Menu
Reply
  • 8
  • 0
  • 1
solorider
Tuning in
916 Views
Message 1 of 21
Flag for a moderator

Re: cant send emails

Hi All,

I've been getting the same issues since yesterday - can receive IMAP messages without problems but can't send SMTP outgoing messages on any device.

This is on an "@ntlworld.com" address with the recommended settings (smtp.ntlworld.com/Port 465/SSL/Normal Password). I have the issue on all email clients (Thunderbird/Linux and Android) on systems that have been working happily for months if not years.

I left it 24 hours for VM to get their act together but it was still not working this morning so I connected to the online chat help. What a waste of time. The opening gambit from the chat operator was the usual fob off - "it's you email client"! When I explained that ALL email clients stopped working at the same time after working happily for ages we moved on. The operator then offered to send me an email containing server configurations, at which time I pointed out that I was well aware of the required configurations and gave them mine. Very shortly after this the operator admitted that they are not trained beyond this very basic level of help and suggested I contact the "gadget rescue team"! I pointed out that all my gadgets were working fine apart from not being able to send email via VM SMTP servers, at which time they suggested calling the telephone support line!

After (finally!) getting through on the phone I was again greeted with the first line of defence - "It's a problem with your email client". I again pointed out that ALL my email clients had stopped working at the same time after having worked perfectly for months and so this was unlikely. We again went through the same old settings hoops, the call handler even at one point suggesting that I put imap.virginmedia.com as the outgoing SMTP server! I said that this was wrong as the IMAP server is for INCOMING mail, but she insisted and so I humoured her. Not surprisingly this didn't fix the problem! She then asked if she could take remote control of my machine at which time I pointed out that I was running Thunderbird on Linux and not Windows(tm) so, no!

I finally asked if there was somebody technically competent that I could speak to and was connected to the "floor manager". This person insisted that there were no issues with the SMTP servers, despite me pointing out this thread on their own help site! He stubbornly stated that if there had been any issues they would have received calls about them! I pointed out an old thread on this very forum regarding similar issues in January 2015 which appeared to be due to an incorrect SSL certificate and asked if this might be the problem again - I got stonewalled.

We then again jumped through all the settings hoops and at one point even put the smtp.blueyonder.co.uk with no authentication as the SMTP server (which did actually work!) I pointed out that this was an insecure way to log in as credentials would be passed "in the plain" and so were liable to be snooped, at which point the "floor manager" insisted that this was the default settings for ntlworld.com addresses. Despite pointing out that the settings on the VM website explicitly stated SSL should be set he insisted that he was correct.

In the end he just kept stating that insecure access was the default (and only) method of accessing ntlworld accounts and that I would have to switch to a VM address to get SSL access!

I hung up.

The upshot is that currently the only way to send mail via the smtp.ntlworld.com server is by using port 25 and no security or authentication, which is entirely inappropriate.

It certainly looks like an SSL issue at this point - either an expired certificate or perhaps a version conflict.

It needs to be sorted - PRONTO!

0 Kudos
Reply

Helpful Answers
  • 13.62K
  • 720
  • 4.71K
Superuser
Superuser
1,706 Views
Message 2 of 21
Flag for a moderator
Helpful Answer

Re: cant send emails

I've moved this to it's own thread as it's actually unrelated to the thread you posted in.  Those users either couldn't send from Webmail OR could send from SMTP but were getting Spam content found bouncebacks.

Please start your own thread in future rather than appending to existing threads.  It makes it easier to deal with your problem.

Looking at your posts you appear to reading past threads and jumping to conclusions.  So lets look at your problem in more detail.

I should stress that I don't work for Virgin Media - and I do try and be as impartial as possible when replying to threads.  I've done a lot of research into email issues, and as such am confident I can assist.

So lets look at some of the issues.

  1. Is it a client specific issue - As you've clearly stated it's happening on three different clients it's unlikely.
  2. Is it an SSL certificate issue.  I have openssl installed on my PC so I used the s_client command to try and connect to smtp.ntlworld.com on port 465.  I was able to successfully connect.  Checking the certificate chain everything seems in order.  So again it's unlikely.
  3. One thing you don't post is what actually happened when you try sending.  What error messages did you get?

You mentioned that the agent in question advised that you use port 25 with SMTP Authentication turned off.  With this combination there's no risk of your password being exposed, although the e-mail itself is sent in the clear.

However we know that you can send over port 25 with no authentication.  So lets check SSL with no authentication.

Just change the port to 465 with SSL turned on,and try a send.  This will need to be from your home address as the Virgin servers don't allow unauthenticated from a non Virgin IP.

Ravenstar68

Edit - BTW I'm not happy with Virgin Media's call centre.  This needs to be escalated back to them as the agents are clearly giving out wrong information.

