Cable Company Empties 14,000 E-Mail Accounts

Charter Communications officials believe a software error during routine maintenance caused the company to delete the contents of 14,000 customer e-mail accounts. There is no way to retrieve the messages, photos and other attachments that were erased from inboxes and archive folders across the country on Monday, said Anita Lamont, a spokeswoman for the suburban St. Louis-based company. "We really are sincerely sorry for having had this happen and do apologize to all those folks who were affected by the error," Lamont said Thursday when the company announced the gaff.

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If that happened I would just cancel my service and go elsewhere. But really, if these e-mails were really important, they should have been backed up by the users as well. I know I do. Can't trust any of these e-mail services these days. Who knows what will happen.

Who uses their ISP as their main Email account anyway? I know I don't. Simply because if you want to move ISP, sometimes it can be a pain if you've used the email address your ISP has given you.

(WelshBluebird said @ #10)
Who uses their ISP as their main Email account anyway? I know I don't. Simply because if you want to move ISP, sometimes it can be a pain if you've used the email address your ISP has given you.

You forget the small businesses use ISPs too.

Wow, I can only imagine how mad these people are. I store a lot of important stuff in my email, people probably lost a lot of stuff that they shouldn't have. :eek:

(PricklyPoo said @ #11)
Wow, I can only imagine how mad these people are. I store a lot of important stuff in my email, people probably lost a lot of stuff that they shouldn't have. :eek:

1. Don't sort critical stuff in your email.
2. Don't use Charter.

Why web-based email stinks to high heaven. No backup. If you were using it for business, you just learned a really painful lesson. Otherwise, oops!

do you realise what you just said, all email is web based...i am sure you are referign to checking your email via a web browser , which even still are just normal email accounts with a web based front end, which you can generally use a proper email client with anyway i.e. they use POP or imap etc. and i am pretty sure even hotmail backs up their email servers..

a lot of small businesses canot afford to have their own email server and seeing there ISP gives them a certain amount of free email accounts, why woudlnt they use them...

the point here is the data should have been backup up nomatter who is hosting it....do they not backup the websites their customers have on their servers..

(whocares78 said @ #12.1)
do you realise what you just said, all email is web based...i am sure you are referign to checking your email via a web browser , which even still are just normal email accounts with a web based front end, which you can generally use a proper email client with anyway i.e. they use POP or imap etc. and i am pretty sure even hotmail backs up their email servers..

a lot of small businesses canot afford to have their own email server and seeing there ISP gives them a certain amount of free email accounts, why woudlnt they use them...

the point here is the data should have been backup up nomatter who is hosting it....do they not backup the websites their customers have on their servers..

all email is not web based.. try pop3 or imap and if you use either of those 2 and elect to not dl messages from the server, you're a dope.

(whocares78 said @ #12.1)
do you realise what you just said, all email is web based...

Yes, EXACTLY My Words In Flaming 30 Foot High Letters.

The Web is not The Internet.

While Web servers run on the Internet, the Internet does not run on web servers.

Therefore web based email (ie stored and only accessed from web servers) is extremely volatile this way (backup dependent on some hokey ISP).

If you are using standard SMTP/POP3 store and forward email services (notice, not web servers), you will only lose the email contained on the server when it fails. All your correspondence is saved locally in a database that you can back up religiously (Outlook, Eudora, Thunderbird, et. al.)

So, to reiterate, "Why web-based email stinks to high heaven. No backup. If you were using it for business, you just learned a really painful lesson. Otherwise, oops!"

I know people who have Yahoo, Hotmail (Live), Gmail, etc. accounts where all their precious family correspondence is stored on some backend database server contacted through some Web-Based email interface. When it goes south, you have no backup, no local storage of any of this stuff.

Of course for the most part, in the grand scheme of things, it's just petabytes of drivel, but if you value it, trusting some mega corporation to not cut costs and just say oops when it disappears is pretty rose-tinted glasses optomistic. Those free accounts are worth just that much.

