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Another.com has started charging existing members to use its Web-based email service.

Last November the UK outfit introduced fees for new users. Yesterday, it began the task of telling its existing users that they would also have to fork out £15 a year for the service.

Punters logging into the service are told that they have three days to pay for the service.

A message reads: "What would you say if I told you we were going to charge people to use another.com? Would you laugh? Or cry? Or just walk away? Well, we're doing just that. From now on, membership of another.com is going to cost £15 per year (that's about $21 or E24) - I hope you'll stick around.

"You see, free stuff on the net is HISTORY. Soon, everything you now get for nothing will cost you money," it says.

The imposition of charges has angered some users who complain that they are effectively being held to ransom to pay-up for their email.

But Steve Bowbrick CEO of another.com told The Register said that the early signs are that people accept that Net-based services cannot remain free.

Within hours of the charges being introduced around a thousand people coughed up for the service, according to Mr Bowbrick.

He said that the success of introducing fees for new users convinced him that charges would work.

And he's convinced that the introduction of an annual fee for the Web-based email service is a "viable, sustainable business".

Another.com has 1.8 million registered users. ®

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