The recommended port settings for all four Virgin smtp servers are 465 with SSL turned on and authentication enabled.  Which you are obviously aware of.

The 3 legacy servers

smtp.blueyonder.co.uk
smtp.ntlworld.com
smtp.virgin.net

Will allow connection over port 25, and will allow unauthenticated connection from a VM IP - but this hasn't been the recommended setting since 2010.  @ForumTeam - can you get the call looked in to?

________________________________________


Only use Helpful answer if your problems been solved.

0 Kudos
Reply
  • 13.62K
  • 720
  • 4.71K
Superuser
Superuser
1,646 Views
Message 7 of 21
Flag for a moderator
Helpful Answer

Re: cant send emails

Even if the Forum Team got to this today, it's not going to be a quick fix.  They have to escalate this to the e-mail team to investigate what's going on on the server backends.

Lately it'been taking the forum team around a week or so to get to posts.  They normally try to get to them quicker.

I'll raise this up but you may prefer to ring in again.

Don't let them mess you around. State the following

1. You can receive mails
2, You can send mails without authenticating when at home.
3. Despite using the same password as your incoming mail to authenticate, your password is not recognised.

You need them to escalate this so they can find out why the password is not recognised by the SMTP service.  As you need to be able to send mail when away from home.

If they try fobbing you off with ntlworld doesn't need to authenticate.  Tell them to check their own help files.  Which containg the correct setting for NTLWorld.com email.

If they won't listen then by all means the Forum Team will.  @Jen_A and @Nicola_C are both very clued up on email.  I'll see if I can get them to look at this.  I'm wondering if it's related to another issue I've come across with a different error code, but having similar effects.

Ravenstar68

________________________________________


Only use Helpful answer if your problems been solved.

0 Kudos
Reply

All Replies
  • 13.62K
  • 720
  • 4.71K
Superuser
Superuser
1,707 Views
Message 2 of 21
Flag for a moderator
Helpful Answer

Re: cant send emails

I've moved this to it's own thread as it's actually unrelated to the thread you posted in.  Those users either couldn't send from Webmail OR could send from SMTP but were getting Spam content found bouncebacks.

Please start your own thread in future rather than appending to existing threads.  It makes it easier to deal with your problem.

Looking at your posts you appear to reading past threads and jumping to conclusions.  So lets look at your problem in more detail.

I should stress that I don't work for Virgin Media - and I do try and be as impartial as possible when replying to threads.  I've done a lot of research into email issues, and as such am confident I can assist.

So lets look at some of the issues.

  1. Is it a client specific issue - As you've clearly stated it's happening on three different clients it's unlikely.
  2. Is it an SSL certificate issue.  I have openssl installed on my PC so I used the s_client command to try and connect to smtp.ntlworld.com on port 465.  I was able to successfully connect.  Checking the certificate chain everything seems in order.  So again it's unlikely.
  3. One thing you don't post is what actually happened when you try sending.  What error messages did you get?

You mentioned that the agent in question advised that you use port 25 with SMTP Authentication turned off.  With this combination there's no risk of your password being exposed, although the e-mail itself is sent in the clear.

However we know that you can send over port 25 with no authentication.  So lets check SSL with no authentication.

Just change the port to 465 with SSL turned on,and try a send.  This will need to be from your home address as the Virgin servers don't allow unauthenticated from a non Virgin IP.

Ravenstar68

Edit - BTW I'm not happy with Virgin Media's call centre.  This needs to be escalated back to them as the agents are clearly giving out wrong information.

The recommended port settings for all four Virgin smtp servers are 465 with SSL turned on and authentication enabled.  Which you are obviously aware of.

The 3 legacy servers

smtp.blueyonder.co.uk
smtp.ntlworld.com
smtp.virgin.net

Will allow connection over port 25, and will allow unauthenticated connection from a VM IP - but this hasn't been the recommended setting since 2010.  @ForumTeam - can you get the call looked in to?

________________________________________


Only use Helpful answer if your problems been solved.

0 Kudos
Reply
  • 8
  • 0
  • 1
solorider
Tuning in
881 Views
Message 3 of 21
Flag for a moderator

Re: cant send emails

Hi There and thanks for the input.

I have finally found some more time to further investigate these issues and it appears that you are correct - SSL seems to be working but authentication isn't.

SSL on and Authentication off does work (although it won't be much use away from home).

Attempting to send with authentication on in Thunderbird/Linux produces the error "Login to server smtp.ntlworld.com failed" with a dialog to enter a new password.

Attempting to log in via openssl s_client produces "Authentication Credentials Invalid (VM300)"

So it appears that the ntlworld smtp server is rejecting the username/password pair during the authentication process. This pair is exactly as specified in the VM server configuration post. The same credentials are accepted by the VM main site. Currently the incoming imap server configuration only has my email name (excluding the @ntlworld.com) and is working without issue. Attempting to use this username in the smtp configuration also fails.

