I've joined this forum to share my experiences of setting up accounts on the Mail app of an iPhone 3GS, for accounts on ntlworld.com. I chose the name Socrates because I'm trying to be philosophical about this messy situation. This is my first post: sorry it's long, but there's much to tell.
I set up several mail accounts with different providers, including VM, and I varied the instructions in the obviously way (eg email@example.com rather than firstname.lastname@example.org). They all worked fine. However in May 2011 my iPhone died (6 days before the guarantee expired - how often does THAT happen??) and I had to reconfigure the Mail app on the replacement iPhone. Because I was in a rush I only reconfigured my main non-VM email account (provided by my local University), my spouse's ntlworld.com account, and a Vodafone 360.com account (needed because as others have remarked, you can't use VM's SMTP servers unless you are directly connected to VM's Internet service). All these worked just as before.
BUT then in May/June we went abroad and I tried to configure Mail on my iPhone for my own ntlworld.com account. I got exactly the problem described by crewrest on 24-03-2011. After returning to the UK I tried to solve the problem, and decided to clear out all Mail's accounts and start again. I then found that that I could neither set up my own ntlworld.com account, nor my spouse's. Doh!
All non-VM accounts worked as normal, and our Mac-based Eudora email works fine for ntlworld.com with both POP and iMap. I have tried all the tips I found in the forum - checking the 'allow POP' and 'allow iMAP' settings in the VM account settings, changing passwords, re-booting everything that can be re-booted, etc etc. All to no avail. I have concluded that Virgin have somehow messed up their email servers, since the iPhone app appears to work perfectly with other ISPs. I have a theory about what might be wrong but that will come later.
Here's the philosophical bit, aka a work-around. I set up two parallel Gmail accounts, one for each of our ntlworld.com accounts, and set email forwarding from the ntlworld.com accounts to re-direct emails to these Gmail accounts, respectively. Then I configured the iPhone for these Gmail accounts. It's ironic that VM are using Google mail but VM set-up doesn't work properly on the iPhone, but Gmail servers themselves work perfectly. I think this is additional evidence that Virgin have messed things up.
There's a downside to this of course. If you reply to an email on the iPhone, it is 'from' your Gmail address, but you can of course simply forward it and any replies on to your main account. If anyone gets this far in this long post and wants to know how to automate this, it can be done by setting filters and I'll send an additional post if anyone asks. I also recommend modifying the 'signature' on your iPhone to explain what's going on. Mine for example reads: "Sent from my iPhone. Replies to my usual email address will also be received on this device."
Finally, here's my theory about what's gone wrong. I think it's to do with the SSL protocol and the way accounts are verified. This explains why it's possible for an account set up some time ago to go on working (since verification is done at set-up time) but it's not possible to set up a new one. When I access the VM website on my Mac's Safari browser, I get a security warning (see below). It's quite possible that this throws the iPhone's set-up procedures. I do not have any deeper knowledge to enable me to explore this further.
If anyone from Virgin looks at this, I hope you can get this problem sorted. I'm often asked online to say how well Virgin treats its customers: well, there must be an awful lot of iPhone users who are wasting hours of their time struggling with this. Please don't try to pass the buck to Apple as it's not the rest of the squad that's out of step with Virgin.
Regarding VM email accounts (eg @ntlworld.com, @blueyonder.co.uk, @virgin.net and @virginmedia.com)
Did you ever try not using smtp.ntlworld.com (which will ONLY work from home and will NOT work from elsewhere)?
instead (even for @ntlworld.com accounts, etc) use:
with smtp server authentication (full username** and password)
without smtp authentication it will not work away from home. smtp.ntlworld.com does not support authentication, ergo it will not work away from home.
**It falls over for some people I think because they have changed the username for their email address - I have yet to delve into the implications of this, but generally the smtp authentication credentials are the full email address and password. However if you have change things in My VM such that the email address has a different username then I suppose you would have to use the new username in place of the email address for the authentication credentials.
PS if you want to link to VM Help Pages, you need to copy the URL from a link to the page (e.g from the search results screen) - once you are viewing the help page itself the URL showing in the browser is generic.
_____________________________________________________________________ if you just want to say thanks > click 'kudos' +☆ if this has also helped answer your question > click 'helpful answer' also
Thanks Tech Wizard II. In reply, yes, I have certainly tried NOT using smtp.ntlworld.com. As you say, it doesn't work away from home anyway. I had configured an additional SMTP server (smtp.360.com) and used that when away from home. As per my original post, all this was working fine until April/May this year. The symptoms now are that I canot even get iPhone setup to work for incoming mail, POP or iMAP, for ntlworld,com. I get exactly the symptoms reported by crewrest.
You make an interesting point about user names. I have a 'master' user name for my NTL accounts and a set of extra email user names, as the system is designed to provide. These have not been changed for 5 years. My problems are to do with 2 of the extra names. I could try setting up the iPhone for the 'master' name account - thanks for the idea.
All other ISP's I have tried work with no trouble - it's just recent ntlworld set-ups that are the problem. My workaround is working fine though, through Gmail.
I have e-mail send and recieve working fine from my iphone using IMAP except for two things.
It continually shows me all the e-mail in the inbox from the date I set it up and whilst on the iphone it lets you delete an e-mail it does not physically do it as next time you look at the inbox all the stuff is back.
Ps anybody know a way of deleting all mail in a mailbox or have you got to delete the box and then add it again?
Hi I have just upgraded to iPhone 4S from a 3GS. The old phone worked well using the POP3 account and the "recent" tag. It would appear that the 4S automatically subscribes to IMAP. The problem is that after initially downloading emails, the phone stop downloading subsequent emails giving me a message saying it cannot connect to the IMAP server. Switching the phone off and back on again resets it only for the issue to re-present. I don't think it's the phone as I have 2 other email accounts setup that work perfectly. Any ideas from anyone?