Hello I'm not on Virginmedia, but recently I have found I can't send emails to my Virginmedia/ ntlworld friends. I get a failed delivery message due to spam content. I'm not sending Spam. Please help. This is becoming a real pain.
Text in bold face type is the important stuff that describes action to take.
This error message from the Virgin Media incoming or outgoing mail servers shows , in my view, a systemic and persistent problem with how the servers filter for spam. This is despite being aware of it for many months after the 2015 migration to their current e-mail platform. Resolution or alleviation lies with Virgin Media.
The spam filters are too sensitive and inconsistent in operation. They do not properly discriminate between legitimate e-mail from reputable senders which gets rejected, and spam which gets through.
All kinds of mail senders are affected. This includes bulk mailers, businesses sending out order confirmations, schools, voluntary societies, the NHS and individual Virgin Media customers.
The company mostly attributes this error to badly configured mail servers or which do not meet Virgin Media’s exacting requirements for server set up. We have seen a recent example of a properly set up server, signing e-mail correctly which has experienced this issue. So this cannot be a satisfactory explanation of the problem. Other e-mail providers have systems which do not behave this way. They successfully balance the expectation that legitimate e-mail will be delivered while minimising spam or ensuring that it is consistently delivered to a spam/junk folder. The Virgin Media system should but does not achieve any of this.
Virgin Media customers who experience this error when they send run-of-the mill mail clearly cannot be at fault. They have no control over how Virgin Media’s mail servers are configured.
This advice is designed to help senders and Virgin Media customers to manage the issue. Not all of it will apply in your case so you need to read it carefully and take what you need.
If you are responsible for sending out regular e-mails for a club or society using a straightforward mailing list do not be concerned by the technical nature of some of this advice, about e-mail server set-up. Just act in accordance with the practical advice given. That will be fine.
Advice for external senders
Reputable senders of e-mail to Virgin Media domains cannot be confident that their mail will be delivered. It may be marked as spam and delivery refused. Much depends on how recipients have set their spam settings in web mail.
Virgin Media wish to handle such instances on a case-by-case basis. Senders should therefore post the 550 error message and a depersonalised copy of one of the bounced e-mail headers in the thread you have started.
Virgin Media Forum team staff will get round to your post and will advise, after consulting with the company’s postmaster, what changes , if any, you should consider making to your e-mail sending system. This is not a quick process, given the number of posts and the load on the postmaster’s team.
These changes may include making sure your SPF, rDNS and mail signing protocols (DMARC and DKIM) are set up correctly. It may also involve removing from mail signatures URLs that do not point back to the originating domain or ensuring that any URLs in the title or the body of the text do not refer to sites that are associated with sending spam (blacklists may need to be checked – MX toolbox is a useful tool here).
Senders might feel that they should inform their customers of the risk that their mail will not be delivered to Virgin Media e-mail addresses. Customers could be advised follow the guidance below; most importantly the guidance on their spam settings.
Advice for customers
Individual customers who get the 550 error on outgoing mail should follow the advice above. Virgin Media will want to see what is happening when their servers reject run-of-the-mill e-mail.
Virgin Media customers who want to stop the majority of erroneous rejections of incoming e-mail by the spam filters must follow the proven advice here (copy into your browser please):
The mail will end up in the web mail spam folder. This is not ideal but at least the mail gets through. I made this change immediately at migration to the present system because I was not happy with the Virgin Media default settings which were to reject all spam. It has proved to be the right decision. It will be for you as well. I have pushed for Virgin Media to adopt the advice as the default spam setting. They have indicated this is under consideration. How long this simple measure will take them is anybody’s guess.
Customers using POP to collect their mail through an e-mail client will need to visit their web mail regularly to check their spam folder and move mail erroneously marked as spam (click the e-mail to select it and click on the “not spam icon”) to their web mail inbox folder so that their client can download it. This is what I do.
