Sorry, we deleted your email account by accident

If there’s one thing you don’t want to hear from your Internet provider, it’s that your email account has beenCharterccom
deleted. I can’t imagine how many angry phone calls the folks at Charter Communications are getting.

FORT WORTH, TexasCharter Communications said it had erased thousands of e-mail accounts by mistake.

A
Charter spokesman said an accident during routine maintenance deleted
14,000 accounts. Customers lost all of the information in the 14,000
deleted accounts, including e-mails, photographs and bills.

Lisa Flood of Hurst said she couldn’t believe her computer screen.

"I had about eight folders over here," she said. "And all I have now is just, I have nothing. I have nothing." [Link]

A couple of times in the last few years, I wasn’t able to access my email account and I worried that it had somehow been deleted. Nowadays I make sure I download my email regularly to my computer using Outlook Express, which saves me the trouble of having to go to my Internet provider’s office and wringing someone’s neck.

The company said there is no way to recover the lost information.

"We’re
straight out apologizing for this gaffe," Charter spokesman Craig
Watson said. "It’s never happened to us before… We’ve put in place an
extra fail-safe system so it will never happen again."

But Flood said an apology isn’t enough.

"I hadn’t really started
to think about some kind of compensation, but sorry just doesn’t get
it," she said. "They say they’re going to keep it from happening again?
How do I have faith in that?" [Link]

I agree with her: an apology isn’t enough. The least they can do is give Flood and other affected customers free Internet access for a year. That might keep them from switching to another company or doing what I’d be inclined to do: accidentally running into the company’s telecommunications tower.

If you enjoyed this piece, you'll love Melvin's novel Bala Takes the Plunge, available in North America through Amazon.com and McNallyRobinson.com You can also find it at major bookstores in India and Sri Lanka or online at FlipKart, IndiaPlaza, FriendsofBooks or other sites. A number of readers have written reviews of the novel. An excerpt of the novel can be read here.

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