Charter Communications is citing a software problem that led to the deletion of 14,000 e-mail accounts earlier this week.
Anita Lamont, a spokesperson for Charter, said the company periodically deletes inactive accounts. But on Monday, the company started receiving phone calls to its call centers informing the MSO that the content of active e-mail accounts was being deleted.
“We began to get some calls on Monday,” Lamont told CED. “It wasn’t a deluge of calls because it happened sporadically across the states where we operate. Our team began a recovery analysis operation and focused intently on trying to find a way to recover the content from the accounts that were mistakenly deleted, but on Tuesday we sent out an e-mail to customers saying the content wasn’t recoverable.”
Charter, the fourth-largest cable operator in the U.S., said that the customers who were affected will automatically receive a $50 credit on their bills. Charter has roughly 2.6 million broadband customers in its 29-state footprint. Lamont said customers in some states had only a handful of deleted accounts, while other states’ customers were hit harder.
Since customers receive up to 10 e-mail accounts when they sign on for Charter’s broadband service, Lamont said the company performs routine maintenance by deleting the inactive accounts.
“We’ve never had this happen before,” Lamont said. “We’ll continue to do the routine maintenance on those inactive accounts, but now they won’t be immediately deleted. Instead they’ll be stored on a server at another location for a period of time, so now we have a backup plan.”
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