Customers using IMAP will be able to see their web mail spam folder in their mail client. They will be able to sort their mail without visiting their web mail account. The act of moving mail from the main from the spam folder to the inbox will automatically mark it as “not spam”. It will also help to train the infant spam filters and help them to be more discriminating – according to Virgin Media.
If you know the e-mail address of a particular sender then add that address to your web mail contacts. This will mark the sender as a safe sender. Their mail will end up in your web mail inbox and then in your e-mail client where it belongs.
Virgin Media e-mail users may feel that they should move all or part of their e-mail to a third party non-ISP linked mail provider to avoid this and other issues. That is a decision only they can make, but it is widely accepted as the right thing to do, not just because of this issue. I increasingly use my third party web mail provider as my main e-mail address to ensure resilience of my e-mail transactions.
Superusers are generally not Virgin Media staff. Virgin Media do not approve or endorse my advice. This advice is given on the basis that I accept no personal liability (explicit or implied) as to its accuracy or safety.
Superuser 2017/18 Use Kudos to say thanks Mark answer as "helpful" only when the problem is solved Please don't send me private messages unless I ask you to. I do not work for VM. The advice I give is based on my best understanding of VM policy and practice. You rely on it at your own risk.
This is the mail system at host omr-a015e.mx.aol.com.
I'm sorry to have to inform you that your message could not be delivered to one or more recipients. It's attached below.
For further assistance, please send mail to postmaster.
If you do so, please include this problem report. You can delete your own text from the attached returned message.
The mail system
<**********@virginmedia.com>: host mx.tb.ukmail.iss.as9143.net[220.127.116.11] said: 554 5.2.0 rTP11t01j1NVpRY01TP33e Spam content found (in reply to end of DATA command) Return-Path: Received: from mtaout-aab01.mx.aol.com (mtaout-aab01.mx.aol.com [172.26.126.205]) by omr-a015e.mx.aol.com (Outbound Mail Relay) with ESMTP id 8889338000A5 for ; Tue, 4 Oct 2016 11:23:01 -0400 (EDT) Received: from [************] (unknown [************]) (using TLSv1 with cipher DHE-RSA-AES256-SHA (256/256 bits)) (No client certificate requested) by mtaout-aab01.mx.aol.com (MUA/Third Party Client Interface) with ESMTPSA id 6E6163800008C for ; Tue, 4 Oct 2016 11:23:00 -0400 (EDT) Content-Type: multipart/alternative; boundary=Apple-Mail-A4843791-CF1F-4BA4-BB9D-BC8E70A79510 Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit From: Karen Partington Mime-Version: 1.0 (1.0) Date: Tue, 4 Oct 2016 16:22:58 +0100 Subject: ************** has shared a folder with you using Dropbox Message-Id: <03C8029F-B913-4D16-A6AF-1C30DC8F0A1E@aol.com> To: ***********@virginmedia.com X-Mailer: iPhone Mail (14A456) x-aol-global-disposition: G DKIM-Signature: v=1; a=rsa-sha256; c=relaxed/relaxed; d=mx.aol.com; s=20150623; t=1475594581; bh=vZhzTRSbljGeZt0O5aVIDKIMxTP//c9YW9Jr7+DCH2g=; h=From:Toubject:Message-Idate:Mime-Version:Content-Type; b=SZa9eSwC6hMxnambjppbSXQVDZHNufv2l/BhRK4JuTnHS6A1NDCLB2Bo6w7dPzA91 nQzYDmk/fkuG2aAuoUZnOVLksJJo+jISsqk4KNsvVcvYlH1XRoXvsAyZ7437ZWupA1 a7wWkesDy8fumv6EOJXczDKwDerPRETf7mpfGYwQ= x-aol-sid: 3039ac1a7ecd57f3c9541f14 X-AOL-IP: ***********
[MOD EDIT: Personal and private information has been removed from this post. Please do not post personal or private information in your public posts. Please review the Forum Guidelines]