If you accidentally delete a single email that is important to you, you might say “Oops”. But what if you accidentally deleted 14,000 email accounts, including all the emails contained within? That's far beyond and oops, and that's what Charter is dealing with right now. During what they call “routine” maintenance, a software error is being blamed for the deletion of 14,000 customer e-mail accounts including all the data inside. I truly hope that deleting thousands of accounts is not routine.

It seems they were trying to purge unused accounts from their system, which is perfectly reasonable. Whatever their checks and balances were to prevent legitimate accounts from being wasted along with it obviously didn't work.

To make up for their mistake, they are offering a $50 credit to affected customers. That's probably not going to make those people who relied on those email servers feel any better, but it is another great argument for backing up important data. As one of the largest ISPs in the U.S., you would think they could afford the technical expertise and data backup solutions to make sure things like this simply can't happen. Regardless, they claim it will never happen again.