I had this problem with vim in OpenSuse:
when in "Insert" mode the backspace insert "^?", and I want to it to
remove characters to the left

Solved such way:

I made file "~/.vimrc" in my user directory.
The file ".vimrc" contain:

" copy from here start of .vimrc
" comment: <press CTRL+V><press backspace> mean you must to press these
keys in that order

set t_kb=<press CTRL+V><press backspace>

" to have mouse enabled in normal mode
set mouse=n

" copy to here end of .vimrc

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