So, if you are using one of these ISP's mail services, see if they allow POP3 access to your email and use it, or else lose it. :^(

(norky said @ #12.2)

all email is not web based.. try pop3 or imap and if you use either of those 2 and elect to not dl messages from the server, you're a dope.

what i was tryign to say is all email is on the internet (web)... without the web you have no email...the point is that ALL email is pop3 or imap etc. the fact you use a browser rather than an email client to get it does not change the fact the email servers are just email servers, whcih shoudl be backed up....e.g. i have a web browser based client i can use when i am not near a PC with my email client configured, however i use the exact same email account in outlook which i actually use an OST rather than PST so i have my email online adn offline, encase i need access to emails when i am away from my main computer... alot of users at my work use the web based client at home and outlook in the office..

any ISP that does not backup their clients data is the dope, i expect my email provvider to backup my email...

what i was tryign to say is all email is on the internet (web)...

I realize that this is a technical thing.

The INTERNET is the network that carries all the traffic. It IS NOT the web. The WEB is all that HTTP/HTTPS traffic out there that is carried on the internet, the port 80/443 stuff. As opposed the SMTP/POP3 port 25/110 stuff.

So while it may be technically true that all email is on the INTERNET, some of the EMAIL is on the web ACCESSIBLE ONLY THROUGH WEB SERVERS and most of the rest of it is accessed through SMTP/POP3/IMAP servers.

Get the separation here? Repeat after me, THE WEB IS NOT THE INTERNET, THE WEB IS A PART OF THE INTERNET.

Insert insane evil genius laughter here.

it does not change the fact the email servers are just email servers, whcih shoudl be backed up....

And if you are using POP3/IMAP clients, you are saving your email on your computer and you can do your own backup, instead of relying on some cheesy ISP like substance to have a brain. Saves you a lot of grief in the end.

this is why I dont leave my mail on any server. I use outlook and I download and archive everything myself. At least if I forget to backup my mail before i format my hdd, its my own fault.

$50 isn't going to make some of those people happy. they are a cable provider, which means cable internet. so they are giving away a free month of cable internet service..WOW!!! thx a ****load! there are going to be some serious lawsuits. you would think if they are, as the article said, one of the nations largest providers they would have backed up their data on a daily basis, if not more then once a day.

that's why i LOVE gmail internet based pop3 and free! I wouldn't use my ISP's email like was said above because it's not permanent unless you know for sure you will never move for the rest of your life or keep the service....

You do realize that most companies that offer service of this nature have quite a detailed terms and conditions of service agreement that pretty much says that by agreeing to have the service you waive all rights and privileges to take the company to court? Usually these companies use 3rd party arbitration to settle any claims out of court.

In terms of the mistake, a lot of people are blowing it out of proportion. Just because they are a big corporation doesn't mean that things can never go wrong in any way. Hardware failures happen, data backup failure happens, a lot of crap happens. It's really too bad that those people lost their email but life goes on. Really, it does. No matter what Charter does they will have at least 1 ****ed off customer that they won't be able to satisfy.

Just goes to show you can't always rely on technology. This could have happened to any email provider or ISP regardless of the preventative measures they took.

There may be some attempts to sue the company but somehow I seriously doubt that the ISP is responsible for permanent storage of email. For that matter I doubt they responsible for delivery of email.

People should know how to backup their email, but it doesn't surprise me that people don't.

Also, people shouldn't be using their ISP as their email provider. If shouldn't have to worry about telling everyone you know your new email address if you change ISPs. That is just stupid.

I use charter as my ISP, i have an email accouint with them but i have no idea if it was affected or not. I do not use it. never did. same thing with comcast before i moved. had comcast which was at&t which was MediaOne since the year 2000. never used their email addresses.

I use gmail and been using it for about 2 years now. I love it.

charter sucks. but I do not want DSL and I am stuck with them for now.

I would bet cash money the TOS every single one of their subscribers signed off on releases Charter from all liability for any damages. Most ISPs could care less about YOUR data (email or otherwise) - check your contract and you will see they guarantee very little.

I used to work for Charter, and my inside sources are telling me that if you threaten to sue, they'll give you $50 and free wireless router (home networking they call it).
Just phone in and bitch a lot.

lol, yeh come on, wat pooners use standard isp email? you can go to 1and1.co.uk or 1and1.com for you american dudes, and purchase a 20gb email account for just 10 quid per year, and its imap which means you can download all your mail into your outlook, and it will also stay on your account so you can pick up every single email you have anywhere you go by logging on your webmail.
this is the way forward.

ISP email is a good alternative for people who don't use their mail daily. They can send photos to their family, and can show everybody the have an 'email'. But for serious mail use, it's not cleverly to use an ISP email. Gmail is also a good alternative for your daily ´important´ mail...

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