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Corporate “Oops” Empties Email Accounts

Around 14,000 affected

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There are worse things that one could find in an email account – foreclosure notices, death announcements, and so on – but for 14,000 people, finding nothing at all was pretty bad.  The blame for the deletions lies with Charter Communications.

Charter is a St. Louis-based telecommunications corporation; according to its website, it has about 5.7 million customers in 29 states.  Many of those customers have moved on to using Gmail, Hotmail, and other services instead of the company-provided email, however, and it was (sort of) as a result of this that 14,000 Charter email accounts are now empty.Corporate "Oops" Empties Email Accounts

The St. Louis Business Journal reports, "Charter’s Anita Lamont said the company typically performs routine maintenance on email accounts that have gone unused for more than three months and during this process a technical error occurred that deleted some 14,000 active e-mail accounts.  Thus, all e-mails for those accounts had been cleared and lost."

There is a bright side, though – affected customers have received a $50 credit by way of apology.  Your humble author would happily take $50 in order to have a bunch of spam or some chain letters cleaned up.

Yet I’m going to make a point of backing up some important things today, and would suggest that you do the same.

Corporate “Oops” Empties Email Accounts
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  • http://www.digitalnasties.com/blog/ Guest

    Would you still take the $50 if your lost important emails or bank logins or ebay info.

    • http://www.certifiedbattery.com UpStart Battery

      I agree with the other commenter.  The emails remaining in my accounts are ones that I want.  It is easy and fast to delete spam and other crap.  It is the stuff that you know you want to keep, or are unsure about that tends to reside in the email boxes.

      Think about your outlook box… is it full of spam?  Or is it full of things you are working on?

      $50 is not a very good trade.

  • http://blogs.johnasimpson.com John Simpson

    I’d be concerned about this error because it brings up a bigger point.  Why doesn’t Charter have backup/recovery procedures in place…just as part of the normal day-to-day operations.  You would think that a big company like Charter would do backups daily.

  • Guest

    As a side note, Charter "Upgraded" my internet to the advertised "5mb" speeds sometime after 1/8/08.  I wonder if this was just a coincidence (deleting email and upgrading system speed)?  When I found my email accounts missing, I phoned Charter Customer Assistance line and received the recorded message that a "few" of their internet customers had been affected.  "a few" = 14,000+  The $50.00 does not begin to replace the mail account contents.

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