 per day to access some third party websites. The customer will be prompted with an advice of charge page indicating the cost is $1.00 for 24 hours access. The customer can accept the charge and have the $1.00 added to their bill or return to the Sprint Vision Home page. Customers who accept the $1.00 charge will have access to the sites for 24 hours.”

Sprint employees have been able to confirm that at-launch this will only affect two web sites; 3gforfree.com and GritsandEggs.com. Sprint is apparently testing charging for access to known content download web sites. This is in an effort to recover costs from users who bypass Sprint’s built-in content store. Internal emails have confirmed this is being done on a trial basis, but will affect all customers for at least the next 90 days.

Update: The 23rd has come and users are reporting the fee has not taken effect. eCare continues to confirm the fee, but others have confirmed to PhoneNews.com that media coverage of the fee has prompted Sprint to cancel the trial at this time. Sprint officials declined to comment.

Update 2: Sprint has confirmed to us that this charge will not take place. Quoting Sprint representatives: “At this time we are not charging any additional fees beyond our data pack or casual usage charges to access any of these sites.”