So, for some reason it appears that the smtp.ntlworld.com server(s) will not authenticate my username/password pair that is accepted by all the other servers.

Any further ideas?

0 Kudos
Reply
  • 13.62K
  • 720
  • 4.71K
Superuser
Superuser
874 Views
Message 4 of 21
Flag for a moderator

Re: cant send emails

You seem to be clued up so I assume you converted the username and password into Base64 when trying openssl.

At this point I'd try the following.

Go to http://my.virginmedia.com/myprofile and log in.

Change the password on the offending account.  At this point you can use the same password as you currently have.

Now ideally this should force an update of the password on Virgin's back end servers and MAY resolve the problem.  If not we'll have to get the Forum Team to take a look.

Ravenstar68

________________________________________


Only use Helpful answer if your problems been solved.

0 Kudos
Reply
  • 8
  • 0
  • 1
solorider
Tuning in
871 Views
Message 5 of 21
Flag for a moderator

Re: cant send emails

Yes, I can confirm that I carried out the base64 encoding.
I did change the password before but I guess it's worth another try.
Thanks
0 Kudos
Reply
  • 8
  • 0
  • 1
solorider
Tuning in
845 Views
Message 6 of 21
Flag for a moderator

Re: cant send emails

I have reset my password a couple of times and tried to log in via Thunderbird/Linux and openssl s_client all with the same results - no joy.

No matter what I do I can't get the smtp.ntlworld.com server to authorise my login.

Obviously this has serious implications for email on the go and I need it sorted as quickly as possible.

Regards

 

0 Kudos
Reply
  • 13.62K
  • 720
  • 4.71K
Superuser
Superuser
1,647 Views
Message 7 of 21
Flag for a moderator
Helpful Answer

Re: cant send emails

Even if the Forum Team got to this today, it's not going to be a quick fix.  They have to escalate this to the e-mail team to investigate what's going on on the server backends.

Lately it'been taking the forum team around a week or so to get to posts.  They normally try to get to them quicker.

I'll raise this up but you may prefer to ring in again.

Don't let them mess you around. State the following

1. You can receive mails
2, You can send mails without authenticating when at home.
3. Despite using the same password as your incoming mail to authenticate, your password is not recognised.

You need them to escalate this so they can find out why the password is not recognised by the SMTP service.  As you need to be able to send mail when away from home.

If they try fobbing you off with ntlworld doesn't need to authenticate.  Tell them to check their own help files.  Which containg the correct setting for NTLWorld.com email.

If they won't listen then by all means the Forum Team will.  @Jen_A and @Nicola_C are both very clued up on email.  I'll see if I can get them to look at this.  I'm wondering if it's related to another issue I've come across with a different error code, but having similar effects.

Ravenstar68

________________________________________


Only use Helpful answer if your problems been solved.

0 Kudos
Reply
  • 8
  • 0
  • 1
solorider
Tuning in
812 Views
Message 8 of 21
Flag for a moderator

Re: cant send emails

Called VM and got got the usual rubbish from the (Indian?) call centre. In the end the call taker said that he would have to pass this up the chain and that I would be called back within 30 minutes.

2 hours later with no call I called VM again. Got connected to a British call taker who stated that there was a log of an attempted call back 15 minutes after my previous call which was logged as no answer, but with no record of the number called. I have 3 numbers - landline, fax and mobile. I am guessing that they tried the fax line and couldn't be bothered to try any of the others.

Anyway, went through a brief history of the problem and said that I knew the server settings and that there was no point resetting my password as it had already been done 3 times. I explained that the problem was simply that I could not send outgoing email from any of my devices via the smtp.ntlworld.com server(s) as my username/password was not authenticated yet they are by the incoming imap server and the webmail interface. The call taker then did something amazing - he ran a test on the smtp server and it returned an error! Why was this the first person who had done this?!

He then stated that he would speak to the "back office" and put me on hold for about 5 minutes. When he came back he said that the "back office" had confirmed the fault was on their servers and that they would endeavor to fix it as soon as possible but it could take up to 5 days!

Well at least an issue with the VM servers has been identified. I am now waiting to see how long the fix takes.

Thanks for your help on this.

0 Kudos
Reply
  • 1
  • 0
  • 0
Helengodfrey
Settling in
691 Views
Message 9 of 21
Flag for a moderator

Re: cant send emails

I'm experiencing the same problem - do we just have to sit back and wait it out? Never had a problem before
0 Kudos
Reply
  • 16
  • 0
  • 2
Richard_X
On our wavelength
676 Views
Message 10 of 21
Flag for a moderator

Re: cant send emails

I have the same problem too!

When are VIrgin going to fix it???

 

0 Kudos
Reply