phranque - 12:49 pm on Dec 3, 2006 (gmt 0) this describes how the character set can be set at the server level and overridden at runtime.
there are very specific issues regarding character sets that changed somewhere around mysql 4.0 or 4.1, so you should refer to documentation for your version, but you could start by looking at this:
you will probably need help from your host to implement this fix.
there is an entirely different and probably more complicated set of issues if you exported and imported data when moving servers especially if it was also a version upgrade.
i'm ony peripherally aware if these issues so i will defer to those more recently bruised and blistered.
this describes how the character set can be set at the server level and overridden at runtime.