Charter Deletes 14,000 subscribers

Posted by bkloss | Email Deliverabilty | Wednesday 30 January 2008 8:30 pm

Have you ever been managing an email list and made a crucial mistake that trashed a number of your subscribers? Well rest assured, you’re not the only one.

According to the Associated Press, On January 22nd Charter mistakenly deleted 14,ooo of it’s email subscribers. That number represents .58% of it’s 2.4 million user base. Although the customers could reactivate thier accounts, they permanently lost all their mail stored in the web application Dho! All those affected were offered a $50 dollar credit for their trouble. Frankly- an offer of $50 would be a slap in the face for the amount of information I keep on my Gmail account.

As email marketers this may effect you if you have a few hundred or thousand charter subscribers. Although the effected customers could renew their account would you?

So, if you saw a higher number of Charter bounces, drill into your logs and look for messages that state something about an inactive account. If your software deletes subscribers with invalid addresses after one bounce, you may want to read those Charter members who bounced out on or just after the 22nd (if your email marketing solution does not clean invalid addresses, PLEASE GET ONE THAT DOES!!). After the re-add, some of the addresses may still bounce. Clean those addresses and try to contact your subscribers by phone if that option is available. They may have signed up for a new account with another provider.
Is it worth the effort for one subscriber? Well that depends on the list- you be the judge.

P.S. Charter- Maybe you should back up your data to prevent this situation in the future. Have you heard of time machine ;)

P.P.S. Subscribers- back up you important emails!

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